Thinking about leaving design....

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by oscuh, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. oscuh macrumors 6502

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    Apr 27, 2007
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    Michigan
    #1
    I've been in prepress and design for over 10 years now and I'm considering leaving the field (I know, go right ahead! Less competition!) but I have no idea what field I would go into.

    I still want to use my creative skills and even at times be able to whip up a design if necessary, but in general I'm just plain burned out.

    Has anyone here left the design world and done something else?

    Any suggestions on careers that would utilize a typical graphics/prepress skillset, but doesn't directly involve doing design on a daily basis?

    Then again, maybe I just need a vacation... I dunno...
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    Move into design management. Plenty of inhouse corporate or non-profit publishing and marketing teams outsource their design. Be the person or in the group that coordinates it.
     
  3. efxgraphx macrumors member

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    #3
    I was thinking that or Marketing (ie Marketing Manager). I did that for 3.5 years after getting burned out then came back into design with a whole new perspective. Good luck in your adventure!
     
  4. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    if you enjoy the editing / organizing / presenting content sides of design there is lots of good-paying work for information architects.
     
  5. oscuh thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Thanks for the ideas. Anyone else have any thoughts on this? Even something that is completely out of Marketing or Advertising?
     
  6. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

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    Jan 10, 2006
    #6
    Im in the same boat really. Burnt out but don't know what else I could do.
     
  7. oscuh thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    It's weird; this is all I ever really wanted to do, but after about 12 years, I feel like I'm ready to try something new, but since I've totally immersed myself in this world, what else COULD I do?
     
  8. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

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    England
    #8
    Following on from Blue Velvet's comment, you could look at working in procurement of marketing and design services; i.e. controlling the agency rosters, printing suppliers, etc. It's very rare to find someone in that type of procurement role that actually knows firsthand what design and print is all about, and hence those people are in demand.
     
  9. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

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    Jan 10, 2006
    #9
    I'm EXACTLY the same :D

    Getting the same money would require going back to Uni but I haven't the money to do that (i would also need to work alongside Uni). If I did go back to Uni what would I do? I'd have to start from pretty much scratch in whatever I choose.

    It's weird because there is something creative in side of me that hasn't quite been fulfilled yet despite my little bits of success. If design isnt for me then maybe its a movie script or a novel or something. I don't know but its bugging me. :D
     
  10. oscuh thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Good idea... still in the field, but doing more traffic control, etc... let someone else worry about having the creative brain in the office...
     
  11. the vj macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 23, 2006
    #11
    Get a good course in Project Managment, there are intensive one or two weeks programs. That is what I am about to do.

    You will learn how to manage a project from the first propusal, budged, manage team, keep time lines, delivery and fallow up together with all the economic aspects.

    That will teach you how to manage a team of any sort, if you are in desing you will be profesionally trained to manage the entire office. It is a lead possition, good money and fun.

    Try that, I was in your same situation and moving to another area is just too time consuming and you will end up getting paid from cero again. Now I am even working with the imports and is good money. You get to learn how the money flow and is very fun, is the same creative energy you used for your desing but applied to another field that started some what related.
     
  12. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Well, if you have the inclination, move "across the fence" to development.

    Programming uses a different side of your brain. it still requires creativity, but is built upon logic.

    It is quite hard to find a developer who is sensitive to design issues. Those that are have plenty of work. They also make quite a bit more per hour than the average designer.

    I do both, and find that they complement each other well.
     
  13. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

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    #13
    Even if you do find something else (it may be worth trying something COMPLETELY different ... ), I would strongly recommend maintaining enough contacts to do a little design work on the side.

    Trust me on this - it's eight years since I stopped doing this for a full-time living, but the desire remains, the mental processes kick in reflexively, the whole thing aches like a phantom limb every time you go into a supermarket and pick up some piece of packaging with the words:

    "Tch. Would it have killed them to baseline shift that down two points?"

    Even if you feel like you could happily never design another thing, at some point in the future, the urge will return. It has for me and I'm now having to rebuild contacts from scratch ...

    Cheers!

    Jim
     
  14. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a

    mperkins37

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    Phoenix, AZ
    #14
    I made the transition to Death Metal Guitarist.
    Talk about stress relief, & comfortable work settings.
    4-6 minute deadlines. Pain on the finger tips instead of pain in the a**.
    HELLYEAH!!!
     
  15. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #15
    I think it's particularly telling that you're talking about "leaving design" rather than "going into (insert name of new field here)."

    Has something happened that caused you to have a different outlook from what you had when you began your career? Or is it a midlife crisis kind of thing? (And no, I'm not trying to make a joke or be snide.)

    I agree with the other posts here - you might enjoy staying in the same industry, but on a different track - management, marketing, etc. That is, unless there's something deeper involved (see my paragraph #2).
     
  16. oscuh thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I didn't take as you being snide :)

    I think part of it I'm realizing my talents aren't what they should be, and I'm not sure if my skills will ever be at the level that I think they should be at. Like most "artists" I know I am my own worst critic, but I'm seeing work out there that makes me feel disheartened about my own abilities. Maybe it's a sign, maybe it's a midlife-crisis (only I hope not since I'm only 31). I don't really know.

    I guess I'm just searching for what I should be doing. Is his the right career for me? Am I on the right track? Should I be shepherding goats instead of bashing away in InDesign? Should I stay in the field in some capacity or go into something completely different?

    A lot of sleep has been lost lately on this subject ...
     
  17. Rt&Dzine, Mar 25, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011

    Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    Oct 8, 2008
    #17
    You may just need a break or vacation. I got burnt out and left design for several years. And remember that design jobs can really vary. Maybe you just need to work somewhere else.
    _______________________
     
  18. roski11 macrumors regular

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    Feb 12, 2009
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #18
    I'm trying to get in the biz. So, yay less competition

    post some of your work
     
  19. wadejc85 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 9, 2008
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    PA
    #19
    The environment can always use your help! Environmental engineering can be fun! :)

    It's funny, though. I've been thinking about moving out of environmental engineering and into design. Maybe we should switch jobs. :p
     
  20. beejam macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2007
    #20
    Haven't logged into the forums for ages, but saw your topic and wanted to reply.

    Went through.... actually STILL going through.... the same thoughts you have. Here's a suggestion: Try teaching a design/production class. Doing that right now myself. It's actually a nice change of pace and kind of fun talking to students about the "old" days of design. "Student gather around this here Linotronic, don't trip over that waxer there...." :)

    Doesn't pay much, but usually you can mix in classes with your work to find the right balance.

    Good luck!
     
  21. covisio macrumors 6502

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    Aug 22, 2007
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    UK
    #21
    I often have similar feelings - I was talking to the mrs about it only the other night. Came to the conclusion that if I could go back in time and start again I'd go for journalism. I've always considered myself reasonable at stringing a few sentences together but it'd be nice to see if I could have made the grade professionally.

    My previous job was highly focused: packaging pre-press for the gravure industry. We did all the repro for flexible packaging, y'know, chip packets, cookie packets, tobacco, securities and the like, using a package called ArtPro. I got into work in the morning with a rack full of work to do, bashed through it and went home, knowing I'd done a decent days work.

    I found myself doing increasing amounts of 'foreigners' for friends, just little design jobs like logos and stationery. Then it was a website, then bigger and more complex jobs that took up most of my spare time. So I ditched the repro job and went to work for my biggest customer. My logic was based on the principle that whatever technology comes along, 'ideas' will always be in demand, in comparison to technical roles which are always at the mercy of.....technology.

    My role these days is a mixed bag of workaday design jobs, branding exercises, website creation and maintenance, project management - anything and everything really. I get well paid so I can't complain on that score, but sometimes I find myself struggling to focus and I really miss the simple satisfaction of the old job. Maybe it's age, maybe I've just reached my creative limits quicker than I thought.

    BTW, didn't mean to turn this into an autobiography, just wanted to express the fact that I know how you feel!:eek:
     
  22. awmazz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    #22
    What about website design and creation. Basically shift from Adobe InDesign to Adobe Dreamweaver. You can utilize your skillset from prepress and learn a whole new bunch of non-graphical stuff to add to it.
     
  23. oscuh thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 27, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #23
    I've decided to take a Dreamweaver class and get back onto web a little bit. I've been doing some stuff in iWeb and enjoy it, but iWeb has obvious limitations. I used to do site work waaaay back in the hand-coding days and I enjoyed it, so maybe it's the change of pace that I need.

    As for the request for some of my stuff, here are a few samples:

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  24. motoxpress macrumors 6502

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    Mar 8, 2006
    #24
    I have found when I am getting burned out or don't have the creative energy I should, I turn to another distraction like photography, drawing, painting or something that I can use my design skills in but, involves a different medium. It really helps and informs my design work as well.

    There are a lot of places to apply your design training to. I would just look for new voices.

    -gl
     
  25. Toronto Mike macrumors regular

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    Jan 5, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto
    #25
    Motoxpress has an excellent suggestion to turn to another design related distraction - especially if the creative outcome is completely in your hands.

    Maybe I've missed it, but you've never said what about your field is burning you out. If is is crushing deadlines, is there a way to pursue work that doesn't involve those kinds of deadlines? If it is unfulfilling subject matter - what would it take to do the kinds of projects that you would want to do?

    Just questions to ask yourself. The answers might surprise yourself and renew your interest and determination to switch gears.

    Mike
     

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