Years ago, I learnt from an American Procter & Gamble marketer that the first thing to do when presented with a piece of creative work is to ‘give your gut’ – your honest, instinctive, often slightly inarticulate gut reaction to what you’re seeing.

This takes a bit if courage as a Specialist-Generalist; especially facing the expertise and selling sophistication of an Ad agency team, architect or design agency. 

But if you don’t give your gut, especially when you don’t like something, you’ll just waste time trying to indicate it in more complicated ways. 

Introducing the concept of ‘giving your gut’ excuses you any clumsiness and gives permission to others to also give a view. Saying what you like and don’t often helps others to say what they’re thinking – and that often saves a lot of circling around. 

Whatever the creatives say on the day: taste is subjective; and design and creative work all too often follows fads and fashions which change quickly and merit a bit of challenge.

‘Give your gut’ and then you can mentally ‘move on’ to exploring whether a design (even if you don’t personally like it) will ‘work’ for the job at hand. And that’s more important than your tastes and preferences.

But your gut’s usually not a bad guide…

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