Low End Designer Survey Results and Feedback

This article incorporates the Low End Mac Designer survey results and some interesting comments, so without further ado, let’s get to it.


Survey Results

1. What is your level of interest in design?

  1. Just a reader 12%
  2. I do a bit of light design work 40%
  3. I want to be a designer 15%
  4. I am a designer 30%
  5. I have no interest 3%

2. What do you design? (Totals can add up to more than 100%)

  1. Nothing 10%
  2. Web sites 40%
  3. Print (flyers, business cards, letterheads etc.) 32%
  4. Publications (newspapers, magazines) 20%
  5. Long documents (books, manuals) 5%
  6. Other (please specify) 12%

3. What is your level of design education?

  1. None 32%
  2. School/night classes 21%
  3. College/university 42%
  4. Postgraduate/Masters/Doctorate 5%

4. About your computers (choose all that apply)

  1. Compact Mac (Black and white) 3%
  2. 68K Mac (inc. Color Classic) 18%
  3. Pre-G3 Power Mac 14%
  4. G3/G4 running Mac OS 8 or 9 20%
  5. G3/G4/G5 running Mac OS X 28%
  6. Windows PC 9%
  7. Linux PC 4%
  8. Mac running Linux 3%
  9. SGI/Sun/NeXT or other exotic workstation 1%

5. What aspect of the Low End Designer do you find most interesting?

  1. None. It bores me. 1%
  2. The software reviews 40%
  3. The hints and tips 40%
  4. The proposed practical guides to typography, color usage and scanning 19%

6. I would like to see more: (May add up to more than 100%)

  1. Reviews 40%
  2. Commentary and opinion 20%
  3. Design criticism 33%
  4. Practical tips for good design 32%
  5. Practical tips for getting the most out of older hardware and software 33%
  6. None. Please stop. 0%

Low End Designer Mailbag

From David Lefly:

Would like to see a short reading list on typography and print design for those (like me) with no design education, who have mastered The Mac Is Not a Typewriter, etc. I have seen lots of guides to various software, lots of very expensive slick art books with titles like Business Cards That Changed the Course of History, and these are not what I’m looking for. I really liked Robert Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style.

From Brian Warren:

As a designer, much of what you’ve written about has been somewhat just a review, since I tend to stay on top of things. It more reminds me of my college days of banging out designs on a IIx, running Quark 3 and Illustrator 5.5. It was lots of fun. Since I’m not a “low end” designer anymore (I heavily depend on OS X for all my Web work), I’m not sure I’m getting a whole lot out of the articles, but I don’t want them to stop. It’s fun. I confess I haven’t read all of your articles yet though, I hope to have the time to do that soon. Thank you for contributing to LEM and keeping it a viable resource.

From Simon at Gipling Press:

“I’ve read them all and enjoyed them all – and apparently so have a lot of others (most of whom must be either interested in getting into design or perhaps just improving their “amateur” design abilities – they can’t all be pro’s surely?)

Where to go next? My suggestions:

  • How to avoid the “obvious” design gaffes
  • Tips on good basic design strategy for beginners
  • “How type works” because most people really don’t understand/leading/kerning/ascenders/descenders/baselines/x-heights/point sizes/ligatures etc. etc. – In fact, I’ve met plenty of people who can barely tell Times from Helvetica… (a history of type article?)
  • Hints and tips on scanning (no 72 dpi RGB Web graphics please?) Good design on low end Macs (software tips – as per my previous email…)

To be honest, as long as there are people out there to listen and comment, this column could run indefinitely.

From Eric Ekaljuma:

As a professor, I frequently find myself designing my own flyers, worksheets, and booklets. I also deal with a fanzine on the side. Practical tips on layout (particularly ease of reading and accessibility) are welcome reading.

From Nathan Bir at Ingram Design:

Some of what drew me most to your series was the concept and idea that a designer could operate on less than ‘current’ systems without either breaking the bank or running up the workload so high they could never get caught up. Obviously, there are some constraints on the time it takes older software and hardware to juggle massively sized Photoshop files. No one would debate that a IIci with a 24-bit graphics card and a 540 MB hard drive would be ill equipped for this type of function. It is, however, the very idea that you don’t need the latest and the greatest machines to produce perfectly good artwork that clients will gladly pay money for, that appeals to me most. After all, as the wise older designer once said, the computer is merely a tool and does not in itself create great work. You, the designer, create the ideas, and the Macintosh is merely a mechanism that helps you to do so.

Granted, computers have taken a lot of time out of design chores that once took considerably longer. Of course, computers have also added to the amount and breadth of tasks that designers must currently be able to master; so it is a double-edged sword. In any case, I have enjoyed all aspects of your current articles and would love to see more. All of the above, I say, and keep up the great work!”

From Roger Harris at Eikon Studios:

Many people using older Macs are in sign shops, screen printing, and such. It might be good to look at some of their needs. I have some low-end clients that I give Illustrator and PS instruction to, and I have early background in these areas – you can email me with questions you may have.

You might find this of interest? I have set up older Macs in a couple of Windows environments to interface with the Internet and keep the Windows work stations free of infection. I find this one good way to use older Macs. In both cases the clients are now wanting to employ newer Macs in the work flow. One of the clients is a sign shop and the other a screen and embroidery shop.

I have been recruited to set up and run a graphics major at Eureka College in Eureka Illinois, beginning next year. I will be putting LED on the reading list.”

PREVIOUS: Text and Typography: Leading, Kerning, Tracking, and Justification
NEXT: Richard Hunt, Low End Designer and Mac Lover

Keywords: #lowenddesigner #survey

Short link: http://goo.gl/B0djRi

searchword: lowenddesignersurvey