You get to pick between 2 or 3 “specialties” to list as skill-sets in Graphic Artistry.
Because more than 3 niches makes your skill-set feel somehow watered down and/or less specialist-y. 2 or 3 listed skills/niche markets makes for a more concise at-a-glance expert- plus having 3 things to say rolls off the tongue real well during client meetings, much like a jingle.
For example: how many of you remember the jingles from TV commercials during our childhood? I get the Wonderball one stuck in my head to this day.
In fact, my brain being the troll it is, now is belting it.
Being able to say, MC Creative, Identity, Illustration, Inspiration rolls so smoothly off the tongue. Also, having everything start with the same letter makes a great platform for brand/market building.
Or for instance, Wall Mart. Save Money. Live Better. Or, PS2. Live in your world. Play in ours.
Anyway, people want the security of an expert, while at the same time, expect a jack of all trades. They want to know their needed body of work is going to be done by a professional, but at the same time, don’t want to go back to shopping around for a new expert after they’ve found one they like.
Totally understandable, and as a design professional, I completely encourage this, one brand, one designer thing because it’s the easiest way to cultivate a consistent brand.
Since this is kind of a diametrically opposed issue, how should Graphic Artists/other people of skilled trade handle client expectations while maintaining a specific niche?
Be open to learning, (because learning is actually fun), be open to discussion and be open to collaboration.
For example, my niches are in logo design, illustration and brand development, but there are website designs in my portfolio that I am downright proud of. I have minimal training in, “from scratch” web development, but I had a client that needed a “fron scratch” website. She felt comfortable with me, and I completely adored her, so, I put in a little extra effort, researched, read and learned how to adapt my logo/branding design skills and eye for spacial object relationships to web design.
Then I called up a web developer friend to pick her brain to really iron out any details and make sure that my files were perfectly prepared for the coder. (web design and web development are vastly different things)
So, designers out there, list 2-3 niche specialties but be open to other kinds of design projects. If you can design a trifold brochure, you can design a website.
Clients, always ask your designer questions. You might be very surprised!
– MC Creative