Design Teams 101

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

If you are going to copy and paste this for other website remember to credit me, the original author Di Hickman! I have had numerous people copy and pasting this into various forums with no credit, and some blatantly claiming the work as their own. This is highly unprofessional. Give credit where it is due with my name and I would appreciate a link back to my blog, thank you. Di


Design Teams,
what are they, what's the different kinds, how can you get one and what should you know... etc? Those are all questions I want to answer for you today, so grab a cuppa and some snack and sit back while we discuss Design Teams...

What are they?
A design team is a group of creative individuals that work to provide inspiration, projects and more for an organization. Each organization will set guidelines for the group and these guidelines vary A LOT depending on the type of team.

Why do you want to be on a design team?
Different people will have different answers, but what I have seen is many DT members doing it for free product, totally the wrong reason. You should WANT to create with a specific product, or kit club, or store. If you are doing it for the free product it can become a chore. This is especially so if you are creating for a manufacturer, if you don't love their product working with it every month will not be the highlight of your month it's supposed to be!

How much time do you have to spare for a DT?
Many people think it's just a matter of receiving product, creating projects and that's it. Depending on the type of team you're on it can be a LOT of work! I'll go indepth into the different teams in next weeks but I have to say some teams require a lot of participation, others are more laid back. Definitely look at the call carefully and assess whether the team is right for you. Also worth noting here is if you are already on a DT (or two) will you have time to commit to another? It's true that some people can juggle multiple teams but if you have a job, kids, family commitments etc then think about how that will impact your already busy life!

What kind of team do you want to apply for?
There are many different kinds of design team:
  • Online Stores/sites
  • Local Scrapbook Store
  • Blogs
  • Kit Clubs
  • digital designer/store
  • Ezines
  • Product manufacturer
  • Magazines
Each of these has their own purposes from increasing kit sales to promoting manufacturer products. Each has it's own rules and it's own pro's and cons for pursuing a specific design team. I want to cover each one in depth so I'll tackle the different teams in an next weeks article.

What is the duration of the DT term?
A typical duration is one year, but 6 month terms aren't uncommon these days. It's good to check that you'll have time to create during holidays, or if you have a house move scheduled. I've also seen 3 month contracts popping up for stores and kit clubs.

What are Guest Design Teams?
For guest positions you get to live the Design Team life without the long term committment, you get the spotlight for one month. These are great for those with busy lives who can't commit to a long contract. It's also a good way to see if Design Teams are for you, kind of like a trial run. On the other hand, if you really do well during your guest spot, it's also a way to promote yourself and maybe earn a permanant position.

When to resign from a team?
Part of being on a design team and being professional is knowing when to call it a day and resign from the team. Reasons to resign from a team can include:
  • struggling with the work load,
  • family/personal issues,
  • ill health etc.
It's worthwhile remembering that you should try to have DT terms of 6 months increments on your resume. Also worth noting that resigning from a team just because you found a better team IMO is very unprofessional. See out one contract first, then resign. Hopping from one team to another for a month or two at a time shows lack of commitment so try to stay out your contract term if possible.

Ok I think that's enough for today, next week I'll discuess the types of Design Teams in depth =)

Remember Questions are welcome!



Fink January 6, 2009 at 9:04 PM  

I appreciate you putting this for I have never had desire or faith in my work for DT's! Recently I have been considering it and most are just to use your own products up no compensation!!! I want to do it for fun!

BoBo January 7, 2009 at 1:29 AM  

Dear Di!
Thanks for this useful information. I'm thinking a same way like you, and it was good to see how You collect the facts. I'm waiting the next part of post.

Di Hickman January 7, 2009 at 1:03 PM  

Fink, I totally agree that it should ALWAYS be for fun! That's the problem sometimes when you get DTs, the pressure to create can sometimes whip the fun right out of it :(

BoBoWorking on the next part now :)

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