Like most designers, I created a fantasy world of what the future as a designer would be like. Unlimited budgets, loose deadlines, clients willing to risk it for a great design, creating works of art. If only my professors would have gone over the points discussed in Michael’s blog post. Or maybe they did and I wasn’t paying attention…
Don’t get me wrong, I love my work and wouldn’t change a thing. But I do relate to each of the ten learnings Michael discusses.
#4 “Creativity is More Important than Craft.” Sure, amazing Photoshop/Illustrator/AfterEffects catch my eye and make me drool, but I am not the target market of most of these ads. Non-designer types will breeze past eye candy ads and not remember who the ad was for. Come to think of it, I can’t remember what brand all those gorgeous effects were for. But find creative copy with a clever concept and you have an ad that sticks.
#5 “Be fast. Be good. But don’t be cheap unless it’s for a good cause.” Fast and good are relatively easy. But not being cheap, especially in this economy? Thats a challenge. Never have the repercussions of charging less than you are worth been more evident than in the last nine months. Agencies continue to go under, and clients continue to demand more for less. Doctors don’t negotiate fees, grocery stores don’t negotiate prices, why is it acceptable in our industry? The importance of this lesson is obvious, but making it work is still a mystery to me.
#7 “The Devil is in the Details.” Oh this one was a hard one! Designers spend so much time concentrating on the design, they forget to go over the details with a fine-tooth comb. Whether its copy mistakes, fine tuning the kerning, or making sure graphical and typographical styles are consistent, details matter. Its what sets the pros apart from the crowd. When I first started designing, attention to detail was my downfall. I’ve had to learn how to narrow my field of vision, block out all distractions, and really focus. Now I can find double spaces in any publication, and immediately see errors in restaurant menus (even though it drives my husband crazy!).
I love that feeling when you run across and article that you totally identify with. You read it and think “Yes! That is exactly what I was thinking, but it sounds so much better when you say it!” Thanks for the relevant post Michael. If you haven’t read it yet, you really should!