Popular Lies About Graphic Design
While you may protest otherwise to family members and those not in the industry, it’s a harsh pill to swallow. But we should gel this out of the way early on so as to better establish our stage.
Here’s the thing about jobs as the vast majority of working people understand them. Monday morning rolls around. You get up, you go to your place of work and complete tasks for a set amount of hours— usually in the region of eight hours a day / forty hours a week—and on Friday afternoons you go home and forget all about it. In exchange, you are given a pre- negotiated salary paid in regular (usually monthly or similar) increments. If at any point you are required to work late, it’s usually a given that you will be awarded more money as recompense in the form of overtime—usually to the tune of 1.5 to 2 times your usual hourly rate. Its a system that has worked very well for a lot of people for a long time. Roughly 99% of the population since the industrial revolution.
As a designer, you choose to step outside of this well trodden model. You will not have the luxury of set hours. Guideline hours yes, but set hours? Please.! You won’t even have the luxury of weekends, some of the time.
And the very second you sign the page that comes with your shiny new contract saying how you ‘waive the right to overtime’ and are happy to ‘work whatever hours are required of you in order to complete a project,’ that scratch of pen on paper is the sound of you admitting that you don’t have a proper job. If you go freelance, it gets even worse as you’re not even guaranteed to get paid at all; but that’s another story.
It’s not a situation one can nurture for long and ultimately is something that, as you grow older, will becomes less and less appealing—that is, if you don’t burn out first. Design is a young person’s industry, by and large. That’s not to say it favours the young as such, or that younger people are any better equipped to complete the tasks required of them; it’s simply an industry that is happy to mine their enthusiasm and energy. And with some 10,000′ students a year (in the UK alone) leaving colleges and universities with qualifications in design, it’s not exactly a natural resource that is in short supply either. As for the older practitioners, they tend to remove themselves from this equation or move into more managerial roles that don’t require this same commitment of hours or constant creative input and screen time.
Graphic Design is not a proper job. Being a front- line, down in the trenches designer is a lifestyle choice, and one that you can probably hang onto for about twenty years at most. So make the most of it.
- Title: Popular Lies About Graphic Design
- Author: Craig Ward
- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Actar (January 21, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8415391358
- ISBN-13: 978-8415391357
- Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 4.8 x 6.7 inches