When I was working for her (my first real design job* ), my friend and mentor Claudia taught me many things. But the one I probably refer to most often is this:
The definition of perfection changes in relation to the amount of time remaining
before a project is due.
I’ve called on this precept many, many times in this deadline-oriented business of putting out a magazine.
Here’s how it works.
* * * * *
Claudia: Laura, are you about done with those logos for the [insert client name here] presentation?
Me (hesitantly): Um . . . I have some possibilities here but had hoped to get them in better shape before showing them to anybody.
Claudia: Well, [insert client name here] just called. We’re meeting with them in half an hour. So. . . let me see what you’ve got. [Peruses the logo designs.] . . . Well, would you look at that! . . . These are perfect!
* * * * *
See? Very efficient, practical, provides a needed deadline, allows one to finish up and move on without looking back (too much, anyway). I use this here at the magazine more than I like to admit, allowing a deadline to inform the idea of being finished.
This sliding-scale definition comes in handy in the magazine business, but you might find it helpful in your own life, as well, kind of a variation on the good-enough parent . . .
Photo: a magnolia blossom I shot in Mississippi last summer. Perfection redefined? (Well, it is perfectly brown!)
*At Claudia Pavel and Associates. (Claudia was Claudia Pavel, and I was Associates.)
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