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How do I handle a design only job


#1

I may have the opportunity to do original design work for a very good U.S. company. I assume I would produce pencil drawings, renderings or collages, mock ups or prototypes, and help with production questions. But I don’t know.
I have been informally offered this opportunity and want to pursue it in a knowlegable way. What are the fundamental expectations and what do contracts look like. Anyone know? How is pay usually determined.
(By the way, 2016 has been one heck of a fine year for me in terms of coming up with innovations.)


#2

These all sound like questions the company has to answer.


#3

Hi me…( hmmm)
Anyway,
I’ve been doing projects like this for years, sometimes successfully, sometimes not so.

I first have to establish a value for my time. It takes some research and discipline, I’m kind of a project junkie.
So I have to get clear with myself about my intentions.

I just completed a 2 year design series, starting with sketches, blueprints, proof of concept models and then masters and molds. There were running changes so the time for reworking the design had to be factored in too.

Engineering is also a necessary component, whether you or a subcontractor are responsible, these costs can get out of hand quickly. Your contract must address such changes, who caused them (the principal or you, and, or, did engineering take it upon themselves to alter something and were proper channels used.

Overall budget is also a major factor in the distribution of funds, where are you in line with the distribution of funds and by when? Is there sufficient funding, and commitment, to keep the flow of work moving and the subcontractors engaged so the project is the first priority.

How many people are involved in the decision making process? Design or approval by committee brings up a host of unique scenarios, usually at the cost of your time.
Is this going to consume all of your time?

Will you be putting off or deferring other clients while you’re on this project? Will they be willing to wait or come back later? A big short term win doesn’t always play well for the future if people feel they haven’t a sufficient priority to be treated equally.

There is certainly more here, and, I hope I have not complicated what wants to be an easy answer.

My best wishes for your success. I am very interested in the comments of others who have experienced this opportunity .
Best,
Jim


#4

I realized after I hit send, that my response sounded curt. My apologies - my reasoning is that different companies have their own requirements - do they need cad files; are you an hourly contractor; how many hours are they allocating on average per design; how many other designers do they have on tap; are you really full time but filed under"freelance"; etc., etc., once you have those answers from them; then you have to seperate out the reality from the excitement. That comes down to some of the issues Jim raised. You will also have to be honest with yourself in terms of valuing your time and so on. Perhaps we might be more useful as a sounding board when you know more of what they are proposing? We will answer quickly and the company won’t expect a yes or no right away.


#5

Jim & Cameron – Great responses! I have a tendency to do a lot of research before I make a decision – especially when it comes to something beyond my experience and knowledge. Also, I know my strengths and weaknesses as a silversmith. And I know you guys can see it in my work. My key value could be in the area of what I call practical innovation that works. As we all say …“to be continued.”

I’ll print these responses out and put them up on the wall in front of my bench and ponder them.