Graphic Design: For Love or Money? - Part II
Micromanaging and Efficiency
Joy, a graphic designer, relates this story about her experience with different studio managers:
"We had a boss that was extremely manipulative and controlling. Every aspect of our daily work schedule was managed for efficiency. We could hardly breathe because of the constrained work atmosphere.
Let's face it, we did it for the money and not for the love of design.
"Our productivity was good, but we were miserable. Then one day, he announced his retirement. Most of us were ecstatic at his decision. A new manager was hired and we held our breaths.
"Our new boss was not a micro-manager and this took some time getting used to. His style was to give us our marching orders---he got out of the way and left the creative aspects, as much as was feasible, to us.
"But then, the productivity reports came down from upper management and we were all shocked about our performance."
Find out what happened at the end of this article.
How to Get the Best From Your Coworkers
You may be a supervisor, a manager or a lead graphic designer, but the fact remains that you will need to have your co-workers do tasks for you, at some point, in order to complete projects.
But how do you get the best out of your staff? Consider this advice:
"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."
--George Patton, Decorated WWII General, US Army
His advice seems contradictory and foolhardy. But upon closer inspection what he is saying is to trust people's abilities and judgment to complete a task; just point them in the right direction.
Graphic Design School and Creativity
Of course, you need a competent staff to fulfill your wishes. But knowing who your go-to people are can save you loads of headaches and anxiety by just letting them create and do what they do best.
The basics and foundation of graphic design often start with an education at a qualified graphic design college.
Those who have had formal training in graphic design can attest to how a graphic design school education can be useful in qualifying for design jobs.
The Rest of the Story
In Joy's account of her new boss, this is what happened in the performance report. (Names and titles have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty.)
"We felt we were all pulling together to finish the projects instead of being forced to meet deadlines. Our new boss gave us the freedom to be creative. He gave us back our love for design.
"Our boss called us to a meeting to announce the metrics of how we were doing the past several months.
"The report from upper management showed that we had broken every record, in productivity and revenue, set by our previous boss. We did this during the two months our new boss was in charge.
So far we've seen how graphic designers do their jobs for the love of the art and creativity of design. But the practical side needs to be presented as well; how much do graphic designers make and what opportunities are there?
Stay tuned next week for the answers.
Until then, keep on designing!