Sandstorm Student Center

Sandstorm Design launched the Sandstorm Student Center (SSC) in 2003 for students and working adults interested in learning more about marketing and web design firms and a career in the design industry. A totally free service, we invite you to ask us a question, review FAQs from students, and get advice on landing a job, internship or freelance assignment.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

FAQ: What was your best day as a designer?

There is no single best day either, but the best days are when your client actually chooses the design concept that you felt was the best solution. It never fails, if you show a concept that you absolutely don't like, your client will be sure to pick it... every time.

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FAQ: What was your worst day as a designer?

There is no single worst day, but the worst days are when you notice that your final printed piece, after working on it for a month, has a spelling error that neither you, nor your client, nor your proofreader caught and it's in the headline. Your stomach drops, your heart races, and you realize how human you really are.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

What is a typical day like for a graphic or web designer?

First thing every morning is to check email ( I think that is the norm for most office-type jobs nowadays) to see if there is anything pressing that needs to get done immediately. For example, a web site page not working, a proof from the printer that needs to be signed off before going to press, a last minute conference call in 20 minutes, etc.

After "putting out fires" I create my TO DO list. My TO DO list is probably the most important thing I do each day. I easily will have 5-6 projects going at once, and none of them are related. I may be waiting for content for an ad, or need to finish up reviewing web design concepts, or trouble shoot some html. The challenge is switching from project to project and getting reacquainted each time with the design and what needs to be completed.

I take a good look at my deadlines to create my TO DO list. Those with the shortest deadlines are supposed to come first... but sometimes I can't help it when my creative self is pulling me towards a different project. It's a game of balance. I have to make my deadlines. That's business, and that's how I keep my job and my clients. I can't call in sick and expect the deadline to be excused.

Each day is different. And at the end of each day I somehow can't figure out where the day went. I mean to get so much more work done. And that is when I work late. I often work late. In the design world, it really is feast or famine. You are swamped, then bored.

A "typical" day is a mix of deadlines, diet coke, and consistently pursuing the best creative solution for every type of project, every day. It's fast-paced, and stressful, and wonderful.

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