Good things come to those who wait!

Deadlines are everywhere for a graphic designer. Due dates for proofs and final projects are crucial components of good time management, but how much is sacrificed in terms of work quality when designs are needed within just days of their request? Well, this will obviously vary from person to person. Even though I know I’m good at working under strict guidelines, I also know that the quality of my work will suffer. I feel that I’m at a point as a designer where I would vastly prefer more time spent on a quality product than a quick and easy one that turns out alright. It’s not necessarily that I was never focused on the details of each piece, but rather that now I want to make sure I take the time to do things right.

The tiny details of a piece are what had attracted me to design in the first place. Ever since I was creating signatures on obscure, dorky internet forums, I loved getting lost in making sure that every detail of every piece was accounted for. Frankly, I don’t really get to do that much lately. Either there is too much going on for me to spend as much time as I’d like on everything, or everything has a ridiculous turnaround time and needs to be spit out ASAP.

One way that I try to ensure I have adequate time on my freelance work is through pricing. If someone needs something done in less than two weeks, they’re getting a fee added. This is a bit tricky, though. You don’t want people to feel like they’re getting bamboozled or swindled. However, in my experience, without something like this in place, designers get taken advantage of far more than they should. People who come to you with projects due unreasonably soon need to realize that proper planning is part of being an adult, and they’re going to have to get used to it sooner rather than later.

Even without short notice, sometimes designers will just rush through a project. Whether it be from lack of interest in the project or from a lack of concern over quality, sometimes we hurry through things. This is frankly just as heinous as clients not giving you enough time, if not more so. If you don’t want to take the time to make sure it’s right, you need to check yourself or get out of the profession. This sounds harsh, but I include myself in designers who have had to hear this at some point in my tenure.

So lately, I’ve been trying to be more patient with and spend more time on a few personal projects. Once again, it’s not as though I never did this, I just want to make sure I am now. I’m really excited for what this means as far as the quality of my work in concerned. From what I’ve seen so far, things are only going to keep getting better and better as I remind myself that a quality product takes time.