The ‘Big Agencies’

awardI find it extremely disappointing that the overall attitude of most of the design companies in London is one of disinterest if you can’t show some work of the major hyped up brands in your portfolio. It’s something I’ve had to deal with while going out there and trying to get my foot in the door.

I’ve worked for well-known brands in the past e.g. this American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino. Working for well-known brands was fun and frustrating at the same time since I wasn’t allowed to mention any of those names on my CV nor could I add work to my portfolio. The ultimate catch twenty-two if you play by the rules I mentioned earlier. Fortunately things have slightly changed over time but it doesn’t change the fact.

What I don’t understand is this attitude: you don’t count if you don’t have a major brand in your folio… As a freelance graphic and web designer I have mostly worked for the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). What these big design companies fail to see is that you’re basically a lot more than just a designer. You represent all possible roles in the process: from design to presentation, to budgeting and negotiation, to final artwork to end result.

This makes one extremely versatile and valued becáuse of the experience. I’ve examples of friends who slice pictures for major brands all day. Is that what you end up doing for these so-called ‘award-winning agencies’ when you have ‘the brand’ in your folio? Their employees never get the full experience because they never deal with an entire process only (a) part(s) of it which tells me that a brand name seems more important than experience.

And yet these award-winning agencies need to learn to see the difference between specialism and just a name on a CV.