I was recently put in an interesting position where I had to choose between my professional principles and a paycheck. As a designer, you’re probably no stranger to this situation.
What’s the right course of action? When is compromise a laudable action and when is standing firm and refusing a request the better way to go? I’ll share my thoughts through a real and personal story.September 19th, 2012 Posted in Business
Freelancing for a living is flat out nuts. Some days you’ll be so buried in work that you never think you’ll see the sun again. Other days will make you wonder how in the world you’re going to make rent this month.
This article will focus on the latter situation. You’ve reached the end, you’re finished. There’s no more work, the economy sucks, no one’s calling, now what?August 21st, 2012 Posted in Business
Your public portfolio is one of the most important things you’ll ever design. It presents you to the world and, if you’re a freelancer, tends to play a major role in whether or not people choose to hire you.
Because of my role as the editor of Design Shack, I’ve viewed a ton of online portfolios and today I’d like to walk through some of the weaknesses I see time and time again. Read on to see if you’ve made some of these mistakes.July 31st, 2012 Posted in Business
It is still hard for me to imagine that there are print and even web designers who don’t have their own websites. It is imperative in today’s business climate that everyone has a digital portfolio and that it is up-to-date. The hard part is just getting started.
What you don’t need is a world-class website filled with animations and color and gimmicks. What you do need to have is a clean, easy to navigate site that showcases your work. You can go all out and design a site from scratch or for a quick fix, use one of the many (and often free) host sites available to create get your portfolio and be online by the end of the week.June 12th, 2012 Posted in Business
Typically, the articles that I write on Design Shack are from the perspective of the designer. One topic that comes up regularly is how to deal with clients on various issues. However, today I’d like to flip things around and jump to the aid of the other team.
Designer/client relationships go both ways and just as often as there is a frustrated designer, there’s a disappointed client. Today we’re going to tackle the question of what to do when you hire a designer and just don’t like the work that resulted.May 25th, 2012 Posted in Business
We’ve all had them – the dreaded unsuccessful or failed project – and we’ve all had to bounce back. From graphics busts to web disasters, some good can come from projects you’d rather forget. Even big companies, such as Gap with a logo change and subsequent reversal in early 2011, have had to deal with design snafus.
Start the recovery process by taking a minute to figure out what went wrong and then make a resolution to gain something from the process. Learn how to improve yourself, your team and your next project. Although you should not dwell on it too long, here are 10 things you can learn from failed projects.April 27th, 2012 Posted in Business
As a designer, developer and all around creative person, there are some skills that likely came very naturally to you. The learning experience just sucked you in and you enjoyed yourself enough that you picked up this new talent in an impressively brief timespan.
Other skills however, prove to be more difficult. Sometimes you can feel like your brain is simply full and that there’s no more room for this old dog to learn a new trick. How do you overcome this mental block and force yourself to learn that new skill you’ve been wanting to pick up? There’s a secret that many freelancers know well that is a sure fire way to learn almost anything new in your given field. Read on to see what it is!April 23rd, 2012 Posted in Business
Sometimes getting others to visualize your great idea is not so simple and takes some “selling” on your part. It may even take advance (or free) mock-up work to help some of the non-visual people in the room get on the same page with your idea.
Here are a few things you can do to help you get your idea on the fast-track to approval and how to really sell your design concept.April 13th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Business, Layouts
Ever get that feeling that some members of your creative team just aren’t quite with the program? It is entirely likely. Sending out communications and messages that will reach your whole team can be somewhat tricky because of the differences in how people think.
Creatives sometimes tend to be a little more free-thinking and less-structured than some of their office counterparts. Research has shown that people who use more right brain functions, such as designers and creative thinkers, also respond to and process the same information differently than left-brain thinkers, who tend to be more organized and logic-oriented. (Some studies have even shown that the highest rates of dyslexia, which affects reading and comprehension, have been found in right-brain thinkers.) With just a few tweaks, you can more effectively get your message across to everyone.April 6th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Business
One of the most important aspects of the creative and design process is the sharing and development of ideas. Seldom does a first draft of anything — from an ad concept to a new web layout — see the light of day without planning and revision. Jumpstart the process with more productive and creative brainstorming sessions for your team. The concept sounds simple, right?
The best planned brainstorming sessions take some work. As the leader of the group you must decide how many people to invite and what ground rules will be set. Most of all you want to help bring something positive away from the meeting. Try these tips to spice up your next brainstorming session.March 30th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Business, Inspiration, Software