Tag Archives: business

What I do, is not What I do.

It’s an odd truism in the website world but it’s often the case. What I do, is not What I do.

How many of us introduce ourselves like this: “Hi, I’m Dave, and I design websites”? Seriously, I know I do, but that isn’t even half the story given the myriad of different skillsets that roll into those 2 words. “I design websites”. What the fuck does that even mean when you get down to it?

After all my skill sets boil to so much more than just those 2 words. But we all simplify for the client. After all saying “I’m a website designer” is easier than saying “I’m a website designer and developer with a specialization in PHP and using WordPress as a Content Management System as well as being versed in various aspects of SEO for businesses and building Social Media Presence”.

But we kind of have a tendency to shoot ourselves in the foot by saying Website Designer, as so many people (mostly the non tech-literate) start making assumptions about what you can do.

I recall one instance where I told someone I was a website designer and I was requested to build an all singing and dancing flash animation for their website. I had to decline, after all I’m not an Animator. But the thing that stuck with me was the parting words. “I thought you said you were a web designer”.

It’s a huge misconception among the average lay-person as to what web design actually is.

So to my “Web Designer” friends, have a read of this and if you have any funny stories to tell do so. But I would like to hear how you describe yourself to new clients.

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Spec Work Kills Industries

As a designer, I hate Spec Work. It’s so frustrating and it irks me that there are so many people still thinking it’s a good way of getting jobs. It’s really not. Spec work kills good design and opens up so many problems. And now I’ll tell you why.

Spec work stands for Speculative Work (Sometimes called Crowd Sourcing), where by a client will ask you to produce a design or a piece of work and if they like it they will buy it.

This is not cool. If I spend hours working on a design, I expect to be paid for those hours, not for the promise that I ‘might’ be paid if they like the work. Plus in the Spec Work environment you are usually “Competing” against potentially hundreds of other designers at any one time for a job in hand. Which essentially wastes my time, if I’m not awarded the contract. I’d much rather do the work for a straight up paying client off the top.

But the thing that irritates me the most is the fact that people think that they can push it with web designers and developers. You wouldn’t walk into a tattoo parlor and ask the Tattooist to make you a design and if you like it you might get it tattoo’ed. I guarantee that if you walk into any tattoo parlor and try that then you will likely be chucked out faster than you can say “Wait I was joking”.

Where as, as a web designer, I will get approached with concept ideas that people want me to do, with the line “But if we don’t like it, at least it’ll look good in your portfolio”. Well much like any Tattoo shop, every item in my portfolio is a piece I have either produced for myself or for a paying customer. You can’t play that card with me.

About the only people whom I would ever recommend do Spec work, are students with little to no portfolio as yes, they can get some designs out in the wild and they might get noticed, but once you start getting real clients that approach you with a budget, drop the spec work. Those clients are the ones you want. Mostly because if you do a good job they will give you repeat business.

This is a pretty hot topic in the design world, and it always will be, but I make my stance, spec work is evil. Don’t do it.

Dave the kill of Spec Work.

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The Late Night

So I decided that if I ever actually go ahead with my crazy plan of starting a coffee shop that I would call it “The Late Night”. Seems like a fitting name to me, after all, given that I stay up so late at night I know that there is nothing better than the smell and taste of that first morning coffee. Or that 2am Coffee when you just can’t sleep. So that’s my plan. An after hours coffee bar. Who likes the sound of this? Comment if you do!

I’ve come up with a number of names like that for those whacky ideas that we all come up with at one point or another. Another classic one: If I ever own a pub, it’ll be called the Whistling Albatross!

The Whistling Albatross

The Whistling Albatross as Constructed in Minecraft

I think we all get those random and daft ideas from time to time, and for the most part I think they will never go ahead.

But for me, “The Late Night” Coffee bar is a dream I will hold onto for a while longer I think.

Dave (The Master of Midnight Coffee)

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Vector Art

As much as I enjoy the holiday season, I will be glad to get back to my own home so I can complete some pieces of Vector Art that are waiting for me there. Unfortunately the holidays always seems to put a stop to work for some people, and in my case the biggest problem is the amount of travelling that I end up doing over the holidays seeing various family members.

Fortunately, this time is almost over, and whilst I adore my family (20 days out of 365), I will be grateful to get back to my on regular routine.

I’m looking forward to getting some vector portraits done though, and I will finally have a chance to start getting to grips with some more photography!

Either way, enjoy these examples of vector Portraits:

PS: If you’d like a vector portrait, in pop art style, drop me a line

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