This is probably more approriate in the employment section, or even the students and schools, but I need advice on this, and fast. I’ll ask my instructors as well.

Myself and one other student (both final year) have both applied to a job redesigning a piece of equipment (typical ID thing - nothing out of hte ordinary). The client has never used an IDer before, and this is the first gig for both of us. we applied separately, then found out each other had applied for the job. the other student suggested a collaboration, which I am happy to do. It means less payment (most probably), but also two heads can be better than one.

I sent the client an estimate / preliminary brief and he was happy with it (before i found out about the other student).

The client just called me and said that he would prefer to hire me over the other guy , but also we both know that two heads are better than one. (mostly, i think). I am happy to collaborate, and the client said that he would prefer me to be in charge over the other student if he was to hire us both.

I don’t know what to do here - on one hand I want the job for myself, but then i don’t want to wreck the chances for the other student. design work is very hard to come by here, and it would be crap for the other student to get kicked. I don’t want to have to supervise or be in charge of the other student, but then i don’t want to be the one that tells the client to not hire them.

What do i do? If we work together, the job will (probably) turn out better, but it will be harder to negotiate (it’s kind of like freelnace work) and we’ll get paid less. I don’t want to delegate responsibilities but i also don’t want to mess this up for the other student. We are in our 4th and final year of ID, and this is the very first job posting I have ever sen for industrial design through university ( they are all usually architecture jobs!).

Moral dilemma - help please!

NB - apologies for spelling / grammar errors.

Tell your buddy that the client wants you to do it, but you would like your friends assistance on the project. Tell him you are in charge and you will pay him an hourly rate for whatever help or input he gives. Figure out a fee up front.

You get to make all the decisions (your client obviously has more faith in you anyway) but you also won’t be out on your own.

Just tell him you will manage the project, but collaborate evenly. When you meet with your client, do all the talking yourself.

Not sure what to tell you about the payment thing. If they haven’t specifically said you won’t get paid as much if there are two of you, maybe there is room to negotiate. If you do get paid less, you will be doing half the original amount of work.

Have they specified whether it will be a set fee or an hourly rate?

I would recommend you the the project on your own and cut the other dude out of the loop. Your first freelance project and your client’s first time working with ID and he wants to hire students… it is going to get sticky fast as it is. He selected you, welcome to the professional world, it is competitive.

Typically a client will want things simple, one point of contact, one point of view, one check to write.

I have used sub-contractors for services, mainly 3d modeling, but the client only interfaces with me unless I know both the client and the sub contractor very well. You will have to cut a check to the sub so the client only writes you a check, and it comes out of your money, so you have to budget it into the proposals…

Having written the proposal already and the client having selected you, as the client I would be PO’d if you tried to add a person and budget and would probably look else wear… don’t loose em.

I agree with what Yo said, however if you’re still in school i’d be careful about the money, especially if you haven’t had any internships, this is an opportunity for you to get some real experience, don’t be greedy. As far as the other student, you can decide to include him or not, you can also decide whether or not to offer him the opportunity to get some experience, paid or un-paid, but like Yo said, if you decide to include him you should be the front man on the project and I would not go back and try to change the estimate or budget to pay him, it’s your decision, not the client’s.

I think you can stick to your original quote for the job, and get the job for yourself. If/when you need support, you can elect to bring the other student in, but that will be your choice. Pay him out of your own pocket. From your client’s perspective, you are the person who was hired to do the job.

Ultimately, I think the choice was made by your client already.

It might seem cold to cut the other guy out, but ultimately it wasn’t your decision, it was the clients, so run with it. The real world as mentioned is competitive so best to grow a pair as soon as possible and deal with the situation.

Collaboration can add value but it can also get messy. Especially with two young designers that both want to get ahead and don’t have much experience working with a client or a real project.

Take the job. If you need assistance, as mentioned you can sub-contract to your friend.

To leave no bad blood, maybe even just have a chat over a beer with the other guy, laying out how it was the clients decision to hire you.


I would echo the sentiments of some people on here and do the project yourself. I assume you’re studying at either QUT or QCA if you’re doing ID in Queensland. Talk to Vesna or Steve Curran about it if you are still torn. Those two have been doing ID longer than I’ve been alive.