Should A Graphic Designer Refuse Non Creative Work?

Being a graphic designer is not only about creating epic and unforgettable logos, or designing super creative ads that remain in the collective memory for a long time – it also involves working on predefined vector graphics, changing a font at the client’s request. Plus many other tasks that make you feel that you are not an artist anymore, but a mere tool at the service of your client’s whim.

Many projects you will get are going to be like this: simple and non creative tasks. But they also bring you a paycheck. Here is the big question: to do or not to do menial task? To get paid or to wait for that big, awesomely creative project? Let us see the pros and cons

Accept Non-Creative Jobs

These jobs have two main advantages: they are simple and bring you money. You can accept them when you are in a creative blackout, because you won’t need any creativity for them. Just follow the client’s instructions and everyone will be happy. Whether they hire you to change the font from Verdana to Century Gothic, the color from teal to chartreuse, or add some vector graphics it’s all in a day’s work and you get one more payment to cover your expenses.

And with a series of such simple jobs, you will make what we’d like to call easy money. Of course, it will not be very easy on your professional dignity, but bills have to be paid and you certainly have a few hobbies you want to indulge in. All in all, non-creative, menial design tasks are a way of living as a freelancer.

Refuse Non-Creative Jobs

Your creativity will suffer and maybe stall. You will be lost in a sea of irrelevant project, lose that spark that makes you come up with amazing designs. How can you get creative with stock photos and vector graphics, when all you need to do is paste them together and add some text? Also, you cannot include any of these projects in your portfolio and a gap between projects doesn’t look good, either.

These are valid reasons for refusing menial jobs. If you are a super talented and extremely busy graphic designer, with major projects on the line, then you are right in refusing these small bites. They will not look good in your portfolio, they will not even bring enough money to justify your time. And if you accept too many of these, your future work will suffer, it could become dull and mechanical.


If being a creative artist is more important than getting constant paid projects, then you can even post a message on your website: No Menial Jobs Accepted!

But if you are not included in any online top of best designers, and you have bills to pay, then you should think of your best interests and do those jobs. Change those colors, add those vector graphics, change that font and get paid. Who knows, maybe in time that client will become open to your creative ideas and you will do some great, original work for him.

In the end, it all depends on how much money you make, you expect to make or you don’t make. If finances are not a problem, you can afford to be as picky as you want with your projects. And this is the only honest advice we can give you. But we are open to hear your arguments and criticism, so use the Comments field below to express your ideas.

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Ionut B
Digital Art Director with an innovative creative thinking able to translate ideas and concepts into useful and memorable interactive marketing campaigns.

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