Money, meet Mouth

So after all of my spouting off about designer compensation, fees, etc., I decided that it would be a little bit of a cop out to miss TNNA this year. I’d decided earlier not to go – I wanted to just be HERE for January – but Gerry is with me on this.

I’m going to fly to Long Beach on Thursday, schmooze and meet with like-minded designers over the next few days, then fly home late on Saturday night to minimize my hotel costs and my time away. If you’ll be at TNNA and would like to get together with me, please email me and we’ll set up a time to drink talk.

I’m hoping to meet with designers and members of the AKD to discuss compensation for our work, and the possibility of some kind of guild / union / structure where we can actually make ends meet if we do this for a living.

I’ve recently heard someone say, “Designers are a dime a dozen…” – but I disagree.

Good, professional designers are NOT a dime a dozen, and we shouldn’t be paid that way.

I know it’s tempting when you’re first starting to undersell yourself – and a certain amount of free patterning is necessary to hone your skills as a designer, make contacts and get your name known.

But some venues take advantage of our willingness as a profession (yes, a profession) to undersell ourselves because we love what we do so much. Those of us who have been lucky enough to pay the mortgage doing this MUST stand up for all of us.

We must try to secure a playing field where it actually IS possible to pay the mortgage through design – what a concept?

It would be too easy for our profession to become a race to the bottom. The Wall-martization of the craft we love could lead to incredibly cheap patterns, and very poorly paid designers.

So in order to get a sense of how Professional Designers feel about the compensation we’ve been receiving – and how that compensation has altered over the past 20 years – I’ve put together a survey.

I’m intending this for Professional Designers, which I very loosely define as someone who has sold more than 5 designs [patterns]in any venue, or has published a book of patterns. The key word is sold, because this is a survey regarding compensation paid by the established publishing entities.

So if you’ve sold some designs – not just given a few away on your website – I invite you to take this survey. It’s ANONYMOUS – I won’t see your name, I won’t know who responds, so I do sincerely ask that only folks who earn a portion of their income as designers complete it.

I know there are glaring problems with the survey – but it’s only to test the waters, not for any concrete purpose. I guess it has to start somewhere, huh?

Click Here to take survey

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!