I’ve had one of those weeks. Unfortunately it’s lasted about a month.
Besides the gravity of home ownership settling in after the new purchase (mostly brought on by a steady stream of problems), I then managed to get sick and miss two days of my 9-to-5 gig. Which, incidentally, runs from 7AM to 4:30PM.
On top of it all, I’ve been dealing with a new client regarding a design job. If you’ve been following my random 140-character mini-rants on Twitter, you kind of know what I’m up against. For those of you who aren’t yet addicted, here’s a synopsis:
Client hires me to create a full identity for a new company. Business system, collateral, web site, the works. Down to mailing labels and email signatures; we’re talking the whole package here. And it has to be done now. Immediately. Like, yesterday. And for that extra bit of a challenge: they won’t actually let me design it.
After 72 rounds of logo thumbnails, a direction was finally decided. The brochure was printed, along with a short run of business cards. Then the brochure was edited. And yes, this order of events is correct.
We printed the brochure when version 8 was approved. Copy, layout, imagery, the works – it was all approved. Then, the email came in to the tune of “We have some edits to the brochures. And we have changes on the business cards.” Fine. It’s their project and their money, and in this world of on-demand printing it’s not uncommon to do a short run first.
However, we are currently on version 16 of the brochure, and I just got the email “We’d like to meet to give you the changes.” Evidently email isn’t getting their point across. I’m beginning to think it will never be done. Somewhere around brochure version 12 the logo was changed, which, of course, dictated a change to the business system. Which was already on press.
Skip ahead to the web site. Well, not so much skip ahead as skip over to it: the web site has been developed simultaneously. Anyway, the clients found a web site that they liked and said “copy it.” I told them no, that’s not how it works. And it went downhill from there:
“No, it’s easy, all you do is right-click and you can see the code. Try it.”
“I understand how to see it, I just won’t do it. That’s not how we work.”
“No, I see it on the internet all the time. All the sites are the same anyway, just make ours look like this one.”
“There’s a difference between being inspired by a site design and stealing it. We can develop a look that captures the essence of the example site, but I’m not going to steal their design.”
“Well, I don’t care about that. Remember, when in doubt, copy, copy copy!”
“What? No. And not that this matters, but their site is all done in Flash. The PowerPoint mock-up you gave me implies a Flash-based design, but we agreed we’re not doing Flash.”
“I know we’re not doing Flash. Just make it look like we did.”
“There are some limitations to what HTML can do…if this isn’t in Flash we can only get close…”
“No. Make it look like I like.”
“Like you like?”
“Yes, like the sample. I like that web site. Make it look like that.”
“Fine. I’ll see what I can do.”
“And content-rich. Our site has to be content-rich.”
“Where did you pick that up? Do you even know what that means?”
“And put a credits page in there too.”
“A credits page!? Why?!?”
“So you can link back to your web site.”
“Um, no, thanks.”
“Why not? That site has one, I want one on ours. Put your information on there.”
“Firstly, their site is filled with custom photography, and the list of credits is all photographers. We don’t have, well, anything like that. Secondly, I’m not going to put my name on a site that I’m being forced to design in such a way that it looks like I stole it.”
“You’re not stealing it. This is how the web is done.”
So, in case you had any questions about how the web was done, now you know.