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Sometimes it really goes this way.

The freelance design life is one filled with the unexpected—you never know what's coming around the next corner, and if you're someone like myself, that is incredibly exciting. With every project that shows up, I'm ready and eager to throw my entire self into it, to prove myself, and to make the client incredibly happy. It's a thrill that never gets old.

That was my attitude when the request for a print ad came my way. The mandate was simple, really: create a small, vertical, full-color ad. A simply rendered reference layout was sent along with some basic specifications. I got busy and came up with three comps—the first, below:

AD_UJA_Sp16-01

Aaah...this pleased me so much...an all-vector layout, a limited but strong color palette, and an elegant, frilly border. Harmony achieved.

Since we had the luxury of 4/c process, which did not limit us to vector images, I then opted to show a water-color art background with an ornate gold frame to give the second comp (below) a more diploma-like feeling. I wanted to hint at the financial and legal business that the client conducts.

AD_UJA_Sp16-02

As a comp, it's not quite fully realized—the color palette needs refining, the border needs some handwork—but I liked the general direction enough to present.

The third comp I presented had a more obvious celebratory spirit and used a vector graphic that reminded me of gold flecks in a glass of expensive champagne. The slightly curved headline added a sense of whimsy, something the previous two comps lacked.

AD_UJA_Sp16-03

 

Which would the client go for?

Well, after some back-and-forth, clarifying and then clarifying again, the client went with this:

2P AD_UJA_Sp16-05

It is an exact duplicate of the reference layout that was sent to me with the original brief.

This is all to say that you should always put forth your best ideas, no matter the outcome. It will, at the very least, please yourself immensely and give the client something new to think about—even if they had already made up their mind at the onset...

Have fun and design on!

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