Bring it on!

01Oct09

So I’m in about week 4 in search of gainful employment. Though I’m not without some inquiry about portfolio or salary expectations, no interview request has come into play yet. I’m sending out a resume once a day at the very least and scouring the internet for possible companies to work for. I’ve sent out a few broadcast ones even when the company did not have a position available but I haven’t heard anything yet. This is to be expected as the job market (in particularly design) is tough. I’m keeping a positive attitude though – it could be worse!

I’m glad I’m in school, otherwise I would climb ze walls! Yesterday, I finished my first essay in Communications! I haven’t written an essay for University in almost 10 years! **SHUDDER**. I also got into a mini debate with someone on Linkedin about using a graphic designer for their business cards.

It started off innocently – A lawyer post a question:

I’m looking for a graphic designer to help me design a new business card. Any thoughts….??

This was the first ‘response’ posted:

Save your money and use Microsoft Office templates, there are hundrerds of designs. Print them out yourself with any paper stock you can buy at a place like Office Depot. It will cost you 50 bucks…. learned this lesson after spending 800 and it was a waste of money. By the way, your e-mail address banner is almost more important than a biz card these days.

As a graphic designer and communicator – I was PISSED! I’m not one to turn a challenge away. To top it off – I checked out the poster’s profile… He’s a recruiter for Advertising and Marketing! How is that even possible and then spew that sort of ‘advice’? When his whole career aspiration is to find employment for people in my field? My assumption on this guy is that he paid to have his business card with brand identity etc and he expected a flood of calls coming in from the business card…and when that didn’t happen he blamed it on the designer. Or that maybe he just didn’t have a good relationship with someone to help market his brand.

Of course, like I said I’m not one to turn away from a challenge! Here is my response:

huh? use “microsoft office templates” that’s fresh. Just be like everyone else who’s offering the same service and note: look cheap because you can’t be bothered to hire a professional.

In my experience (and I’ve designed business cards for law offices), a distinct brand and design sets you apart from your competition. Your ‘brand’ is important as you need to offer something your competition doesn’t. Why would you want your card to look like the someone else who used ‘microsoft’ office? It can be anyone using it – there is not distinction of what services you offer and you can be just like everyone else.

Not everyone searches the internet for contacts or an organisation, while it is very important to have a web presence… it should be part of your overall strategy to gain clientele; a beautifully designed card with your brand will set yourself higher than the people who use “microsoft office templates”.

I don’t go on Linkidin very often … well in particular to question/answer portion. I was glad that so many people backed me up and commented “I agree with K”. It is very refreshing to see people in my field back me up…and even people who weren’t in my field agree with my assessment. It’s unbelievable being in this profession and have to run into this sort of attitude thinking.

It’s unfortunate because anyone who has a ‘template’ or uses microsoft word … thinks of themselves as a ‘designer’. Design is much more than making things ‘pretty’. The price may seems steep … but it is small price to pay to establish a brand identity. You need to make a mark in the world, set yourself separate from your competition and make yourself noticed. I had clients balk a bit at my freelance price…but in the end….they come back and say “wow – I’m so glad you did our identity….we’ve received so many compliments etc” If you are using a Microsoft template – What is there to separate you from any other profession who may be using this same template?

Anywho – that was my excitement for the day 🙂 Off to more job hunting I go!


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