Update: This was in my inbox today.
Worth it. 🙂
Rush jobs- they’re not my favorite projects. I recently started a poster/program project for a play next weekend. You know the Gantt chart that you use to figure out how far in advance things should be finished? My meeting with this client quickly told me that “proper time allowances” would not be applicable. But maybe rush jobs aren’t all bad?
Sometimes you run into rush jobs because the people who hire you are inexperienced, and don’t really understand the proper time that should be allowed for designing and printing. But sometimes projects just get behind schedule, and the person asking you for help is as frustrated at the late notice as you are.
I think I would define a rush job as a project that requires you to “drop” normal projects and activities, and requires an almost constant communication availability.
Doing a project under time pressure can cause mistakes, as normal checks are overlooked or simply impossible. Rush jobs also cause intense stress on the creative mind and tension between the various people who have to depend and wait for each other.
Throughout life, though, it’s the hard, stretching times that can be the most positive. The satisfaction of getting a project done just before the deadline, with a happy client thanking you, is pretty sweet. Needing to increase the speed at which you design can also do a very rewarding thing, improve your personal system of workflow.
Rufino from theperfectdesign.com points out that while seasons of working really hard on a project can be worthwhile, “Make these periods the exception, not the norm”. Designers are humans too, who need to maintain priorities and boundaries.
What are some solutions to maintaing balance? Choosing to charge a “rush fee” on very short-notice jobs is an option that will either reward your work, or chase off the clients who have such deadlines. Or, it you really don’t want to handle a rush job, there’s always the time-tested “sorry, but no”.
If you’re wondering how I’m progressing on my last-minute poster and program, here it is. After the speediest photoshoots I’ve ever done, an agonizingly long computer freeze, and a few late nights, the most important section of the project is sent off. Feels great, but the pressure is still on. Cue superhero music and efficient workflow…
Other resources about rush jobs: