Posted Tuesday, November 30, 2004
This article talks about Graphic designers, their work and their living. As a graphic designer myself, I know the benefit of regular studio work, the sort of work that keeps the studio alive, not the most exciting, usually referred to, in designer’s terms, as ‘bread and butter’ work.
In the Graphics world bread and butter work takes the form of regular, heads down, non-award winning briefs: a daily stats sheet, the club newsletter, the monthly report, stationery updates, shopping mall news papers and prices catalogues, with all the weekly bargains.
These are just a few examples of what keeps us in business; we also love to pass this work on to the junior or the ‘newby’; regular work that brings in probably 80% of the years income, for an average design studio. These jobs are quickly finished, mindless at best, and are able to be billed and paid within 30 days. The bread and butter job doesn’t just exist in the ‘offline’ world, as many of my fellow designers have found with the introduction of the Internet.
Though websites are becoming smarter many graphic designers are becoming aware how to control and create them. As with the introduction of the computer to the design world, everyone became an instant designer, “give me a computer and I will design my own leaflets”, said businessmen. That lasted about a year, when graphic designers started to take back the banner and the businessman became a client again. You can only take so many identical leaflets. The graphic designer has now become the new ‘web designer’. Web graphic programs have evolved from web editors, they are easier to use, with web support software and technical help plentiful. This leaves the creative spirit as the only inconstant, ‘once again’.
Graphic designers are producing master pieces, all they had to do was learn about the ‘medium’, in this case, the Internet, Web, software, programming, and more. Once the technical side had been mastered (these days you don’t have to be a main-framer), the creativity took over, as a new artist introduced to oil paints, watercolour, wood, metal, coke cans, urinals, and six inch nails, for the very first time.
Masterpieces have come and gone, and now the Graphics and Web design worlds are looking very similar. You still very much get the chance to shine, that 20% of studio work may still win you awards, and the 80% will still pay for the electricity, rent, pub lunches, the Friday beers, the accountant and the cleaner.
Growth! Your studio has blue chip Graphic designers working on the 20%; trainee Graphic Designers and juniors working on the 80% bread and butter; you now have an extension built on to the studio for the second design team. Your blue chip Web designers working on the 20% web designs; and the web designer trainees and juniors updating data, adjusting editorial, correcting web pages, fixing broken links and uploading new graphics.
With the right web hosting partner, offering your studio the correct amount of bandwidth and webspace, with a fast access, you will be able to knock out web ‘bread and butter’ work at a pace and at a price that will allow you to retain your happy, regular, web clients.
With one account, password access to different domains, and 24/7 access, you can have your studio complete and all work kept in-house. Your trainee or junior can download a web page, correct a mistake, update prices or figures, change a graphic, then upload again, ready for viewing, in minutes.
Imagine your 60 bread and butter offline clients, matched in the studio by 60 online bread and butter clients. That’s a lot of bread and butter.
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BA Hons Graphics (LCP, London, UK)
Director, M6.net, Web Hosting
About the Author
Tina Bhole Sales, M6.net (http://www.m6.net)