Designing for Legacy

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Have you ever taken on a design project only to find, too late, that it’s not a project you enjoy working on or that you misunderstood the scope to the extent you’re being vastly underpaid for deliverables? In such a situation, it can be tempting to simply rush through the project and technically satisfy the requirements without putting your best creative foot forward. That approach, however, not only results in substandard work, it also risks damaging your reputation as a designer. At the very least, you’re forced to live with the fact you didn’t do a good job. That’s why you should always design for legacy.

Designing for legacy means making sure every design you complete is a design you will be proud to show future clients, your children, and your grandchildren. It’s being conscious of the fact that all the work you do is part of your legacy. Consider each piece to be the one they’ll showcase at your funeral … seriously.

You might say, “So what? I’ll be dead, so what do I care about my legacy?” If you’re one of those people, I certainly don’t want to hire you. I want to hire professionals who take pride in their work – all of their work. That’s why understanding that each design you create is part of your legacy, like it or not, is so important to fueling the drive for creativity. It can motivate you to do your best job, even if you don’t like the work or you’re being underpaid.

If you want to avoid boring or low-pay work in the future, make sure you understand the scope of a given project before taking it on. But if you’re saddled with such work now, take the same care you would if you were designing a piece you love for outstanding pay. Ultimately, it’s your own legacy you’ll have to answer for; and blazing a path of premium quality now will lead to excellent opportunities later.

Do you design for legacy?

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