When you get clients who come to you expecting a certain “style” of work from you, how do you find ways to try new things, instead of just re-interpreting things you’ve done before?

Adam Tickle
Recently I worked with a band who wanted a Chinese communism style to their sleeve, so I replicated the style but tried to add the bands style and sound to the look of the project.

Adrian Shaughnessy
As above, adrenaline. I need the shock of the new.

Andrew Blauvelt
I think most of it is all over the place in terms of style. They usually reference something we’ve done. But most people want something like that but not like it. They want something unique.

Dan McCarthy
I ask them to find some images of art that is in the style that they want. I use them as reference to get started.

Ed Fella
When we got a project, we would always joke about making it 14% or 22% different, or better. There was always some small percentage. You can’t do something completely different. If it’s within the confines of what you need to do, you can push it a little bit. You still have to fulfill the briefs and add what you can. I was a commercial artist 50 years ago. I worked with reps and studios, not other designers. The studios were huge, sometimes with 60-70 people. Now you guys work with 1 computer and it does it all. You work with clients more directly now. The huge support system doesn’t exist anymore. It’s over. I worked in that system. It was much different.

Eric Karjaluoto
This is a perpetual problem. Clients like one job, and then want us to do the same thing for them, even when it isn’t appropriate for their project.

All of our projects work through a process, in which we determine how to best meet their needs. Typically as we work through this, they see that something else will work better for them.

Evan Leake
If someone is really wanting a specific look that I’ve achieved before, I will start from there, but as I’m working I always try to improve the look of the work. If a project looks identical to a previous project, its probably because of budget or time constraints, because if I have the time, I’d like to play around a little to make it better than before.

I don’t think that we have a formula for that, it just happens.

Flip Flop Flyin
Well, I find it’s best to try them first, than pull them back if required.

Friedrich-Wilhelm Graf
Hopefully, we don’t have a certain “style”.

Its always new and fresh.

George Lois
A great client should expect (demand!) work that’s based on a truly Big Idea, that is so powerful that it can be interpreted as “seemingly” outrageous. If any student can truly understand the previous sentence, it’s their roadmap to success.

Hula Hula
All of our designs are backed with a justification. If we design one way or another it is always because we felt that was best for that particular project. Having an understanding with what the concept is is fundamental to presenting your ideas to your clients. If a client is still stubborn we tell them that what they should look for in us is not our style but our hunger to try new ideas out.

Ian Stevenson
Every job is different, I always try to develop my work and enjoy it else there’s no point doing it. I do have a style but there are many new things that can be done with it.

Jeff Domke
I recommend you ditch those clients and find better ones. When I am forced to work in such a way, I usually do a little song and dance which looks like creative thinking, while I secretly give them the crap they actually want. I save the real creative juices for those who will appreciate and actually implement the solutions I propose.

Milton Glaser
My way of working has become harder to identify.

Please Let Me Design
Daimen: We always take the idea as a starting point. So, the most important part is to find the idea that perfectly matches the job. After that, the execution, the material, the format, the technique and all the rest follow the concept. So it’s always a new experience.

Pierre: I don’t want to repeat myself, but you have to learn to listen your client, find out what they need and find an idea that fits. Then, do not think in terms of aesthetic, just try to figure out a way to realise it.

Rick Valicenti
The only way to not resort to formulaic style is to be truly present in every new opportunity, for they actually design themselves. Often the illusion that a great designer simply re-interprets his or her work is dismissive of the fact that each of us has our own sensibilities and filter through which we see the world.

Wolfgang Weingart
I do it as I think will work out best for the client.

Zoe Bather
Be straight with them from the start explain in the briefing that’s not how we work and that their project is as individual as every other project that they have seen in our portfolio. I don’t really think we have a style and if we did have a style I’d like to think it was simply concentrating on coming up with solutions which are appropriate to individual clients.

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Fill/Stroke is a collection of three individuals who have always been good at collecting content, but never really good at sharing it. We formed in early 2008, and have been honored to interview some of the greatest designers of our time.

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