Basic Design Work


I never understand why potential clients insist on using the term “basic design work”, when opening discussions with me about undertaking their project.

When I see that phrase, I’m always tempted to ask them to define basic design work. How, I wonder, does basic design work differ from design? Do they think that it’s less time consuming, so will be quicker to produce, and cost them less?

Have they never seen the Speed, Quality, Price triangle? Only two of these items can be chosen at any given time. Matching all three is impossible. So it’s up to them to decide where, exactly, their priorities lie.

In addition, the use of this phrase is frankly offensive. I don’t walk in my dentist and say that I want some basic dental care done. Or take my car to a garage and request for some basic motor maintenance to be carried out on it.

Business owners need to recognise the essential role that design, and designers, – from all creative fields – play in helping to shape their companies, their products and their services. Design is not an afterthought. Designers aren’t there to fluff-up their mediocre ideas. I analyse, research, explore, and consider. I question, review, amend, and even discard. All in my quest to meet and surpass the project brief.

When you decide to hire a designer, you should view that decision as an investment. We’re a valuable creative asset. We have skills that you don’t, but need in order to make your venture succeed. So start acting like the professional, that you declare to be, and stop talking about basic design work.

There is no such thing.

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