control freakControl freaks: everyone knows at least one and it’s not uncommon for a control freak to be a business owner or a person in a leadership position. The incessant need to be in control isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes this neurotic tendency backfires and leads to poor decision making or missed business opportunities. This can often be the case when it comes to creating company brand identity.

Don’t get me wrong; small business start-ups need a control freak to initially gain a foothold. Controlling business owners have the drive and passion needed to play an active role in turning a dream into reality. They are the life-force that jump starts small companies. However, the initial success quickly fades if a control freak can’t properly delegate tasks necessary to foster business growth.

Insisting on doing everything yourself only adds stress and fatigue the bigger your business gets. Inevitably your work and your health suffer if you aren’t willing to focus on the bigger picture and delegate tasks. Hiring competent people, either as contractors or employees, to carry out your vision is more valuable than you can imagine. Why? No matter how hard a control freak tries, they simply can’t be the best at everything. Realizing shortcomings allows these types of business owners to step out of their control box and foster relationships with experts who can fill in the expertise gaps.


This is critical in the design phase, because building your identity is like building a foundation for not just your business now, but your business as it will be 5, 10 and 20 years down the road. It’s the face you present the world and a road map for future success. Sounds important, right? That’s because it is. This makes it extra tempting for a control freak to manage on their own.

As a graphic and web design agency, we get many calls from start-ups looking to create a brand for their company. They need a logo, website, marketing materials and more. Creating these assets is promising at first, and our whole team buzzes with ideas and excitement. We love hearing from business owners; their story, their mission statement, the reason they’ve poured their heart and soul into their business. These things give designers a sense of the company’s soul and can lead to great design work. However, momentum quickly slows when the client attempts to micro-manage and control the project, seizing the role of project manager and sending finished ideas for the design team to mindlessly recreate without any creative input.

Good business, like good design work, is a collaboration. There needs to be exploratory freedom and an open discussion so that the design work can thrive. Just as it isn’t productive for a control freak to manage every part of their business, it is also not productive for them to hire a professional designer only to instruct the designer on exactly how the end work should look. This only stifles creativity and fresh ideas. Collaborating, sharing ideas and being open to work that professionals present will give you a better end result – a design that will elevate your companies image and visually set your company up for future success; as long as you learn to let go a little.

-As written by a recovering control freak.

Author: Shannon Crutchfield spends most her days as a graphic designer at Pixel Productions, Inc. where she enjoys fantastic coffee, awesome coworkers and creating professional design work for clients of all shapes and sizes. She has an eye for detail and her talents include design for branding, packaging, web design and custom illustration.

Supporting Article from Forbes: How To Tame Your Inner Control Freak