So, I was curious today to learn what jobs there are for graphic designers around Ireland. Now that I've had a chance to play around with CS5, I'm itching to do some design work - maybe do a little more with the blog, or just play around with illustration tutorials.
I love good design. I could be sold on something completely impractical if it has style. I've been subscribed to Yanko Design ever since I got my current job, and I have to say, I would happily throw whatever money they asked at some of their featured tea sets.
Anyway, back to the jobs. Employment in design seems to be thin on the ground all over; people balk at paying €30 an hour for a professional when one of their mates can knock something up for free. But the reality is that you get what you pay for, and amateur, inferior design is worthless to a business. The real shame is that I can work very quickly, and if I had some guidelines or ideas to work from, I can do a basic design in a matter of an hour or two. A friend paid me to design some stickers for his business, using the logo he supplied and a brief outline of what he wanted, and a mere €60 bought him exactly what he needed. Not so expensive, is it?
A bad design is forgettable, which is lethal in advertising. I see it all the time, and wonder how much they paid for it. But of course, a truly rotten design can go above and beyond that and reach agonising heights. Today, dear reader, I would like to introduce you to a terrible design that also happens to be terribly ironic.
Take a look at Prosperity.ie. It's a site that lists employment opportunities in Ireland in marketing, sales, design, and media. I happened across it by accident, and immediately regretted it. The colour was probably chosen to be striking, and might I say, it struck me so hard I got eye strain trying to read the listings.
The links at the top are not obviously links. The job headers are links, and are identical to the site links except in black instead of white, in defiance of the usual convention. The job listings are unformatted walls of text with no space between paragraphs. The search system doesn't allow basic keyword searches while browsing the listings, and the index page doesn't show categories.
Jobs.ie, by comparison, is a triumph of clean, usable design.
It's a shame, to be honest. I read a little about the company, and they seem to have a good philosophy. Their blog is up to date and interesting. The jobs are mostly for Dublin, but there's a wide range on offer and a few I'd be examining more closely if I were seeking gainful employment. But their site, good grief - all I can do is hope it's a work in progress, or something, and pray that they'll be changing the colour scheme.