Design Dilemma - Page 2

Design questions and concerns from our community, answered by our resident expert.

Design Dilemma: Working for Foreign Clients
Design Dilemma / 14 Aug 2014

Design Dilemma: Working for Foreign Clients

When the internet allowed people to live and work remotely, it trumped FedEx’s overnight delivery with instant delivery. Skype and other messenger apps allowed us to speak with people all over the world and opened markets for clients anywhere. Still, the differences in national culture and language can be a problem for some people.

What do non-American clients and creatives think of us? All they hear are complaints about non-payment, demands for free work and scope creep from here to the moon. They must think we’re a nation of cheats and scammers. Are clients in other nations different? How do they handle business and creatives? So, book a flight to knowledge and wonder by joining us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the entire world of design.

Design Dilemma: Why Do Clients Love Bad Design?
Design Dilemma / 6 Aug 2014

Design Dilemma: Why Do Clients Love Bad Design?

It’s the bane of every creative. Why is it that clients seem to love bad design? Out of all the concepts presented to a client, why does almost every designer complain their “worst concept” is the one inevitably chosen by the client?

The dilemma “Cathy” has is a frustration with what she sees as mediocre designs around her at her job, as well as those chosen in design contests she enters (yes, we’ll cover the problem with design contests later on). So, join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design.

Design Dilemma: Using a Humorous Client Sales Pitch
Design Dilemma / 23 Jul 2014

Design Dilemma: Using a Humorous Client Sales Pitch

“How do I find clients?” is the question I get the most from beginners, as well as experienced professionals (finding work is tough these days and getting harder for freelancers).

There are certainly steps one can take but, having received this message addressed to me via the Design Dilemma email account, I had to read it to see if there was a question attached. There wasn’t, but “Bob’s” plea presented an interesting conundrum — by being “humorous” did “Bob” show his human side in hopes that someone would want to work with him or should he have made a serious sales pitch, spotlighting his past work and abilities? Let’s take a closer look.

Design Dilemma: The Changing Mind of a Client
Design Dilemma / 16 Jul 2014

Design Dilemma: The Changing Mind of a Client

Most people second guess everything they do. When it comes to design, clients usually don’t understand the process. Without guidelines of how you work on a project, you can bet they’ll have their own ideas on what you will do because they are paying you.

It’s an easy fix, but it has to be done from the moment you say “hello!” to the client. Laying down rules after the project has commenced will be met with surprize and misunderstandings between you and your client, so, join us as we delve into another shocking Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design.

Design Dilemma: Screwed by Art School
Design Dilemma / 25 Jun 2014

Design Dilemma: Screwed by Art School

Oh, my! Another complaint that an art school didn’t truly prepare a student to succeed in the outside world. For the serious student, too young and inexperienced to know what courses will strengthen their career chances and choices, a bad art school is a huge mistake. Today’s dilemma involves one of those people. What can you do when you wake up years after graduating and realize your degree isn’t offering the value you hoped it would?

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

Design Dilemma: Who Owns My Design?
Design Dilemma / 3 Jun 2014

Design Dilemma: Who Owns My Design?

Our designs are our babies, otherwise we wouldn’t care how clients change them. So, every now and then, the question arises between designer and client as to who owns the files and rights to a design you’ve done.

This time around Case: 123ABC sent a question about retail signage he did. The client wants to be able to own and modify it at will (without him), but he’s afraid it will look horrible and reflect badly upon his professional reputation. Naturally, the client doesn’t want to pay to buy all rights to the design… or do they already own it? Join us as we delve into another mistake-laden Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design.

Design Dilemma: Lots of the Wrong Experience
Design Dilemma / 13 May 2014

Design Dilemma: Lots of the Wrong Experience

Case: 11357 (we’re now not even using people’s initials because it’s a widely-read blog and we don’t want to cause trouble for anyone… except problem clients) wrote, asking for advice because he switched careers later in life and now wants to break into design.

He’s having a hard time finding a position and doesn’t know what to do. I could give him advice that will dash his hopes and ruin his life… or help him. This isn’t such an easy dilemma. So, join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design

Design Dilemma: The New Designer in Town
Design Dilemma / 8 May 2014

Design Dilemma: The New Designer in Town

This one just came in from Case: 292PLUTO-X (remember, we’re using case numbers instead of names or initials now). He’s a young recent graduate who moved to the big city (Seattle, which is a big tech center) and is confused about doing print vs. digital and wants to know which to pursue (both, of course, but more digital in Seattle) and how can he make connections to find a job.

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

Design Dilemma: Afraid to Start One’s Career
Design Dilemma / 23 Apr 2014

Design Dilemma: Afraid to Start One’s Career

When I receive a message, asking for help with a dilemma, I try to research the person’s background first. If they have an online portfolio, I check their work samples. If they have a LinkedIn profile, I look at their experience. It’s the best way to offer advice that’s not below their experience level, and avoid coming across as insulting.

Unfortunately, sometimes what I find is disappointing and shocking. It’s the same feeling one gets when you find a 1960s Playboy magazine at a flea market and you realize the centerfold is your grandmother.

Design Dilemma: Are You the Right Person for the Right Job?
Design Dilemma / 16 Apr 2014

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

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.

Design Dilemma: I Want to Be a Designer but My Portfolio Is Heavy With Illustration
Design Dilemma / 19 Mar 2014

Design Dilemma: I Want to Be a Designer but My Portfolio Is Heavy With Illustration

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…

Design Dilemma: Can I Fire My Client? (Again)
Design Dilemma / 4 Mar 2014

Design Dilemma: Can I Fire My Client? (Again)

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…