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Old 05.11.2011, 20:52
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Another cost of Living and Salary question ( Graphic Designer )

First of all, hello!

I'm a graphic designer currently based in Barcelona and I'm thinking about moving to Zurich. I've read all the posts on the thread but I still have some doubts...

The cost of living in Zürich is quite different from what I'm used to in Lisbon and Barcelona, and the different currency does not help my math.
I'm pretty aware of the Spanish and Portuguese wages for a graphic designer, but I don´t have a clue about the Swiss market and costs of living.

I've seen in some Salary calculator websites wages going from 60 to 90k a year but I still don't know where I am, because from what I've seen, the design Industry in Zürich is a little bit behind Barcelona (I don't know if this is true) And I'm afraid to be mislead!

Anyway, I'm thinking about aiming to the 70k, but I sincerely have no idea if I'm aiming too low, too high or just right!
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Old 05.11.2011, 21:04
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Re: Another cost of Living and Salary question ( Graphic Designer )

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First of all, hello!

I'm a graphic designer currently based in Barcelona and I'm thinking about moving to Zurich. I've read all the posts on the thread but I still have some doubts...

The cost of living in Zürich is quite different from what I'm used to in Lisbon and Barcelona, and the different currency does not help my math.
I'm pretty aware of the Spanish and Portuguese wages for a graphic designer, but I don´t have a clue about the Swiss market and costs of living.

I've seen in some Salary calculator websites wages going from 60 to 90k a year but I still don't know where I am, because from what I've seen, the design Industry in Zürich is a little bit behind Barcelona (I don't know if this is true) And I'm afraid to be mislead!

Anyway, I'm thinking about aiming to the 70k, but I sincerely have no idea if I'm aiming too low, too high or just right!
70K is not a great salary, however graphic design is 'not hot' in CH. Everybody knows somebody with a cracked version of photoshop.....so you will find very few full time opportunities. The Swiss are not very creative & re-using whatever they used last time will be the default, however bad it was the first time round.
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Old 05.11.2011, 21:28
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Re: Another cost of Living and Salary question ( Graphic Designer )

Damn... just as I suspected It's turning out real hard to find good quality design studios in Zürich!
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Old 05.11.2011, 21:45
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Re: Another cost of Living and Salary question ( Graphic Designer )

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Damn... just as I suspected It's turning out real hard to find good quality design studios in Zürich!
There are a handful of International Pros around in any of the creative areas. I have been here since 1994, I do international projects which pay much better, they also require English rather than German or French.

Good luck, however normal full time jobs really don't exist anymore, it's easier & cheaper for companies to take freelancers for a few days as needed.
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Old 05.11.2011, 22:13
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Re: Another cost of Living and Salary question ( Graphic Designer )

Thanks for the advice. Do you happen to know some good studios or agencies? Is there some emblematic Swiss design awards you know about so I can check them out?
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Old 05.11.2011, 22:22
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Re: Another cost of Living and Salary question ( Graphic Designer )

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Thanks for the advice. Do you happen to know some good studios or agencies? Is there some emblematic Swiss design awards you know about so I can check them out?
Design awards are awarded to your own family, you can check out ADC 'Art directors club of Switzerland'
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Old 06.11.2011, 12:02
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Re: Another cost of Living and Salary question ( Graphic Designer )

I'm a graphic designer, but I don't get any graphic job, and I'm looking all over Switzerland. I haven't worked as an employed graphic designer since 1995. Then I started my own business but I've got very few orders today. I stuggel through with underpayed jobs since 2003.
Forget Switzerland if you're creative or from an artistic job. The competition is way too big, and only a few made it in these jobs.

I thought you have to be a hell of a great graphic designer, but I see lousy works, I could do better.

Really, if you have a steady life in Barcelona stay there.
You can look for a job in Switzerland, but don't move to Switzerland without a job contract.

Honestly, we (2 people!) live of 30k CHF per year. That's nothing in Switzerland!
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Old 06.11.2011, 12:11
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Re: Another cost of Living and Salary question ( Graphic Designer )

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I'm a graphic designer, but I don't get any graphic job, and I'm looking all over Switzerland. I haven't worked as an employed graphic designer since 1995. Then I started my own business but I've got very few orders today. I stuggel through with underpayed jobs since 2003.
Forget Switzerland if you're creative or from an artistic job. The competition is way too big, and only a few made it in these jobs.

I thought you have to be a hell of a great graphic designer, but I see lousy works, I could do better.

Really, if you have a steady life in Barcelona stay there.
You can look for a job in Switzerland, but don't move to Switzerland without a job contract.

Honestly, we (2 people!) live of 30k CHF per year. That's nothing in Switzerland!
I know people think I am negative when I describe the possibilities for creatives in CH, I think this is totally accurate of the situation.
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Old 06.11.2011, 17:46
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Re: Another cost of Living and Salary question ( Graphic Designer )

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I know people think I am negative when I describe the possibilities for creatives in CH, I think this is totally accurate of the situation.
And I agree with you. Graphic work is being outsourced to lower cost countries. People in Spain, South America, even midWest USA, produce work that is just as good for less.

Your best bet is to be a sales center/virtual agency where you go and pitch, sell to the Swiss clients but then have your designers from around the world produce the work.

It's really the only way to go these days.
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Old 06.11.2011, 18:08
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Re: Another cost of Living and Salary question ( Graphic Designer )

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And I agree with you. Graphic work is being outsourced to lower cost countries. People in Spain, South America, even midWest USA, produce work that is just as good for less.

Your best bet is to be a sales center/virtual agency where you go and pitch, sell to the Swiss clients but then have your designers from around the world produce the work.

It's really the only way to go these days.
Actually, most of the times, much better work and service for a fraction of the price....

Anyway, Freeza, I have sent you a PM.
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Old 07.11.2011, 16:19
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Re: Another cost of Living and Salary question ( Graphic Designer )

Hummm very very interesting (and disapointing at the same time).

I'm doing OK here in Barcelona, I'm currently working in a very interesting studio, and I really can't complaint about the wage, but I have some family in Zurich and that's why I'm considering to move there, but truth is, I'm starting to have a bad feeling about this... One thing I won't do is move to another country that is not mine and get underpaid, or work on uninteresting projects... I will check out the contacts and links some of you sent me and try my luck anyway, it won't hurt nobody sending some mails and making some phone calls right? But I won't leave Barcelona without a contract, that's for sure
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Old 07.11.2011, 22:34
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Re: Another cost of Living and Salary question ( Graphic Designer )

Trust me we all started like that, when you see the contract, you may be thinking of "the worst case, I collect money, I set my own biz up and go back to Barcelona in the future etc..."
I tell you what ==> dont be schocked 3-4 years later if you find yourself working for a bank )
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Old 10.11.2011, 03:38
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Re: Another cost of Living and Salary question ( Graphic Designer )

my (swiss) company does not outsource anything as the whole admin process, the time spend correcting mistakes n stuff is not worth the money saved. its too risky and we pitch swiss graphic designers and/or agencies. in an agency youre mostly underpaid when youre not ad or cd. thats everywhere the same. running your own business is always depending that you have 1-2 clients that youll get a guaranteed income of.
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