Friday, April 04, 2003

Graphic Design Blues

Allow me to rant.

One of the worst situations a graphic designer can find himself in involves the following circumstances:

1) A rapidly approaching deadline;
2) A client representative who thinks he knows what good design is (even if he doesn't);
3) The same rep who can't understand how difficult it is to come up with good design;
4) The same rep who can't decide on the onset what he wants given the threat of number 1; and
5) The same rep who expects you to know what he wants despite number 4.

The resulting piece is a hodge-podge of design elements in a project that cater to the representative's taste which doesn't necessarily adhere to the client's corporate philosophy. It's a piece that no designer would want to ackowledge as his work.

In the Philippines, design work is underappreciated, if at all. There is the impression that a designer just whips up a piece as easy as he farts, and this way of thinking translates to an impression that design work should be cheap.

It's not.

That's why I personally dislike, or should I say, abhor dealing with narrow and fickle-minded know-it-all client representatives. (And why is it that it's mostly they who have the money?) It becomes a think-fest, a Survivor challenge. "I want you to design a brochure for me, but you have to have a faaaar better idea than I do." Heck, you don't need a designer. You need a brainless, software-proficient peon!

As a freelancer, I chose the clients I dealt with, based on the amount of freedom and trust they gave me. The projects I did for them did not rake in a whole lotta moolah for me, but I was satisfied with my work and so were they. Project turnarounds were faster and the process was devoid of stress and frustration. WIth them, I was able to compile a modest portfolio of work that speaks of my sensibilities as a designer, a body of work that truly represents me.

Rant's far from over. But I gotta work.

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