One of my biggest pet peeves

When sales people overstep their boundaries and try to dictate the designs.
While some of it can be helpful, repeatedly requesting for usage of certain pictures, colors, etc should be reserved for management and the marketing/design team.

This happens at every company I’ve worked for. And I’ve worked for at least a dozen. Sales and marketing have no boundaries when it comes to graphic design. They usually back off if you try to get them to explain their choices while showing that you are more informed on the subject. But don’t fight them if they insist. They own the outcome more than you do.


Everyone is an art director.

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The sales people are out on the front lines dealing with the clients and making promises to make the sale. They end up thinking the accounts belong to them and everyone else is just there to help.

It’s a counterproductive attitude, but I suppose it’s understandable how it happens. I’ve sometimes gotten them to back off by calmly asking them which design school they graduated from.


I too understand how it happens and if it only happens here and there I just shrug it off. It’s when one of them become a “repeat offender” that I start to see it as a nuisance. For example, a new sales person started just a couple weeks ago and this person has already gotten extremely involved with the marketing materials - I’m talking several emails and trips to my office multiple times a day for petty design requests…For example, this person is all about condensing the materials. Asking “do we have a one page flyer for this? what about for that?” And I find out this sales person is so determined to mail these small flyers out because they aren’t allowed to mail out the more in depth material unless they make contact with whom they’re trying to sell to. So it’s almost like in order to avoid making sales calls and actually selling the product, this sales person would rather me design a bunch of small flyers she can sneak out in the mail without having to actually do her job, which is sell. rant over lol

They tend to be the ones directly bringing in the income, so that buys them a certain amount of influence.

Luckily they usually like people, which makes it easier to get along with them.

With new people sometimes it’s best to shut it down immediately.

This happens a lot at my company. Someone in sales will get hired, sees we have a small marketing department, and goes right in to making multiple demands and being the “idea” guy. One of the most effective ways I’ve found dealing with these people is to list of some of the projects you’re working on. This way the sales rep will see that they’re little flyer will have to wait and isn’t nearly as important as some of the bigger picture items on your list.

Anyway, I feel your pain but it gets better the more comfortable you get.

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I’m shutting it down with a new person right now.

I deal with this scenario daily. It drives me clinically insane. I manage our university brand and have to make sure everything looks cohesive. Getting cooperation from everyone is impossible. There are so many different personality types. Departments are trying to recruit people and the fundraising people are trying to raise donor dollars. Some people are appreciative but geez, when they’re not then they’re really not. I have the final say over how the brand is depicted and that’s such a hard thing to assert. When I get too much kickback, I resort to telling them “We’re a family of 17,000 people and every night isn’t your favorite meal.” That usually sets them straight but I prefer things not get to that point.


I’ve had experience working inside large, bureaucratic organizations. Maintaining quality and consistency across an organization composed of hundreds or thousands of people — few of whom understand the whole branding thing — is like herding cats.

It can be especially problematic in the absence of an organizational culture that doesn’t place a priority on brand consistency and where those managing the brand haven’t really been given the needed authority or support to enforce the standards.

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We have around 20 freelance salespeople on commission plus our 2 in-house. The best way to deal with them (overall) is to put everything on paper. Don’t even start work until they’ve given you an order TO SPEC.

Often the reason they think they should tell you what to do as an artist is because they believe they understand what their client wants as they’ve spoken with them - and you haven’t. So in their minds, you are the uninformed one. Has nothing whatsoever to do with art (or ability) in their minds.

the funniest thing is when they ask something like “Isn’t that the right way to do it?” because they don’t understand that in design, there are millions of right ways.

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