Monday, 11 May 2009

Issues and Practices

A certain man named Ian Cochrane, is currently recommending design students to 'get out' of an industry 'that does not need us'. Apparently this Industry Heavyweight is Managing Director of consultancy 'Ticegroup' and former Managing Director of both 'Fitch' and 'Landor Europe'. For those of you who don't know, I will break down what each company does.

1: Landor Europe: Brand Strategy
Brand Consultancy
Branding with meaning
Now, given that this chap appears to manipulate other people's designs, where would he be without the designers who create these brands?

2: Ticegroup: Internet site, advertising the following: Cheap designer handbags
Handcrafted Yoga Jewellery
Designer wholesale 70% off
Designer dresses
Who would be paying his mortgage if there were no designers to design the goods he currently makes a living off? Who and what does he get a salary from for manipulating? Designers. Without them he would be nothing.

3: Fitch: Main selling point. ' Abercrombie '. The web site points out up to 40% off this brand. Designed again by someone who he doesn't want to get a job in the future.
Equity Loans
Fitch Affirms Two Federated Municipal Money Market Funds Ratings

He seems to like the idea of making vast sums of money, mainly out of Designers, but doesn't like the idea of change. As long as he's okay, and the market is doing well, he is fine.
As we all know times change, Designers change and new ideas come through. Everything evolves. Perhaps he is scared of losing his 'lions share' of the takings. If it were to alter and the markets shifted elsewhere, would he? Or would his pot of gold deplenish? He seems to be stuck in his ways, and thinks the world will stop if he says the word. Everything he does is theory. He is not a Designer. I would like to go out on a limb here and compare him to a pimp. He is more than willing to reap the benefits of all these Designers, but not willing to acknowledge that he actually needs them to live.
I have a quote from his website, 'Ticegroup': " During the last week I took a call from one of the Lawyers I work closely with and she suddenly asked, 'Are those seagulls I can hear?', I was forced to reveal that I was working from Cocker-Doodle - my beloved beach hut on the Suffolk coast."
This man has no more of a right to write an article about the amount of Designers than I have. This man is an Economist.
If nobody was trained as Designers anymore, what would happen in a few years when the established ones started to retire or die? Who would take over? There will always be a market for the talented, the creative. People will always require images to look at or reflect their products or advertise their wares. This has been going on for centuries. Starting with cave drawings and continuing up to the present day. Man has always expressed a desire to create and leave his mark on the planet. And if there's too many of us, cream rises. Or as Mr.Cochrane puts it, " There are too many people coming out of Design courses, and there simply aren't the jobs for them."
Only time will tell.

Portfolio Visits

On a recent trip to London we were required to get in touch with 3 agencies and show them our portfolios. The 3 I had chosen were Think Tank, We Are Tourist and Dorling Kindersley Books, ( essentially Penguin Books ).
I gained a great deal from visiting these companies. The real world of Graphic Design is so different from University. One of the first things I learnt, was to tailor your portfolio to the actual Agency you are applying to. For example, I went to Dorling Kindersley who design books, and my portfolio had a series of Penguin book covers we did last year. This went down well for obvious reasons. I then went to We Are Tourist, the following day and they create album covers for various bands. My work contained no album covers. Although they liked my work, they needed to see something a tad more intruiging , ie. something a little more obscure. This would be okay normally as I would have included different pieces, but to be honest something as obvious as this didn't cross my mind. So I learnt a harsh lesson immediately.
Upon turning up late fot Think Tank, ( due to a clash of appointments ), they asked me to explain my portfolio, which was again, an issue I'd not thought through. If someone doesn't know what the design is about how can they judge? This was good advice. They also mentioned about not putting your work in a box and just to use an A3 portfolio, because, and I quote, "If I see another A3 box they're not getting the job. I'm sick of seeing them." Also good to know.
This visit to London Village was a definite eye opener to the competitive world of Graphic Design and I am better educated for it.