1. Record Covers, CD covers, anything musical
I hate the music industry.
First off, they (still) really haven't got the "digital" thing. They're still unit shifters and this is years and years after people started saying things like 'The only CD's I've bought since 1998 have been blank'.
Secondly, I know people who work in the industry and whilst it is good fun and it is cool and you will get to do and see things that your mates won't, there is a downside. At a junior level that downside is normally cash. Or lack of. It tends to work like this, because you got to see XYZ band play a secret gig we won't pay you very much. Because you have to drive to Cardiff on Wednesday night to see ZYX band, we won't pay you very much. Because we got you back stage at Glastonbury (don't get me started on Glastonbury) we won't pay you very much.
Perceived glamour in return for long, hard hours.
It's kind of the same for designers, the budgets for designing album artwork are very, very, very slim. Which is why albums tend to be done by friends or small music dedicated one man bands. Which is fine, you takes your money and all that.
Sure, every once in a while a Beck comes along, but as the 'unit' gets distilled down to effectively this:
less and less time, money and care is being put into artwork.
I've designed album covers and I may do it again. I'm not saying everything is rubbish, I'm saying you thought they would be fun / good / cool / glamorous to design but actually they aren't.
2. Film Posters
I imagine the movie industry is much the same as the music industry, and probably fashion too. They almost expect you to be grateful to be working for them.
Take a look at this brilliant link from CR Blog it's a list of companies that design film posters. Let's have a look at some of them.
OK, I'm not saying anything radical here - they all look the same.
You think that's fun? I imagine that people are thinking, 'I'd love to do a film poster, I'd do it all differently. I'll be like Saul Bass for the Noughties.'
You won't be the next Saul Bass. You'll have the lead front centre, cos we paid him (and it will be a him) $20M. We'll have both female supports on either side of him. We'll have the title big. No bigger. No bigger. Bigger! And so on and so on.
There's a reason they all look the same. They all want to look the same.
I have designed some small film posters but nothing big. I did have an interview once with a large, respected (and good) agency that did film posters. Essentially all they did was resize the artwork from the US. Think that sounds like fun? That sounds like something you thought would be fun / good / cool / glamorous to design but actually they isn't.
OK, I've offended the entire music and film industry, who's next?
3. Start ups.
Remember I'm not slagging start ups off at all (we were one once) I'm saying you think it will be fun / good / cool / glamorous to design the identity for the next big start up, and it won't.
Here's the problem. How do you know which one of the 400,000 new businesses started each year in the UK is going to be the next Apple or Coke or Google? It's simple, you don't.
Most (actually every) start up is frantic, short of cash, short of time and run by people who really care what they're doing. Care so much that they'll stay up all night arguing about font size. And you don't want that, that's your job.
To put it another blunt way, start ups are often too close to the cash. This makes them unable to stand back and make rational decisions about something quite intangible and often irrational. Again, remember, start ups aren't bad, it's just that you think it would be fun / good / cool / glamorous to come up with the next swoosh. It won't be.
Anyone got any experience of designing in those situations?