Design Dilemma Archive

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Design Dilemma: Are You the Right Person for the Right Job?

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You show a prospective client your portfolio. They like it, hire you and the project starts. You deliver sketches and then, after everything is approved, the finished design.

The client then informs you the solution didn’t meet his/her “vision” and refuses all offers to adjust the work to meet his/her vision. Final payment and further contact from the client never happen.

April 16th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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Design Dilemma: I Want to Be a Designer but My Portfolio Is Heavy With Illustration

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You’re just out of art school and have no idea where to turn. There were no courses on professional practices or career planning. (Or maybe there were but you slept through them…) So, where to next? Does your portfolio speak for itself and say, “I want to be a designer”?

David F. writes: “I saw your recent post to Fiona and I find myself in a similar position, though with some key differences.” Differences? We love different problems! So, join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

March 19th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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Design Dilemma: Can I Fire My Client? (Again)

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It’s a popular question and one we covered at least once, but every story is different. How many ways can a design project go wrong, by accident or on purpose? Can I say it all starts with a contractual agreement in writing? Not often enough, I’m sad to report.

But let’s grab a few moments of schadenfreude at the expense of someone else’s career. Join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

March 4th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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Design Dilemma: How Do I Become a Designer?

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I get several messages with questions on how to become a designer every month from varied social media sources, as well as through the Design Dilemma email link (listed at the bottom of this article). That’s it. No details or background. They just want to have me write an email instructing them how to become web designers.

It’s not really an easy answer… and some people get really upset when I won’t engage them in long email explanations of the steps they can take. The simple answer of “enroll in art school” doesn’t seem to be the acceptable answer. I gather that through their curt salutations…

February 18th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma: Are You Confused About Your Career Options?

Design Dilemma: Are You Confused About Your Career Options?

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The design industry has many levels of involvement. Some think you can be a designer, an art director or a creative director and that’s it, but there are so many more positions that make design part of business. Some people are not cut out for actual designing but are brilliant in certain support roles that are just as important as being a hands-on designer, and just as satisfying at the end of the work day.

A message from a confused designer begs the question of where he fits into the scheme of things in the design industry. Perhaps this will answer his quandary. So join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

February 11th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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Design Dilemma: Is Freelance Design an Unprofitable Business?

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An interesting but really disturbing question came up the other day. I can’t help but feel it was timed for maximum 2014, new year, hope and fresh major depression. It was more a postulation than question, but was one of those biting truths that haunt you for a while.

Most of those who have written in with a design dilemma keep in touch with me, especially if their dilemma was an ongoing problem. One past participant was really pouring her heart out to me the other day. End of the year blues, when most people look at their income and expenses and wonder or dread what the new year will bring. Join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

January 20th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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Design Dilemma: What to Do When Your Ideas Aren’t Credited to You

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There were several letters this month that asked about problems with retaining credit for ideas people had, that were ultimately taken by or given to others. It’s actually a huge problem, especially for those who are creative (the “crazy ones” as Steve Jobs referred to us) and formulate the ideas. Of course, there are ways to stamp your name on your brain babies.

So, how do you retain credit for your ideas? Join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

January 9th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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Design Dilemma: A Client That Wants a Contract?

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Has the apocalypse come upon us? A client wants a contract and isn’t relying on the line, “you can trust me” … mostly because it’s a case of them not trusting you. Still, a contract is a contract.

Margaret A. writes: Hello, I have recently decided to start my own company. I had a whole load of ideas, but not the skills to put them to paper, so I am hiring an lllustrator. I am a very small business with no name and don’t know how copyright works. I was hoping that I could write out a contract stating that she cannot claim the designs are hers, how does this work?

Join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

December 30th, 2013 Posted in Design Dilemma
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Design Dilemma: What Is Too Rough When It Comes to Getting Paid?

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No one truly knows the exact reason people don’t want to pay for design work. Is there just some inner hatred for creatives? Were most clients the kids in school who told on us to the teacher because we were drawing in our notebooks, instead of taking notes on Algebra, which as we now know, is useful every waking moment of our lives?

Atara P. writes: “My dilemma is more of a question about a method that I used recently to get an unresponsive client to pay up, and if it’s a tactic that’s ok to use?” Sounds delicious and evil! Let’s all take a look, so join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

December 13th, 2013 Posted in Design Dilemma
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Design Dilemma: When You Just Can’t Do Anything Right

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Have you ever worked at a place where no matter what you do, whatever you design, or whatever you suggest, you’re wrong, but they don’t fire you? There’s a good reason why, and here are some funny (but odd) reasons, along with advice no one would think of to ease the tension.

An interesting email was sent to me from a young designer who is ready to quit design because her boss keeps putting down her design abilities, and it’s making her very depressed. It’s a very common problem in the design industry, so, join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

November 13th, 2013 Posted in Design Dilemma
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