Cheeky Little Scamp?

16th March, 2016. Posted by Mr Swagger

Before today if I was asked to use the word scamp in a sentence “You cheeky little scamp” would have been my impulse response. But thankfully with Google at my fingertips I know better. Why was I looking up the word scamp? Because of ever growing and ever confusing business terminologies.

My day to day trade beyond the wonderful writing and managing of Gee is branding and design. Referrals have been slow for the past couple of months so I thought I’d have a sift through the jobs section of LinkedIn as you do when you are looking for an interesting opportunity (trust me all of the best jobs I’ve had have come through LinkedIn…I should probably write an article on that). Well whilst doing a bit of searching I came across an interesting Freelance role paying the right money and offering the right creative opportunities. So I’m reading through the job description, nodding and smiling until I get to this “The best portfolios will include a mix of ideas from scamping, logo ideas and the process on how you came up with the final design, print campaigns and some art direction.”. Instantly I’m turned off as I think to myself I’ve never scamped and it’s an integral requirement. But like with all that I don’t know today, I will damn sure know by tomorrow, so off to Google I go to learn how to scamp. Now thankfully Google is like the best version of a parent that you can ask for, it has the answers to all your questions and never says “I don’t know go and ask your mother”. Google kindly tells me that I do know what scamping is and that I always do it in my design process, and that I’ve been doing it since I first tried to build Castle Grey Skull with Lego and needed to convince my mum to go and but me more Lego. You’re at this point either waiting for me to tell you what Scamping is or Googling it yourself, well here it is in layman’s terms “A first rough or mock-up usually used in art-working terms e.g. Scamp up a design…during a design brief”.


This is not the first time (and definitely won’t be the last time) that I’ve been faced with bafflement from industry jargon. And I get it in some industries it’s important that you know the jargon in order to communicate with others in your field. But in the creative industries there seems to be a need to use words that just don’t help the process and if anything slow up the process. It’s like patios so the suits don’t know what we are talking about when we we’re balancing anchor points.

So now I have a choice to make. Now that I have this terminology in my lexicon do I or do I not incorporate it into client invoices and make it sound like they are paying for an extra service when it is just part of the process of any design? Hmmm wonder how much I can charge for scamping? *Heads off to Google to see the what the current market rate is*

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