paint by pixels

I hope you had the joy of creating an awesome painting of a bouquet of flowers as a kid just by filling in the gaps on horrible newsprint with the correct color. I also hope it stayed on the family fridge for months until it was joined by an amazing crayon, marker, & macaroni masterpiece.

Enough of the memory lane trip & time for a modern twist on the paint by numbers idea. I think this twist is awesome not only because the small sense of accomplishment I get when completing a task but, it is a community effort!

Painted with Pixels was created by iam8bit Productions for the "The Game Developers Conference"  in 2012. The idea is each of the conference’s attendees would receive a 2″ pixel, either cyan, magenta, yellow, or black and would get to place his or her pixel on the wall in a corresponding square.

This is a "Why didn't I think of that?" project. I was tasked with coming up with a community project for Dell on Earth Day and it was not nearly as cool as this. Well, it was cool but not 20 feet by 8 feet of dragons & monsters cool.


Follow me to see more photos and details of the project.

cheap price = cheap design

I have run into the situation, as almost all designers have, of a potential client saying my quote was, "outside of our budget." Why is that? I have tried to put myself in my client's shoes and understand why they hesitate or do not budge on price with designers but are willing to do so in other areas of their life or company.

Since graphic design is not a tangible thing, something you can put your mitts on, something you can smell or taste, clients are always thinking they can get a better deal. I admit, I do the same with car repair since I know nothing about it I think the mechanic is stiffing me with a crazy high price. But, price is only one way to measure value. Why not factor in the designers/mechanics ability to problem solve, turnaround time, and quality of work? After all, there are a lot of sites that you can upload what you need and have designers bid and design for you for almost nothing. Why not go that route? Why go to a designer directly and have them charge much more? Well, just like in any else, in graphic design you get what you pay for. I could pay for a cheap car repair but if 3 weeks later it breaks again, was it really a good deal? Paying $30 for a custom flyer is really not a great deal if the printer can't print it and if it is not designed in a way that clearly conveys your message and brand. Just think about paying a tattoo artist $50 for a full back tattoo, um I think not. Sounds too good to be true and it is.

The Irish Water Company is learning that lesson.

Here is the thing, you know good design when you see it...sort of. Good design should do it's job so well you don't realize it is doing anything. Good design should always follow function. The purpose of design is to help tell the story and communicate, not to make things pretty. Designers, what you do is important. Stop participating in these micro job sites and having people pay you bargain bin prices for your work.

I found a great article by Addison Duvall, "Why Don’t People Want To Pay For Good Design?" It is worth the read and you and I are worth more than clearance mark down prices.