Emergency Design Technician (EDT)

Emergency Design Technician (EDT)

20120705-184002.jpgMy full time job is an in-house graphic designer. Often I feel I am more of an EDT. I often receive 20+ page PowerPoints about an hour before they are needed for reformatting and making comply with corporate standards. Or about 10 minutes before an email is sent it is decided they need an image or something to help highlight what is being said. Or one of our departments has designed a new corporate program and only the day before they roll it out decide it needs branding; logo, page layout and whatever else they can think of. These are situations where the EDT goes into action.

In these situations it is important for the designer to know the corporate standards inside and out. What is allowed and what isn’t. Too often people stretch the logo, or use the wrong colors (“but this neon green matches the hunter green”), or fonts. Knowing your standards helps you be able to spot this quickly and change it.

Thankfully in the PowerPoint situations we have a template that is set up. Unfortunately, most people don’t use the template correctly and PowerPoint like to format things the way it thinks they should be. Knowing your software and how to use it correctly,or the workarounds, is important to pulling off the emergency and delivering to the client what they need.

For the branding situations it is amazing all the projects I have worked on that haven’t been implemented. I save most of them for just such emergencies. Having a few projects that haven’t seen the light of day allows you to repurpose them quickly and turn around projects when the clients need them.

The most important thing is to remain calm. Often I have had a frantic client come to me needing XYZ ASAP twenty minutes ago. It never helps if both of us are panicking. So I try to remain calm, at least outwardly. After doing my job for so many years I know I can handle whatever they throw at me. Sometimes its more difficult then others but as long as I keep a clear head and remain calm I can do it and my client gains confidence in my abilities.

These four things have saved me from hours of work and many headaches.

  • Know the companies corporate standards.
  • Know your software – ins and outs, what is capable of and work arounds.
  • Save old projects and repurpose them.
  • Remain calm.

For those of you with an iPad here is my EDT iPad background. Enjoy.

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