April 2012

newsletter #6 pay your designer less Ha! yes!

How to pay your designer less

The six most terror-inducing words I ever hear, except for “It’s about time for another colonoscopy” are “Can you give me a bid?” The sweat flows. The throat dries. Because the fact is, I have no idea. I could bid for my regulars, because I know them, but they no longer need bids. The fear comes from Stranger Danger: If I don’t know you, I have no idea how long the job will take. And the longer it takes, the more it costs.

Unless your business’ goal is “Provide funds for private swimming pools for designers,” you may want to follow some rules.

Rule 1: Know what it is you want. Seems basic, but it’s really necessary to know what your niche is, what your message is, and how you want to say it. If you don’t, you may end up coming off as something you didn’t expect, like a vole or a third-party candidate.

Rule 2: Figure out exactly how to say it before you send it out for design. Do all your proofing internally, early in the process. Tweaks down the line are okay, but getting a near-finished product, having the receptionist proof it, returning for corrections and possible redesign, then sending to the guy in personnel with funny eyebrows for another round, etc. may make it easy on your end, but gobbles artists’ time. And they charge by the hour. If you see your designer cruising the town in a new Ferrari, it’s because you didn’t proof early and accurately, plus you’re on hallucinogens.

3. If one person will have final say, they need to be in the loop early on—not as the final step. You may find that you’ve been moving in the wrong direction all along. Meanwhile, my meter edges closer to being able to send my kids to Harvard.

The bottom line is, the less I work on your job, the happier I am, and the happier you are. And science believes that leads to better colonoscopies for us all.

Laughter, the opiate of the masses

The latest Internet comic/blog/palindrome/humorous essay site is finally here. You were SO waiting for this, right? Because there are hardly any others! This is guaranteed to be better-drawn—without the keen scientific hilarity—than XKCD, more poorly drawn—but without the 6-year old’s perspective—than Axe Cop, have fewer gods and demons than Sinfest, not be filled with calculators about whether you can survive zombie or bear attacks à la The Oatmeal, and have far fewer gamer themes than Control-Alt-Delete.

All in the glory of black and white. For now.

It’s Ha-Yes.com, and if you visit, you can tell your friends, “Yeah, I was into that before it was cool. That’s why I’M cool. Is it cool yet?” Wouldn’t that be cool? You can say you saw it when there were only six comics. I promise there will be more, all of them suitable for the whole family, if your family is frequently visited by child welfare officers.

Since there isn’t a real design tip in this issue, you can find a half-dozen at Ha-Yes.com. Click the “sausage” link, then “design tips and propaganda.” I can’t say there’s much to learn there, but you should have fun increasing your ignorance.