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  1. #1
    Esh
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    How badly do you think graphic design is undervalued?

    Are graphic designers valued and paid?? The bitter truths!! « Graphic Design Blog – An Ultimate Resource for Graphic Designers

    What do you think?

    I know quite a lot of people who have walked out on graphic design, not because they're not good, but because they are completely disrespected as professionals. Going through college, I wasn't taken as seriously as my friends & siblings who were studying for other professions/trades. Many people accept that design is an essential aspect of business, but unlike law and accountancy, where there is very strict access in place, anyone can buy a computer and software and put themself out there as a designer. People don't expect to pay much for it - if anything at all. Even on this site, you'll often see people requesting designs for monkey money (peanuts), or with some excuse like they don't have a budget, etc. Do you think maybe it's time some kind of special certification/membership became essential to the industry otherwise you can't charge for it/practise it, or is it too late for graphic design?
    Last edited by Esh; 12-26-2010 at 04:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Esh
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    Although this can have a knock on effect for design comapnies, it would also appear that design employers don't value their staff too much either...you see roles for designers at £13/14k that requires a degree, 2+ years experience and a list of skills that rivals the yellow pages. I've never come across this for even a trainee solicitor on a trainee contract. Yet we are meant to be taken seriously? As it is at present, designers are being laughed out of the industry.

    Actually, once when asked what I did, on replying I did graphic design, the response was a shocked, "Oh...so you move 'writing' around a screen and colour in and draw all day?". Try as we might, some people are too ignorant to ever be educated!

    Sorry, rant over! I just read that blog/comments & got slightly annoyed!
    Last edited by Esh; 12-26-2010 at 04:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Dave L
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    Whatever you do, don't work for people who don't value what you do: that simple, that complicated.

  4. #4
    dedwardp
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    I think it is undervalued in so much as it is a skilled profession that takes a lot of learning in both the applicable sense of drawing and using the software alongside the theoretical sense of typography, form and so on yet, as the post above shows, the financial return doesn't add up to what needs to be learnt in order to do it properly.

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    TimmyC
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    I totally agree, especially when people could not do business without designers.

    The problem is graphic design has become a saturated market, because of so many graphic design companies out there now. Sites like people per hour as well has devalued graphic design because clients will put a job up and there are designers out there offering there service for £5 an hour or something.

  6. #6
    dedwardp
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyC View Post
    I totally agree, especially when people could not do business without designers.

    The problem is graphic design has become a saturated market, because of so many graphic design companies out there now. Sites like people per hour as well has devalued graphic design because clients will put a job up and there are designers out there offering there service for £5 an hour or something.
    In which case could you not argue that the value of a graphic designer is the value that he places upon himself? If a designer is willing to work for £5 p/h then is he not valuing himself at £5 p/h?

    Personally, if I have no work on and would like a job then I'd typically accept slightly reduced pay under the mantra of reduced pay is better than no pay.

    Would others on here this perceive this as undervaluing myself or do you not just see it as the logical way of paying the bills, thoughts?

  7. #7
    TimmyC
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedwardp View Post
    In which case could you not argue that the value of a graphic designer is the value that he places upon himself? If a designer is willing to work for £5 p/h then is he not valuing himself at £5 p/h?

    Personally, if I have no work on and would like a job then I'd typically accept slightly reduced pay under the mantra of reduced pay is better than no pay.

    Would others on here this perceive this as undervaluing myself or do you not just see it as the logical way of paying the bills, thoughts?
    I can see your point, but what happens is people percieve that this is a typical rate for a graphic designer, devaluing the profession. It is a highly skilled and takes artistic approach to be designers. When you think of a plumber that can charge £25-£50 an hour, so should a graphic designer. Its skilled business needs them, they shouldnt be viewed as someone who can accept a low wage.

    Taking a lower wage to take a job is absolutely fine if you need the money to pay bills, to look after families etc. You need to get yourself a job! However doesn't mean that graphic designers should be devalued as they are a great asset to business.

  8. #8
    dedwardp
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyC View Post
    I can see your point, but what happens is people percieve that this is a typical rate for a graphic designer, devaluing the profession. It is a highly skilled and takes artistic approach to be designers. When you think of a plumber that can charge £25-£50 an hour, so should a graphic designer. Its skilled business needs them, they shouldnt be viewed as someone who can accept a low wage.

    Taking a lower wage to take a job is absolutely fine if you need the money to pay bills, to look after families etc. You need to get yourself a job! However doesn't mean that graphic designers should be devalued as they are a great asset to business.
    I completely agree with everything that you say.

    For the most part though, designers can and do charge £25-50 per hour so that isn't the problem and, in many ways, I can't help but feel that the client who doesn't want to pay as much isn't going to regardless either. In which case they'll find the rates they're after somewhere so design would still be devalued to the same extent.

    I still agree with you, just thought I'd throw it out there and see some opinions - I'd have thought we all have to do it from time to time!

  9. #9
    Minuteman Press
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    Why sell on price?

    I have employed quite a number of Graphic Designers in my career (full time, part time, consultancy) and have looked at track record / results first before money. If the GD is the one I want and I can obtain the finances - that's the one I'll hire.

    Not taken seriously etc - happens with a lot of professions. So what? Toughen up. Walked out of a profession due to being disrespected, come on. Sounds like a lack of passion / motivation / extraordinary self-belief.

    The best will succeed - just keep at it (and live within your means).

  10. #10
    Esh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minuteman Press View Post
    Why sell on price?

    I have employed quite a number of Graphic Designers in my career (full time, part time, consultancy) and have looked at track record / results first before money. If the GD is the one I want and I can obtain the finances - that's the one I'll hire.

    Not taken seriously etc - happens with a lot of professions. So what? Toughen up. Walked out of a profession due to being disrespected, come on. Sounds like a lack of passion / motivation / extraordinary self-belief.

    The best will succeed - just keep at it (and live within your means).
    I agree to a certain extent. You see, some people from other professions aren't taken seriously, but with graphic design, it's not a case of some people, it's the whole industry that is not really taken seriously. For those people turn their back, I could see why, passion or no passion. They worked and studied (not to mention the financial outlay) hard for anything between 2 and 6 years (maybe less or more in some cases), got themselves in debt, count in the general keeping up with skills/constant learning, and thats a hell of a lot of investment, to only be taken the p*** out of, and undervalued.
    Even a trainee solicitor (one who is not properly qualified, pre-roll) can command a minimum salary/rate, and the average qualified fee earning solicitor charges a minimum of £230 per hour to tell you something thats written in a book...see the 'injustice'! No-one would ever go to a solicitor and expect them to work on a case for nothing. Yet designers are expected to as the norm. We're as skilled as eachother in different ways - designers more so, talent and all that. Most people can read and study law. I personally love design, I'm at the beginning and don't claim to be amazing and am learning more everyday, so I'll stick with it, but like I said I can see why some would 'drop out' and it's very disheartening.

    Btw I'm not attacking lawyers or anything, I'm just making an example! I could say the same with other professions like accountancy, health, etc etc etc.

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