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The designer's scrap yard
What to do with great work that never makes it to production?
Slone

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1484 posted 8:40 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

As a web developer/designer I produce several design concepts for each of my clients and only one actually makes it to full production. The question I have… What do you do with all those nice designs created but never be used?

I have a folder called: ‘Scrapyard’ that contains just about every unused design I have produced from Logos, Banners, Print, Elements, HTML/CSS templates to Website designs. What about stuff for Photoshop like action scripts, brushes, graphic work, photos? Most of this stuff is great material, but I would most likely never use most of them.

Seems all this is a waste if it is never used. Strip unused designs of brands and recycle the work for profit - seems to be the way to go.

Sure… I am aware of website template stores online, but don’t know if this would be the right place to potentially sell this unused work?

Ideas?
-s

 

glaze

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1484 posted 9:09 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

I can relate. This issue has actually made me alter my process when developing/presenting creative to clients. Years ago I would create two or three designs for a client from which they would select their favorite (or in the worst case scenario try and Frankenstein aspects of all three). As my design graveyard grew I started thinking about all the time that went into them. With the exception of the practise it offered I didn't find the work useful because they were rarely reusable.

My approach now is to develop one design for a client, with the exception of a few iterations that include small alterations to imagery and the colour palette.

The rationale behind this is that you are providing one solid recommendation based on your research into the clients markets, their needs, and expectations. There are still, of course, revisions that will be required but I haven't had to start from scratch yet with a client.

This new process has saved me a lot of time and I think it has served the client better as I can spend more time on the best solution, rather than the best solution followed by a couple of alternatives. Also, the client has less the think about, which is especially beneficial when working with committees where one member likes one version while the others like another.

Logos are different . . . but I keep the theory the same. I offer several variations of the overall concept so I'm not starting from scratch on each one.

vkaryl

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1484 posted 2:50 am on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

As a writer I have the same situation. I NEVER get rid of stuff I cut. I just file it (ref'd as "book title/chapter #/snip #") and basically keep it forever. I've used some of the snips in other books, rewritten/reworked/renamed people etc. - some of my "snips" have been "snipped" multiple times.... so I guess I haven't written the right book for them yet!

lizard49

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1484 posted 3:03 am on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Remove the product or client's name/photos, and put the designs that didn't quite make the cut into a separate section of your online portfolio ... it's been my experience that some clients need to see all the work that's been done on their behalf so they can justify paying a high price for just one completed design. I know a book cover designer who does this. I think it helps her sell her services to the next client.

Slone

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1484 posted 8:34 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Remove the product or client's name/photos, and put the designs that didn't quite make the cut into a separate section of your online portfolio ... it's been my experience that some clients need to see all the work that's been done on their behalf so they can justify paying a high price for just one completed design. I know a book cover designer who does this. I think it helps her sell her services to the next client.

I have thought about doing just that... Many of the designs that don't make it have unique aspect to them, but just did not match what the client wanted. Demonstrating ones ability aside from the standard portfolio is a great idea.

I don't know. Seems there would be more benefit to selling designs or elements.

Another conflict:
Some of the unused designs / elements in my scrap pile were created under contract - which means the client paid for the design work he/she did not use. So by right - can I sell the unused work? I suppose if it were altered enough I could.

To expand further - what about scripts, code snippets, cool stuff never used?

I wonder how many developers/designers out there would be into something like this?

sean

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1484 posted 8:42 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Perhpas you could post the Photoshop stuff on the Adobe Studio Exchange for minor celebrity status and promote designer-type products & services?

pleeker

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1484 posted 9:06 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

What do you do with all those nice designs created but never be used?

Sometimes I look at them longingly, wishing the client had chosen that one instead of what they did choose. :) Other times I find old ideas, color schemes, etc., that can be updated and used on new projects.

Sure… I am aware of website template stores online, but don’t know if this would be the right place to potentially sell this unused work?

Why sell it? Why not start a new web site, post your unused design work, invite other designers to do likewise, and market it as a source of ideas and inspiration for anyone with designer's block. Slap some AdSense ads on it, and BAM! Revenue. There a couple sites like this I use for inspiration, but it seems there's plenty of room for more.

My approach now is to develop one design for a client, with the exception of a few iterations that include small alterations to imagery and the colour palette.

Same here. That's one of our marketing points, too. One of our main competitors always produces -- and bills for -- about 6-8 different design ideas. We tell prospects we can almost always get it right the first time, and they don't have to pay for a half-dozen designs they didn't like.

Some of the unused designs / elements in my scrap pile were created under contract - which means the client paid for the design work he/she did not use. So by right - can I sell the unused work?

That probably depends on the wording of your contracts. Do you retain ownership rights to your design ideas? Regardless, I doubt there'd be any legal issues involved in posting them online (logos and identifiers removed) in the scenario I described above. But I'm no lawyer. :)

I wonder how many developers/designers out there would be into something like this?

<raises hand>

lizard49

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1484 posted 3:01 am on Jul 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I wonder how many developers/designers out there would be into something like this?

I would be. I don't have that many unused designs, but I have a piece of php code I wrote that's really pretty cool.

Slone

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1484 posted 6:10 am on Jul 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

If I only had the time this would be a fun site and a good idea!

Perhaps something I can work on over time - but - surely someone here reading this will also take off with the idea. I have searched and searched but can't find anything like this.

The idea of uploading Actions on Adobe's site was great advice - thanks! Not so much for the fame, but I support open source so this is perfect.

netguy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1484 posted 1:08 pm on Jul 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>What do you do with all those nice designs created but never be used?

I move sections of various unused designs into categories for inspiration on future projects. I have adobe files for hundreds of color combinations, header designs, bullets/separators, logos, buttons, fonts, etc.

As far as using concept designs to show a client why they are paying as much as they are on the finished design... I NEVER do that. Unless we receive exact instructions from a client on a preferred design, color scheme, or other specifications, we will assume artistic license for the entire graphics design and layout of the website (we put it in writing upfront).

If you show them all the concept designs, there is a strong likelihood that someone in the client's organization may want to use 'this font, with that button, with this little change to the header' etc. Before you know it, you are spending all your time redoing everything - and you end up with a hodgepodge mess that nobody is happy with.

Steve

sidyadav

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1484 posted 9:30 pm on Jul 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm in that situation once in a while. I often just modify the design a little and sell it as a template ;) (but come on! Every designer knows a design is a classic work of art.)

Sid

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