What rate should you be paid?

The demand for senior and digital talent has never been stronger. But reduced client budgets are starting to impact on salary levels and recruitment strategies, threatening to stall the freelance sector while promising better packages for permanent staff.

(originally published 19/03/08)

THE RESULTS of the Design Week Salary Survey enable us to compare average salary data for 2007 with 2006. What do we make of all this? And what does it mean for the year ahead? It’s a complex picture, but there are definite trends, say recruiters. ‘Overall, people should be pretty positive about the market,’ says Paul Wood of Purple. Salaries are holding strong, and it’s still a buoyant, candidatedriven market.

Karina Beesley, managing director of Gabriele Skelton, says, ‘Salaries have performed well and there’s been no obvious dip. On the contrary, they continue to go up with inflation and some consultancies are being clever and adding good incentives, bonus packages and other rewards to the basic salary.’ Outside London, the picture is steady but no more rosy. ‘Salaries are slowly rising, but hardly keeping pace with inflation and public sector increases,’ says Joanne Snell of Gallery Resources in Gloucester.

The economic optimism of last year is already tempered with a marked awareness that tough times may lay ahead. Few recruiters predicted that salaries will rise by more than 5 per cent this year; some said not at all.

How seriously should jobseekers take the whispers of an economic downturn or a recession? After all, says Beesley, ‘Whenever a downward turn is predicted, there will always be an impact on design recruitment.’ Yet confidence is holding fast for the time being, and employers are merely being more circumspect. ‘The market is still buoyant and there is no dramatic sign of it slowing, though consultancies are keeping an eye on the horizon,’ says Nathan Myatt, managing director of Workstation.

Despite the US credit crunch – which has caused a slight drop in recruitment activity by some of the large creative networks with US and financial services clients – some warn that it’s dangerous to talk of a looming UK recession. ‘It depends how you see it – anyone aged 35 or over will think any slowdown is a walk in the park compared to the early 1990s,’ says Stuart Newman of Network. ‘The message we’re getting from our clients is, what’s the problem? There’s not much difference between this year and last year. Things might not be as fast as the past two years, but there is still plenty of work. With UK growth last year of well over 3 per cent, we are confident that even though salaries will level out this year – especially freelance rates, which have grown by more than 100 per cent in the past four years – there is still a strong candidate-driven market. You can talk yourself into a downturn,’ he warns.

If consultancies begin to see their clients facing cuts in budgets, they’ll be wise to maintain their account development teams in the longer term. Consultancies also need to drum up new business rather than push for a bigger slice of cash from existing clients. ‘New business people are in high demand as consultancies are gearing themselves up for tougher economic times over the next 12 months,’ says Kim Crawford of Periscope.

At the beginning of the year, recruitment did appear to be slowing slightly. Claire Vidler of Blue Tree Recruitment says that although the number of vacancies registered in 2008 has already increased on 2007, consultancies have been slower this January to recruit personnel. ‘They are interviewing – however, at the same time they are reviewing their existing personnel resources in more depth to ensure they are recruiting [the number of people] they really need,’ she says.

On the other hand, Paul Cowen of With Us claims that start-ups benefit when the economy slows down. ‘Whenever spending [on design] is cut, salary levels stagnate,’ he says. ‘However, new startups also flourish. These often work with smaller budgets, and subsequently replace salary-level with kudos. That said, successful independents continue to offer higher-level salaries.’

Freelance vs permanent?
Freelance remains a major – and controversial – segment of the design labour market. The increasing volume of seniors choosing to freelance has left a gap in the supply of permanent candidates, and with rates often more attractive than salaries, it’s an increasingly popular choice. Wood notes a bigger increase in the number of professional freelances in the past year. ‘Good people are aware that their skills are at a premium and the more business-savvy will charge accordingly,’ he says. However, the rocketing pay rates of recent years may be about to stabilise, says Newman. ‘We believe that freelance rates will bottom out during 2008.’

Money is not the only deciding factor. ‘If the economy does take a downturn (and it is a big ‘if’ – it’s still not a foregone conclusion), then consultancies may well reduce the often-large number of freelances they’re using,’ says Beesley. This is because freelances are more expensive than permanent staff when a consultancy uses them long-term. Equally, freelance staff may elect to return to the stability of a permanent position, even if it means a lower pay rate. (See also freelance salary survey, DW 27 September 2007)

Pending legislative measures may also threaten the freelance gravy train. This spring, the Agency Workers Bill is being reviewed by Parliament. This bill could have a negative impact on the creative labour market, as it looks to give freelances rights equal, in certain areas, to those of their permanent counterparts.

‘One of the undoubted strengths of the UK economy is the flexibility we enjoy in the labour market,’ explains Stefan Ciecierski, European managing director of Aquent. ‘We acknowledge there is a big difference between creatives using flexible working to their own benefit, and low-paid manual labour. This bill doesn’t recognise the difference, and in attempting to help manual workers we could damage our vital creative industries.’

Digital market
The digital sector is one area where soaring demand for labour has pushed staff into freelance work to reap large pay rewards. But, says Workstation’s Myatt, ‘The digital market can’t sustain the increase in freelance rates. In some cases freelances are earning double that of their permanent counterparts, driven by simple supply and demand. January saw a temporary stall in the freelance digital market, as consultancies looked to reduce costs by resolving their talent shortages by other means.’ So the freelance bubble could well burst in 2008, which would see staff moving back into permanent roles. Recruiters predict that digital freelance rates will peak in the first half of this year, and then probably decline towards the end of the year.

Skills shortages
With several traditional graphics consultancies moving towards digital media, the message is simple. ‘Print creatives should be actively encouraged to gain digital experience and awareness wherever possible,’ says Paula Carrahar of Major Players.

There is still a glut of junior designers, for whom the message is to diversify.

The high demand for consumer branding and packaging talent continues on both a creative and consultative level. Those skilled in large-scale corporate brand creation and implementation (strategic, global projects rather than small identity briefs) face a buoyant demand for their talent.

‘Across the board, the biggest demand is for middleweight to senior people, regardless of discipline – there are far more permanent roles for these than there are people available,’ says Beesley. ‘This is partly because at this level, so many are able to go freelance and are now reluctant to return to permanent roles.’

WHAT THE FIGURES SHOW
On the whole, salaries performed well in 2007, and there has been no obvious dip or surge. Rates for outside London show more consistent growth than in the capital where they fluctuate more wildly, in response to changing supply and demand.

salary

For the main design roles, UK-wide rates for senior designers increased by a satisfactory 3 per cent, yet rates for junior designers in London remained static. Pay rates for middleweight designers have levelled off, dipping slightly in London, yet this follows a rise in 2006 so it’s perhaps not unexpected.

Middleweight designers have been in demand, and there has been a rise in freelance activity at this level. Consultants also report a healthy growth in demand for skilled artworkers, with pay rates not far behind those of designers.

It is more difficult to interpret the results at the upper end of the salary scale, as this area shows the greatest discrepancy between individual consultancies and roles. In London, the year-on-year percentage increase for creative director roles has leapt by a staggering 22 per cent, yet many consultants quoted broad scales for this job alone, with London estimates ranging from £35 000 up to £90 000, with £70 000-plus a commonly quoted figure

The same can be said of managing directors, with estimates varying widely from £70 000 to £115 000, and so our survey shows that their average pay has whizzed up by 45 per cent, although we should bear in mind the variations.

Overall, the picture for ‘suits’ is less clear to read, with rises and falls across the board. Senior account manager and new business director roles stayed the most static, while there’s a marked fall in rates for account executives.

It seems that, last year, working as an account manager outside London paid dividends, while the respective rate in the capital dropped by 8 per cent.

The figures show a smoother salary progression on the management side, with rates curving gently upwards through the skill levels. On the creative side, the jump from senior designer to creative director records a vast increase in remuneration – £32 000 – which perhaps indicates a tough career leap.

This year’s survey cannot show percentage increases for digital roles, as we have introduced a more accurate range of job titles to the poll. However, there are several comments on labour market activity in this sector in the main article.

HOW YOU CAN HELP YOURSELF AND YOUR COMPANY TO WIN
Finding seriously talented people affects everyone – even the top 20 consultancies where everyone wants to work. Today our industry needs great consultancies and creative brains that share the same goals if they are to rise to the challenges of an increasingly complicated brand and media landscape. Rod Petrie offers some career development pointers:

You are the brand
In a service business, you are the brand and you must embody the brand values of your company. It’s a simple practice to implement, so check out your own vision and mission statements, core values, tone-of-voice and personality.

Winning
Winners set realistic goals as their targets and have a can-do attitude. They create good habits and are not afraid to ask for help to improve on their personal best. They are prepared to put in the hard work and dedication – they don’t expect to win overnight.

Leadership
One key leadership attribute is the ability to spot and develop talent. There are three choices: employ winners from outside, which can be costly with no guarantee; find potential winners from within and make them into winners – this can take time and investment, but is very rewarding; do nothing and watch your company drop a division and go bust.

Communication
Understanding how people like to receive information will help you to communicate more effectively. You might both be communicating in the same language, but we all process information differently. Discovering people’s learning strategies – whether they pick up on things or think things through – is a vital part of an employee’s armoury.

Teamwork
If trust, respect and collaboration are the predominant emotions in a team, the resulting energy becomes expansive, encouraging creativity and open communication. Your individual performance will also improve – try it.

Be the best
If you want to talk more confidently at internal meetings, try mirroring the person with the best presentation skills in the consultancy. You don’t have to give up your identity. Just observe and practise and you’ll get better.

Work is play
As children we weren’t frightened of asking questions; we were curious, didn’t understand fear, were more creative, and learned through play. Encourage people to be themselves, to have fun and to take risks, and you will unleash their creativity.

Rod Petrie is a business coach with more than 30 years in the design industry

Benefits
Because of this imbalance between supply and demand, candidates remain the driving force in the market, and as salaries are not predicted to rise, consultancies are now electing to offer many more soft benefits in a bid to both attract and retain employees (see box, above). ‘Candidates are deciding on who to join based on improved benefit packages rather than just salaries,’ says Snell of Gallery Resources. Increased holiday and maternity/paternity leave, health insurance, pensions and training are all joining the basic remuneration offer, and recruiters expect to see more of this. ‘Many consultancies are starting to take on board the importance of the employer brand to attract and retain the best people,’ says Workstation’s Myatt.

Staying put
The dearth of good middleweight designers that has been seen in sectors like packaging is blamed on a lack of training and investment in junior roles, and the industry has paid handsomely by experiencing a skills shortage, which employers have had to solve by the expensive employment of freelances. The upshot is that more consultancies are improving their efforts to retain and develop staff – it’s cheaper in the long run. Career progression is therefore improving for those who stay put. ‘As consultancies grow, they are becoming more structured and starting to offer sound career paths for designers and account handlers alike,’ says Periscope’s Crawford.

That doesn’t make pay rises necessarily any easier to secure, yet Wood recommends presenting your case and proving why you think you’ve earned it. ‘It is always easier as an employer to make a more informed decision when it’s there in black and white.’ However, he warns against jumping ship without thinking it through. ‘If you don’t get that pay rise, it doesn’t mean that by going somewhere else that will pay a little bit extra, you will be both happier and able to progress your career in any way.’

THE SOFT TOUCH – EXTRA BENEFITS
Pension, death in service and season ticket loans, paid overtime, healthcare, pension, cash/car allowance, performance-related bonus structure, good holiday allowance, training and development programme, working from home, mobile phone, laptop, increased maternity/paternity leave, gym membership, breakfast, fruit, duvet days, flexible working hours, fun, social culture.

WHAT WE DID
To get a fair perspective on the state of salaries in design, we sent a detailed questionnaire to design consultancies featured in our most recent Top 100 and Creative Survey and to specialist recruitment agencies both in London and in the rest of the UK. Our results are based on responses we received in February from recruitment agencies, which deal daily with staff across all disciplines and positions, both in-house and at design groups, in London and the rest of the country. The response from designers was limited, but was used as a check and comparison. Given the highly specialised nature of the design industry, the salaries given can only be used as a guide, as they will vary widely according to the profile of the job and candidate.

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Comments
  • milo July 5, 2012 at 3:23 am

    There’s no skills shortage nor it is true that traditional designers do not have ‘digital experience’. If there was a skill shortage I would have a job.
    Since I do not have a job, there’s no skills shortage by a definition.
    The only shortage that there is is in agency’s ability to recruit the right staff since they are afraid to look beyond the “box’ but rather “play safe” as an excuse to charge more.
    As if most of designers are a sort of trained chimps who are unable to use their intellect and creativity but only what they’ve “experienced”..no wonder there’s no respect for creative type of qualifications.

    So, I am afraid all of this loads of …..

    Ask someone else than “specialist recruitment agencies” what do they know? all they want is to satisfy their clients who, if they knew what they wanted, would look for their staff themselves. So, next time…
    Ask designers instead.

  • Mark November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I think what you are saying is right. The skills are blatantly obvious to see if you look at figures of how many people graduate and the massive influx of freelancers. Its down to the design consultancies to really think logically; do they want to get freelancers and blow the money they could spend on investing designers or do they invest in designers and benefit in the long run? I have no job too and it bugs me when I see that consultancies are complaining about money and figures. The fact that the unhealthy future of our economy is ever present it should be a factor that makes design consultancies think about employing more now and nurturing talent for later on.

  • Brendan Waller November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I couldn’t agree more with Milo and I think that I must be in a very similar situation. It may be naivety on my part but I have always seen design skills as being transferable between roles if there is adequate training available, especially if moving from one print discipline to another.

    Having spent almost 8 years in publishing and DM for possibly the most recognizable publishing brand in the world I find it quite depressing how ‘agency background’ seems to be the be all and end all. How about taking a punt on people with outstanding core skills, invaluable experience and above all creative flair and energy. It’s as if an ‘old boys network’ exists within the design industry and only a reference from a ‘top 20 London agency’ is worth anything anymore. If there truly is a deficit then why are recruiters seemingly so reluctant to even get people in for interview?

    Thankfully I have a steady stream of freelance work to fall back on whilst I look for my next permanent role but I am rapidly losing faith in the way that design recruitment works.

  • vans November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I tend to agree with Milo, certainly about agencies. The notion that if you haven’t already done something, then you can’t do it, is a staple in the attitude of agencies and some employers and it makes the whole business of getting work frustrating in the extreme. Since I’m based in Scotland, I have virtually no information to add because all of these very worthy and information-rich websites and online agencies seem to have forgotten that Scotland exists, let alone has a creative industry. I can’t remember the last place I encountered such London-centric thinking and in an industry that claims to be creative, imaginative and forward thinking, this is especially poor. So, there could be a downturn in the market, or there might not be, but from where I’m sitting, who the hell knows?

  • S November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I am a freelance graphic designer outside of London. Early in my career, I also worked as a recruitment consultant in a specialist design recruitment firm for a year so I know how they work. In the last few months, I made a push to acquire new contacts for freelance design work and contacted approximately 10 design agencies and 3 recruitment consultancies. In my own survey, I can conclude that I have had nothing but a positive response to my work samples from all those agencies that got back to me (all bar a couple) and great work from 3 of them very quickly. I have had no reply from 2 of the recruitment consultants, despite follow up calls. Having worked in the recruitment business, I find it is very frustrating and unprofessional that they did not reply – even in the negative. I have no top 10 agency experience and think that this has certainly influenced their view. If recruitment consultants were able to look at the applicants with a broader perspective, they may be surprised to find a greater pool of good designers to call upon.

  • Bud November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I agree with all these comments. I have been working in Advertising, Publishing and Pre-press for 22 years. I am finding working with recruitment agencies frustrating because they dont really know what I do even if I tell and show them through my past work. Now all the work I seek is through agencies and they have failed to place me in the right roles. In my career so far I have always talked directly to employers who can expalin what they want. If I can do the job I will tell them so. Now I have to use a middle person who cant tell their knee from their elbow. If employers want to find the right person they should look themselves. Better to hear it from the horses mouth as the old saying goes.

  • Monkey November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I get payed peanuts!

  • anon November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Is it me or are the recruitment consultants simply the estate agents of the creative industry? They serve no purpose other than to exploit both the agencies and designers alike. They inflate wages, misunderstand agency requirements, place candidates poorly and all for their 20% minimum cut that could go to the candidate… how many times have you presented a book to a consultant that truly knows the value and worth of the work inside? Are they really the most reliable source of information within within a salary survey.. having dealt with many in the past I personally am dubious of any recruitment consultants intentions

  • Midibot November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I have been freelancing as a multi-disciplinary designer in London for 6 months and have found it almost impossible to get “in there” with the agencies. They are incredibly frustrating and unprofessional in my opinion. I get no call backs and spend so much time just trying to speak to the right person. When I do, they fob me off with excuses. I get calls every now and then telling me they havea job for me and then I hear nothing. Of course it could be down to my skills and portfolio but I dont think so. What I do know is that they all tell me is that because I havent much “agency experience” then I am not that attractive. Its a viscious circle! Im also having trouble selling myself as an “all rounder”. Businesses wants a specialist in a certain area. I have skills in graphics, 3D, product, animation, flash etc. And I KNOW I am up there with the competition but people ASSUME Im not good enough because I dont specialise. Grrrrrr

  • jason November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Don’t get me started, please!
    I have major issues at the moment with both the recruitment agencies and freelance designers. As an ex-freelance designer, and now someone who has to hire them (creative director), i find things are completely out of whack with how they should be.

    There is a skills shortage in the industry – fact. There’s also a whole lot of designers punting themselves out there at a level that they just can’t live up to. The agents are a major culprit in creating this false economy of skills, as they try and get the worst of the market to be considered for jobs and projects that they wouldn’t know where to begin!

    We’re in a situation where freelance ‘senior designers’ are often no better than a designer with 3 years experience, and certainly less reliable or guaranteed.

    I believe if you’re charging a premium per hour, you’re basically saying ‘hey, i’m good, ill crack those ideas straight away, and in a short amount of time, so thats why i’m worth it’ – if only I could get this reliability rather than the hit and miss nature of freelancers.

    So really, if you aren’t getting in front of design agencies it’s due to a)your experience and b)your portfolio. Seriously, if you have both of these sorted, then you would be snapped up immediately because it’s a rare find!

  • Joe November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Can someone describe to me the difference between an artworker and a designer please?

  • Damien Jamet November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    What rate should you be paid:
    I’m sure we all have some experiences to tell, but a good survey, with graphics and rates mostly remains more faithful to the facts, and here are the facts:
    1/as (design) specialists, we’re all definitely under-paid!!
    2/we should all work in the Digital Design!
    What I miss however in this survey is a litle distinction between Freelancers, designers who work in the industry, and designers who work in a design-agency…because I’m sure these salaries are not the reality of the ‘in-house’ designers at Nokia, Philips (or any other multinational company in London)…and neither the one of all the freelance designers!
    There is sometimes a huge gap depending on ‘who you work for’…
    And what about the royalties paiements, the undeclared jobs to pay the car options, etc.?
    …so basically, this survey is certainly interesting to see the differencies between the various Design disciplines, but doesn’t witness the whole reality of this job, which clearly escapes from all serious survey!

  • Stu Collett November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    It would be really interesting to see some stats on user interface designers & user experience designers for digital too.

    Thanks for the for the lowdown though,

    Stu Collett.

  • Nonnie Mouse November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I wholeheartedly agree with all comments here that relate to recruitment agencies. In my experience, unless you can email them with CV/worksamples identical to that of their client’s departing employee, then you have little chance of being called back, let alone put forward for that job – there just seems to be no imagination or insight on their part. I approached one exalted recruitment agency – website furnished with glowing testimonials from successfully placed candidates (yeah right) – as they were advertising great-sounding creative jobs, ideally suited to my experience. In response I had the most blanket reject email imaginable, referring me to a marketing recruitment agency…! My request for specific feedback on this occasion remains unanswered. Argh!

  • Elle November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    What is the difference between a junior and a middleweight designer please, is this purely in terms of experience? I have 4 years experience now. Thanks.

  • DARREN CONGDON November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Following on from last comment, can someone confirm how many years experience is a middleweight designer supposed to have? I thought it was around three years that you move form junior to middleweight, I may be wrong?

  • Craig November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I would say a middleweight designer has 5-7 good years in design, a junior to be is someone fresh out of college/uni or has a very good portfolio and shows a good passion in the industry.

  • jo November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    i don’t know how it works with agencies
    i went to an agency evening once and it was dreadful, really not my thing. creative people don’t always approach these agencies and aren’t suited to it.
    i try to get work direct if possible
    ive had my work published and meant to be ‘up and coming’ designer etc etc but its a total drag finding work and i don’t earn enough to enjoy london enough
    so talent doesnt equal good pay
    also i’m not blue chip orientated…
    i’m more like a poor artist not swanky designer! i think if you can design you can design – print or digital but people need to give us the opportunity too
    definitely companies should look for themselves – agencies aren’t amazing.
    😉

  • bruce Baillie November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Having worked as a designer/illustrator for the past 30 odd years (in West Yorkshire) I can agree with a lot of comments in this forum. I worked for 10 years in greetings cards, 16 years in newspapers 3 years freelance full time and have done just about every kind of design work you can think of. I’ve always thought the ‘creative industry’ is nowhere near as creative as it likes to think it is. Like quite a few of you have said, skills are transerable, if you can design one thing, you can design another. You might need a little time to adjust but it ain’t rocket science. Yet there is this obsession with ‘having the right experience’. I think in my case if I don’t have enough experience now, I never will have!

  • Anne-Marie November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I totally agree with the comments left by Bruce Baillie. It’s true that design skills can be transerable.

    As for recruitment agencies, I’ve been a designer in various fields for 11 years. In that time I’ve gotten only 2 jobs as a result of a recruitment agency.

    I’ve been trying to get back into work after having a baby in 2007 and I’ve been looking since January this year with the “help” of recruitment agencies as I wasn’t sure about the current job climate. I’ve had many enquiries and positive feedback but nothing else. This week I decided to ditch the agencies and contact people myself. I’ve got 2 interviews next week. That just about sums it up for me really.

  • Emma C November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Could someone please explain the difference between a ‘Junior Designer’ and a ‘Junior Artworker’?

    I’ve been in my current position for 6 months and currently manage all the clients for a small publishing company for their annual publications. My job encompasses everything from copy chasing and design work right through to office admin for the sales team, and much more beyond! I’m trying to put together some evidence that I deserve a better salary given the non-exhaustive list of responsibilities my job entails, but obviously I have to get my facts right! I’ve found examples of other similar job vacancies which are currently advertised at a higher salary than my own but I don’t want to be in a position where my MD simply responds “Go and work for them instead then”, as I want to stay in the company but feel I’m being let down financially.

    Please advise!

  • yodesigner November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    The creative industry is a joke at the moment in terms of pay. and really it has itself to blame as agenices and company based salarieS on what is in the current market. so instead of seeing you as a huge creative talent your more of a drone.

  • nathan thompson November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    The difference between a designer and an artworker?

    (answer from London designer/’artworker’ of 7 years varied design experience)

    In theory ‘a designer’ comes up with the concepts, an artworker draws them up and sets them up for print web etc.

    In reality it’s a blurred line and only means something to giant companies who split tasks up between their (often underemployed) multiple staff.

    As anyone who has worked in a company of less than a million people knows , it’s a nonsensical division. Because you do a bit of both…and then some…and often you cant differentiate one from the other, the two are so inter-related. You evolve an idea (design) throughout the artworking process.

    If someone is particular about you being an artworker, not a designer: it means that they want you to accept you have very limited creative scope and be a technical bod and must do as specified. That’s my experience. It’s your decision, but you’ll accept a job as a visual administrator or ‘artworker’ if the money’s right..and given that it’s not forever. And you can then do creative stuff you love in your spare time.

    Hope this helps Emma C and others!

    I in turn am grateful for the previous comments from those more experienced than me re: agencies. A lot of stuff regarding the insular cliqueyness of the industry rings true. It’s an old boy’s network of mates and cronies: often not about your versatility and skill. but then a lot of industries are like this..

    Final point: why do employers make out like you do all your learning in education and not in the job? It seems that half the people are saying ‘design education isnt good enough’ (perhaps it isnt) as if sitting in a classroom working for marks can ever teach you what to do in a design studio with a looming deadline and a jittery client? Come on get real!

    The best education most of us get is in work. Employers should recognise one learns and grows in the job. Employees should recognise they’re at a minimum standard to do the job and should work hard to improve.

    End of rant! Happy Designing !

    PS What rate should you be paid?
    As much as you can get!

  • Joe Bloggs November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    2 points.
    Firstly, Recruitment agencies (no matter HOW specialised they are) DEFINATELY miss golden opportunities with candidates and i agree with the people who approach companies directly. As for HR departments in companies, i find that they’re even WORSE.
    Always get the direct contact for the person who will be doing the interview and contact directly

    Secondly, that salary table (out of date though it may be) is utter rubbish… Example, how can a Middleweight Product DESIGNER be paid LESS than the Middleweight Product ARTWORKER.
    I’m a Senior Product Designer that has over 8 years experience designing AND Developing footwear, Accessories, Luggage and Packaging for major sports/lifestyle brands.
    ALL product roles i’ve ever seen back up my statement.
    I very rarely see a packaging designer on more money than a senior accessories designer also.
    Granted the table is assumably based on averages but i dont think its remotely accurate!
    (based on my real life experience in North West England 😉

  • Bob November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    In response to Joe’s question. ‘Whats the difference between an Artworker (called a finished Artist in Australia) and a Designer’. An artworker should be a person that picks the job up after a designer. Most designers dont prepare files properly for graphic repro so that’s where an artworker comes in. Designers design the actual job and artoworkers make everything right for pre-press. They should also have retouching and typesetting experience as well as print knowledge and be capable of making final PDF’s ready to print. I agree with all of the post on this forum about recruitment agencies.
    I have had over 30 full time jobs as a Finished Artist in Dublin, London and Australia. Now trying to get the right placement in London is very difficult. I’ve had recruiters tell me that Iam a visualiser and then place me in jobs that expect 3d visualising. My expertise is in colour reproduction and retouching. I’ve had recruiters place me in jobs that only involve typesetting and I have struggled. Iam going to take Anne-Maries advise and approach companies myself. Then at least Iam in control and not a person who does not even know what a Finished Artist/Retoucher does.

  • Recruitment Consultant November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    This is in response to “anon | Thu, 10 Apr 2008 1:41 pm”

    As a recruitment consultant myself I wanted to commet on the negative posts I have seen. Like everyone at the moment we are having a tough time and are just trying to do a job which has become increasingly difficult due to the large numbers of candidates looking for work… unless you have been a recruitment consultant you would have no idea how hard it can be. It is our job to find the best people for our clients so totally impossible for us to speak to every single person that applys for something… we get literally hundreds everyday! We obviously have to make money somehow so of course we have to add on commission, we are a business… we work really hard for this and if candidates dont like what we do… why do you register with us and apply for our jobs!? I know its a tough time for freelancers out there but I can honestly say that without the help of consultnats like myself there would be a lot more of you currently out of work… please give us a break!!

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