September 2021
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The holidays will soon be here. Since last year’s holidays, I’ve been thinking about what would make the best gift for a designer. The best holiday gift for a designer is… a testimonial. Take 15–25 minutes out of your day and write a testimonial for the designer you’re working with. That’s better than anything you could buy.

15–25 minutes is all you need.

If you want to give it your best, sleep on what you’ve written and read your testimonial the next day.


There’s nothing surprising about writing a testimonial for someone you’re currently working with every day. I would even venture to say that it’s one of the best moments to write a testimonial. Let’s not kid ourselves: When someone announces a change of job, it’s not all positive emotions ‑ even if everything is done perfectly. On the other hand, how many times have you offered testimonials to colleagues when you were changing jobs? And by “offered” I mean “offered, meant it, and wrote them.”

Don’t want to recommend the designer you’re working with? Is it because you work well together and you’re afraid of them finding a better job, or for some other reason? If you’re afraid, don’t be possessive. If it’s for another reason, that’s a topic for another text.

The fact that you’ve already written a testimonial for this designer doesn’t mean you can’t write a new one. It also doesn’t mean it’ll make the designer any less happy. Recently I received a new testimonial from someone who had written about me before. The new testimonial was even more on point than the previous one. Pure happiness.

As we all know, “nobody believes testimonials,” but people write, read, and analyze them. Even if the only person who will read your testimonial is the designer you’re writing about, it’s worth writing. Do you know how it feels when you read an honest testimonial about yourself? Lots of people have never had this pleasure. Be the change you want to see in the world. I try to.

Questions for you

  • Where, when, and on what did you work with the designer?
  • How did you get the opportunity to work together?
  • What’s one specific thing about your work together that you can and want to share in the testimonial? Did you try something that didn’t work out? Did you have a different opinion on something? Did something go wrong? How did you deal with it?
  • Is there too much sugar in your testimonial?
  • Would you mind if the designer cut a word or sentence out of your testimonial to make it similar in length to the others they will present?
  • Would you mind if the designer asked you to reformulate your testimonial in relation to a specific idea to incorporate your words into a larger text?
  • What’s the official name of your position? On the receiving end, I once had to come up with the official name of the author’s position a few years later, and… it’s not easy.
  • If you were wondering whether to hire the designer, would the content of your testimonial be what you’d want to see? Is there anything more you could write to make your testimonial more useful?

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