How Would You Like Your Graphic Design?

There are times when things just need to be explained using a spectacular Venn diagram. I made this last night whilst sitting on a screened in porch by an outdoor fireplace when it was late. Design is a funny thing, not as funny as a Kangaroo jumping on a trampoline, but let’s be honest what is as funny as that? I’ll give you a little hint: nothing.

Anyway, I love design, but it has its limitations in the creation process. Hopefully this helps you understand what those are limitations are, and helps you choose how you would like your design work in the future.

Your thoughts?

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175 Comments

175 Responses to “How Would You Like Your Graphic Design?”

  1. DanieloDesign November 22, 2010 at 4:40 am #

    Muy muy bueno :D

  2. Jessica Patterson December 29, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    Featured here: http://design.org/blog/how-would-you-your-design

  3. Jose December 29, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    this is awesome, i would love a print!

  4. Jose December 29, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    this is awesome, i would love a print!

  5. Lani Colpack December 29, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    Funny I was discussing having a friend about this just the other day, we ought to share the very same views. I hope it’s ok I added your internet site to several of my bookmark lists?

  6. jota December 30, 2010 at 4:41 am #

    Hi, Colin. I loved this! (as many other designers, I guess).
    Is something we all know but have to explain to clients again and again…
    This diagram shows the facts clear and beautifuly, catching the eye and making a smile appear. Congratultions!

    It is not my intention to steal your idea, but to redistribute this valuable information, so graphic design becomes a more pleasant profession for everybody… then I made a spanish version of this, just for friends and with your name on it as the “original idea” father.

    But anyway I’d like to have your permisson for that. If you disagree, I’ll just keep it for me.
    If you wanna see my version, send me an email and I’ll send you the jpg.

    Thanks so much.

  7. Dianne Hammond January 3, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    This is awesome. Saw it on Geeks are Sexy. My customers just don’t seem to understand that GREAT sometimes take a little longer. Quality vs. speed. If you want speed, buy your scrub caps “made in China”. If you want Quality, buy your scrub caps made by me in Idaho. Can I use your art on my website and give you ALL the credit???

  8. Sam Vermette January 3, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    Awesome! Would love a print as well!

  9. Daniel January 3, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Did you ever make a set of prints? If so, I’d like to purchase one!

  10. Ike January 3, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Shouldn’t the “Free” circle be a subset of the “Cheap” circle?

    (I didn’t have more than 90 seconds, and whipped this up in Irfanview, therefore proving it to be true.)

    http://ike4.me/cheepasfree

    • Carole February 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

      It should be its own circle. And isn’t the point that Free really isn’t an option? Free should not intersect with Fast or Great at all, since all of the labels there are basically “No.”

  11. Stacy January 3, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    are you still making prints? if so i’d love to purchase one to hang in my office and reference during discussions of timeline and pricing :)

  12. Skipernicus January 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    I’d like that on a poster. Better still, I want that on the back of my business cards.

  13. Leslie January 3, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    I would like to be notified when you have posters for sale!

  14. Mike January 3, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    Works for software development, as well. I cringe every time I give someone a spec, telling them how long it’ll take, and they ask if I can do it in half the time for for half the cost. Uh… no.

  15. Matt Bowker January 3, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    I’d love a print of this.

  16. Jeff Noble January 3, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Love it. Poster? Yes please. I’m in. Colin, please email me and let me know where to buy. Thanks, jeff

  17. Eduardo January 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    I’d love a print of this poster, how would we go about it?

  18. Shawn K January 3, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    I’m very interested in a print. :)

  19. Katie @ Chai Thoughts January 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Wow. This is awesome. My husband is a graphic designer, and I occasionally help him out, so we completely understand and agree.

  20. Malonicus January 3, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    epic – gotta have a print.

  21. John Walling January 4, 2011 at 4:01 am #

    Another dimension to this conundrum is liability. Can you imagine telling a structural engineer you want a bridge built fast and cheap?

  22. christopher copywriter January 4, 2011 at 5:29 am #

    TOP SHELF!

  23. Reuben January 4, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    Could you make it fill-in-the-blank for other professions? I think this diagram is more universal than you think.

  24. Rob January 4, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    Great Diagram. Would love to have a print if you’re doing them!

  25. RS January 4, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    Love it. I’d buy a print!

  26. Heather January 4, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Awesome, I’d LOVE a print as well!!!

  27. Colin January 4, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    @JoshWalling that’s a great point, that’s a big part of it as well.

  28. Kari January 4, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    add me to the list of people interested in a print. Love this.

  29. Colin January 4, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    First print just came off the press, photos and where to get yourself one coming very very soon.

  30. Ryan January 4, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    Be sure to tell us if you make prints, and how much you want for ‘em. (or a high enough quality image to make a print out of it).

    I am honestly going to hang that up and point at it any time a client asks for a quote and say “Pick two”

  31. trace January 4, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Love it dude!

    (@machine906)

  32. Mike January 4, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    I’d be very interested in a poster version of this graphic – nice work. I’ve been using the simplified 3-points-of-a-triangle version of this concept but I like the look of yours much better – plus its something the business wonks will better understand.

  33. Michele January 4, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Really like this! It’s so perfect it’s scary. I would like to buy a print, too, when it’s available.

  34. McNair Wilson January 4, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    Love your work, especially the scripture based pieces and that they are NOT in Old English or some other theologically approve “churchy”font. I have just written a play to be premiered in April at Colorado Christian University: “I,WITNESS ” based on the gospel of Matthew. I am wrestling with a logo – -getting close. Keep up the great design.

  35. kloë January 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    this diagram is great. lays out perfectly what i find myself trying to (nicely) explain to clients time and again.

    i’d totally buy a print of this if you decide to print them.

  36. Colin Firth January 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Brilliant. Perfectly compliments a favourite quote I used today, funnily enough: “You can have it today, or you can have it done properly”. Put me down for a print.

  37. Nia Brown January 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    This pretty much hits the nail on the head! I be interested in this poster to show clients. Are you gonna sell them?

  38. Jeff Harris January 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    Pick two my eye, this diagram tells people to pick only one. No one would want the middle portion of any of the two circles and that is right where every job ends up. Perhaps a more helpful diagram would explain the value that lies between picking two.

  39. Nate Davis January 4, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    Hey Colin, great work using the appropriate diagram to illustrate the old saying in the business! (The way I’ve heard it was “You can have fast, good, or cheap, but not all three.) And maybe I’m reading too much into it, but perhaps the more detailed explanation that should accompany it is that if a client wants to be just one of the above, then it will NOT be either of the others.

  40. Timmy Shanti, Russia January 5, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    nice one. interesting concept and realization. keep it up

  41. RB January 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Hey Colin, you hit all the right spots…..its what we all think, but you put it together nicely. Good job!

  42. Chuck Spidell January 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    Whooot. Venn diagrams are the enemy. Now I will proudly hang this poster in my office!

  43. Mack January 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    would LOVE a print.
    although the diagram applies pretty equally to many creative endeavors!!

  44. Dora B. January 6, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    omg, I NEEEED a print of this!! Please!!!

  45. Colin January 6, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    @Dora B. http://colinharman.bigcartel.com Go get one!

  46. slientje January 6, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    absolutelly … euh … fabtastic!

  47. Adriana January 6, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    Hi!
    I made a digital Spanish version of your poster:
    http://www.facebook.com/kimeracreativa#!/photo.php?fbid=491512214763&set=a.421506684763.197311.287123734763

    I thought it was a great infographic to share with the non-English speaking audiencie =)

  48. Von Corrona January 7, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    Im on the trail and stumbled upon this very artful graphic. May God bless you

  49. Mike January 8, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    Excellent! I need to get the Portuguese version.

  50. Daniel Santos Design January 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Awesome chart Colin and it is spot on! I think there should be one of these sent to every client you have. Help the ‘suits’ understand! haha

  51. Korean Translator January 14, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    Hmm, overall is good, however I am not crazy about the choice of color used for the color used for the “I AM” image. It blends too much with the background, and is not consistent with the colors used in the upper banner. If you want this message to stand out, you may consider other choices of colors.
    This is of course my humble advice, everyone has different point of view. In general I am impressed with your work.

  52. Ann-Kristin January 14, 2011 at 3:08 am #

    Found a link for this on a translation-service related website – it applies just as well for our kind of service! Maybe you should print it with a blank “How do you like your …..” so one could substitute whatever kind of service she/he provides.
    Keep on going!

  53. lychee January 14, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    ⌘ P
    Brilliant! I would put it up at the office :)

  54. Caryl Swift January 15, 2011 at 2:19 am #

    Superb!

  55. Yemi January 15, 2011 at 4:14 am #

    Not to be a pain, but shouldn’t the “You get what you pay for” and “Just in time to be too late” sections be swapped? The one related to time is currently overlapped with price, and the one related to price is overlapped with time. Maybe you meant it that way, but it certainly looks like a legit mistake.

  56. Colin January 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    @Yemi:
    You’re not a pain, I just think you’re not understanding how the diagram works. By choosing both “fast & great” you would be subjected to the opposite of cheap which is expensive, which is described by “You get what you pay for”, get it?

  57. Timmy January 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    This is funny, but I think you need to baseline shift your parenthesis and use some better type before I buy it.

  58. Jakob January 30, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    As much as I agree with the general direction of your message, if you are asking for a genuine opinion: Infographics fail. A venn diagramm is the wrong visualisation for the variables you mean to express. Introducing yet another variable into the widely recognized triangle of forces of information retreival (wait, why is free not the utmost extreme position of cheap?) does you no good either. Then again, from a meta perspective, if this graphic was designed on a tight budget without any time whatsoever: Epic win. The joke’s on me for not getting the irony.

  59. Richard February 2, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    It looks like to me “You get what you pay for” and “Just in time to be too late” need to be exchanged.

    Am I missing something?

    And shouldn’t Free be a part of the cheap portion.

  60. Colin February 2, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    @Richard: You’re missing something. I just think you’re not understanding how the diagram works. By choosing both “fast & great” you would be subjected to the opposite of cheap which is expensive, which is described by “You get what you pay for”, get it?

    And free is very different than cheap.

  61. Richard February 2, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    my point is the time reference has to be in the fast circle. And the pay reference has to be in the cheap circle.

  62. charlie February 5, 2011 at 5:29 am #

    Very similar to something I created last year… http://likeyougiveadamn.com/portfolio/design-principles/ It’s based on a blog post I wrote about the project management triangle and how to be a “Good Client” http://likeyougiveadamn.com/design/how-to-be-a-good-client/

    Nice to see the idea being transferred in a different way.

  63. ArenaCreative February 8, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    I love this – blogging about this now, I will trackback. I hope it brings you some print sales!

  64. Matt Williams February 9, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    I don’t need to pick two, I’ll settle for the one shaped like a Reuleaux triangle that doesn’t say GO AWAY.*

    * When I’m buying.

  65. smashley June 3, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    This is the best thing i have ever seen in my life

  66. Kenn June 10, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    This is a wonderfully and clever answer for those unwanted (and wanted) clients. In the olden day, (I will not tell you how long I’ve been in the game) we asked a potential client, “Do you want a Cadillac, Chevi or Volkswagon?” Now VW were seen as higher-end cars in my day…back then they were flower child buggies. This is the Infographic Age (apologies to Marshal). I’m loving it! Job well done, Colin!

  67. Nina Messina June 14, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    Spot on. I love it. Maybe Clients would understand the value of what we do if we used Cool Visuals like this because clearly they do not understand when we explain this to them.

    AND I love the Hell Yes/Hell No It shows the concept visually…. I like them a lot!

  68. Mark Mapstone July 4, 2011 at 2:15 am #

    Add me to the growing list of fans of this graphic. I’ve just reblogged on my site. Great stuff :)

    • Colin July 4, 2011 at 4:53 am #

      Thanks Mark, greatly appreciated. I’m thankful I could be a part of inspiring you.

  69. cmac July 21, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    It’s brilliant, beyond creative ideas like these that make me say to artists like you “can we be best friends?”

    Thanks again, best friend.

  70. m4me2 July 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    Too true!

  71. Chris September 2, 2011 at 12:09 am #

    Hi Colin, thank you for your e-mail and of course for this diagramm. It’s compact, it works perfect and it simply looks great! In my short article about price inflation for freelance design I placed a picture of it and the new link to your article.
    http://www.typerspace.de/2011/08/cheapcheap/

  72. Erik October 17, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    A bunch of my fellow designer pals have passed this on to me, and now that I know where it’s from I’m super bummed that no more prints are available. Any chance you’ll be doing another run? Thanks!

    • Colin October 19, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

      More prints are definitely in the future. Got lots of transitions in life happening right now, so put them on halt for a time, but I’m sure they’ll be back around soon. Thanks for the interest, I’ll post here and on twitter when I work up another run.

      • Todd December 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

        You might want to just pop the original high res file up on a print on demand website, like redbubble, or zazzle – you’d make a killing, and wouldn’t even have to deal with shipping anything or dealing with printers. Just a thought, from one busy creative to another. I’ve done this stuff myself many times with my own stock art.

        • Colin December 15, 2011 at 5:44 am #

          Did you look at the link at the bottom of the post? There is a link to the shop.

    • Colin December 15, 2011 at 5:45 am #

      Prints are now available! Check the link at the bottom of the post or go here: http://clnhr.mn/CdJh

      Thanks!

  73. Steps Designs October 31, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    this is so complicated to judge my own work

  74. Joe Woolworth March 15, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    I love this thing. Great work. I reshared it on my blog. http://marketingjesus.net/how-would-you-like-your-graphic-design-by-colin-harman/

  75. Rajeev Ranjan June 26, 2012 at 2:36 am #

    I like….

  76. FranckG September 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    Super, great job !
    Featured here : http://jesuisserieux.com/humeur/votre-conception-graphique-vous-la-voulez-comment

  77. Cameron Paris July 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    I do not see this as being funny.. Yes, all those things are quite impossible to reach, but it’s our job as graphic designers to include as much soul & heart into someones project as it is to work on our own.

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    [...] How Would You Like Your Graphic Design? | Colin Harman. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmail [...]

  59. You may pick two. « Dwelling Places - September 20, 2011

    [...] Colinharman.com Like this:LikeBe the first to like this [...]

  60. 35 Cool Infographics for Web and Graphic Designers | Creaive Expert India-Blog - October 3, 2011

    [...] View Source [...]

  61. Good Reads | Cornucopia Creations - October 10, 2011

    [...] with that one. I have too many connections to list them all here!) ~ | ~ Colin Harman asks “How Would You Like Your Graphic Design?” in this quick infographic that perfectly summarizes not only what you’d get when you [...]

  62. How Would You Like Your Graphic Design? | BowmanWorks - December 24, 2011

    [...] Via Colin Harman. [...]

  63. Infographic: How Would You Like Your Graphic Design - December 27, 2011

    [...] Source: Colin Harman [...]

  64. 10 Infographics for Web and Graphic Designers | Spark Creative - December 30, 2011

    [...] How Would You Like Your Graphic Design? [...]

  65. Venn Diagram of the Day: How Would You Like Your Graphic Design? « Moss & Fog - January 26, 2012

    [...] Via Tricia Chin and Colin Harman: [...]

  66. Cool Infographics | Glantz Design - February 2, 2012

    [...] View Source [...]

  67. Bingo © » Blog Archive » You know you need a graphic designer when… - March 7, 2012

    [...] How would you like your graphic design? by Colin Harman [...]

  68. 27 Interesting and Funny Infographics | Splashnology | The Funny Online Videos - March 30, 2012

    [...] How Would You Like Your Graphic Design? [...]

  69. How Would You Like Your Design? « Summer Gidget - March 30, 2012

    [...] it was pretty funny and so so true!I think the original origins of the image comes from a blog by Collin Harmen. Any ways I wish I had this image printed on my wall at work – just for shits and [...]

  70. Story of my life…. | | Notsobad PromoNotsobad Promo - April 5, 2012

    [...] (Source) [...]

  71. The Fast, Cheap & Great Conundrum » Zighead Communications, Phuket, Thailand - April 20, 2012

    [...] Source: Colin Harman [...]

  72. Fast, Cheap, Great or Free? How Would You Like Your Graphic Design? « DESIGN & PRINT - May 30, 2012

    [...] infographic designed by Colin Harman pretty much represents the sentiments of many graphic designers when dealing with [...]

  73. Pay Peanuts for Your Printed graphic design and you get Monkeys! | PrintHut.co.uk - June 11, 2012

    [...] Great article about the importance of good graphic design from Colin Harman [...]

  74. The quality of English language content in Quebec | Wouldn't stop picking at it - June 18, 2012

    [...] This diagram about graphic design quality is equally applicable to copywriting and translation. Time is a key factor to quality content. We know that you’re doing your best to avoid last-minute requests, but… try harder. Please. Truth is, 8 out of 10 requests that I receive are “rush”, requiring me to crunch an enormous amount of words in a very short period of time. [...]

  75. Improving the quality of English language content in Quebec | Wouldn't stop picking at it - June 18, 2012

    [...] This diagram about graphic design quality is equally applicable to copywriting and translation. Time is a key factor to quality content. We know that you’re doing your best to avoid last-minute requests, but… try harder. Please. Truth is, 8 out of 10 requests that I receive are “rush”, requiring me to crunch an enormous amount of words in a very short period of time. [...]

  76. Instructive and Eye-catching Infographics - July 17, 2012

    [...] How Would You Like Your Graphic Design? [...]

  77. How Would You Like Your Graphic Design? | Infographic Zone - September 12, 2012

    [...] Via e0A This entry was posted in Humor and tagged  design, agency, cheap, fast, great by Admin. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

  78. How Would You Like Your Graphic Design? | Infographic Samples - September 30, 2012

    [...] Via Tags: agency, cheap, fast, great,  design [...]

  79. How Would You Like Your Graphic Design? | Infographic Images - October 9, 2012

    [...] Link This entry was posted in Humor and tagged  design, agency, cheap, fast, great. Bookmark the permalink. ← Shark Week Mini-Graphic: Shark Attacks [...]

  80. ¿Cómo le gustaría su Diseño Gráfico? | alemaorod - October 16, 2012

    [...] traducción del diseño original de Colin Harman Comparte:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMásCorreo electrónicoImprimirDiggRedditStumbleUpon informOSO [...]

  81. Graphic Design: Pick Two! | Diamari Torres - November 16, 2012

    [...] Graphic Design: Pick Two! Posted on September 14, 2012 | Leave a comment { Source } [...]

  82. How Would You Like Your Graphic Design? | Yolk Works - January 23, 2013

    [...] source: colinharman.com [...]

  83. Examples Of Clean And Minimal Infographics | Federico Porri - March 14, 2013

    [...] This infographic makes use of a venn diagram to explore various outcomes of a graphic design project depending on your priorities. Do you always demand great work at a low cost? Take a look at the infographic to find out what to expect. View Infographic [...]

  84. 10 Things to Ask Your App Developer - June 6, 2013

    [...] and wait to approve a final product? Are you most focused on speed, quality, or cost? Keep in mind you can only have two of the three at once! Discuss these and other considerations before signing anything. Starting off with at least a basic [...]

  85. 17 Beautiful Examples Of Clean And Minimal Infographics » Creative Design - July 20, 2013

    [...] This infographic makes use of a venn diagram to explore various outcomes of a graphic design project depending on your priorities. Do you always demand great work at a low cost? Take a look at the infographic to find out what to expect. View Infographic [...]

  86. Why your document can’t be fast, cheap, and good | Pros Write - July 26, 2013

    [...] this mantra to describe their constraints. Here’s the perspective from a musician. And one from a graphic designer. So here’s how I would explain the situation from the perspective of a workplace [...]

  87. How would you like your design? | Red Peach Designs - November 6, 2013

    […] The kind of day I had yesterday with a particularly frustrating custom project reminded me of this Venn diagram below, created by Colin Harman. […]

  88. The-Pixel | How would you like your Graphic Design? - December 29, 2013

    […] great venn diagram poster by designer Colin Harman has sparked quite the talk on the internet and it very well should. In the design world, we are […]

  89. I Want Good, for Cheap and Fast.... - Tatosky.com - January 6, 2014

    […] via Colin Harman […]

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