Do you ever want to shriek “I did that” when the accolades are doled out? But there goes someone else – your boss, maybe, or a former colleague – on to the podium to pick up the prize. It happens all the time, and with the awards season in full swing, we’re likely to hear a host of new mutterings.
Particularly prevalent in this post-recessionary age are the jobs submitted by two separate consultancies. A project might find itself in two portfolios when its author shifts from the consultancy of origin on to new things – usually a start-up firm. Some such cases have been resolved amicably, with both parties taking the honours – witness the Kathy Miller/Michael Peters Ltd experience over the show-stopping Safeway tinned vegetables in Design Week’s 1991 awards. But it isn’t always thus.
We’ve railed before about the justice of giving designers credit, even if the work is carried out under the aegis of a consultancy. We say you should be as proud of the talent you employ as of the corporate animal.
But what of those other people who play a key part in your designs? The specialists who are themselves consultants? We all know how galling it is when the national media fails to name the designer of a project they are discussing – only in fashion is the name on the label the thing that sells. And we know this is set to get worse as a wealth of millennium projects gets a public airing.
So what of those outside collaborators? Photographers and illustrators have taken legal steps to avoid total obscurity – and good designers are often visibly proud of the relationship. But what of typographers? What of the crafts folk who’ve added special touches to that interior? And what of the interface designers who’ve made your product idiot-proof? What’s wrong with patting them on the back?
If designers could be a bit more generous with their praise, clients and the media might return the compliment and honour them more. If you can only admit your strength lies in putting the right team together, clients might suddenly be proud to be employing you.