Working with other designers

Author: Ally Eastman


Working with other designers - Is it a blessing? Is it a curse? Is it kind of both? Personally – I love doing collaborations. It means I can mesh my skills with others. Although, these scenarios are not always easy going – collaborating can really push my patience. Lets explore different things to consider when working with other designers.

The Purpose
Don’t accept an invitation to collaborate with someone just because they asked you to. There should be more criteria that you consider before you proceed. Is this project going to help you achieve anything specifically? Another thing to compare are your skill sets. You have to make sure that what you bring to the project will compliment others.

The level of contribution
It’s important to determine the level of contribution with collaborating. It may be a split amount or it could even be small tasks – but it is vital to establish this, so that there are no disagreements in the future.

Portfolio Asset
Will this collaboration be an asset to your portfolio? This question relates to last weeks blog – When to work for free. If you are going to collaborate with other designers, this will likely be an investment of your time. Is this investment going to go towards your portfolio?

The Aftermath
Collaboration has an inevitable end. How will this play out? It is likely that you can get involved in some issues that can make the end quite nasty.

Legal Issues
o You could enter some legal issues if collaboration rules were not made explicit. To avoid these legal issues – it is ideal to create a specific contract.

Collaboration Issues
o There could be general personality/ creative practice clashes that could create issues. If these issues are not resolved, you could end this collaboration with a bitter taste in your mouth. Along with that, it may not be likely that you will collaborate with that designer again.

Emotional Response
o When collaborating – it is possible that one designer may receive more recognition than another. Designers can be competitive and have fragile egos – so it is important to stick to what level of contribution you outlined in the beginning and to be mature and reasonable.

More often that not, collaboration is a blessing. There can be challenges and issues that arise and if these cannot be resolved, you should make an effort to not collaborate with that designer again.