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Making magic

Category: Blog: Design |

In my second month of freelancing, I worked in-house for a top notch design agency for three weeks. I was brought in to help relieve pre-world cup stress on a large account and I grabbed the chance to be involved.

After working for a large publishing house in the UK before returning to South Africa, I found myself settling back into big agency life quite easily. It did however make some things blatantly obvious to me this time around. Things, that as a full-time permanent designer, I would have accepted as part of the package. While well-known agencies charge prime plus 2 for their services, they are not always the smart choice.

Because of their size and project turn over, large agencies sometimes settle for second best from their designers and in turn their designers become more and more unmotivated and work according to a pace that suits them, naturally varying on good and bad days.

Stepping into this environment as a freelance resource, you need to perform at your best and ensure your turn over is constantly at 150%. Looking around me, I was sad to see dull designers only working for what they were getting out of the equation, which didn’t look like much.
The ‘magic’ and passion that made me fall in love with design as a profession was not being nurtured, and was replaced with process and systems that made the chain of work slower than you could imagine.

Coming back to my own studio, I am able to fully appreciate my situation. Yes, there might not be a guaranteed salary at the end of each month, but I wake up in the mornings and I still feel the excitement design brings into my life. Processes and systems are an integral part of running a successful business, but when you lose your love of the game, all of that becomes irrelevant.

As a freelance resource who is inspired by what she does, I offer my clients a unique experience. I break down those walls of agency protection, to give clients a hands-on service where their role is just as important as mine in the creative process. I remain in touch with their needs and brief while designing their materials, ensuring that deadlines are met within the allocated budget.

Looking back I realise that big agency life really isn’t for me. I will start a design studio that nurtures each designer’s creative talent to make them the best they can be, and in turn service my clients with the highest standard of work. That’s my bottom line.