This is a guest article contributed by Jennifer Moline*.
The old adage, “jack of all trades – master of none,” can apply to the graphic designer who tries to do it all: web development, letterhead design, logo creation, coding, etc. While designers who promote themselves as able to handle everyone’s needs may get a lot of inquiries, their work could suffer as a result.
A lot of freelancers think they need to cater to all potential paying clients. “You want an Asian-inspired logo? I can do that!” “You want an interactive website designed from scratch? No problem!” While I’m sure plenty of folks are capable of meeting lots of customer demands, there’s something to be said for the “expert,” the go-to person for, say, poster marketing. And while Internet marketers are quick to claim that print is dead, that declaration means magazine and newspaper designers can be protective of their niche.
I’m not saying you should hunker down and exclusively create logos. Rather, instead of doing a mediocre job on a whole bunch of different types of projects, become really good at a smaller field of design work. Become a purple cow. For example, one of my Internet pet peeves is horrible restaurant websites – the ones where you have to download menus and the homepage is in Flash so it can’t be seen on a smartphone. That seems to be a restaurant-exclusive design issue. I’d love it if a web designer stepped in and set the standard for legible and easy-to-navigate restaurant sites. Or what about direct-mail marketing? I get postcards sent to me that are so crammed with text that I just toss them. Surely, a savvy graphic designer could corner the market on direct mail with eye-catching art that teases recipients to look into the company.
SO, better to work less but to give a productive delivery…