You could be in the design field for a long time already and have encountered various types of projects and have dealt with different kinds of clients. With the vast experience you already have, you would be able to grasp on the value of having multiple proofs. But for some, this could double their work and they might not be able to perfectly understand why they have to make at least 3 designs for a single project. For them, it is a waste of time and effort.

Well, most designers might just make a single design for a project but could result into more revisions. You would be lucky if your client will immediately say yes on a single design. But to be safe, you can create multiple designs so the client will have an idea on how the project will look like and he can also be given different options. Now let us look into other reasons why having multiple designs is vital for a freelance design job.

1. It gives options.

It gives options

Your client will surely be pleased to see different designs. This would give them options as to which one they want to use. Having options is always better than just seeing one design that you have made and your client will let you repeat the entire process once they dislike the single design that you have made. Having multiple proofs can let them see different possible designs for the project. Like if you were asked to design a logo, show them how certain logo designs that you have made can best represent their company. Having at least three design proofs is already good for you and your client.

2. It allows client to give inputs.

It allows client to give inputs
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos

When you have presented multiple proofs, you have also opened the chance for your client to give inputs regarding the design. This will make them feel that they are part of the project. They will feel that you give value to their comments, ideas and inputs. This can lead to better relationships with your clients. This can also contribute in having better outputs.

3. Provides the client a glimpse of the project.

To brush away stress
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos

The client will surely be pleased to see a glimpse of the project. This will make them think that you are really working on the project and that you are competent enough to work on it. This will also let the client see how the project can actually look like. Remember that even though your clients have something in mind on how the output would look like, they still do not know how it looks like when it’s done.

4. It urges them to send faster payments.

It urges them to send faster paymentsTo get more inspiration
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos

Upon seeing different designs, your client will be happy. They will realize that you have really exerted effort for the project. This can also urge them to send payments faster. Anyone who is happy with a certain output will always be very much willing to pay. They can see that what they are paying you is all worth it. Of course, before that, you should have prepared your payment terms already and a contract.

5. It allows the designer to mix and match design elements.

It allows the designer to mix and match design elements
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos

Having multiple designs can be easier for you and your client to do some revisions. You can mix and match some design elements from the other design to the next. Like if you have three designs, you will use the color of the first design while retaining the look of the second design. You combine both and you will get what your client wants.

6. Client can decide on better designs.

Client can decide on better designs
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos

When there is only one design presented, the client will find it hard to express what they really want. But if you create multiple proofs, they can see other possible ways the project can look like. With that, they can decide on a better design. Like if you were tasked to create a logo design, the client will be able to choose which one will best represent their company. They can also add some other things that could make it a better representation like the colors and others.

7. Shows your design experimentation.

Shows your design experimentation

Having multiple proofs can also show how you experimented on different designs. This is a manifestation that you went beyond what is only given to you. Your client will be pleased to know that you do not just limit it according to what you have agreed but you also took the risk of trying other designs that could be good for the project. In the end, what you have done can even give the client better ideas for the project than what he had in mind before the project begun. Do not be afraid to experiment with designs. You won’t lose anything.

8. You will impress the client.

You will impress the client
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos

Everyone would like to impress the clients. Do this by creating multiple proofs. The client will not be expecting that you will come up with different designs. Upon seeing it, they will appreciate your effort in doing so. They can also see how good you are when it comes to design conceptualization and that you can perfectly apply your ideas to a design project.

9. It improves your competence in designing.

It improves your competence in designing
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos

Aside from the benefits it can give to the clients, it can also help you a lot. As you see your work, you will be able to notice which one needs improvement. You can also compare your outputs and can even create better results. With that, you will have self-improvement while impressing the client at the same time. Designers learn from what they work on.

10. To develop relationships.

To develop relationships

Seeing multiple proofs could also help you gain the client’s trust. This will make them see that you do not need spoon feeding in order to arrive to a good design. They could see that you know what you are doing especially with the variation of designs you have prepared for them. Your client will look at you as an expert in the field and would therefore trust in you.

It’s Your Turn Now

Seeing the reasons above could move you to create multiple proofs. You really do not have to make 10 or more designs. The safe number is 3. Have three designs for a project you are asked of. That would be enough for your client to decide on a design that best suits the project. This will also be enough for you to create a better design by mixing and matching some elements from each of them. What is your thought on this topic? Let us hear from you.

Kareen Liez

About the author: A Civil Engineer who has a construction business and a youth volunteer for a civic organization. She also contributes for a local newspaper due to her unwavering passion to write.


  1. Never create proof just to complete number and never, ever, ever present something you do not want client to choose.

  2. Disagree. If the design is based on a solid concept and you present it like you´ve being paid for it, it should make the client trust you. Presenting multiple designs is like saying “I don´t really what I´m doing here, but I hope that you, the unqualified client, like it”.

  3. Kareen, you have got some strong points but what Joakim says is also the good points. The points you said depends upon the complexity level of the tasks. I do design proofs if the level of complexity is higher 🙂

  4. @Bojan. So right! The risk of presenting something that you do not want the client to choose is having it chosen by the client! And you’ll end up regretting you have shown it. Thank you 🙂

    @Joakim. You have a good point about that. That would be applicable if the client is certain about what he wants for the project. Like what you said, if it is based on a “solid concept”. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this 🙂

    @Encrypted. It really depends on the designer and on the project he is doing. Like what you do, you use design proofs for more complex projects. That can also be true to other designers. Thank you for reading 🙂

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