I haven’t worked full-time as a graphic designer for years, but still do CD covers, website graphics, posters, and print and web ads for friends in the local folk music community on a very low-key word-of-mouth basis.
I got a call last week asking for a simple update to a CD cover I’d done a year or so ago, as the client was releasing a single from the album.
Client: I don’t need the design changed at all. I love the poppies we had, but I just want to change the photo we used because there’s a field of different kind of flowers in the new music video I just made.
Me: No problem. All I have to do is replace one layer in the Photoshop file. What kind of flowers do you need?
Client sent a Word file with a dozen photos of flower fields and the links to the photos online.
Client: I can’t decide between these and I don’t remember which ones are free.
I copy and pasted all the links to see the photos, and chose three likely candidates. Client chose one and happily didn’t balk at paying for the pic. I swapped out the new photo into the appropriate layer and presto! I should have been done.
Client: I don’t know if I like the tall cosmos flower being on the right. What would it look like if you turned it around?
I mirrored the layer and sent it back.
Client: But now I can’t see enough of the sunflowers in the foreground.
I Photoshopped another bloom into the foreground.
Client: I don’t know. Now I can’t see the tall flower because the song title is on top of it.
Which is why I chose the particular photo in the first place… it went very nicely around the typography of the song title. I undid the mirror and put it back the way it was.
Client: Where’d that other sunflower go?
I put that extra bloom one more time on the other side.
Client: You know what? The sky in this picture isn’t as blue as the sky was the day we were shooting the video. Can you make the sky bluer?
I got a photo of a gorgeous bright sky with puffy clouds and drop it in behind the flower field.
Client: Oh, that’s perfect! But you know what? I need to have the publishing info for the songwriter added to the picture. Can you fit that in?
I resized the ornamental text frame, erased some background to accommodate the larger size, and added the publishing info.
Client: I don’t know if that’s big enough. It looks awful small. The website where I want to run the ad has small ads.
Me: Oh, you hadn’t mentioned that. What size are the ads?
Client: I don’t know. I guess I’ll have to call them and ask.
Me: I’ll go to the website and download their ad specs.
I did so. The ads ARE small. I changed the publishing line. Everything fit and was legible.
Client: This is great. I just need to have the running time of the song in there for the ads to the DJs.
I resized the ornamental text frame again, erased more of the background to fit the new size, and added the song time. I should totally be done now.
Client: I need one without the time for the ads on the industry website.
Fortunately I never used the original for my working copy, so I still had the one without the time. I figured now I’m done.
Client: Maybe I should have the record company website in there too.
I went back to the one without the song’s runtime, shoved some text around, and added the record company’s URL. Am I done yet?
Client: Can I have the one without the record company website too? I might need that.
Like I said… I never mess up the original file. This is why. I wonder if I’m done?
Client: These are wonderful! Please send me copies of all of them in the right sizes for Facebook and Instagram and Twitter too. Oh, and you’re going to bill me, right?
Why, yes, now that you ask. Yes, I am.