Have you ever hired a graphic designer?

 I shudder when I think about the first time I paid for graphic design work. Five years ago I needed a logo for my first business, Creating Space to Focus, and decided to fork out $200 to get a designer to do it properly. (That’s the logo you can see above — FYI, the business lasted only a year).

*cringe* I can’t believe I was such a perfectionist

That poor graphic designer! She had to put up with me being super-indecisive, needing the colour to be just PERFECT. I was convinced if I didn’t find the EXACT branding hue, my business would be doomed.

Looking back, I feel sorry for her, having to sit with me for over an hour, Pantone colour chart in hand, as I searched earnestly for the precise shade of blue-teal-aqua that would represent my fledgling business.

(Extra cringe-worthy memory: not only did I spend AGES seeking out a colour that appealed to my eye, I insisted that the official colour identification number be auspicious too: “Oh sorry, yeah, that colour I just chose that I really love the look of? Well, I just looked at its HEX code, and the numbers don’t quite feel right. Can we start again?”)

Eugh.

In a nice touch of irony, that business didn’t survive.  All that effort, all the hours and worry about getting the logo ‘perfect’ … well, let’s just say that the logo never made it onto a website, or even onto business cards. Apart from being used on a handful of invoices I sent out, the logo pretty much lived on my computer desktop.

I don’t regret hiring the graphic designer, or spending the money on a logo — it’s all part of the learning curve and has helped me get where I am today.

What I do regret, however, is the amount of pressure I put on myself and the designer, all in the name of perfectionism. If I’d known that the logo would end up as part of my archives, I probably wouldn’t have sweated so much on it.

This time round, the 80% rule

Fast-forward five years, and I’m hiring a graphic designer again. Not just a little logo, but a complete brand overhaul. I’ve figured that during the past two-and-a-half years of running Activate28, I’ve been patiently DIY-ing and Fiverr-ing it. Now it’s time for me to grow up professionally with a new look.

So, with my graphic designer on board, we’re having some fun. And I’m happy to say this time round, I’m not being so damn anal! It’s definitely an “80% out the door is better than 100% in the drawer” attitude I’ve got. Which makes things SO much easier for her and SO much easier for me.

 

Over to you

Have you had any cringeworthy perfectionist moments? Take a step of courage and share in the comments below.