What Designers Do and Don't Want You to Know About Deadlines

Jeremy Tuber

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Deadlines are a part of business, particularly in the business of design. Clients often approach me in the 11th hour, expecting a miracle. The truth is, while accomplished designers can create extraordinary artwork in a shorten amount of time, it's more advantageous for business owners to afford the designer ample time to go through her/his creative process. Sure, I can pull some rabbits out of my hat and work some minor miracles, but you'll get some much more out of your investment if you allow ample time.

Good design, like Rome, was never and shouldn't be created in a day.

The amount of time needed by a designer to work through the creative process depends on a number of factors; some are more measurable than others. As a general rule, the more creative energy and thought that a project requires, the more time a designer needs to create a lasting, imaginative, and effectual piece of artwork. What this means is that your periodic web site updates will require much less creative “juice" than creating an entirely new business identity. Some projects are more routine than creative, the more routine they are, the faster they can be done (most of the time). Ideally, I'd like to have at least 2 days on a project.

Secondly , the scope and size of the project also has a direct bearing on the time needed to complete a project. Projects with smaller project scopes naturally adapt better to a compressed time frame - they are smaller. So if you have a project that is small in scope or if it requires more doing than thinking, you might be in luck. Projects that are both lengthy and creative in nature should be given ample time to conceptualize and design.

Short + routine = speed.

Lengthy + lots of creativity = time.

In a perfect world, business owners and designers would have all the time they need to collaborate and complete a project. But the real world often doesn't work out that way, and experienced designers know it. Tight deadlines are a part of everyday business but designers often charge rush fees, which can range from 1.5 to 3X her/his normal rate, so you'll want to avoid them whenever possible.

Here are a couple of things you can do to save yourself money and maximize your design investment:

  • Contact the designer early on in the planning phase of the project, find

    out what his/her workload is like

  • Ask how much time he/she will need to complete the project
  • When you are ready to move forward try to give the designer as much time

    as you can to complete the project

  • Ensure your notes, ideas, content, graphics, etc are clear and organized
  • Make yourself available to the designer for questions and feedback, you'll want to keep them ontrack and moving forward with your project
  • Jeremy Tuber runs the only business savvy graphic design firm who helps companies build more confidence and credibility into their business identities. He is an atypical designer with a passion for marketing as well as design. Jeremy infuses solid marketing expertise into design projects that he guarantees to bring satisfaction and results. Clients often remark that he brings a terrific enthusiasm and a “can do" attitude to each project. In 1st quarter 2006, he will introduce his first book aimed at helping aspiring artists run a more profitable and more enjoyable design business called, “Being a Starving Artist Sucks".

    Learn more about Jeremy and how you can gain a competitive advantage with a better brand by visiting http://www.candographics.com


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