I had a job interview yesterday for the position of graphic designer/marketing assistant at a local restaurant chain in the DMV. The interview was encouraging, and if I land the job it means a fat raise. At the interview I was informed that I would be given a quickie graphic design task for their bar to email back to them the next day. No problem, right?
Riiiiiiight. After having worked at the same job for over a year now, I forgot that some people, despite having hired artists in the past, have no idea what graphic design entails. Here are some of the tasks that I was given to complete in a 20 hour window while still going to work and finding time to sleep:
1. A design that is a flyer, poster and able to be uploaded on Facebook (we are talking about 2-3 vastly different documents here). Also had to create a logo to attach to the flyer for the restaurant and a slogan.
Part 2 (Oh God, why is there a part two?)
1. Create a logo for our new seafood restaurant. Please include elements from our current logo in your design (vector artwork for their current logo was not provided, so I had to create my own mock-up).
The weird request about a poster that is also a flyer that is also a Facebook ad sucked, but in particular having to create two logos in just a few hours stressed me out. Any graphic designer that is worthwhile knows that the best logos take a lot of time and development. These projects were also a red flag to me because if I get this job, does this imply that they want me to crank out sub-par, underdeveloped artwork on a daily basis?
I think that more graphic designers need to speak out in the workplace and make the implications of the job clearer. Many office managers seem to think that we play in MS Paint all day, but the graphic elements of a company’s branding make a lasting impression to the outside world. Would you rather call the company with a kick-ass logo on nice thick business card stock with rounded corners, or the one with a crappy Clip Art logo on Vistaprint‘s prison toilet paper cardstock? The fact is that the economy sucks and it is far more likely that a designer will end up in some random company than a trendy design haus. In this instance my hands were tied because I can’t explain to a potential employer that their expectations are retarded, but if I get this job I will be sure to let them know in a polite manner that great work takes time. And that their expectations are retarded.
For the purpose of further illustrating that I am not the only misunderstood graphic designer, I present to you Missing Missy, a now ubiquitous example of what it is like to be the artist at a regular company.