How and why should you say “no” to a client? What are a designer’s blindspots when providing project estimates? And at what point should we stop calling ourselves “graphic designers” and just stick to the simplified term “designer”?
Seattle-based blog ChangeOrder is a factory of fresh ideas on all of these topics. Since late 2007, ChangeOrder’s quality articles have concentrated on the business & process of design. And although they’re a country away and a timezone apart from us, it’s as if ChangeOrder and Elbowruminations are long-lost cousins out here on the blogosphere…only ChangeOrder was gifted with the brains while we just got the geeky computer skills.
ChangeOrder’s David Sherwin produces thoughtful, useful entries covering all corners of the design industry, providing applicable insights for the designers who like business, and the businesspeople who like design. In response to the three questions posed in this article’s intro, ChangeOrder offers these tidbits:
“The only major failure you should face in the business of design? The failure to recognize that a client project is something you should decline. […] Yes, you need to pay rent. Yes, this work is not beneath you. Yes, the work will hopefully lead to better things….but like the old adage says, “Be careful what you’re good at.” Can you afford to promote yourself as an expert in one area and end up spending your time working in another?” [Read the rest of “On Saying No” here]
In a three-part series, ChangeOrder provides some tips to help designers put together better, smarter quotes for their projects. CO suggests considering how the client will behave through the course of a project, and if that will influence your work. “Clients ask designers for references,” Sherwin writes, “But it’s not always a bad thing to check up on your clients and/or closely observe how they interact with their peers or other vendors. This kind of gut check should govern what kind of buffer or multiplier you apply to your project fee, or whether you wish to engage with them at all. Sometimes you need to say no gracefully.” [Read the rest of “Designers Hate Estimating” here: Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3]
The term “Graphic Designer” has been in use for as long as the profession has been alive, but ChangeOrder suggests we guide the term into early retirement.
“A ‘Graphic Designer’ today may be responsible for a range of graphic applications across various materials,” explains the blog, “But that’s not what we’re paid to do anymore. […] Designers can contribute insights and ideas that have ramifications far beyond some ink on a page, or colors on an LCD display.” [Read the rest of “Farewell, graphic designer” on ChangeOrder]