So called "designers"

Stationery Direct

Staff member

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.


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 done it accidentally in the past where I totally forget to put the bleed on etc. But as I'm printer I understand how annoying it must be having to e-mail back and forth explaining to them.

It's good if designers have a blank template with the bleeds on so as long as the printer is using same dimensions for the cards, letterheads etc they can have the bleeds ready each time
Does my head in completely. I don't even know how they have the audacity to do that sort of a thing - it's a like a con to my mind. It's so stupid too when we try and explain what they've done wrong, and they try and fob everyone off with made up b***s**t about programmes that people buy into because they don't understand. Ugh.
I couldn't agree more BH. There are a lot of people that think because they can select a typeface, change it's colour and print it out that they're a designer.
They then advertise themselves as designers and offer to create identities and stationery at ridiculously low prices that aren't worth working for!
These prices then attract the few clients that are out there, who think they're getting a great deal, potentially to be left with sub-standard work.

Grr! Muppets!
Same applies for web design as well, there are so many programs out that encourage amateurs to call themselves web designers, however I think they key is to focus on our own service offerings and eventually people see through the fakes.

We provide website design in milton keynes and surrounding areas, all you have to do is type that phrase into google and you can literally spot hundreds of people who really should not be designing websites.

It is frustrating though sometimes.
Indeed - I'm a member of a few other forums and this pops up every now and then. Most recently in one, an amateur posted some designs for critique and some rude (but ultimately correct) designers shot him down as if he was a clay pigeon at a firing range. Yes, he was being paid reasonably. No he wasn't able to produce good results.

I see nothing wrong with people learning. Even charging small amounts in the bit between 'stupid' and 'knowledgeable', but trying to pass themselves off as professional when they are nearer to being clueless is morally wrong and irritates the hell out of me.

I used to work in a printers and have also encountered many customers/clients like the ones you describe. Often I wished I could just say "if you can't do it... don't try! Pay those who already know how to." Though the boss wouldn't of been too happy, so we had to hand-hold until they eventually provide something we can work with.

Also, as kithappens points out, this happens with web design too. People with Dreamweaver think they can put together a properly designed site. Even if some of them manage, it's hardly ever coded correctly, aimed at the correct market, or fully functioning. Let alone being accessible.

So, in conclusion, well said Boss Hog :)

Your right, By No means do i consider myself a designer yet, although still an apprentice.

I was on that photoshop unnoficial forums and there were alot of people showcasing there designs that were apparently for customers, using the infamous font, "comic sans".

Not my cup of english anyway!

anyway head over to the critique part and see if im a fake haha

forget just about printing-wise. these days anyone with Dreamweaver and a Google Image Search thinks they can charge for websites!

i'm not kidding, the amount of times i've lost tenders because other "designers" are undercutting me is pathetic.

had a talk about this on another forum, where we all decided we wanted some sort of hold on who can jump in and start charging people for their "work".
What I love is that people wouldn't go to B&Q and buy bricks, cement, timber, tools etc and build a house without professional help or at least consulted professionals, yet they think because they own a copy of CS4 that they are sorted....

We get this all the time, if I had a pound for every A1 or larger poster we get asked to print from an image pulled off a website I'd be typing this in Hawaii.

I think as the price of computers bundled with 'design' software like powerpoint drops, sadly does the standard of artwork that comes through our doors. The secret is to catch them before they've put it together with a concise set of instructions on how to save their print ready files.

The problem is that these "so called designers" are making it VERY difficult for the professionals.

A lot of new businesses just starting out are not educated and are solely driven by price, I suspect that if a professional designer with a website and portfolio quoted £500 on a job and a "so called designer" new to the industry with no experience, no website or portfolio quoted £100, in 9 out of 10 cases the £100 quote would win (am I right or not?).

It must be very difficult for designers to secure work, I suspect when dealing with larger more established companies that it is a different kettle of fish, mainly down to the funds available to them and the fact that their brand is important to them.

It's the same in the print industry, price is the sole deal maker or deal breaker. A customer was interested in our Print Reseller Scheme today and mentioned that he was appauled at how a certain print company in Germany just didn't seem to care about their customers, bad customer service and terrible quality products 80% of the time were common, he asked me why I thought this was the case and didn't they care?

My response was that for every customer they dissapoint that doesn't use them again there are 20 more idiots that will, mainly due to the prices they offer, it doesn't matter how many bad things are written about the company most people will still give them a go, until people wake up nothing will change.
Nicely put BH...

I've been thinking of becoming a web designer...I've got Dreamweaver and I'm QUITE good at graphics...what do you think?

Nicely put BH...

I've been thinking of becoming a web designer...I've got Dreamweaver and I'm QUITE good at graphics...what do you think?

Go for it Paul, you have everything you need there...oh make sure you're charging 20p an hour! :icon_lol::icon_lol:
A while ago a client of mine rang me to say they'd seen one of my photos in a major UK magazine, two page spread (I won't mention any names obviously), I contacted the magazine and they sent a reply with a copy for me, the photo of mine was of a businessman walking a tightrope isolated on a white background, the magazine editors exact words were: "we took your photo and with a bit of photoshop wizardry put the guy walking across niagara falls"
I nearly fell of my chair when I saw the end result, the best way I can think that they got the result they did was to take a print of my photo, cut round it badly with a pair of blunt scissors and then use a pritt stick to stick it on a photo of niagara falls, I sent the reply "you might want to send your photoshop wizard back to Hogwarts because they've clearly left their magic wand in the classroom"
Hey all, hope your well. (first time poster)

The thing that gets me is people who are obviously brillant HTML coders calling themselves Web Designers.

I would call my self a Graphic Designer who knows how to use Dreamweaver and Flash a little, never a Web Designer, yet some of these Coders are creating Websites and breaking every design rule going! Everything from buttons in different sizes and shades of colour, to imagary not even lined up to any guides.

Come on! it may be the web but things are still allowed to look nice! aren't they?
I agree with whats been said completely. I started off as a webdesigner, i must have been about 12. Though i wouldnt say i was a webdesigner back then, just interested. I only ever made websites for my family, and looking at them now, they are still better than what i've seen people offer! I don't know if i'm allowed to link to a company that i remember from years ago, but i've just checked it again, and it's worse than what i remember. It's the most simplest page you could make, with hard to read text, tacky buttons, its invalid with so many errors, and they charge "£56" a site. I don't understad why people use services like that, it's cheap, but surely you would think the clients would be unhappy with what they get, either that or the clients they get know nothing. I've even just seen one of their clients sites, and at the bottom is the W3C valid image, and it's not valid at all!

All the time and money i've spent training, and i'm still training after 5 years, it really frustrates me how people like this get more business than people in the same posistion as me, and even fully trained freelancers!
The best one is when they order an A6 flyer, I send them a template and ask them to pass it on to their designer requesting a high res PDF with a 3mm bleed, only to receive back an A4 Word document with graphics nicked from google images and text so close to the edge you couldn't fit a needle!!...
Crack Copy Designers

We call them Crack Copy Designers, our inbox is full of them, promising the next big thing.

Thankfully we're in the print & die side of the trade, so we can see them coming & filter them off into the stewing pot.

That said, natural talent sometimes shines through and we try to encourage that, even if it's cracked!