When I first became a designer I thought I wanted to make the prettiest work in the world.
So I spent many years refining my ability to create pretty work.
I practiced every day.
I did silly challenges.
I studied and obsessed over other designer’s work so I could make my work pretty just like theirs.
It probably took me 5 or 6 years to realise that this attitude was completely wrong.
You don’t hire a plumber to flush your toilet
Why do you hire a plumber?
It’s usually to fix your toilet, your sink or some other related water-based disaster.
What I don’t hire a plumber to do is flush my toilet. I don’t hire a plumber to do a job I can already do competently.
If can learn the do the job in 5 minutes on YouTube I won’t be hiring the plumber. I only hire the plumber when I need his years of expertise and experience that I can’t quickly download.
Ultimately, I’m hiring him to see something I can’t see.
And usually the thing I can’t see is the problem I need to solve.
Low value clients will hire you to flush the toilet for them
So why would you hire a designer?
Would you hire a designer for something you could do yourself?
Maybe. But you wouldn’t want to pay them very much because all you’re doing is hiring somebody to save you some time. You’re hiring them to flush the toilet for you.
This is the mistake most designers make. They think clients want to hire them because they want them to design something for them.
Low value clients don’t want you to design anything for them.
They want to use your access to the software to design it themselves. These are clients you should avoid.
So why do good clients hire designers?
I see things you don’t and that’s why you hire me
5 or 6 years later into being a designer I realised that it wasn’t about producing the prettiest work—whatever that even means.
Any designer can make something pretty with enough time and practice. Any designer can copy somebody else’s style.
You can’t copy the way a designer thinks though. And ultimately that’s what being a designer is.
It’s about seeing things that others don’t.
I don’t publish my daily design work online to show you how good at design I am.
I publish daily design work online to show you that I don’t see things the same way as you do.
And you’ll pay me a lot more for that skill than you will my pretty design.