I’m not a designer and I try hard not to impersonate one.

#10 in my series of Lessons Learned blog posts
It doesn’t matter what color I like; furthermore, it doesn’t matter what I think of the design.

I’m not a designer. I review and approve a lot of designs but I try hard not to impersonate a professional designer. My team often hears me say, “It doesn’t matter what I think. What do Joel, Cindy and Justin think?”

Don’t get me wrong, there are colors I like and I even have design preferences that are based on experience. But when I lead a creative effort, the success comes from professionally designed concepts grounded in what we know about the preferences of target audiences.

I went to a super session at the fall conference of the College Communicators Association of Virginia and D.C. Virginia Tech’s Melissa Richards and Roanoke College’s Blair Garland co-facilitated a session about using audience personas for more effective writing (and marketing). During his segment of the presentation, Blair made a statement that stuck:

Personal opinions, while interesting, are irrelevant; what matters is the perception of the target audience.

I think Blair’s on to something.


Author: susantevans

Susan T. Evans is director of corporate and foundations relations at the College of William & Mary. She is a proven strategic leader with deep expertise in advancement, communications, brand management, marketing, digital strategy, technology, administration and organizational development. She is known for creative and strategic approaches to challenges within higher education, nonprofits and business.

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