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Saying No to Clients with Sagi Haviv

An interview with
Sagi Haviv


Logo design is often a collaborative process between designer and client, but from time to time in order to provide the best possible service you need to say ‘no’. But how do you do that without damaging the client relationship? In this episode Ian Paget interviews Sagi Haviv to learn the techniques he uses to gain credibility and provide confidence so that when the time comes… they can say no without damaging the client relationship, allowing them to stay in control of the design phase.

Sagi Haviv is a parter and designer at Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, who has designed over 60 identity programs, including the logos for the Library of Congress, Harvard University Press, and the US Open to name just a few.

Sagi Haviv Episode Transcription

IP: I want to kick off the discussion by asking you a followup question I have after watching your fantastic TED Talk. In that, you used a great example where your client requested changes to a logo you did. You was able to turn back to them and say no. Now I’m aware that there’s likely much more to this, so I want to ask you how are you able to say no to a client, as you did in this case, without risking damaging the client relationship in any way?

SH: Yeah, that’s tricky. No question about it. I mean, I would say for starters it is easier to come at your client and say no when you have what certainly Ivan and Tom have built over the years before I even got here. It’s much harder if you’re starting on your own, or if you have just you in front of the client. It is difficult. Everybody should give themselves a break a little bit, but I think that it’s worth trying, without losing your client.