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The Harsh Truth About Life as a Designer

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Life as a designer is great right? You spend the day doing what you love, producing creative design material for big name brands and seeing your work being admired around the town in the form of ads, leaflets or even as a website. People hire you for your experienced knowledge of white space, composition, typography and colour theory, then put the image of their company entirely in your hands to work your magic and put the years of training into practice. In reality things often don’t go quite smoothly, here are 5 comedy videos that show the harsh truth about real life as a designer.

It’s all about the impact

This video from Agency Fusion taps into the experiences of almost every designer and turns the old ‘client – designer debate’ into a hilarious spoof product ad. Thankfully these goods aren’t available for real!

You have to please everyone

This parody covers the process of redesigning the stop sign, but with a comedy twist when the client gives their input and continually adds new requirements to the brief.

The designer just doesn’t understand

Paul Boag highlights 10 things a web designer would never tell you in his talk at BathCamp, a tongue-in-cheek guide for website owners to rein in their designer to make sure the project is done right!

White space is a waste of space

This classic video shows what would happen if Microsoft designed the Apple iPod packaging. The result is an explosion of starbursts, colour and information typical of any marketing department’s brief.

What they say isn’t what they mean

Finally this video documents the story of how a marketing campaign is made, but with the twist that everyone says what they really think.

We love it really!

Ok, so these videos are all exaggerated just a litte, but they all tap into the experiences faced by designers on a regular basis. If every client offered full creative freedom and agreed with your every point, what would we have to moan about?!
What are your favourite client stories?

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Written by Chris Spooner

Chris Spooner is a designer who loves experimenting with new web design techniques collating creative website designs. Check out Chris' design tutorials and articles at Blog.SpoonGraphics or follow his daily findings on Twitter.

31 Comments

  1. JohnONolan says:

    Awsome roundup of videos Chris, unfortunately.. they’re all rather accurate!

  2. Jannis says:

    Very funny stuff..

  3. Karl says:

    Hehe, got a good laugh out of this. Thanks Chris.
    I’d have to agree with the previous comments, though. They’re unfortunately quite accurate. And that’s sad. But still, that aside, a rather good start to my day.
    Thanks again!

  4. Adam says:

    Great stuff here. The college I work for has this campaign where they spell the name of the school, one letter at a time, across the chests of brightly colored shirts worn by students. It’s so camp and makes the school (which is actually quite good) look like a pre-school level performer.

    Every time I bring up that we should reconsider and try something a little less “Over the Rainbow” I’m always told the president likes it and prospective students love lots of colors.

    I could shoot myself every time I drive by one of those billboards. In fact, when people ask where I work…I always add the qualifier that I wasn’t responsible for those ads.

  5. James says:

    Great first few posts! Added to the Rss feed and looking forward to future articles. I do hope however that you will still update Spoon still!

  6. These are HILARIOUS!
    Thanks for the great content and the great new site!

  7. Petey Boy says:

    That is hilarious. I sent this link to my friend and she said they sing this song at work all day:
    http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/25424/01%20Make%20the%20Logo%20Bigger.mp3

  8. Freelancer says:

    :D:D:D Very nice sellection!

    I’d add The 36 Point How To Be a Freelance Designer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt2Zr7W6t6I

  9. Wade Jackman says:

    Great way to start off the new blog! Hilarious videos!

  10. Kieran says:

    These are great! :-)

  11. I want to send this to my clients SOOO BAD!

    Chris, you said they are exaggerated a little? How is it exaggerated?

    It is so real, it hurts.

  12. Ben says:

    I totally missed this. Great collection of videos, twitter’d and delicious’d it!

  13. Jeff says:

    Everytime after I have a client discussion, I end up at this post.

    This is pure gold…

  14. Mark says:

    So true and so funny!

    Thanks for these – made my evening :D

  15. Anraiki says:

    The 1st and 2nd video are the best.

    I can really relate to it with many clients telling me to change it that way, change it this way, ect ect.

    I finally steeped up by charging a “revision fee”, this will lower my stress in work and the quantity ask to do some revisions :)

  16. Harry says:

    Well it is just a part of the whole game.Who lets you play with hardwired perceptions and that too through the means of designing websites for them? No one !!!

  17. Bustor says:

    Sometimes we design for people who don’t know what they want.They keep on their “creativity excursion” gun on our shoulders and ask for things which get funny many times.The videos say this,very true !

  18. Don says:

    Very funny for designers as they know how to fill it up with colors and sell it as an attractive piece of art.I feel the fun was really unintended but came very naturally :)

  19. Garry says:

    Fun is what we fill up with colors humor and present as unique but usual too!! The videos give an “open window in our pathetic worlds” :) I can say this as I am one of them. I bet the videos have been made by designers themselves :)

  20. Jamesh says:

    Thanks for that great post!

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