The 3 most common questions to a designer

I have found these 3 questions constantly being asked and I think they needed some attention:

    I see that you are good at designing “[genre 1]” websites. Are you sure you can you design “[genre 2]” type of websites?
    Every designer has its own strength in many ways – some are good combining photography with design, some with illustration, while some are purely into typography. But whatever their preference in applications of design, it does not mean their skills are focused in a particular style or genre. No doubt, some designers fancy experimental works, some are influenced by pop-art and so on. But it doesn’t mean they can’t do anything else.
    I would relate this as an analogy – while it is true, that a pasta cook should only cook pasta, but the problem is, many clients were referring to a pasta cook that specializes only a particular dish! A designer is like a pasta cook that can cook any types of pasta for their customers. So in other words, we know how to design any particular style or genre, which is usually not a problem. The only limits of our abilities are our skills, knowledge and experience in understanding the creative problems and how to tackle it.
    That means, it’s not how many types of pasta we know how to cook, but how delicious it is. Thus, a good designer is one is that is not only creative, but also knowledgeable and experienced.
    Why there is no fixed price in your services? Or, you are expensive!
    Whether high or low, a designer has its own price tag. It is the same like hiring a model or an actor which depends on his popularity and capability. Design, is a branch out from art, and for art, there is never a fixed price. You can purchase an affordable oil painting as low as RM100 compared to an RM20k painting, and to some, they all looked the same!
    At the end of the day, it is whether do you find the work that you have commissioned justified your needs and expectations.
    And for the designer, when you are paid to the amount that you agreed on, you have to fulfil the promise and make sure you commit 100% to your client and get the work done as good as you can imagine (or at least to the value that it is worth). If you felt you are being short-changed or “cheated” then you should not have taken it in the first place because at the end, the quality will be compromised and you will risk getting a bad name for yourself.
    Regardless, a designer’s principle is first to help the client. If he is low on budget on a particular project, and it is not possible for you to work with him, suggest or recommend the best alternatives for him. If you look far ahead, you might want to take up the job as helping him out, seeing other potential jobs in the future which could be in better prospect.
    Last but not least, client also need to know that we charge based on the hours we spent on it, as well as our skill and knowledge we have acquired over the years. There is always a value in design, and in some cases, it can be very expensive!
    Why must I obtain licensed images for my project? Wouldn’t pulling the image out from Google is more cost effective?
    Here lies one of the most important, often neglected point – intellectual property.
    Do you know that back in the late 80′s, way before mp3 exists, that listening to clear, crisp music such as a compact disc is a luxury? Yes it is. Many did not know that everything costs money to produce, and in return, costs money to obtain them even for leisure.
    Nothing is FREE in this world, unless the owner allows his work to be published for free. Otherwise, you have to pay for it. By obtaining a copyrighted image illegally for your commercial project you will be held responsible. It is the culture of ignorance that landed many organizations in trouble as they are being sued for copyright infringement and resulting losses from tens of thousands to millions of dollars.
    And as designers, many are often taking comfort too by stealing images for themselves to use for their projects. This leads to a chain reaction whereby the designers themselves does not value intellectual property, and hence, planted ideas to clients that everything can be easily accessible and, most important thing of all, cheap, and affordable. In this case there is no one else to blame but designers themselves that they have driven down the value of creativity.

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