Jump to content

 
Photo

Cartographer vs. Graphic Designer vs. GIS Professionals

* * * * * 1 votes

  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#31
Derek Tonn

Derek Tonn

    Legendary Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 455 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Springfield, Minnesota, USA
  • United States

So Derek, if you had to choose between 2 people for a job that had a very similar portfolio, who would you choose? The guy who has shown a sincere commitment to the industry or the guy who may be a good artist but hasn't really put the time in.


Bruce,

Good question. I suppose if I were to REALLY think about it, the tie-breakers, for me, might come down to:

1. "Fit." This one is SO hard to qualify, but I'm sure you've had experiences where you just can feel or "know" that someone is going to be a good or bad match for your team. Fit is VITAL, because a bad match can actually bring the entire team down.

2. "Diversity." This might be something that is more-specific to our own firm and our markets and needs, but someone who brings a new/different perspective to mapping that we don't already possess is HIGHLY attractive to our team members. "Tie" quite honestly might also go to women and/or non-white males applying for a position within our firm, since we are EXTREMELY "white" (10 of 10) and EXTREMELY "male" (9 of 10). That hurts us when marketing in some overseas locations and/or to North American groups such as the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Diversity in background, design styles, expertise, etc. is a hallmark of our firm....yet we currently do a very poor job on diversity when it comes to gender and ethnicity, something we are very-much hoping to improve upon as we (hopefully) continue to grow.

3. "Cost." It may sound a bit shameful, but if I am being honest, an important tie-breaker for me would be the amount of money that I know/sense each designer will command. If Designer A won't work for anything less than $60/hr, while Designer B will be doing cartwheels to receive $45/hr, Designer B, all things being equal, is going to be more attractive as a potential "sub" or team member.

Degree or longevity/loyalty in the industry would be potential tie-breakers for me too...but not as high as those three I have listed. I still would contend, however, that expertise, commitment (passion) and longevity shows through in one's work....NOT in their resume. One's resume gets them into a discussion or hiring process, but their portfolio is what gets them hired.
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#32
Derek Tonn

Derek Tonn

    Legendary Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 455 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Springfield, Minnesota, USA
  • United States

Great posting, Jacques!

"1. But for clients that don't not know anything about what makes a good map a good map, SHOWING them your portfolio might not get you the job."

If that is all one is doing, SHOWING people your work, then yes, this is a very valid point. However, when I think back to most of my conversations with prospective clients, I cannot help but to sprinkle in lots of "why/how we did this" into the conversation as opposed to just sending them a piece of paper or a link to a proof and saying "Ain't it pretty?" ;) Maps are SUCH complex animals to design! That's what kind of surprised and "irked" me a bit about the NACIS map design competition. Most of the people making comments seemed to focus on "glass is half empty" type of issues when they had NO idea of what the client actually asked for, the reference we were supplied with, NO appreciation for the project-imposed limitations on the design, etc. Once each of the five (I think it was five?) entrants got a chance to talk a little more about what they were doing or why they were doing it though, I think/hope some of the "critiques" and design decisions became more obvious or apparent.

2. "To me a nice looking map is not necessarily a good map."

180% correct! However, showing one's work <=> to only showing people how "nice" your portfolio looks. Honestly, one of the VERY first things I look for when I am reviewing people's portfolio/gallery is their use of type and sensitivity to contrast and negative space. One of my BIGGEST "pet peeves" in map design is when you see professionally-designed maps that have black/dark text crossing over black/dark lines and objects. That is SO "bush-league" to me....and is something I am harping on our designers about on almost a daily basis! That type of thing, to me, screams "sub-standard attention to detail," JUST AS MUCH as if someone's projection/scale/??? were obviously off.

Showing people what you're made of includes showing them how you sweat the details....and if you assume or know they won't even notice those types of professional touches, pointing those touches out to them. Another one that drives me absolutely INSANE is poor use of contrast. If I had $1.00 for every time I've seen light text or iconography on top of a light color field, or dark-on-dark, I could probably buy Adobe! :) Another one is crisp, smooth lines and (ESPECIALLY) the intersection between lines. Little things that 99% of people using a map might never notice...but if it's going to have our name somewhere on it when it is done, I do not like or want to tolerate.

But AGAIN, one's portfolio shows you all of those things. A degree, acronym, certification, etc. does not show you that someone has a good eye and sense for that type of thing.....and I'll personally trust what I can see with my own two eyes 100 times more than what somebody has written about their capabilities on a piece of paper.
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->