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Posted: 25 March 2013 05:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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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.

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Posted: 25 March 2013 05:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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dougsmith - 24 March 2013 02:06 PM

Take care, George. Apart from the problems with driving, long term sleep deprivation is bad for your health.

Thanks, Doug. And yes, I am aware of risk I am taking, but not much I can do about it.

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Posted: 25 March 2013 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I don’t know if this is possible, George, but you mentioned that you used to have six months to design the reports.  Are there any parts of all these reports that are either boilerplate or standard so you could set up as much of the structure as possible prior to the time the companies ask for the reports?  Then you might be able to plug in the needed data and have less time pressure on yourself and your company.

Occam

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Posted: 25 March 2013 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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The designing part is not the problem, Occam; actually, that’s the fun part. It’s everything else—like getting rid of double spaces between sentences in client’s copy wink—that makes our lives living hell for the two months.

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Posted: 25 March 2013 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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George - 25 March 2013 05:50 AM

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.

I have noticed this as a general trend. Technology has made us more efficient but as we get more efficient our work becomes devalued. As a result the very technology that should be making life easier is making us do more work more for less pay.

I think its also tough in your field George because a lot of mediocre designers can put out passable work now with all the publishing tools available to them. More and more people are doing this stuff themselves or hiring someone who has basic skills to do it for less money. It becomes a commodity where price is the only differentiator unfortunately.

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Posted: 25 March 2013 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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macgyver - 25 March 2013 09:56 AM

I think its also tough in your field George because a lot of mediocre designers can put out passable work now with all the publishing tools available to them. More and more people are doing this stuff themselves or hiring someone who has basic skills to do it for less money. It becomes a commodity where price is the only differentiator unfortunately.

I don’t think that’s really much of a problem for us. Sure, you can design a logo yourself for free, or you can have us do it for $10,000. In the end you get what you pay for. Fortunately, there are still enough people who recognize that owning a copy of Photoshop doesn’t make one a designer.

[ Edited: 25 March 2013 10:17 AM by George ]
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Posted: 25 March 2013 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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George - 25 March 2013 09:55 AM

The designing part is not the problem, Occam; actually, that’s the fun part. It’s everything else—like getting rid of double spaces between sentences in client’s copy wink—that makes our lives living hell for the two months.

That should be an easy script to write or easier still: use the find/replace command in your text editor. wink

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 25 March 2013 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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harry canyon - 25 March 2013 12:54 PM
George - 25 March 2013 09:55 AM

The designing part is not the problem, Occam; actually, that’s the fun part. It’s everything else—like getting rid of double spaces between sentences in client’s copy wink—that makes our lives living hell for the two months.

That should be an easy script to write or easier still: use the find/replace command in your text editor. wink

Take care,

Derek

Sure, I can use the find-and-replace tool, but I can’t automatically apply the change to all occurrences as there may be instances where I do need a double space.

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Posted: 25 March 2013 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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harry canyon - 25 March 2013 12:54 PM
George - 25 March 2013 09:55 AM

The designing part is not the problem, Occam; actually, that’s the fun part. It’s everything else—like getting rid of double spaces between sentences in client’s copy wink—that makes our lives living hell for the two months.

That should be an easy script to write or easier still: use the find/replace command in your text editor. wink

Take care,

Derek

Indeed, it is easy.  I worked as an editor for several companies and one of the things we did with all copy, even before editing it for any errors, was to find and replace space/space with space.  We would repeat the find and replace until we received the message that no further replacements were possible. 

Sometimes you need to fight technology with technology, but I’m sure you know this.

The problem with modern jobs is that fewer and fewer people are doing more and more work and are constantly on call and reachable while more an more people have no jobs or truncated jobs.  This cannot continue. It is bad for business, bad for the overall economy and especially bad for individuals, both the workers and the unemployed. Something will have to give.  We can only hope that something will give before too many people wither and die from overwork or poverty.

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Posted: 25 March 2013 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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George - 25 March 2013 01:59 PM
harry canyon - 25 March 2013 12:54 PM
George - 25 March 2013 09:55 AM

The designing part is not the problem, Occam; actually, that’s the fun part. It’s everything else—like getting rid of double spaces between sentences in client’s copy wink—that makes our lives living hell for the two months.

That should be an easy script to write or easier still: use the find/replace command in your text editor. wink

Take care,

Derek

Sure, I can use the find-and-replace tool, but I can’t automatically apply the change to all occurrences as there may be instances where I do need a double space.

We managed to overcome that problem.  It’s easier to find the few places where a double space is necessary while editing and put it in than to try to find every instance of a double space that is not.  The latter can account for hundreds upon hundreds of instances.  The former for only a few.

LL.

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Posted: 25 March 2013 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Only a few? Already then.  smirk

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