How to Take Criticism And Become A Better Designer
One thing no one tells you in fashion school is that you need to have tough skin and learn to take criticism. If you watch the reality tv shows and movies they make it look so easy. You have a brilliant idea. You toil away on your designs. Then, you present your creations with fan fair!
Unless your name is on the door that is highly unlikely. In fact, there are usually several people you will have to convince of your designs before they make it to production. That means there is a strong likely hood that your designs will be criticized by multiple people for various reasons. It is important that you learn to take criticism well and use the information to become a better designer.
We couldn’t cover every possible angle for how to take your fashion career to the next level in just one post! This article is part of an 8 part Fashionable Promotion Series. If you want to learn how to work faster and smarter than your peers then check out the other articles that are part of this series at the bottom of the page. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook group called PickGlass Fashionable Careers. See you there!
Who Will You Have To Convince Of Your Designs?
Depending on the size of the organization you work for there are several people who are part of the team that makes decisions as to what products get produced. Below are the most common persons you will have to work with and convince of your designs:
What Can You Learn From Criticism?
Hopefully, your colleagues will be considerate and be kind with their critiques. However, this is not always the case. Try to stay calm and don’t take it personally. There is always room for improvement! Keeping an open mind and open communication will help you become a better designer. Here is what you can learn from a colleague’s critique:
- Unpopular colors.
- Design presentation issues
- What price range your customer is willing to pay.
- Design details that are missing or are distracting on your product.
- Past unsuccessful garment models.
- Previous best and worst sellers which influence new product adoption.
- What fixtures are available for your products on the floor.
- Current needs requested by buyers.
Here Is How To Get The Most Out Of A Design Critique
1. Be Clear On Your Purpose
One of the biggest mistakes designers makes when they present their ideas is they are not clear in their purpose. If you, the presenter, are not clear enough on your purpose for creating the product then you have not convinced your audience they need it. When you present your products be sure to explain why the product is needed by your customer, what problem does it solve, and how does this meet your customers’ needs.
2. Show Proof Of Concept
Proof of concept simply means presenting why your idea is trending for your customer. Most design presentation will include tear sheets from magazines, trend services, magazines, etc. that prove that a particular concept is trending in the marketplace. This proof will help to convince your audience that your ideas are valid to your customer.
3. Ask Questions
I can’t say this enough. Don’t take it personally! Ask questions to your audience so you are crystal clear as to why they are rejecting your idea. It could be a quick fix to get back on track.
4. Drill Down To The Source Of The Problem
If someone simply says they don’t like your work try to drill down to find out the source of their deflection. Do they not like the colors you used? Prints can be very subjective sometimes. Do they not feel the product is right for the customer? All people want to feel that they have been heard. When you ask questions and force them to explain they will feel you understand their concerns.
5. Take Notes!
After your presentation is over it will be time to take that information and rework some ideas. Make sure you take good notes so that you can act accordingly. After you make your changes check back to be sure you have fulfilled any concerns or requests. When you are ready for the next round of reviews you can confidently say you made such changes based on the feedback from the last meeting.
- Present your ideas with confidence and a clear concept.
- Show proof of concept for your ideas.
- Ask questions to find out the source of any dissatisfaction that will help you to make accurate changes to the design.
Fashionable Promotion Series
If you, or someone you know, is interested in taking your fashion career to the next level then please read the entire series. Learn how to make the right moves to jump to the next level.
- Create Your Fashion Playbook
- Build Your Core Products to Build Your Brand
- How Fashion Industry Pros Shop Their Competition
- Adobe Bridge – How To Get The Most Out Of Your Inspiration Shopping Trips
- 7 Ways To Impress Your Boss
- How to Take Criticism And Become A Better Designer
- Impactful Fashion Design Presentations
- How To Build A Personal Image In The Fashion Industry