So called "designers"


dogsbody

Member
<RANT>

It seems that anybody with a copy of photoshop or illustrator seems to think they can call themselves a designer these days.

</RANT>

What do others think? Am I right or have I just got out of bed the wrong side this morning with a hangover from hell :icon_biggrin: (Note to self: Do not mix your drinks)
Spot on sir! :icon_notworthy:
 

Cookie

Member
Communication is key.
I deal with various Printers, all who do things differently.
Layman's terms all the way.
 

Soprano

Member
<RANT>

It seems that anybody with a copy of photoshop or illustrator seems to think they can call themselves a designer these days.

I have noticed an increase in online orders for print with the artwork being supplied in completely the wrong size, colour space and on some occasions resolution (72dpi!).

This is not from people who cannot afford a designer so have done their best to provide something in a print ready format, but people that are actually advertising themselves as "so and so design" that should know this information. I can only assume that these people have never had any training whatsoever.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think you have to be trained at Uni to be a successful designer, however, I do feel that some of these so called designers have NO IDEA with regards to the basics of design, yet, they are charging people for their services!

A letterhead is A4, how difficult is it to set your canvas to 21.6 x 30.3 including bleed? If you don't know how to do this and you are designing artwork at 72dpi then you really shouldn't be charging anyone money for your services.

We all have to learn somewhere but it shouldn't be at the customer's expense.

</RANT>

What do others think? Am I right or have I just got out of bed the wrong side this morning with a hangover from hell :icon_biggrin: (Note to self: Do not mix your drinks)
I've spent years - since I was in my third year of secondary school - learning how to use photoshop, and lately, illustrator, designing things which have no meaning, building up a personal portfolio, I've done flyers for night clubs, I've had people ask me to draw something for them which I've taken into photoshop and redone, yet when people suggest I should put myself out there as paid designer I still can't bring myself to - because I don't have full knowledge of all of this stuff, preparing for print etc.

I know bits here and there but other than that, no idea.

I'm enrolling on my course on Friday, decided to go back to college and through uni to get the qualifications, not so much to prove I can design (because personally I don't think you need a degree for that) but so I can learn as much as possible about the whole thing and have enough confidence in myself to actually sell myself as a designer. I have no doubt I am good at what I can do but I would rather have a full knowledge of what I'm doing before I start to earn from it. :)

Although I do actually see myself as a designer, because, I can design. I just don't make money from it. Yet. Hopefully.:icon_lol:
 

pcbranding

Member
Soprano - good for you! :) Sounds very sensible.

A good college training should give you the nuts and bolts which makes you technically proficient and allow you creative freedom too.

I do believe that you either have a feel for design or you don't, and college/qualifications don't necessarily make you a 'designer'. College can pull out a hidden design talent, but won't if it's not there.

When I say 'design', I mean that you can take a brief (for a pizza flyer or the design of a new trainer, doesn't matter) and apply reason and thought and deliver it, to create a solution that is fit for purpose. Not everything can be beautiful, win competitions etc. A pizza flyer solves one client's brief and you get paid for it - job done. In the real world you'll get good and not so good jobs which will either fulfil you personally or please your bank manager! Possibly both and we all hope we land some of those!

So, go, learn and ask questions and fill in the gaps in your knowledge and enjoy the protected freedom of design college! :)
 

Soprano

Member
Thank you, what a motivating post! :)

I'm really excited to get myself in the know about stuff like this, aswell as learning my way around different software and what not, something I'm sure I could do on my own but it'll be nice to do without the headache of trying to work things out for myself without someone on hand that knows all about it!
 

dot design

Member
Soprano - good for you! :) Sounds very sensible.
A pizza flyer solves one client's brief and you get paid for it - job done. In the real world you'll get good and not so good jobs which will either fulfil you personally or please your bank manager! Possibly both and we all hope we land some of those!
Spot on Paul, even the most award winning designers and design agencies have to do functional work. I really admire Johnson Banks, they are a very clever simple design agency who have and continue to win lots of design wards but in their blog they admit that they have to do "pay the bills" jobs as weill, they just never make it to the portfolio! :icon_biggrin:

This has been a great post, by the way!
 

LighthouseDM

New Member
I know what you all mean it is so frustrating. We have recently had to convince a client (a family business) that the website the family accountant put together would not reflect their brand as well as a professionally designed website.

In response to our quote, they responded by copying exactly what we did although not quite to the same standard and said "why should we pay over £1000 when we can do it ourself". For the logo they took a piece of clip art that only slightly resembled the emblem we designed, changed the colour of a similar font, positioned the two together and in their eyes it was just as good!!

Design is a career path, as is plumbing, building, farming and accounting. But just because I've planted a few vegetables in some pots in my back garden it doesn't make me a farmer.
 

JohnRoss

Member
It seems that anybody with a copy of photoshop or illustrator seems to think they can call themselves a designer these days.
It's an old, old story. I daresay when they were building the great cathedrals of Europe, the master masons had to put up with 'competitors' waltzing up to the architect and saying "Gargoyles, guv? I can do you gargoyles,cheap as anyfink." Seriously, though, this happens with any trade or craft or skill which people can learn - or think they can - with relative lack of difficulty, more or less on their own. Painters, plumbers, musicians, cooks, translators... you'll always get cowboys. There is only one way past it for someone who really does know what he is doing, which is to find clients who can tell the difference and who put value on it, a strategy which has the added advantage that those clients are more likely to be the ones still in business a year or two from now.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think you have to be trained at Uni to be a successful designer, however, I do feel that some of these so called designers have NO IDEA with regards to the basics of design, yet, they are charging people for their services!
Judging by the web design courses my wife - an editorial designer with long professional experience - has been following recently (leaving me to hold the fort, on occasion), I would hazard a guess that one of the problems was precisely that much of the training available concentrates on the tools instead of the basics (which is in fact understandable up to a point because managing the tools is so essential - building a web site using Dreamweaver is a completely different process to doing it in Flash, for example. You need to be able to wield a spade before you can, I dunno, landscape a garden. Or something).
 
Looking back (a long time ago now) at my college days, the course i studied was hot on the asthetics of print design, layout / form and function et al. but when it came to the stuff needed in the real world (client briefings / file archiving / managing the financial side of things) there was a really big hole in the knowledge I gathered up. Don't think the people planning the courses young people study give enough emphasis on the other needs apart form the pure 'design' elements. My two bits worth!!!
 

JMCDesigner

Member
Totally agree. I talked my parents out of getting Photoshop. I said whats the point in buying an industry standard program when you don't even know how to use half its features? I'm not one for bitching but I've working in Design companies in the past where new people have applied for web design jobs. One woman in particular had worked in some non related supervisor position, then had a career "change" working at home doing websites. I'm all for career changes and everything but this woman had a Degree in Logistics and Transport or something (totally relevant I know), had only been doing her web design for 2 years and was applying for a Senior Designer role. Madness.
 
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