Why Are We All Fighting For Great Graphic Design?
A fight that will continue for years to come.
BY KEITH AVIS
Mediocracy shouldn’t be an option. Any company lives and dies by its reputation and as designers there is no hiding place. Our portfolio of work is our career history.
Well the sentiments above are all well and good, but are there any instances where submitting an average piece of work is acceptable? The easy answer is no, but in reality some of these instances may occur:
- Time pressure – If you are working to a clients deadline then there is often a balance between hitting deadlines to maintain your reputation and not compromising the quality of your work.
- Managing your workload – If you have worked hard to get to a position where the work is rolling in you are not going to turn away new or returning clients. The result is long hours and the potential for work to lack a cutting edge as your efforts becomed strained from not being in the right headspace.
- What the client wants – What we think is great design and what the client thinks are sometimes different. The result is we probably compromise some aspects of the design to keep the client happy, which of course is understandable.
- Design competitions – In applying for jobs on those design and freelancer sites, the powerful and well known ones, it is usual to work on designs that are in competition with at least fifty or so others. This subsequently raises the question of why would you spend days working on the perfect design when there is little chance of it being successful. So the temptation to focus on quantity, bidding for jobs, than quality is obvious.
- Following the money – There is no easy money as a freelancer but focusing on the big well paid jobs, while rewarding if you get them, does increase the chances of a ‘feast or famine’ scenario. So there is a logic behind a strategy of earning an income through smaller jobs that keep the money rolling in but maybe don’t extend your graphic design skills.
“Good design encourages a viewer to want to learn more.”
― Alexander Isley
There are undoubtedly other examples that can be added to these bullets, but it is important not to project the wrong message. At the end of the day graphic designers are artists living in the modern world and at Little Design Box, as I am sure with the majority of other graphic design companies, we strive to produce work without compromise. But as with any business we need to make money so there is a constant battle to maintain the standards that we all set out to achieve, hopefully we can continue to do that.
This is a somewhat introspective post, but the aim is that some of the things here resonate with our fellow graphic designers. What do you think? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments box below.