Archived entries for Professionalism


Since leaving the Comfortable Tyranny of Full Employment©, I’ve worked with a lot of local entrepreneurs; clients not all that dissimilar to myself. I enjoy working with sole propreitors quite a bit. They tend to be more connected to their work; they tend to be engaged and generally passionate about what they do. Our design outcomes are based on one-on-one decisions made between two rational adults rather than some unending chain of committee and stakeholder meetings that never really settle anything other than to have another meeting later. Working relationships feel more compatible when both client and designer exercise the agency and diplomacy that comes with shared responsibility. This holds true for the local creatives I’ve hired or shown with as well. There’s a general sense of ease and hometown comraderie that comes from working with your neighbors and peers.
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Eleven Months Later

Completely by chance, this post comes exactly 11 months to the day after the last one.

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Any Which Way But Up

One of the most frequent questions new or student designers have is how to get paid work. So much of the time, they’ve tried applying to a studio like a ‘normal’ sort of office job and gotten nowhere. They feel like they have enough school and skill under their belt to get something, anything, remotely related to working in design, but more often, they’re confused why this isn’t proving enough.
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Design Philosophy 1

Design contains participants that run the gamut of pure production on one end and critical academia on the other. With no professional standards or barriers to entry the result is an infinite array of artifacts similarly functional-to-forgettable, beautiful-to-hyperpostconceptual committed by both master and apprentice under the vague, grey headercard of “Design”. Even as the ‘discipline of problem solving’, one problem it has yet to solve is finding itself a capable definition.
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What do you do?

Are you a designer?
Well, no, everyone is a designer these days.
Are you a Creative?
I am a creative, but that makes me sound like I sell jewelry on Etsy.
Are you a creative professional?
Sure, but that’s more like what we call our agency’s billing person.
But isn’t the job just “Graphic Designer”?
Yeah, but I do a lot of web too so….
So you’re a web designer?
But that’s not all I do. And I really don’t want to get pigeon-holed as a code-guy.
Does that make you a ‘Webmaster’ then?
No one’s called it that in a long time. It’s more like Front-end Developer.
So you’re a front-end developer then?
Sometimes. I guess. But I do identity work and, like magazines and packaging too.
So you’re a designer?

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