Caffeinate, Create, Sleep, Repeat.

To gloat or not to gloat, that is the question…

As designers, most of us had to deal with parting ways with clients – for whatever reasons they may be: end of contract, unreconcilable differences, etc. Most of the time we wish them well with their business and/or their precious projects that we’ve diligently worked on – which we know at the back of our minds that the next Creative will totally desecrate (c’mon now, it is a fact that all of us in this profession have  heightened levels of ego). But when the ‘inevitable’ happens, and our former project or account goes downhill after we left or after it was turned over to the next guy – is it okay to feel good about it?

I really hate to say ‘I told you so…’
I had the pleasure of working on a startup publication, it was distributed freely to the community I belong to. And I was so excited about the project that I agreed to put up the maiden issue for just $300, I thought of it as my way of giving back to the community. By the way, for those of you who doesn’t understand the value of design – $300 is not a large sum for a 48+4-page magazine (Think of it this way: If a designer’s going rate is $35/hour, that buys you less than 10 hours. And if you think a publication can be professionally laid out – at least at par with the ones on the newstands – from scratch in 10 hours, you’re a douche and a cheapskate).

Anyway, with that said and done and everything in between, it was a complete success and after several more issues I had to say goodbye to the project because of commitment issues on the publisher’s part. Trying to be bigger person, I provided the master pages for the template. Hoping that the style guides that I’ve continuously tried to improve continually for each issue won’t go to waste. That the next Creative won’t have a hard time meeting the ridiculous deadlines which goes along with the late and incomplete submissions. But even with that, the project now still seems to head into oblivion. Initially we had ‘TIME magazine’ in mind for the mag, but sans-Lance, it’s looking more and more tabloid-ier every issue. Sigh.

You get what you pay for… even less when you’re totally clueless
Knowing the client to a certain extent, I’m guess he’d be inclined to sign the contract over to the lowest bidder. And with that said, I’m not sure whether the project’s new ‘Art Director’ really has any publishing background at all. What’s evident with the printed copy though is an utter disregard for the theory of the usage of grids, penchant for unusually huge body text (with this I doubt that he had previous experience working under the guidance of a decent Creative Director from any well-known publication), stretching low-resolution images and tacky colour-combinations and layouts – it feels like each page is competing against the next instead of complimenting each other. Truly it is in an appalling state of mess, which devalues the true worth of the publication. Then there’s the website…

If ever my ex-client is stalking me and happens to chance upon this post: here’s some advise, free of charge:

  • Your webmaster, whatever you’re paying him, is overpaid for not doing correctly whatever he’s paid to do: Open your eMagazines and a hard copy of the same issue – go through it page by page. If you still can’t see what I mean, that means you don’t really care about the publication and your advertisers’ money. And it is pointless for you to keep reading my posts.
  • It’s both their fault: Your ‘Art Director’ not knowing how to prepare the files properly for the eMag platform, and your webmaster for being lazy and not giving a damn to check whether everything is there. Probably your’s too, for not checking whether everything is working properly.
  • Oh, and yeah. I can still track your website stats. It’s either your webmaster is oblivious about this (I know you are, but that’s forgivable), or he’s too lazy to bring this up with you.

Sometimes I wish I can still help in some way…
Oh yes I do. I really had high hopes for the project, and I really believed in it. Maybe if it was with another client who understands the true value of Creatives and has respect for honouring obligations, I wouldn’t have parted with the project. But it was far from that. And I’d like to spare myself form the heartache of working with unreliable clients. Thank God I’m busy now with great projects from an appreciative clientele.

To gloat or not to gloat, that is the question…

Rockstar for hire.
I help businesses create memorable branding experiences for their customers.

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