Design is a funny thing. When it’s your own design, you tend to get attached, defensive, even hostile when something you (and your team) have worked on and think is hilarious, genius, brilliant, or inspired falls flat in the eyes of administration, management, or even your patrons.
While coming up with solutions for promoting WorldCat my co-worker had a great idea to use this adorable, wide-eyed cat on some flyers that had step-by-step instruction for how our students could borrow books we might not have available in the library. Using her words and my photoshop skills we pieced together WorldCat Cat:
The whole thing took about 10 minutes. But we LOVED it.
Of course, before we post anything in the library, we always secure permission from the head of our department to make sure there will be no issues with the design or with wording (I am a notoriously bad self-proofreader). Typically, our designs are approved with little to no changes needed. Today, we got the X.
For various reason, including an overall dislike of the “floating cat head”, we were asked to redesign the flyer (and subsequent postcards) to include a different image. A pumpkin. Or the whole body of a cat. Something seasonal. Our hilarious idea, the funny, adorable cat, wide-eyed cat we had permission to use wasn’t meant to be.
At first I was upset. How dare someone tell me to change my design. But not every project gets approval. Not ever cat head is funny. Not everyone gets the joke. So I’ll file this away under “better luck next time,” re-work the flyer with a new image, and remember every design I create is still a completed project even if it doesn’t get seen by the public.