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stutts

"Corporate" work?

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Hey all. I'm doing a "corporate" style gig at the moment. The bulk of my experience so far has been doing more fun, edgy, whimsical stuff, and I keep accidentally nudging the project's look and feel in that direction.

 

I know I need to make it more "serious" and "respectable"- but that's not as much where my head is naturally at - my gut reaction is to make things have personality, playfulness, and energy, and it keeps slipping in to the work I'm doing for this gig.

 

Anybody got any tips for toning down the character and/or playfulness of your work without making it boring? Any sweet corporate work you've seen/done that I could take a look at would be appreciated too.

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Hey stutts - my advice is to not deviate too much from your style unless you really get the idea they hate that - they hired you for a reason, and even suits like to giggle. But, my experience is that when it comes to their branding, logos & corporate guidelines, these guys have no sense of humour. That includes colour palette, fonts etc - as long as you nail that and respect their brand there's no reason why corporate gigs can't be just as much fun.

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as with most corporate clients they'll water down your design with each successive version until they've broken you. Rates in the corp/medical field can be quite good.... for that you must be willing to give up a piece of your soul (your design-soul, that is). :)

mike

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Thanks, Chris. We'll see what they say.

 

as with most corporate clients they'll water down your design with each successive version until they've broken you. Rates in the corp/medical field can be quite good.... for that you must be willing to give up a piece of your soul (your design-soul, that is). :)

mike

 

Well, luckily due to the client and the deadline, I don't think that'll be as much of a problem this time. But I've done design by indecisive committee before, though. Really fucking painful experience. By the end, yeah, you're broken. You'll do whatever they want just to get the project over with, make them "happy" and move on. Which is beyond dumb, because in the end, they're not really happy either, but the process has been run into the ground, they have to pick something, and their designers are a hair's breadth away from just walking away from the project, so they settle on a mediocre execution. (hahaa...that gig was almost 2 years ago, and I still get the heebey-jeebies thinking about it. yeesh)

 

-stutts-

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the more corporate the work, the more money you make, the less creative you can be...

the more independent the work, the less money you make, the more creative you can be...

 

Just the way it is.

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IMO - unless you want to have an aneurysm, just do as they say and don't provide much insight, even if asked. They just want to see whats already in their heads on screen... Even if you make something completely bad-ass, they will just wonder what would happen if they took your skills and applied it to their shitty original ideas and make you re-do it.

 

Charge a lot, prepare to be revisioned to death, and pick up a side uber-creative project in parallel for when you get the itch.

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Stutts, I have done alot of corpo work as side gigs to make extra cash. I find that if you stick very closely to their already branded design style, you can actually get away with alot. And you can make it somewhat fun and whimsical, although it will be dumbed down fun and whimsical. I usually use corpo jobs to learn and implement new techniques that Ive been working on, and see if I can pass it by the client. Most corporate clients love seeing things that look expensive like some nice texturing, HDRI lighting, or some dynamics. Make this job work for you aswell, its always great to be paid to learn new techniques. If the job is super boring and you have no creative input or you are getting way too many revisions, don't take another corporate job. Gotta look at them as money makers, hopefully some of them allow good creative. You should be the one dictating the creative and the style.

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Branding guidelines are made to be broken. Bend, twist and add copious amounts of motion blur to the rules and discover the freedom of working within the box.

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... Even if you make something completely bad-ass, they will just wonder what would happen if they took your skills and applied it to their shitty original ideas and make you re-do it.

 

one of the best mograph proverbs i've seen in a while.

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there are jobs for the reel, and then there's jobs to pay the bills. Which isn't saying that corporate work always has to be dull & toned down, but in the event you run into road blocks, such as the dismantling of your design / ideas for any given project. Lower your head, get it done, collect the check, & move on-

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Hey stutts - my advice is to not deviate too much from your style unless you really get the idea they hate that...

Thesis: A decent motion designer shouldn´t have one specific style. He should rather try to develop a style that specifically fits the current project / client. One size fits all doesn´t work in many cases.

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Thesis: A decent motion designer shouldn´t have one specific style. He should rather try to develop a style that specifically fits the current project / client. One size fits all doesn´t work in many cases.

 

Only once was a tuned away with the explanation that I didn't have a "particular defined style"... but it was for an in-house animation position doing station branding, etc. They kept asking me over and over what "my stye" was, to which I always replied that it generally varies on the current branding of the product / service / company / show in question.

 

 

It seemed as if they were just waiting for me to say "I'm a comedy central style" or "I'm a TBS style" which is just weird. It was for a well known web video site that was starting it's own video productions and custom programming, so I suppose it makes sense that they seemed to come from an entirely different mindset.

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Guest Sao_Bento

The "style" thing seems really dumb to me. You're basically excluding a huge pool of potential clients by not being able to communicate their message for them. If you happen to do something and someone tracks you down asking you to recreate that style, that's fine, but it seems really arrogant to think that you're Picasso or something and people should just come pay you to do it your own way. It does happen for some people, but it's a really shitty idea to base your career plans on.

 

 

Only once was a tuned away with the explanation that I didn't have a "particular defined style"... but it was for an in-house animation position doing station branding, etc. They kept asking me over and over what "my stye" was, to which I always replied that it generally varies on the current branding of the product / service / company / show in question.

 

 

It seemed as if they were just waiting for me to say "I'm a comedy central style" or "I'm a TBS style" which is just weird. It was for a well known web video site that was starting it's own video productions and custom programming, so I suppose it makes sense that they seemed to come from an entirely different mindset.

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If you happen to do something and someone tracks you down asking you to recreate that style, that's fine, but it seems really arrogant to think that you're Picasso or something and people should just come pay you to do it your own way.

 

I don't mean to sound "arrogant" nor do I think I am Picasso... Little baffled at this to tell you the truth.. Possibly this is due to the difference in types of clients I have worked for, and jobs previously held. I understand that a lot of people have a niche skillset here, so it may be a difference in sub-industry / client base.

 

For example, at my old job, if I was working on a Blu-ray menu animation for 'Sin City', it better not at all look like the one for 'A Scanner Darkly'.. And a lot of freelance clients specifically request to stay within previously established design standards. Thats all I mean. The majority of my past works have required that I follow and mock an art direction previously established long before my involvement, and without "art direction". I have never really been involved in a branding conceptualization phase within a boutique design environment, which I assume is the mindset you are coming from.

 

I see and understand the point you are trying to make, but I believe diversity and flexibility in style is an important trait to have.

 

 

As you said previously,

 

Ahh, the difference between art and design.

 

which I personally interpret as "design from the soul vs design from client specifications".

 

 

 

 

*Edit - I was re-reading your post and I think there was a bit of a misunderstanding on both of our behalves.. They didn't really say much of anything except that question. It was for a full time position, and right off the bat "what's your style".. I asked them what demographic they were after, and tried to dig into the entity that they were trying to become (startup), but she wouldn't have it.. "no, no... just tell us what your style is"... It was truly odd.The more I tried to figure them out and offer them something, the more upset and frustrated they got.

 

Sorry for possibly not communicating the story in full.

Edited by AromaKat

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Guest Sao_Bento

The thing about not participating in the creation of a look or brand is just part of being at the bottom of the stack. It's certainly more fun to be at the top and get to participate in those things, but they are rarely the work of a single person.

 

I was talking about a concept that seems to be more common lately, where people think their job is to develop their own personal style and then people come to them and pay them to do that style. I guess this comes from the illustration world, but it's not the most practical approach, regardless of the field. I assumed that was what you were talking about, and I was generally addressing that line of thinking. I didn't mean to suggest that you, personally, think you are Picasso, etc.

 

I love the line in "The Departed", where Nicholson talks about John Lennon - "Lennon said, "I'm an artist. You give me a fucking tuba, I'll get you something out of it."

I think that directly applies to this field and the idea of having a fixed style. Mostly we are craftsmen with a wide variety of skills that we should be able to apply to a wide variety of projects. (NOTE: I talk like this because I'm a crabby old man and read everything through a "those damn kids" filter)

 

I don't mean to sound "arrogant" nor do I think I am Picasso... Little baffled at this to tell you the truth.. Possibly this is due to the difference in types of clients I have worked for, and jobs previously held. I understand that a lot of people have a niche skillset here, so it may be a difference in sub-industry / client base.

 

For example, at my old job, if I was working on a Blu-ray menu animation for 'Sin City', it better not at all look like the one for 'A Scanner Darkly'.. And a lot of freelance clients specifically request to stay within previously established design standards. Thats all I mean. The majority of my past works have required that I follow and mock an art direction previously established long before my involvement, and without "art direction". I have never really been involved in a branding conceptualization phase within a boutique design environment, which I assume is the mindset you are coming from.

 

I see and understand the point you are trying to make, but I believe diversity and flexibility in style is an important trait to have.

 

 

As you said previously,

 

 

 

which I personally interpret as "design from the soul vs design from client specifications".

 

 

 

 

*Edit - I was re-reading your post and I think there was a bit of a misunderstanding on both of our behalves.. They didn't really say much of anything except that question. It was for a full time position, and right off the bat "what's your style".. I asked them what demographic they were after, and tried to dig into the entity that they were trying to become (startup), but she wouldn't have it.. "no, no... just tell us what your style is"... It was truly odd.The more I tried to figure them out and offer them something, the more upset and frustrated they got.

 

Sorry for possibly not communicating the story in full.

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I was talking about a concept that seems to be more common lately, where people think their job is to develop their own personal style and then people come to them and pay them to do that style. I guess this comes from the illustration world, but it's not the most practical approach, regardless of the field. I assumed that was what you were talking about, and I was generally addressing that line of thinking. I didn't mean to suggest that you, personally, think you are Picasso, etc.

 

I think this is exactly what the employer was expecting, and was looking for.

 

I think we are on the same page here, and got a little disconnected in the communication.

 

 

 

Glad that such is the case.... While I generally have thick skin when it comes to critiques, for some unknown reasoning I start curling up in horrified shame when I think the great Sao is throwing criticisms my way.

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