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Graphic Design...there's so much to learn
Wednesday, 5 April 2006

Topic: Freelance VS Fulltime
With the insurgence of high end affordable computers everyone can be an artist or a designer. I don't know if that's entirely true.
I think you need the creative drive, plenty of imagination and you have to instinctively know what looks good or you've wasted alot of time.
I have seen alot of amateur art, some of it is wonderful, inventful and surprising and most perhaps let's just say not to my taste.
Well that's just is suggestive, personal, and only serves for appreciation, to deliver concepts or ideas and in rare cases can be applied for commercial use if marketed properly.
However design is art with a purpose. Used as a vehicle to transport ideas, illustrate concepts and convey information on a much different level than art in let's say a gallery setting.
You as the manufacturer, retailer or consumer decide if you prefer the mac truck, rolls royce, or the renaud and purchase accordingly.
This is one of the opposing situations that freelancers face today and I personally find it frustrating to see first hand examples like this...Your company needs a new corporate image and product branding. Like most companies trying to save some time and money you hire someone's son or daughter or use someone inhouse who knows how to use a computer and may have done some desktop publishing or perhaps web design. Yes I'm sure they could come up with something that's eye pleasing and inexpensive but ask yourself these questions. Will it be original? Will it be a mass culmination of available free clipart and photos? How many times will you have to go back and forth untill you finally get what you want? Will they do the necessary research? Will they guide you in the right direction if you don't know what you want? Will they be able to offer you alternative choices, options and budjet problem solving solutions? Will the designs grow with the company? Will it apply to all your markets and products? Will it be consistent throughout various types of media applications? Will it be prepared correctly for a commercial printer?
The point I'm trying to make is in the long run you are not really saving time or money nor are you really getting what your company wants. Let's face the facts there will always be someone who will do the job for less and there will always be the professional freelancer or studio that charges way too much. The only thing that anyone can count on is death and taxes.
An established freelancer or studio can really answer these questions and quell these fears. Unfortunately todays inhouse graphic designer(with 1-2 yrs of job experience)may not be able to due to becoming specialized by working in certain fields or for specific companies.
A inhouse graphic designer's shelf life is maybe 3-5 years with limited overall work experience...then what? (I'll talk about building a well rounded portfolio in another blog).
A well established freelancer or studio's shelf life is indefinite and their body of work, knowledge and experience can be insurmountable.

Posted by eclipsgraphics at 12:06 PM EDT

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