Why Graphic Designers are NOT right for the job!

Years ago I was in school, because I had a knack for learning Adobe programs. So I hedged my bet and went full force into graphic design. I even finished college. 

But I was naive, green and sometimes intolerably optimistic!

Years later, close to 20 years after learning my first Adobe program, I’m thinking back, was this the right path?

Are you ready?

You can google it, your typical “graphic designer” is portrayed as some primadonna, overly artsy and temperamental. Realistically designers are typically quiet, introverted and sometimes hard to read.

If you are a primadonna, being a graphic designer isn’t the route for you. Being a designer is to be a distiller of information to communicate to a specific audience.  You won’t always have the luxury to create what you want, you’ll need to communicate effectively with your clients. Your clients will pay you if you give them what they are asking for. Sure get creative, but always make what they asked for.

Step 2: You can do it for free, are you willing too look?

Your still reading good, lets move on. I went to college from 1999-2006, my first years I had no clue what I wanted to do, so I started in one direction and decided to move at least three more times before I committed to graphic design. Then I went to a private college for my bachelors degree. 

What a fucking waste of time.
Turns out I could have learned close to everything  I use in my day to day knowlege if I would have just taken the classes at my city college and got a job at a sign shop. With a bit of commitment I could have read some books and watched a bunch of YouTube videos. I watch YouTube videos almost daily, and that is where my continuing education is.

You can have a passion as a designer and gain all the knowledge you want. All you have to do is spend the time, focus, and practice…its free for the taking. Heck even a few hours of helping out at a local sign shop or marketing department would be well worth it.

Step 3: Don’t pidgin hole yourself as a “Graphic Designer”.

So why are you doing this? Do you really enjoy making something and seeing it out in the world?  If your like me your answer is YES! So I’m curious are you willing to do the long hours and not very much pay to gain experience that will send you to a career that will shape you in to the designer you will become? Or will you take the route of someone giving you a piece of paper and telling you that your a graphic designer. Adding to the ever increasing number of entitled, ignorant graduates that keep getting pumped out.

Its your choice, and yes its scary that you won’t have a degree to put your foot in the door at that big company or to show up your friends, your parents or even yourself someday. Going to school means you did something and you accomplished it, right? Its not just going to sit in some filing cabinet to be looked at on the occasional spring cleaning.



Update and Happy Holidays!

Hi everyone. Some of you may have noticed the blog was down for a while over the past day, I had been making some changes and moving from a WordPress free blog to my own .com. From this point on my blog posts will be posted at www.cmykthis.com, if you have any trouble finding this, let me know so I can make sure the site is visible to all users.

Thanks again for all the visitors lately, I am honored that you will come and read my posts.  I hope your excited, December has just begun and I will be getting ready for Christmas! I hope you are excited as I am.

Happy Holidays!

CMYKthis Podcast Episode 1

Episode 1: Intro

Hi everyone. Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. Im bootstrapping right now and I wanted to provide some more unique content for you sign professionals out there. In my first episode I give you some background on me and a tool that I use almost daily. Hope you enjoy. Please leave some feedback for me to help provide the best content for you all.

Here is the link I promised.


Lessons in Ordering

So let’s get down to business. I order materials for my company and we have clients that are all over the place with their custom needs. Today I needed to find Chrome Vinyl for UV Printing. Simple right?

Not exactly, not only do I need to find it in rolls as wide at 48”, but I needed to make sure that if I ordered it and the client liked it I would need to order more. Now that’s making sure the stock of the exact same material is available, at the same width and within a reasonable ship time to get it to my shop.

So I work with a number of vendors lets call them Vendor A, Vendor B and Vendor C. Now Vendor A is where I typically get my cut vinyl from and some specialty items, so this is my first call. Come to find what we spec’d for the client is not only un-available now, but the manufacturer doesn’t have any and there isn’t going to be any for 4-5 weeks.

Ok, that’s not going to happen.

So moving on what’s my next option. Some brand I haven’t heard of before, but it will take UV Print.

Ok, so now I get my price, where is it shipping from and what stock they have of it. So it’s a 2 Day ship, and I need to test this immediately to get it back to the client. So I get a sample roll, 10 yards and get the price to ship it Next Day.

So I take this information to the Sales Dept. No good, need something we can print on today if possible.

Ok, I say and back to the search.

Located 2 other vendors because my B and C Vendors didn’t carry this type of vinyl, these guys are off my radar and find out they have no Chrome vinyl that can’t be printed on and I have the guy selling it to me over the phone telling me it peels up if you rub it too much.

Ahh, ok? So you don’t want me to buy this stuff?

He tells me it’s a cheap imitation vinyl, that’s good for a month outside. Moving on…

So I get back to Sales and say “Hey, for what we need, we can’t get it here until tomorrow if we order it before shipping closes for the day.”

Sales Dept. “Ok, we’ll get back to you.”

Tick Tock Tick Tock

So an hour past the last delivery time a email pops through “ We’re good to order it now, we missed the deadline, so get it here for the following day”
Ah, really!? Okay, placing the order…

Lesson is, people are primed to get things done as fast as possible, until they are forced to see what options are actually available.

If you have fallen into this trap, your obviously not alone.

Have any stories you’d like to share. Shoot me a email anytime CMYKthis@gmail.com.


Happy Street Signs

Are you happy with what you see around you? The signs are always, NO PARKING or NO LOITERING, you will get FINED if you disobey! Like a lot of you out there I feel that this should change. Shouldn’t we develop a world of Love, Happiness, Courage, Creativity? Well if you feel like I feel, then I think you are going to really love what is happening in Newark, New Jersey.

I am happy to announce that yesterday Killy Kilford, installed the first of a series of street signs in Newark New Jersey called Happy Street Signs. Happy Street Signs? You say? Yup! Killy has been working with the children of Newark for the past few months to develop kind, loving and courageous signs to install all around Newark, NJ. These signs have sayings like “Skip Drugs, More Hugs” and my personal favorite “The Future Is Ours”.

Happy Street Signs I know will effect some change in a city that is known for one of the highest crime rates in the nation. If a little positivity can change a city like this around, this idea will spread like wildfire to all other cities. This doesn’t have to be just for the cities with high crime rates but for anyone. I’d like to see a happy sign before I get to work, I think it would make my day.

I personally support Killy’s efforts and his desire to create change. Killy if you are reading this, I got your back brother.

Support Killy by going to his site and check out his facebook and twitter @killykilford as he updates us on his progress in this endevor.

Check out this video to learn more about the project.


What’s Your Ideal Sign Shop

Hey guys!
So I wanted you to know a bit more about me today. I was thinking the best way that you could get to know me better would be to describe what my ideal sign shop would be.

Comment below and let me know what yours would be too!

Ok, so I think my shop would be a converted log cabin. Floor to ceiling wide windows that would look over a forest or a lake. It would have a nice light brown suede interior from the logs. I would have some steel beams and a satin chrome floor. I would have a design center/ conference/ sales office and the walls would be made out a clear acrylic in panels with brushed steel stand offs and some simple etched design on the surface. Then the back area would be a flat bed, my media substrates and roll stock a wide format printer and rip station. My ideal clients would be in the outdoor hiking/ camping industry.
I can sit back and sip on my coffee with that setup!😀

Ok I just shared a vision of what kind of a shop I would like to have, tell me about yours? Who would your ideal clients be? Would you have the same equipment? Where would your location be like?