Thursday, June 21, 2007

a bit of a rant :: more work of talented ladies

Sometimes something comes along that makes me feel sooo glad, and so extra appreciative about having this blog and being able to make my patterns and fabric and sell stuff on Etsy. This little part of my life on the side gives me some semblance of control in my creative career. I design things I think look pretty, and if people think so too then they buy it. Easy as that.

Not so in my "real world" job, where as a designer sometimes you feel like you have no control or respect as a professional at all. For example, an identity job that I've been working on over the last little while. It got to that stage where it was so close to being signed off, and I was feeling really confident about it. Visually it worked well, and it sent the right messages about the business to it's market, and the client seemed happy.

But this week what I received from the client wasn't a sign-off, instead it was their own, completely different rendition of the logo which frankly didn't work for many, many reasons. But they're happy with and want to go with, and just asked me to tidy it up.

This seems to be a problem endlessly faced by designers. Sometimes you have these fantastic clients who really respect your professional opinion, and then there are others who see design as a purely subjective thing, and that anyone can make a call on it. But then, when you try to take a stand and argue your point, designers often get labeled as 'difficult' or 'protective', or worse, that we think ourselves holier-than-thou because apparently we think our tastes are 'better' than yours. But often it's got very little to do with taste. It's about meeting real, solid business objectives, and having to be very objective in doing so.

Anyway, [/rant] !! In lighter news, how cute is this! Mr. Lee CatCam - a German guy who attached a camera to his cat to capture his adventures. The resulting photos are so good!

And also, I always feel so guiltily indulgent when I do this, but how gorgeous are these things made with the fabric!! If I've missed anyone just drop me a line - these are just the ones I remembered to bookmark!


Clockwise from top left:

1. Pot Holders by Suki Threads
2. A Kirin Cushion by Spin Spin
3. Deer Crossing cushion by Tutti Fruiti
4. Neck Warmer by Tutti Fruiti

14 comments:

joyflea said...

It's like saying to a brain surgeon, "Hey, that's okay. I'll perform the lobotomy, but if you could finish up with nice,neat stitches, that'd be great!"
I think one day you won't have to work for such people.

nicole lecht said...

i'm totallyresponding to this post girl! i totally feel the same way!

At home with Kim Vallee said...

I think you need something light today to make you feel good. So even if you do not know me Lara, I am tagging you.
Check out my blog later today for details.

.::still blinking::. said...

I totally know what you mean. It really sucks the life from a usually happy and content designer.

You have beautiful work and in a week or two you will be working on something new anyway.

Jess said...

Lara,
As a fellow graphic designer, I feel your pain. :) That's why I enjoy making my own stuff on the side so much. I have no one to please but myself!

Question: When designing your lovely patterns and prints, I'm assuming you're using Illustrator. Is it Illustrator alone, or are you using a plug-in like Tessella or something to make the repeats?

Thanks!
Jess from How about orange...

futuregirl said...

I think every job is like that. I'm a web programmer and I have people telling me to do jacked up, ridiculous stuff all the time. I make it a practice to just explain ONCE why what they want is dumb - like, "You really can't have a form without a submit button. The user won't be able to save the info." If they don't listen the first time, I give them exactly what they want. For one, they are paying me to do what they want. For two, I think it's kinda funny to give people what they want when they are being dummies. When this happens I always say to myself, "Be careful what you wish for ... you might get it."

The biggest frustration when a client messes up an otherwise wonderful web application, is that I can't use it as an example of my work. I'm sure that's your frustration, too. It's difficult to take a portfolio to another potential client and say things like, "This one sucks because the client was dumb." Hopefully you get enough great, smart clients/projects that you have a good portfolio.

And, maybe someday this (Etsy, etc.) will be the only work you do and your biggest headache will be not being able to keep up with the demand for your wonderful designs. :)

Shannon said...

Ahh us creative geniuses are so misunderstood!!

Ive got the lovely client who refuses to return my emails or phonecalls regarding overdue invoices because - although I was trying to wrap up old jobs (like jan 2006 crap) before Sadie was born and decided to invoice - he thought it was pushy of me and now, apparently Im 'out of favour' with him. Great no owed money for me!!

Anyhooooooo what to do...what to do....oh and I need a gocco tute very soon, got into the market and need to start on my mass production lines..!!

Anna said...

Oh I so agree. We get that at my work too (even though its not with clients..) We get the 'last-minute-change-when-a-garment-is-ready-for-production-that-requires-about-two-more-samples' not fun.

Emma said...

Hi - just checked out the cat adventures documented by the photos from the teeny camera on the cat's collar - what a brilliant, fascinating idea! I looked at all the photos, I feel like I know what it must like to be a cat now, out wandering wherever you feel like going. Poor old dogs, they just miss out on the freedom stakes compared to cats! Thanks for putting that link on your blog.

Tali said...

i sympathise with your plight! It just sucks when clients do this. I know my own brain turns into an angry mush when this happens, argh!

Thanks for the cat cam tip! Too funny :D

zoe said...

I so know what you mean Lara...I get it A LOT in my job too...clients think that they have suddenly been given the creative gene that allows them to take over their own project and design their own logo/website/brochure and then you have to TRY to make it look semi decent after slogging out what you feel is a cracking design. Soul destroying is what it is. At least you get to create & produce your very own amazingly beautiful work and people do appreciate that.

Patricia said...

I just want to chime in with a "I know how you feel!". Don't you just 'love' it when all your hard work goes down the tubes faster than you can tell your client how bad their so called 'design' is? At least we're not alone. :)

EC (Lisa) Stewart said...

Wow! Isn't that the truth about clients??? I used to run a small design & mktg boutique and now I'm much happier designing for myself!

You probably already knew this, but take a deep breath and tell them these changes will cost them dearly -that's when they finally acquiesce.

tiel said...

oh yes. I recently was asked to 'redesign' an existing logo for a company because they were in copyrigh trouble issues. The catch was, they didn't really want to change a great deal. I tried talking them into something more exciting and different, but no. In the end I only did the job if it was approved by the copyright solicitor involved. I presented their idea and my idea and even though they liked mine, they still haven't done anything. The good thing about it was that I got paid for what I did. At least that was something.
Now look at me, I'm ranting and raving.