Thursday, January 29, 2009

Crap is Crap

The other day I was perusing Craigs List and saw some postings for graphic design freelancers and staff members. After looking at the rates they were quoting - the only thing I could say is - "you must be kidding". They were so low and unrealistic (even with today's economy). Thank goodness there was another posting from a graphic designer who posted what realistic hiring rates are.

Knowing some basic graphic programs does not make you a graphic designer, not even a layout person, not even mentioning effective concepts. You know the old saying "You get what you pay for." Today's customers are becoming more sophisticated - they recognize crappy visual communications. The natural interpretation is if your visual communications are crappy then your products/services must also be of the same caliber - crappy.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Did not know us designers were also athletes

Well, it finally happened - my faithful chair broke beyond all repair. Got enough energy to drag it our to the dumpster and went off to buy a new chair. Not that easy of a task - couple needing the right chair with the fact that a lot of us designers have back problems. Ask a designer about lying in bed at night with this pain going down your leg from your back to your feet.

So I asked the doctor and he tells me it's my posture and probably my chair. I asked around and got the advice that a good chair is one that "keeps you in the chair" - not like my broken chair where I sat on the edge with my feet tucked under it. No wonder why my shoes all have a curl to them.

So off to the designer store for the perfect chair and I found it. The chair actually kept me in the seat with my back not hunched over. What a chair and what a shock. The stripped down version was over $800. That is more then I paid for a treadmill. With prices like that you would think we designers were athletes in training.

Bottom line is I guess my back does not hurt that much for now. But one of these days I am going to get that chair. Would appreciate any suggestions.


PS I did get a new chair since I still have to sit - looks nice and modern (good design elements) but a fraction of the cost.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I was watching a TV show on the Ovation channel the other night concerning design. The opening of the show brought to mind a warning that we often give our clients - "Do not get lost in the media". The program made the distinction that artists who create art for contemplation is what we refer to as Art. Artists who apply their talent to items we use is called Design.

I believe that the operative word in this definition is USE. As designers, we craft our clients' stories in a way that is useful to the end user. This is at times difficult when clients want "eye candy" for the sake of showing off instead of making the design usable.

Understanding that "ugliness does not sell", as designers we need to overcome egos and keep in mind the end user.