In-house or ummm outhouse?

So the question is, what does everyone like doing better, working for a company with their own in-house design team, or working for a ID design firm/studio that compaines go to. What are the pros and cons?

In my limited experience the pros and cons have varied.

There’s quite a few factors at play when looking at the studio or corporate route. It depends on the scope of the company/studio, but also on the type of design work. Some design work requires faster turn-around times, some design work has very long development cycles.

I can tell you that going the studio route and working on projects with tight timelines can be an extreme drag on your personal life. You might make good money, but the hours can be brutal. I went through this, and felt like I was still in school, plenty of all-nighters, no defined schedule, very high expectations. However if it’s a more established studio, with a good, experienced staff, it can go smooth. This type of environment can get you more exposure and is also a good place to learn the ropes of actually running a design studio, if that’s your aim.

Corporate, at least in my opinion, seems to have more structure. There are more set schedules and more clearly defined goals and timelines. Many corporate jobs are excellent because you are exposed to actual development teams, engineers, sales people, marketing, production, etc. In many corporate settings you are able to witness a grander scope of the design-to-production process, whereas in the studio environment you might commonly provide only design services, such as concepts, renderings, and maybe some models, what your client then does with your work is ultimately their call.

It’s a matter of preference and also of where you want to go with design.