Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Design Team Thoughts

Design Team Thoughts

Isn’t it time someone spoke up? I think so. Those of you who sponsor design teams do you really consider your designers as valuable? I wonder.

A good designer will do their best work (not just CASE others). They will promote your company everywhere they go. Each card, altered item, layout, or what have you has taken hours if not days to imagine, work out details and complete with all to be in pristine condition. On top of that the designer is usually asked to photograph and edit their items, upload the scans on more than one venue, and be available to answer all questions about the technique and/or item. They will be required to name products used in the card and often include a tutorial. Then there are the “blog hops” which add more, yup you guessed it, time from the designer.

Often we are required to send the actual objects to the company which require proper packaging, more time spent, and shipping costs. We may be asked or required to send to stores and conventions as well. Did you note the shipping costs? Many expect us to pay them without recompense!

If the designer, like me, loves to think outside the box and find new ways to use the product, that takes more time along with the possible use of outside products.

Now for all of this what does the design team member get in return?

Lately, without naming names, I have seen companies that will give you perhaps $50.00 in product (I wonder is that retail or wholesale?) per month. Some may give a single sheet of rubber stamps. That’s it. Everything else comes out of our pocket. Does this really sound fair to you? They get away with it because some folks just want to be able to claim they are on a design team. Whatever happened to RESPECT? Appreciation?

I have had the pleasure to work with some wonderful companies as a designer. They treated me like a star. I was given plenty of product to work with. Most let me choose which products and projects I would prefer and not try to mold me into a certain style. They reimbursed me for my shipping costs and covered my travel fees if I chose to be a demo for them. If I chose to submit to magazines I was well compensated for those published as well. I cherish these companies. They usually sent me a LOT of product when I began as well so I had plenty to work with and choose from. Why? because they know that we designers may feel like doing something artsy today and cute tomorrow. But if we only have, one style of images to work with, it will limit our creativity. This is not good for the company or the artist.

Companies: Please give credit to your designers for the hard work they do. Compensate them fairly and if you can generously. In the long run you will be glad you did. The designer will never forget you and will continue to “advertise” for you long after her/his term is over if you do.

Designers: Do your very best at all times. Live up to your obligations. Give praise when due. Be quiet when you should.

We all make mistakes, I have made far too many in my life I know. We all are still learning how to better create, communicate, and even handle our own struggles. So let’s give some leeway when we can. It is more fun to lift up then to tear down.

I must give a huge shout out to some of the companies who were beyond the best to work with: Spellbinders, Hearts in Touch, Red Castle, Inc., Innovative Stamp Creations, Enchanted Ink, Terryfic Times, Marco’s Paper. THANK YOU! And to all of the other companies I have worked with, thank you as well. I have been blessed!


Cindy Cade

Monday, February 15, 2010