Designing under pressure

clockThere’s no getting precious about work when a brief comes in after lunch, to be completed before home-time. Especially when the brief entails a corporate ID, business cards and an A3 fold-out brochure. Finished and couriered. These jobs don’t come in very often, but when they do, there’s no doubt you’re probably involved in the back-end of a reality TV show.

Interior Rivalry Season 2 (quite similar to Interior Rivalry Season 1), hosted by renowned House Doctor Ann Maurice, came to Firedog in need of a lightning fast turnover. The final two teams in this home-staging battle were to fight it out for victory, under the names of “Revive” (Sounds interesting – Cliff’s client) and “Staging Solutions” (Fraser and my client). They needed to look good in a very short amount of time. I like a challenge.

The timing plan went something like this:

2 pm : Briefing.
2.15 – 3.30pm : Create identity.
3.30 – 6.30 pm : Apply the identity to business cards and lay out brochure.
7.00 – 7.30 pm : Present mockups to respective clients.
7.30 – 8pm : Ammendments.
9pm : Finished mock-ups to courier.

clockI think it was about 4.30pm when I started to panic. We (me and my intern Mike) had very little. Cliff, in all his experience, was calmly laying out his brochure, ID and business cards done, plus a few extra pieces of collateral on the side. I was sweating. They’re going to fire me. It’s all over. I left the logo to young Mike and started chucking the copy into a layout. Review time. My bosses could sense the hysterics creeping up within me.

“That’s fine, keep going, don’t worry, it’s looking good…” Thank you Fraser. Tear. Your kind words have saved my life. Mike had pulled a logo out of his hat, and my layout was doing the job. Incredible relief. But it wasn’t over yet.

The cameras were back at 7pm, the spraymount barely dry, and Cliff and Fraser all miked up and in the boardroom presenting.

The changes were minor, just some copy here and there. The clients were happy and so was I. We found out later that Staging Solutions had been booted. Revive would reign the world of homestaging. It didn’t matter. We had delivered, and Cliff was wearing a (smart) shirt for a change.

{Original article author: Richard Becker}

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