Yes, I have a family and this is the time of the year when I design annual reports. Only fifteen years back we would get up to six months to produce a report. These days, thanks to the speedy emails, PDFs, etc., we get about six weeks. When I needed an image only a decade ago, I had to call an image agency, usually in NYC, explain to them what type of an imagine I was looking for and they would send me a bunch of transparencies. I would then select one, send it to have it scanned, place it in my layout, send it out again for laser printing, and only then send it, by a courier, to my client. Now I simply download as many photos as I need from Getty, select the one I like and send my client a PDF. What used to take weeks, now takes minutes. Out clients know this, and push the schedule as close to the deadline as possible.
And it gets worse. Nobody prints thousands of copies of their reports anymore, since all you need is either a PDF or an online report. When we used to print tens of thousands of copies, the printing markup was big enough to allow us keep a production manager. We can’t do that anymore and I am now in charge of the production of all the reports—on top of everything else.
The new technology is killing us. We obviously designe websites and online reports, but the money we make on these is nowhere close to what we used to make in the 90s. The less money, the less designers we can afford, the less sleep we all get. The good thing is it only lasts about a month or two.