Design isn’t just a passion, and you aren’t a unicorn or a snowflake. Design is serious business. ‘Design is a Job’ by Mike Monteiro tries to help shift the idea of design as being some kind of mysterious magic and make it clear, whether design is done well or done poorly it has serious consequences for business and should be considered in that light. Monteiro says “I am tired of you not getting paid. I am tired of you working nights and weekends. I am tired of you doing spec work because someone has convinced you it will look good in your portfolio. I am tired of you sitting by and hoping the work sells itself. So I wrote you a book. It has a spine and by the time you’re done reading so will you.”
Part of what makes this book awesome is the emphasis on selling the design. If a designer creates a masterpiece website in their studio, but can’t convince the client or their boss to launch it into action – did they do anything brilliant? It seems from Monteiro’s point of view, not quite. He suggests he’d rather have an average designer who can sell their work, than a brilliant designer who can’t sell jack.
Some of the key points of ‘Design is a Job’
- Choosing the right clients – they don’t need to understand everything you do, they just need to know that you do and trust you to make it happen. Every decision should be well thought out.
- Charging for your work – You know what to charge to do your best work, now stop asking for less.
- Working with contracts – some wonderful caveats you may want to include are ‘single point of contact,’ a kill fee if they kill the project, and an extra charge if they pause the contract.
- Sticking to your process – It’s better to have a light version of your process but keep all the steps than to drop a phase to decrease cost.
- Getting your money – did you know it’s OK to have a lawyer?
Overall, this book is a kick in the ass and a very solid investment of money for people in design (or in any creative service probably), without a giant investment of time. 4 out 5 ‘make the logo’s bigger’.