I will solve your problem, and you will pay me

If you’ve read Steve Jobs biography, you may have come across this quote. This is what Paul Rand, a world class graphic designer said to Jobs when asked to design a logo for NeXT. This was the company Jobs started after his ‘departure’ from Apple.

Image courtesy of https://www.famousgraphicdesigners.org/paul-rand

Rand, aged 71, took two weeks to create and prepare his solution, he impressively did this in the form of a book. Each page filled with research, reasoning, knowledge, customer insight – decades of experience. Jobs responded by asking for the ‘e’ to be brighter. I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Rand smashed his fist on the table saying, “I’ve been doing this for fifty years and I know what I’m doing.”

This quote resonates with me so much. This is exactly what a creative designer should be thinking at all times – ‘how can I solve the client’s problem’. This is what drives the creativity.

Solving problems v Ego

It makes my toes curl when creative agencies brag about their awards in this and that. Brilliant, well done, I’m sure the branding and creatives that they created were stand out. BUT, was it what the client wanted? Was it what the client needed? Did it solve their problem? Did it get them more business? It’s highly likely that the lure of the shiny award was too great and the client’s problems were soon forgotten.

It’s impressive that Rand earned his reputation by putting the client’s needs first. His client’s succeeded – surely, that’s a better way to massage an ego?

Want to see the book that Rand presented to Jobs, here you go.

Send a Comment

Please send us any comments you might have on this article