It’s a topic I think most people in design will have become frustrated with at some point or other, when you are given too little time/budget to give a job to attention it deserves. Quoting jobs is always a difficult one but what is even worse is when a job has a really small set budget.

I have been working on a job recently where there really was not enough budget to do the design project justice, I really hate this scenario. I was given a brief and fixed budget to do the design and artwork for a project of 1.5 days which really wasn’t long enough. I did my usual sketches to decide what to do for the initial two concepts I needed to produce. One of the ideas I had was to produce a illustration as part of the design. I thought about this idea but rejected it because I realised that illustration in itself might take me the best part of a day and then I still had another option to produce. I decided I would have to stick with using supplied photos and inexpensive stock shots. I also needed to keep time for doing the artwork and any amends on the job afterwards. I have no problem with spending a bit of extra time on a project but this would totally blow the timing/budget.

Lower budgets and time constraints force more and more use of stock photography and limit the designers ability to truly produce something more unique for clients. Before cheap stock photography was available a designer had to illustrate/experiment and commission photography and this had to be built into the budget. In some ways cheap stock images are great but they also stop us using our imaginations and creativity and producing something new.

What are your thoughts on this?