And a Bag of Chips

by Feb 5, 2015

Consider the humble vending machine. A device of modern convenience that is at every strip mall, rest station, and break room. Operation is simple: you put in money, make your selection, and presto! Instant beverage and/or snack food. Granted, it is very rare that what you’re about to consume is any good for you. It was cheap and easily accessible, and that’s all you wanted. It fulfilled its purpose and is now of no use to you until you get hungry again. We can all agree that people are not machines. But with the instant gratification that comes with modern technology, sometimes it can slip one’s mind.

Commercial artists are sometimes treated like artsy vending machines that produce work at the push of a button (money deposited later). But the expectation is something far beyond junk food quality work. It’s expected that for the price of a bag of chips, customers get a three course meal served on nice china and a table cloth. This is unrealistic. The adage “you get what you pay for” applies to designers in this situation. I’ve already discussed the issue of money, where the best work is worth paying for based on the skills and merits of the designer involved. Doing some research is worth the extra effort if you want to have the best work produced for your project’s needs. But it isn’t just about money. It’s also about time involved.

If you emailed your designer with a proposal for a project and you need it by say tomorrow, your designer is under all the pressure. Poor planning on one party’s part doesn’t constitute an emergency on the other party. Allowing enough time and consideration for the creative process is essential for any professional relationship. People aren’t machines that will always produce at the push of a button. In fact, your designer should push back and tell you no.

Even the most senior of designers have mental blocks. Some days are complete “off” days, where no idea seems right. There’s a deadline looming on the calendar, emails are starting are flooding the inbox, and nothing looks good enough to present to a client. This comes with the territory of being human. The best work takes time and exercising a little patience is always a good thing.