The expression 'the ... end of the stick' comes in many forms. The majority of these refer to getting the worse or, rarely, the better part of a bargain.

In this post I'll explore how I believe that Designers get the short end of the stick in 5 quick examples.



  1. The last to see anything before a deadline. "DONT FUCK UP!"
    Ever work at an agency where you are expected to stay late to mount design pitch ideas to blackboards or create several ad spec sizes of a single ad before it launches? Designers often are the very last people to touch these things before the deadline, laboring away late into the night on crappy pizza and many many paper cuts. Adding to the torment, there are often times "last minute edits" slapped into the copy or into the imagery which the designer would then after to implement into each of those ad sizes or blackboards...

  2. The first to be blamed for typos, even though we USUALLY copy and paste the writings of others. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU STUDIED ART? YOU CANT SPELL???"
    I've been in this position several times where I am expected to proof a writer's work after they have sent me countless revisions to brochure copy minutes before print deadlines and where I have made the mistake of simply copying and pasting copy from a word doc straight into InDesign or Quark. I've warned the writers or the account executives, who often times are paid far more than me, to proof their copy because I either am a bad speller or because I am literally COMMAND + C, COMMAND + V. They pretend to understand, but ultimately I'm the last person in the chicken coop to touch the golden egg.

  3. "Just let me make a few quick edits to your work and it should be all good" translates to "oh, with my limited design knowledge I'll redesign your work by slapping changes all over the place and it should be all good to go." *facepalm*
    absolutely love it when I spend billable time with my DESIGN education and many years of experience to then have all of my work fucked up by someone on the team who at one point in their life used pastel chalk in art class in elementary school and got a gold ribbon. There's this funny idea that anyone with Photoshop or a similar application could whip up the exact same design a trained and talented artist created ... IF only they had those apps. Hey, earth to product and account people! You are what you are because you are supposed to be good at what you do! Let me do my job, as I often let you do your own job because I believe you must be good at it. STAY IN YOUR LANE.

  4. Go design me this magical thing and if you get it right I'll know it when I see it... *double facepalm backflip*
    I've heard this phrase a million times before. Essentially it's someone in power (who holds the monayyy) that has no idea what they are looking for but believes they have the gift of picking the right option. Often times this leads to MANY revisions but hopefully you are lucky enough to work for someone who trusts in your abilities to do your job well enough that they know whatever you make is... well, right.

  5. Why do we need a designer when we have a UX/Product guy? I mean, we could save a whole lot of doh and just use jquery libraries and design kits.............................. >___>
    There seems to be a trend in the design world where out-of-the-box solutions like flat-ui/bootstrap end up producing literally out-of-the-box internet sites without ever seeing the helpful hand of a designer. This trend has led us to faster launch schedules because we skip over the entire design step but it has lead to a very startling fact that many of our applications today look identical to each other or that they are missing ANY AND ALL DESIGN whatsoever. Gone are the days of skewmorphism but now we are all stuck with apps that have icons as buttons... the same icons used everywhere else on the web... no visual indication of what the application is used for... essentially a wireframe that made it to primetime! Although I can't convince the entire world that this is a bad thing, I will continue to express my dissatisfaction with raw, boring, ugly looking apps and sites that are putting "graphic designers" out of a job at the cost of originality and definite purpose.

  6. BONUS: Trendsetter vs. Trend Follower
    It's impossible to become a trendsetting business without an artist involved. It's simple not possible. Business people follow business rules and rules that were created by business people who follow other business rules. It's a systematic. It's repetitive. The coined phrases "BEST PRACTICES" are coined by FOLLOWERS. Yes, there are right ways of doing things, but in many ways, the wrong way will get the most notable attention. I encourage many of you to debate me on this topic but I believe it takes an innate UNLEARNED ability to do the exact opposite of the crowd and to do it right enough for the crowd to follow you. An artist is gutsy enough to be themselves and to go against the status-quo. An artist will typically break the norm and go with the odd and they will do it well.

"YOU NEED MORE CALL TO ACTIONS! HOW ELSE ARE THEY GOING TO KNOW THAT THEY CAN BUY THIS?"  ... Perhaps because they are on the site BECAUSE they want to buy it.

"YOU NEED MORE CALL TO ACTIONS! HOW ELSE ARE THEY GOING TO KNOW THAT THEY CAN BUY THIS?"  ... Perhaps because they are on the site BECAUSE they want to buy it.

It’s impossible to become a trendsetting business without an artist involved.

Moral of this story... If you are an employer or a coworker of a designer, be nice to them... they can only make your work BETTER if you allow them to do what they were hired to do. If you stand over their shoulder and make senseless edits just to make edits, well, although they are moving the mouse... they aren't doing their job, you are.