About a month ago the lovely and wonderful Vicente Wolf wrote a post about client behavior. Clients tend to have high expectations from their designers. However, they don't always want to pay for the work required to get from point A to point B. Thus clients are prone to unrealistic, impractical, and often times unfeasible assumptions. They anticipate a storyboard of ideas and a jaw dropping presentation and soon drop their eagerness to move forward when the bill comes in the mail. "what! You want me to PAY for the time you spend to put together a presentation?" After awhile I got used to the response, but I have also become callous in my own expectations.
For those of you new to the design block, the bulk of a design project happens in the beginning stages of a project. Countless hours go into research, space-planning, color analysis, furniture, fabrics, lighting, and sifting through hundreds of books, materials and samples. I have personally invested over 30 hours doing research just to redo one room. I want the space to be perfect in design, concept and function. And like any research it is about experimentation and discovery. Once the materials and ideas are pulled, it needs to be structured and organized in an efficient and methodical order to best show the client the "vision". Countless hours!
Despite years of presentations, it still surprises me when I get the client that refuses to pay for this. They want to meet with two or three designers, to choose the BEST one. That is fine by me, but you will pay me for my TIME. I often try to put it in perspective for them. "Would you go into work an hour early and stay an hour late every day, without pay, because your boss wants to SEE if you are the best one?" Funny enough they always have an answer that favors their point over mine.
I will never understand why people do not respect this profession. I have a college education, in DESIGN, and I earn a living on my TIME. How do you suppose I pay my girls, my rent, my electric bill, my phone bill....?? By giving it away?? Afraid not. In order for me to pay my overhead, and carry the products I carry it takes money. The magical green paper that solves all the world problems. So the next time you want to drag me to Babylon and back, where the pie don't taste so sweet, think twice, because I have grown very weary of travel and Im real tired of bad pie. Remember dear clients, we live in the south where EVERYTHING takes butter, sugar and love to taste better.