I deal with this problem all the time. People want changes, but on the other side they don’t want changes. But I think that they do, they are just afraid of them. They are too clingy, to attached. This never-ending story can also be applied to design and my work with clients.
I had dozens of cases where companies were not satisfied with the sales, their brand and people’s response to their offer or product. They wanted to change, improve, refresh or renew their look, approach or mentality of the brand.
But when we started to work there were problems in sight. And the problem was not with my bad estimation of customer’s wishes, or poor assessment of the current brand’s state, not even the quality of well-thought-out proposals. When the customer was faced with the change they got scared. They expressed doubt about the efficiency of the change, the loss of their customers due to this change and maybe also the loss of their identity or tradition.
I can apply this fear to many different projects - logo redesign (even if the old logo was really bad and not even closely portraying the image of the brand), new web page that fits modern standards (let us not forget about the mobile age we live in) or print promos of quite a higher quality in looks and materials (which would replace the old homemade printouts of business cards and flyers on color paper).
These moments are hard. I mean for me. Really hard. What to do in these situations? Try hard. Try hard to convince the customer that you know what you are doing. It is all about trust. Trust in the person you hired because they are experts in their field.
And also compromise. There is a way that everyone can get out of this happy, the designer and the customer. Maybe the designer can take into account some of the client’s wishes (even if they sound senseless) and the client can relax and not be so clingy of his obsolescence and inappropriate company image.
But not always life is it so simple. I confess there were some cases where we just had to close the chapter (collaboration) and go our separate ways. Because if you don’t want changes and aren’t ready to embrace the new better you, than don’t bother our creativity and take away our precious time ;)