A few months ago I soft launched my new Design Studio Threesome PTY LTD. Initially we were doing great! We got a fair few small $500 jobs in the door without much trouble, low budgets, but at that early stage we were just willing to take on anything just to see how we all got along.
Then the wheels started coming off.
A few months in and we’re still working on some of those $500 jobs. Graphic Design isn’t easy. Sometimes you hit the nail on the head first go, sometimes you do so many iterations you feel like shit for not being able to do what the client wants.
All clients want it done yesterday but take a week to give you feedback. Not all clients are educated, not all clients want to be educated. Some clients want bad design, or worse, to sit over your shoulder and for you to be a mac operator.
I’ve realised it’s so important for me to keep my morale up and my ego healthy in order for me to continue doing work for others, as working on stuff which I’m embarrassed about. IE: stuff I would never put in my portfolio, is what’s going to kill all my passion and motivation to do good work.
About 10 years ago I was doing banner adverts for $400/banner. These crunched down gif animations took me all of 10–15 minutes to do and get approved. That’s $400 for 10 minutes worth of work, but after a while I lost my shit, had enough and dropped the job. Why? It’s because I’ve been doing banner adverts since day 1, the late 90’s and I never fucking want to do one ever again. IE: I’ve done my time!
So now I’m sacking some clients. IE: I’m giving up on some jobs that are almost over the finish line. Why? Because I have to in order to stay true to myself, to stay sane.
End of the day I’ve been here before. I’ve run a successful design company in the past, and I’m not so sure why I’m back here again, trying to make a mark that I’ve already made. It’s still early days for Threesome, but I’ve thrown a spanner into the works already. My 2 partners and the team we’ve built are listening, together we’re already changing directions towards photography/content creation and social media management, all of which are potentially lucrative and creatively challenging.
We’re still going to do design work, but only for brands we admire and clients that we legit want to work with. Saying no to design work we feel isn’t a good fit for our design culture shouldn’t be too hard to do, but finding the right clients that do fit in with our ethos won’t be so easy, but we know they’re out there!