Do colleges and universities really prepare you for life as a Designer?
There are some great teachers across the length and breadth of the country, no doubt, and they are doing their best to get you through your exams and arm you for the real world.
There’s no denying that a well-equipped Design department is also a great place for you to access hardware and software that you maybe, otherwise, couldn’t afford to buy for yourself. Likewise, uni is a great place to learn new skills and best practice from your peers – which is invaluable, given that the Designer’s profession can often be a fairly solitary one.
And, don’t forget, you still get student discounts on your Creative Cloud. Just saying.
But, it seems, unless you are working on real briefs from real clients, with a real danger of rejection, you aren’t getting the full Designer experience.
From shifting deadlines, to ever-changing briefs, to client feedback and design by committee, does anything ever really prepare you for #ADesignersLife?
#1 Artistic differences
Every designer thinks they’re the best – right? Of course, that’s a matter of opinion…
#2 The client knows best
You know that saying: the customer is always right? Sure you do. In fact, most designers quickly find out there’s no accounting for lack of taste when it comes to client management.
#3 Team work makes the dream work
… or so they say. If design isn’t a democratic process, then why is there a committee overseeing every project you do?
#4 It’s going to be a late one
Unlike Dolly Parton, there’s no working 9 – 5 for designers – unless it’s 9pm – 5 am.
#5 Crash test dummies
Even the most powerful computer in the world will struggle to run three Creative Cloud programmes at the same time.
#6 Word up!
Hunting down images, logos and fonts from clients can take a while. In fact, you might have to wait a decade or two. Then, when they finally arrive, you’ll often receive them in an unworkable format.
#7 It’s not an idea(l) situation
There’s nothing more frustrating that floating a brilliant idea, having it batted back by the client, only for them to present it back to you a month later as their own.
#8 Shifting deadlines
For designers, deadlines change more regularly than the British weather. One minute it’s sunny, the next… you’re pulling an all-nighter.
#9 How much do you charge?
You might be the best designer on the planet, but some customers will make it about budget. Be prepared. They’ll always know ‘a mate who will do it cheaper’.
#10 But, then, the reason we do it is…
Over to you…
Somethings can only be experienced in the workplace – just ask any designer. Do you agree with our list? Do you need to vent your own experiences? Then you can do so over at our Facebook page.