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Design Dilemma / 11 Nov 2014

Design Dilemma: When the Client Expects You to Be a Psychic

“I’ll know what I like when I see it” has been heard by every freelancer presenting designs to a client for approval. Unless you’re a psychic, dealing with a psycho who won’t give you direction as to what they want, preferring for you to “wow” them can mushroom a two week project into two months.

“Philip” wrote in, exasperated by a client who would look at multiple web design sketches, and turn them down, then smile and say those wondrous words of professional appreciation, “I’ll know what I like when I see it!” Naturally, unless you can read the mind of a client like this, which is usually a short story of bad grammar and jumbled thoughts, you could go on, and on, and on, never reaching a solution until the client accuses you of being a bad designer, unable to satisfy a client, etc.

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Layouts / 10 Nov 2014

Empathy and Design: What You Should Consider

Do you need to think about empathy when you design? (The answer is yes.) It may seem like a pretty common sense answer, but too often we get caught up in the design and message and not the user.

Who are you creating the design for? How will they connect with it? That’s where empathy comes in. Thinking about it from the start of the process can help you put together an even more successful project. (As you read through this post, look at the examples and think about the emotions these sites make you feel.)

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This Week in Design / 7 Nov 2014

This Week in Design: Nov. 7, 2014

What’s next? What’s trendy? What’s cool? It can be incredibly hard to answer these questions, but we often try. This week in design, we will look at a few potential trends for the coming year and some bits of the past that influence classic and contemporary design styles.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at carrie@designshack.net.

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Design Dilemma / 5 Nov 2014

Design Dilemma: How Do I Turn a Temp Job Into a Staff Position?

A designer was upset that temp positions always ended after a few weeks, and she wanted to know if there was anything she could do to get hired by one of theses clients for a full time position. It’s fairly common these days, as employers test out talent on a trial basis before hiring, training and seeing how much abuse a person will take as a staff member of the company.

So, what steps could she, or anyone in her position take to show the temp employer that they are worth the salary and benefits (and even the buyout from the temp/recruiting agency)? It can be easier than one would think, but there are steps, considerations and legalities one should know to make their case for hiring stronger. Let’s take a look.

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Graphics / 3 Nov 2014

The Designer’s Guide to Visual Punctuation

Punctuation is more than just periods and exclamation points. In terms of design, punctuation can be anything that causes a reader or user to stop or pause. It can happen while reading text or as the eye moves from one element to another. These bits of visual punctuation are everywhere and are vital parts of any design concept.

The key elements of visual punctuation include common readable punctuation marks as well as space, lines, rules, icons and color.

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This Week in Design / 31 Oct 2014

This Week in Design: Oct. 31, 2014

Ideas. They are everywhere. And sometimes can’t be found anywhere. This week in design, we hope to bring some ideas to you while thinking about this big, creative concept. Where do they come from? Why do they fall apart? How can they be executed?

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at carrie@designshack.net.

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Business / 29 Oct 2014

Do You Have a Design Checklist?

While every project is unique, every project also has a set of things and processes that are always part of your workflow. That’s where having a good design checklist comes in. This guide can help you manage projects and workflow, delegate tasks among team members and ensure that everything is complete before a design project is handed over. A good design checklist can help keep you from going astray during a project.

You may need several types of checklists in your toolkit: project design (print or digital), planning, execution, and printing and delivery. These lists can have overlap or not and can serve as starting points for you to create a checklist tailored to your design work.

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Inspiration / 27 Oct 2014

Typographic Posters: 100 Stunning Examples

Typography is all about delivering art and information in a beautiful medium. Designing typographic posters is no easy task, and arranging and modifying each individual component is a skilled task. Not only that, special care has to be taken when it comes to the legibility and aesthetics of the fonts being used in the poster, choosing type that works well together, and conveys the right impression.

To pay our tribute to all the experienced typographic artists in today’s post, as well as inspire you to try your own hand at this type of art, we have come up with a grand compilation of a hundred typographic posters from around the web. Read on to browse through some delightful inspiration, and beautiful art.

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This Week in Design / 24 Oct 2014

This Week in Design: Oct. 24, 2014

Most weeks, we head into our “Week in Design” recap with a theme in mind. This week that theme is lacking, but hopefully this mix of resources about logos, type design, photography and even beer as a team motivational tool will inspire you.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at carrie@designshack.net.

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Freelancing / 20 Oct 2014

Freelancing 101: When to Say ‘No’

Sometimes, you will find that the best answer as a freelancer is “no.” It’s not always the easiest thing to say, but it is necessary at times. There are going to be days or projects that just don’t work for you. But how do you know when to say no?

It can be a situational answer, and a project you turn down this week might be something you consider again in a year. What’s important is to find the balance in your schedule to take on projects that you feel good about, will derive a benefit from and can handle in the time allowed.

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This Week in Design / 17 Oct 2014

This Week in Design: Oct. 17, 2014

This week I am thinking about flow. Design flow. Work flow. Creative flow. What makes it call come together? This week in design we have a collection of ideas to help you think about design and creativity as a whole, from a look at what makes design good to a history of colors of the year to a fun and creative project you can do at home.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at carrie@designshack.net.

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Design Dilemma / 15 Oct 2014

Design Dilemma: Are Crowdsourcing Sites Really So Bad?

There’s no bigger hot button in the design industry than crowdsourcing. Sites like fiverr, eLance, 99designs, DesignContest, and oDesk promise digital client relationships while protecting the rights and payments of the “winners.” And therein lay the problem—these sites have winners and losers—mostly losers. But, what if you are a winner?

A designer wrote and asked if he should stay away from these sites or give them a try. He had won $1,000 in a smaller design contest for some music label and was riding high on the thought he could continue winning—and earning money.

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