Graphic Design

Yesterday, the most peculiar thing happened. I was sitting here finishing up the calendar of events for the month of March for the bar I work for when I decided to apply to some full-time and freelance Graphic Design positions. Now, if that wasn’t peculiar enough, the act of searching for a new job, I applied to THREE, making my day even more peculiar. Here’s the deal.

Toby, bless his sweet heart, keeps telling me to keep up with the client work, continue to work from home and come up with more side-projects. While, I can think of nothing more appealing than continuing to live this way, I also get this fear from time to time that I need to carry my own weight. Hence, my recent stint with waitressing. Hence, the working for free for people all over the eastern seaboard. Hence, desires to come up with Web sites like SPD in less than a week. Hence, my writing here incessantly in search of a purpose. Hence, my applying to design jobs yesterday morning when I should be finishing up the (albeit free) work I do have. Hence, freaking out today.

Within the hour of my applying to said design jobs, I received a phone call from a man who needs work done IMMEDIATELY and who will pay my highest hourly rate to have said work done IMMEDIATELY. Basically, a designer he had hired created some of the ugliest design comps I have ever seen and he was forced to let her go instantly. My timing was great! He told me over the phone. But now he’s on an even tighter deadline. Who isn’t going to agree to that kind of scenario? I mean, I’m screaming for punishment. I dump stress into my coffee each morning.

Just when you thought you couldn’t get any busier and have little money to show for it, you get even busier. I just hope that this very kind and desperate man actually pays me. The last time I found myself in a similar position, that being the position where I was asked to “make things better” the client didn’t pay me. This was after he huffed and puffed over my (lowered) hourly rate. (I should have known.) To make a long story short, there’s a bowling alley in Manhattan who is on my list of places to peanut butter and jelly when I have the money to afford the sloppy prank.

What are you in for?

I covered the walls of a Mid-town bowling alley with Wonder Bread and peanut-butter and jelly.

I’m not sure how it came to be like this. While I realize graphic designers aren’t responsible for murdering folks with ugly design, I become so enraged when others lower the bar for those of us who actually enjoy solving visual problems and do it fairly well. What ends up happening is this:

Someone like this man hires a designer. He offers to pay the designer __ dollar amount for his or her skills. The designer shows the client a portfolio of work he or she probably didn

18 Comments

  1. I don’t even know what a design comp is, but if that’s a reference to “The Professional” in the last line of your post, I think I love you, Matilda … I mean Mihow.

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  2. i called your design emergency guy and told him that i could do a better job for $99.95 flat project fee. and that includes a free 3 page website which will make his presence known on the world wide web. did you know that over 150,000 people are on the internet every day?

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  3. ian, you’re hilarious. :] can I have a few bucks of your final cost? We need it for our GO TO ATHENS fund.
    (Yes, Mr. Loggins, that was a reference to the Professional.)

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  4. Ian knows we need to open a shop in Athens and take all the ATL biz.

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  5. Congrats on the new gig. I know you’ll clean up that gals mess tout sweet.

    I feel the same way about musicians. If you can’t sing or play and instrument…then no deal. I’m not talking about innocent shower singing. I’m talking about the downfall of rock music as we know it via Britney Spears, etc.

    Sorry. End of Rant.

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  6. I don’t get why people get hung up with this “the other designer did a bad job, so i will make you suffer now by being an asshole”…how exactly do you function in real life? I had braces put on my teeth when i was 12, and they made teeth worse than they were before. I got over it.

    I have no patience for this “prove yourself” shit, and I doubt I could ever be a decent freelancer becuase of it.

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  7. References are always a good thing. If you feel that you’re being treated with too much suspicion (and if you are uncertain that you will get paid), you should simply say “I estimate that this job will take X hours and I require a purchase order for $XxRate. This job is a lot like one I did for ABC Company, and I recommend you call them for a reference (here is the work i did).” If they balk or give you attitude, walk away. “I’m sorry, I’m too busy to fit your time demands into my schedule. Here is Ian’s number.”

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  8. Quoting “The Professional!” You just keep racking up the Cool Points.

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  9. Mihow, your rate is FINE. I know. I hire freelance designers all the time for our brochures. Want some more work? :)

    HAAAAAAAAAAAA I am serious though, not trying to freak you out. Good luck with this job!

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  10. That’s a HIGH rate for my pathetically insecure self. Most of the time, sweet chanelbaby, I work for free. ;]

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  11. You get what you pay for—is what I tell people who balk at the rate (which in most cases is reasonable). If you want your brother’s wife’s cousin’s son to do the work in home word processing software then realize that your corporate image suffers.

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  12. I got the rest of the work! YAY! They were very pleased.

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  13. Alright! My game is up, I know when I’ve been exposed. Heh. Congrats on the freelance. Make us “real” designers proud. I do think I like Pancakes and Sausages better than Graphic Design.

    No, really.

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  14. i know exactly what you mean. people assume that its just a matter of knowing the software and nothing else. i’ve had clients tell me they would have no use for me if they had any idea how to use the same software and in the end save themselves some money. blech! i hate that attitude and such lack of respect.

    i agree with Arjen, make us proud! and good luck with the rest. ;)

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  15. Congratualtions on getting the rest of the work. After seeing your work on all of your sites, its no surprise to me that they’d be pleased.

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  16. guilt speaking here… if you are stressing about doing free work for you know who’s you know what, then you need to stop immediately. You know who doesn’t know when to stop. Just tell him enough is enough and stop asking for more. I do it all the time! We should talk…

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  17. Do you do only web or only print or a mixture of both? I have a steady gig designing catalogs all day. Boring. So I stepped my game up and had an interview today with a very frou frou ad agency and showed them my whole portfolio. I had to explain in detail everything I did with each piece. From the type of fold to the colors used. It was a long interview focusing just on the porfolio. Doesn’t anyone take a minute to ask questions anymore?

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  18. Michelle, I’m so very sorry to read about your loss, I truly am.
    I’ll be sending you lots of good thoughts and hugs.
    Take care,
    Kelli

    Reply

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