Seth Godin put up a post today titled, "How to live happily with a great designer," that by now is probably on the desktop of every graphic designer with internet access.
Problem is, Seth's post only applies to a small percentage of them - the ones who are actually GREAT designers.
This attitude of, "we know better than you," that permeates far too many not-great ad agencies and not-great designers is problematic. If you want my respect, then be the business partner I'm paying you to be. Listen when I give you the strategy and not come back to me with some leftover idea that Client 1058 didn't sign off on.
Trust me, I can smell it in your smugness.
My employers and clients have won awards on projects where I've done client-side creative direction. But it's doubtful those projects would've received notice had I let the agency have its way.
Btw, those awards are in a drawer. It wasn't the awards that mattered. Never is. It was that the campaigns worked.
So if you're talking to me, I don't give a damn about awards. Yes, many clients say that. I mean it. Show me the designs and campaigns that made millions in profits or launched an unassailable brand.
And tell me why what you did worked when someone else could've done a faster and cheaper campaign with supporting facts. If you're honest, I might believe. And hire you.