In my last post, I wanted to highlight that in many cases I’ve seen websites and print marketing done by individuals and small companies without hiring a professional designer. In various group discussions on LinkedIn, artists from all over are commenting with their experiences. In these comments, some artists have brought up a few very important points, which I’m going to pass on now.
As designers, many times, friends and family ask us to “help them out” with a project. Depending on who this is and the scope of the project, we may decide to help. One artist reported that after creating various materials for a friend and gratis of course, the friend didn’t use any of them and instead got a family member who just happened to have a computer and “Word” & “Photoshop” to create something.
Now, I suppose the big question here is, why wouldn’t you use the materials created by the professional designer, and instead use the amateurish piece by the family member. Instead of using a professional printing company, it was printed out on their home printer. The end result did not look professional. Secondly, wouldn’t the friend realize how rude that was, after asking the professional to invest time and effort in the project.
In addition, they have said that it always seems to be the non-paying, non-profit clients who they’re “helping out” who send the most changes or edits. It’s interesting how when someone has to pay, they understand the rules a bit better.
Clients change their look and their logos. As artists we understand this, we do as well. I had changed my company logo a few times over the years, until I settled on the (sndi) I have now and the current color palette. I also previously wrote about how I changed this (i-tees) site into a blog, and I’m sure at some point, I’ll change the look again.
One thing an artist just reminded me of, is when you’ve created a wonderful website for someone and they seemed to be very happy with it… then a short time later it has been replaced with a totally different design. The most important part to remember, is not to be too disappointed. With the web, this is bound to happen, hopefully not often, but face it, it will. I suppose what bothers us most, is that it happened and the client didn’t tell us or come back to us for the new design. We wonder about whether they really liked the original or just said they did, so they’d have the site up, (urgency again, content over design and style) who knows? I always wonder about this. I remember a magazine site I did a few years ago, and about one year later there was a new site up. It didn’t really have any new features, or e-commerce, it just had a different look.
It’s also important to realize that if they do create a new website with new features, they may not realize you can do what they want. Always be sure that your clients know about all your capabilities. I have a current client who’s website I update and he never knew I designed books, good thing I mentioned this, and was able to design his book cover.
What you need to do, is check all the links you’re featuring on your portfolio website, perhaps once a month. I sometimes forget to do this, but will this week. You don’t want to have an image or link up and a potential client goes to see it, and it’s a different site. I’ve also had sites disappear or go down for one reason or another. So be sure to update your portfolio and site often.