December 23, 2003

Warning: I feel a little rant-ish today…

I’ve been spinning my wheels for the past week trying to get a project complete. Nothing really needs to be online about it, just a crappy little project that should have been done in one day and only took 4-5 additional days to get it to the point of near completion.

One of my *major* gripes is when people provide me logos. Instead of going to the actual organization, people just drop the logo into a Word document and send along….or send it as a Windows Bitmap BMP file. Can’t use either. 300dpi JPEG’s are fine for print work but not for impression work, where they need vector 600dpi files. I know some of these companies have a good logo out there, I’ve seen it on many (too many) brochures. So why do they insist on sending me pixelated 100dpi files?

I’m starting to rethink my career choice. Why didn’t I just learn a true art, like carpentry or construction. Once you get people on computers, you pretty much quadruple the chances that you’re gonna f-up something I’m working on. I worked on my sister & brother-in-laws new house this weekend. I was handed a nail gun and shown exactly how to use it. Shown where to nail a baseboard, shown where to nail a window frame, etc. Sure I could have completely screwed up, because (let’s face it) I’m not exactly good in that department. But I understand why I have to do it in that way: “nails secure things better when they’re nailed to studs instead of empty drywall”.

Once you get people on computers, there are many out there who don’t know why things happen. Windows BMP works well as a wallpaper, but they don’t understand why I can’t use it in a print document…..actually “because it looks like shit when printed” isn’t that good of an answer. And once you explain what DPI means, you’re just making them loathe computers even more. My eyes glaze over and my thoughts drift away when I hear anyone talk technical, and I know what DPI means.

So where do we meet? Currently we’re meeting at a point where nothing is gonna get fixed for a while. I blame Windows for a lot of this. Because to run Windows, you can’t just sit someone down at a computer, you have to explain why you have a bsod and how to do nic-picking little things. Windows users accept mediocrity because Windows is mediocre and in turn because of that, mediocre work gets done. (every os has it’s problems, but because Windows has 95% I blame them)

Now to go back to the building metaphor. My Mom’s house was built by a contractor who was just churning out houses at a phenomenal rate. And because of such, there are lots and lots of mediocre work. Builder’s grade siding, cracked tile, one coat of watered-down paint on the walls, cut beams, etc. This builder is the Microsoft of North Georgia homes between $95k-$110k.

I look at every project as a personal work, as you tend to do your best work for yourself. Mom’s builder just wanted to make money and give people a house that needed work in year 1. The people involved in building my in-law’s house are working toward building something that will last. People sending out crappy files, take away that personal aspect and almost drive a designer to becoming a constant churn of mediocre work. Because if you don’t give a damn about your own project, why should I?