There is a story of Pablo Picasso sitting at a table in a Paris café when a woman at a table next to him approached him and asked if he would do a quick sketch on a paper napkin for her. Picasso obliged and quickly sketched an image onto a napkin and handed it to her – but not before asking for a large amount of money. Stunned the woman exclaimed ” How can you ask for so much? It took you only a minute to draw this!” to which Picasso replied ” No, it took me 40 years.”

The same applies when I create a design solution to a client’s brief, the knowledge and experience of studying and working in the design and advertising industry around the world for the last 20 years drives the solution, which more often than not is simple and looks like it must have taken little time.

This can sometimes lead a client to feel that the design is so simplistic it would have taken far less time to design than for the price they are being charged.

Just like you or I, a client wants to get the most out of their hard earned cash when making a purchase. They want to see a complicated design because it looks like a lot of time and effort must have gone into creating it.

Well the fact is that most likely more time and effort has gone into creating a straight forward design than a complicated one. As the saying goes ‘ less is more‘, but really it should say ‘less takes more ‘.

All design tasks start the design process busy and complicated. It takes skill and experience to be able to take away all the unnecessary embellishments and extraneous debris that creates confusion and dilution to the message, and hone it down to be as absolute and digestible a communication piece as possible.

It is indeed due to these practised and acquired skills that we at Jack in the box (unlike many agencies) present only one idea to a client, be it a pitch scenario or commissioned work.

Even though it may look like more time and effort is used to present three concepts, what you are getting is often three solutions with a third of effort applied to each.

Worse yet is the ‘cannon fodder’ tactic. One design (which the agency wants you to choose) which used most time to create (but not fully resolved because not all effort was utilised on just this one concept) is submitted with two poor unresolved ‘cannon fodder’ designs, which are intended to make the other look good and therefore the preferred choice.

This submission style leads to two problems: first the client may choose one of the ‘cannon fodder’ concepts, (how do you now back peddle out of this?) And the second problem is that they may choose bits from each of the three concepts and create a hybrid that has no merit as a solution.

To us presenting more than one solution means that we ourselves are unsure and not confident in our work and abilities, and that we have not resolved the right solution completely.

We believe that the one solution we present is the right solution because we have committed all resources to create a fully resolved solution.

That’s all you’re getting