Editorial: My worst client
So it’s that time again. A wavy client brief. No budget, realistic expectations or obvious direction. The client basically wants the whole works, branding, website, stationery, and a well thought out marketing push. Only one difference. That cheerful, slightly weird looking client is me. And it’s not the first time I’ve set this ‘brief’. We have been here before. Many times.
Now this should be one of those clients we dream about, it’s me after all. I already understand die-cutting, swiss grids and the value of investing in the print process. But why can I never get to the end of this brief? What’s a brand that changes so frequently saying to the world? Inconsistent, scatty, short term or unfaithful? I tweak my website so much that it has become an amusing game for the two people who regularly visit it. One week my business cards are plastic, the next they are hand-made with cheap do-it yourself stamps. And of course each with a different symbol, element, kerning and web address.
But isn’t that meant to be the fun bit? Isn’t that the bit that makes the journey worth taking? Those hours that flew-by, those Friday nights glued to a screen in a dark room, constantly bookmarking pages of tactile print processes.
The second you sign-off on your own brief, aren’t we just ending the journey early? If you are a freelancer your identity is probably the only client you will get to work on your whole life. It’s one you initiate, you apply and you control its reach. You can’t wriggle around sloppy end products by blaming the clients budget limitations or poor application. You can't avoid placing it in your portfolio when the job IS your portfolio.
There are no excuses. No ways out. Just a statement about who you are, how you work and how seriously you take it. All on one tiny card. The journey never ends. Or it shouldn’t anyway. Our job is to enjoy the ride. It never has a final closing invoice.
Oh and remember you’re a better designer in your head.
One of the reasons why we have created the COLLECTIVE in the way we have is to help with this problem. To give creatives a space to upload their work from across a range of disciplines. Not everyone has the time, energy or skill to create a portfolio site that is well presented and easy to navigate, but everyone needs a space online to call their own. Unlike any other network, creatives who work across a range of disciplines can upload all of their work to one space, whether written audio, video or still.
Successful applicants who join the COLLECTIVE are given an online portfolio space for free with a handy short URL which they can call their own. Just choose your user name wisely as your URL will be c-a-n.co/username.
Apply for a COLLECTIVE invite here.
- Image credit: heydays.no