A running rant about bad television, crappy products, horrible service, mindless politics, corporate and government ineptitude, moronic media, marketing overload, public idiocy, stupid entertainment, etc. Here's what's annoying me today:

2.22.2006

Come work for us (for nothing!)


As a freelance graphic designer with a pretty steady client base, I fortunately don't have to rely on the help wanted ads on Craigslist, Guru, and other job posting sites. Thank god!! I well remember the days of being a starving artist.

My first real job was is the art department of a certain alternative weekly newspaper. Well, actually my first real job was making signs for a department store, but I don't like to talk about that one. I'm sure one of my regular readers will fill you in on the clown mask I used to put on when I got home from that job it made me so crazy. SickOE, please keep in mind this is a public forum.

But anyway I digress. The newspaper gig was a great job and a great relief from making signs for toaster-ovens, especially for the partying and perks that went along with it. But I made shit. I think I made $12,000 a year full time when I started. The basic philosophy of the place was "this is such a cool job, that they should be paying us to let them work here." And it certainly worked for them.

That attitude is alive and well on the job posting boards today. Why pay for a professional to design your logo, when you can find somebody to do it for $250 bucks. It's really a depressing commentary on what the perceived worth of graphic design (and other creative work) is, if the rates offered for our services on the boards are any indication. Here is a sampling of what people think creative work is worth in Boston today.

  • Magazine Seeking Artists and Writers Compensation: Selected articles will receive $20 for every submission.

  • Need Outdoor Location Photos: There is no $ budget at all for this job. What we can offer is visibility and credit/advertising on the well trafficked site

  • $100 to anyone who can paint/draw/photograph something cool.

  • Corporate Logo Needed: Compensation: Less than $250 (This appears to be the going rate for a corporate logo on Guru.com)

  • Drawings of famous philosophers needed (Nietzsche, Freud, etc.): Compensation: $30 per picture

  • I need a student or someone willing to work for free/trade to design a rock star flash site for my business: Compensation: Not sure yet, maybe some food? coffee? small stipend? a hug?

  • Seeking a design for our corporate logo, Timeline is one to two weeks, more if needed. We have already selected the colors, images and art for the logo (gee leaving a lot of creative to the "designer") Compensation: start at $160

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7 Comments:

Blogger Sick of Extremes said...

Fun times, eh?! yes, I remember those days. "We like your ideas except we prefer if you would use the corporate brown and orange colors and the correct font and we would like the signs to be this size...otherwise, they're great!!" I have made it my mission to seek out a clown mask like the one you used to have and buy it. I will then present it to you at the proper time and place....

4:27 PM

 
Anonymous Farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

Nice blog. Good to read about the life of a freelance designer miles away.

I'm a copywriter and journalist blogging in the Middle East.

And we too end up doing sh** work sometimes.

But ideally the client should never be the target audience - that's what I have posted about on my blog most recently, do visit.

farrukh

6:21 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great article

5:49 AM

 
Blogger Cranky said...

Here's a followup about guru.com. I have never done a job thorgh guru, but at some point when I first started my freelaqnce business, i signed up, so I still get useless job alerts from time to time.

Here's one that is typical of the crap client you'll get on Guru.

If you fancy yourself even a semi-professional in the field stay away from this crap.

This is the entirety of the job description:

I want to put my face on the award and my logo over where the award is holding something on his chest. i want it to have the same look though - gold and shiny

Where the letters are i want to put my info on it instead and do away with the bar code on the left. Can you do this?

For some reason - it would not let me upload the files on here. It is a tiff file under 500 so ??????? but what the picture is the cover of the entertainment weekly with the oscar award in the front perhaps guru can figure this out or i can email you the pic

7:23 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like we worked for the same newspaper! I got paid a whole $8.75/hr. Once they figured out they could hire "designers" with no art degree (high-school kids) they laid us all off because we were making too much. Eek.

That was a long time ago, and I now own my own design firm. We never aplogize for the rates we charge. If they want quality design they can pay quality prices.

Most corporate clients understand what's involved and don't want to risk using a kid straight out of school or a cheapy freelancer. But many small business clients will do anything to save a buck. Then they end up with a mess that costs even more to fix.

We recently had a client who had a previous designer create his site. She charged him $4,000 for a 155 page site. Baiscally an on-line product catalog with a ton of image work and color correction. He also wanted a lot of back-end data capabilities.

He got a clunky site, designed in NetObjects Fusion 3.0 for Macintosh. (That software was discontinued in 2000.) No meta tags, no back-end anything, forms that don't work, e-mail links that submit to incorrect e-mail addresses, and about half of the images she used are high-res. Her files are a MESS.

So we come up with an entirley new site map, fewer pages, great functionality, etc ... for $7000.

He doesn't understand why we can't do it for less than what the previous designer charged since there are fewer pages.

Arg.

Bottom line, you get what you pay for. :)

3:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: Guru.com

I've run a small ad agency since 1990 that provides mainly copywriting, marketing strategy and creative direction services. I joined Guru.com in December 2007, and, after wading through the many "job" postings from kitchen-table entrepreneurs with micro budgets dreaming of making it rich on the Web, actually have found four real clients so far for whom I provide work at real rates. Since hooking up on Guru, I work directly with these companies, thus avoiding Guru's annoying and draining fees (granted, this takes a leap of faith, but I haven't been burned yet).

Bottom line, you can use services like Guru if you're selective.

Andy

8:40 AM

 
Blogger drew said...

Guru practices unethical behavior. They force you to use their high % feedback payment system when they add no value. They also practice coercive selling. It is against banking and finance law to force a customer to buy two products like they do. They also break employer/employee law by allowing employers to make negative remarks about employees. An employer is only allowed to answer certain questions when called for a referral.

2:37 PM

 

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