Thursday, September 08, 2005

Respect for the designers

Reading today my Communication Arts issue (September October) I found an article by Neil French titled: "Be Polite, Nod Your Head, and Keep Out of My Way", where French gives agencies advice for dealing with junior clients.

Putting on a side the title; too harsh for my taste, and the fact that the article is directed to advertising agencies, I found a great similitude between the situations that are describe in it and the ones I’ve been living (if not suffering) for the past seven years.

Without getting into the content of this article, two points on it called my attention probably because of how many times I’ve seen them happening at the companies I’ve worked for.

1. The first one is the concept of “submitting a project”.
Neil French says: “If ever there was a word designed specifically for the purpose of getting work rejected, that must be it.”

Since big part of the latest strategies to get new clients has been submitting proposals and participating on concourses; where several studios or agencies compete for the account, and developing if not the total campaign at least big part of it free of charge, clients have become used to the idea of receiving submissions in the form of finalized comps, developed ideas and complete projects that are understood as free goodies, most of the time to be rejected.

2. The second is the concept “serving the client”.

French says: “Servants are useful but not essential, can be changed at will, and treated with condescension or brutality, according to whim. They are not the folk you turn for advise, or help in adversity. And you take care of pay them as little as possible”.

Not surprise some clients never pay for the projects we developed for them.

Think what you want, do what you think… some of us still hope this profession will get the respect that deserves.

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