As designers, we’ve all done jobs we didn’t like; whether it be setting up files to be printed on stickers (that was me), design tee shirts by smashing together our company’s already supplied vector files (also me), or help a company make prettier Power Point templates (you guessed it: me once again). In the beginning, most graphic designers must “bite the bullet” in the hopes of someday getting to a point where they can be choosy with their projects. I think I have made it to this point, which leads me to the subject of Designer Integrity.
To gain this, you may have to go through some trials and tribulations. Once there, it’s important to know your worth. If you think your worth however many dollars and cents beyond a client’s budget, able to prove it from your experience, and make them understand it: do it. Having Designer Integrity means that you aren’t submitting ten logos on 99 Designs for the possibility of winning money, and you aren’t “low-balling” other designers to get the work.
If you know what your doing and can prove it, then you can maintain your integrity and earn, not the work you need, but the work you deserve. This is what stuck out to me on Toptal and what motivates me to become a part of their Visual Designers Community. They’re all about proving your designer worth first and foremost, so that you may maintain your Designer Integrity with every project you accept through them. I’m finished sifting through entire brand identity design projects on Upwork, that have a $20 budget.
The moral of this story is: know your worth. Once you know this, don’t accept anything less. I hope this motivates any of my fellow designers out there, not to accept that “free portfolio builder”, but instead to their keep Design Integrity intact.