I am quite familiar with the purpose of being in business. And, I am sure designers do not get into design for the money. I know I did not.
There is another post on why there are not any 40-year old designers. This is a great question. My guess would be that most designers move up or move out. If asked another way, Why can other industries attract and keep great technician level employees and industrial design cannot?
I would argue doctors, nurses, IT support, programmers, mechanics etc. are technician level employees. Some do move up but most stay at mid-management or below. Designers make about the same pay as these careers. But designers do not stay designers (in the traditional technical sense).
So, if it is not the money, what will keep designers around?
This led me to the question I am asking now. Who is doing it right?
Also, why should I even care about this? The short answer is that I feel if we, as an industry, cannot get past the transitory existence we have now, how can we move to the next level of gaining respect for our industry?
So, here are a few examples of things I have heard about or have had myself as employee benefits.
1.Your own project time â€“ I think this originally came from Philips Design, but I had seen another small firm doing it. Basically, 10-percent of your time is for you to work on your own pet design project. And not just in the slow times.(up to 200 hours a year) (@$100/hr this is a $20K gift)
2.Entrepreneur program â€“ The design firm will help you fund your great idea. Even if they take a piece this is a great gift. I am not sure if Lunar did this but I heard they did.
3.Paid parking â€“ From a SF based design firm.
4.Fruit / snacks â€“ I have heard frog does this and many high tech firms also do this. I am sure it is a ploy to get you to work longer but it is still nice.
5.Paid time off to help charity â€“ Most of the designers I know would love this as we are social / environmental activists.
6.Paid IDSA memberships â€“ Great if you take advantage of what they have to offer. (Is this a tax write off for the business?)
And a free and simple one, how about giving credit where credit is due. Basically, donâ€™t be an ass and pretend you did something when another designer working for you did it.
Well, thatâ€™s my 2-cents.