WHAT’S THE POINT OF BEING A DESIGNER IF YOU DON’T DESIGN?

Melissa Rivers Winter Wonderland Wedding

(Image via Preston Bailey)

When you create a great design that you and your clients love, how often do you repeat it? Do new clients come in, see this great design, and ask that you do the same for them?

When Joan Rivers’ daughter, Melissa Rivers, got married, I created the winter wonderland wedding design that you see above for her. The design became one of my most popular, and for years, that’s all my brides wanted. I amused myself by inventing lots of different ways to reinterpret the look for each wedding. But I was ready to move on long before the brides were.

And then, recently, I met with another client who asked me to recreate a design from one of my books. As much as I want to please all of my brides and clients, my first inclination was to say, “Been there. Done that.” I envy fashion designers a bit; every season they have to create a brand new collection, which means every day they’re doing what they do best: Design!

What’s more, I always let my clients choose from at least three different design ideas, but that means most of my designs never see the light of day. It kills me that I have a large archive of drawings that have never been done…

There’s also the argument that using the same design repeatedly can save you a lot of money. This might be true, but it still feels a little lazy to me.

Readers, what do you think? I’d really like your opinion on this matter. Please share.

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  • http://www.sewardparktech.com Kieffer

    What a gorgeous display!

  • http://www.Birds-of-a-Feather-Events.com Birds of a Feather Events

    I HATE to do a design over and over again, I specialize in vintage and “DIY” styled weddings (think Style Me Pretty and Green Wedding Shoes, very Martha Stewart)so I do reuse some of my props, such as milk glass vases, mason jars, suitcases, etc. I always try to repurpose these items so that they look fresh and not like something they just saw from my last wedding. I do have girls reference some of my designs and tell me that that is exactly what they want for their wedding, but over the course of time I spend with them leading up to the wedding I am always able to make the design unique to them, even if we utilize some of the same general ideas or elements from something else I have done previously. I try to tailor all of the details of the wedding to that specific client, that way nothing can ever be exactly the same as someone else’s.

  • http://YOURWEBSITE Nicole

    I totally agree with you. It’s no fun in doing the same design/variation all the time. I think it can hinder you as a designer. Why don’t you pull out some of those archived designs and display them in your office. Of course, without giving to much away. It may catch a clients attention!! Plus by revisiting them you may find some inspiration or see it in a different light and be able to present it a new way. Good luck let me know how it goes?

  • http://Www.jeandecor.com Williem

    I do like a fashion designer a little bit. I always do a mixing concept and That make my design always look fresh n unique.

  • http://elaboratedesigns.org Terrance

    I do agree with you. Even if your client knows what they want…sometimes it dose not match your designing concepts, but you still have to please them. Like wise I have a wealth of ideas and design concepts, if it never gets bought, the renderings only give part of the picture…people know what they want when they see it….we on the other hand creates what people may want but if its never seen in its fullness then its never created…..the downside. As far as doing over events as a small company I try to use the same props but create it with different accents…cost effective for my clients and myself.

  • http://YOURWEBSITE Angela

    Had every intention to send you a letter relating to this topic. So i ‘m so excited to see you read my mind. I do have clients who just want a total replica of a particular event. Truly- I do not mind. I always believe you will get the chance to create as many more designs for other brides. My challenge however is – how often do you use the same design element or item for another event. Do you re-create each time??? Some brides get upset when they realize you used the design for someone previously. What do you advise???

  • http://www.facebook.com/pampayne.archer afcpam

    I am over the whole branches as centerpieces idea. We have re-invented them so many times that I feel our portfolio is looking boring. I’m ready for changes in color schemes and trends far sooner than my clients are, but I still have to deliver what their vision is, regardless if it seems like I am doing the same thing over and over again. The challenge comes in making it look fresh and new, and that is where the design part comes in. You are the master of that!

  • http://YOURWEBSITE where did you get the trees for this

    this is beautiful. How can I do this for my daughter

  • tb

    Yep—I am so sick of burlap and the term “shabby chic” I could choke the next bride that says it. Sure. We started a rustic farm venue. Sure we have a big ol barn. Sure, rustic IS a given but when EVERY. BRIDE. squeals and says she’s going to use burlap like it’s a new and wonderous thing, I cringe.