Client Psychology and Creative Freedom with Jason Craig

Jun 17, 2024
Jason Craig

At last year’s Summit, we had the pleasure of meeting Jason Craig, who shared his unique three-mood board strategy, which helps clients feel comfortable while gently pushing them towards more adventurous design choices.


As we prepare for the upcoming Business of Lettering Summit in August, we wanted to revisit Jason’s valuable insights to give some guidance to lettering artists looking to balance client satisfaction with creative expression.

The Three Mood Board Strategy

Jason generously shared his clever three-mood board strategy with us, which involves presenting clients with three different design directions:

  1. Safe Version: The design closely aligns with the client’s initial request, ensuring they feel heard and comfortable.
  2. Middle Ground: A more refined and slightly bolder version, typically the sweet spot where clients feel adventurous yet secure.
  3. Mars Option: The boldest and most creative option, pushing the boundaries and showcasing the designer’s vision.

This approach allows clients to see their ideas represented while gradually opening them up to more innovative possibilities. It’s a strategic way to build trust and guide clients toward making choices that benefit both the project and the designer’s portfolio.

Jason emphasised the importance of understanding client psychology. He compared the design process to buying a car—clients can feel overwhelmed and unsure. Designers can build trust and make clients comfortable by starting with a safe option. Gradually introducing bolder options helps clients see the potential without feeling pressured.

Balancing Creative Freedom and Client Satisfaction

Jason described his experiences working within agencies where creative ideas were often stifled. He advised designers to present their boldest ideas alongside safer options, ensuring clients see the full range of possibilities. This showcases the designer’s capabilities and helps clients feel they are part of the creative process.

Jason highlighted the importance of truly listening to clients. Understanding their needs and concerns allows designers to create work that meets their expectations and exceeds them. Designers can build solid and lasting relationships by incorporating client feedback and preferences.

Practical Tips

  • Act with Confidence: Approach projects with the mindset that you know what’s best for the client, but be open to their input.
  • Present Multiple Options: Offering a range of designs helps clients feel involved and lessens the likelihood of them feeling forced into a decision.
  • Build a Collaborative Relationship: Ensure clients feel they have a stake in the creative process, which can lead to more successful outcomes.

Key Takeaways

  • Three Mood Board Strategy: Present clients with a safe option, a middle ground, and a bold option to guide them towards innovative choices.
  • Understand Client Psychology: Make clients feel comfortable and heard to build trust and facilitate better decision-making.
  • Balance Creativity and Client Satisfaction: Showcase your creative vision while addressing client needs to achieve the best results.
  • Listen and Collaborate: Truly listen to client feedback and involve them in building strong relationships and successful projects.

Jason’s insights offer valuable guidance for designers who want to balance client satisfaction with creative expression. His emphasis on understanding client psychology, presenting multiple options, and fostering a collaborative relationship provides a roadmap for creatives wanting to expand their projects from safe to satisfying.

The next Business of Lettering Summit is coming up soon; jump on the waitlist for more great talks and insights.

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