Yeah, but my kid can make graphic design. He gots a computer.

Yay! I make websites!

Sometimes, not all the time, the field of digital interactive design gets no respect. It seems like everywhere I go, it never fails: I run into someone who’d like to know, “How much you charge to make teh websitez?” And when I tell these people, I get the infamous, dreaded response to what is standard industry pricing: “WHat!!? My kid makes websites! He gots a computer!”

Wow. You’ve just invalidated my entire existance by the fact that your kid has some pirated copy of Photoshop and a few versions of Comic-Sans and a Star Trek Font. The sheer accessibility of computers and “design software” have destroyed the respect that designers once got. Back in the good old days of Letraset and Zip-o-Tone, when cut and paste meant a possible bloody finger, nobody fucked with designers. You were like House MD, but with a Pantone chip wheel.

What always gets them is when I find out what sort of business they are in, and respond accordingly. “Heating and Air Conditioning? Pheh…I have a tool set I bought at Ikea for 5 bucks. I could fix that shit myself anyday. Better yet, I’ll have my kid do it.”

Your kid makes websites just like I make spaghetti. Neither should ever be presented to someone who understands quality, especially when your reputation is on the line. Making a website and being a strategist who values functional design are two different things. Anyone can theoretically do just about anything themselves without hiring a professional who knows what they’re doing. What’s that you say? That pesky appendix flaring up on you? Screw the ER! My kid’s got a swiss army knife, and I’m pretty sure I have a bottle of hooch under he sink. Totally different scenarios, you say? I say they are equally as dire. You leave design to someone who doesn’t know the value of strategizing, you might as well consider your business as needing to be in Intensive Care.

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2 Responses to Yeah, but my kid can make graphic design. He gots a computer.

  1. Antonio says:

    I have to say you’ve hit the nail on the head. You’re right on the money, right on the ball, firing on all cylinders!

    This is the problem with desktop publishing. Every inept yokel suddenly believes they’re a designer. Often it feels like these people hire a designer more because they don’t have time to do it themselves than because they feel a need for a real professional. Even worse is when, like you mention, they compare what you do to some random crap someone slapped together in Office.

    By the way… I need smilies! 😦

  2. Antonio says:

    Oh… There they go! 😀

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