Duelling banjos; Client versus creative

 client guide

Branding agency ‘We are goat’ have courageously tackled the tensions which exist between creative and executive people in agencies. They have written a handbook with the purpose of shedding some light on the left side of the brain. Historically there exists a misunderstanding: one in which creatives assume that execs/ clients are hard-wired to think methodically and entirely functionally. Equally there is an assumption coming from the executive side which labels creatives as illogical and haphazard thinkers. These biased assumptions slow down the whole creative process as one side talks down to the other.

The best creative people will execute their ideas strategically and similarly the most successful execs will apply creative thinking to their work. If you were to create lazy generalisations about bad adds, you could assume that weak work comes from an internal miscommunication and a broken link somewhere along the client —– executive —- creative chain.


The client manual, jovially called “Please, don’t be a dick” pokes light-hearted fun at a serious topic. It offers a guide on design basics and an insight into what graphic designers actually do.

It is ignorance that drives either side of the creative- executive divide to become dismissive of each other. There is also a paranoia that the other side believes that they could do your work in their sleep. This paranoia is sometimes legitimised. When people don’t understand the full process they easily underestimate the amount of skill that is required to do the job well.





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