Category: Business

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Business / 14 Sep 2017

5 Tips for Working With Squarespace as a Designer

Squarespace isn’t just for non-designers and small business owners. Regardless of your skill level, the platform can be a quick and easy way to get a site online in a hurry. The website builder is packed with tools and integrations so that everything you need is right there from the start.

But the biggest complaint from designers is that while the templates look good, there’s just not enough flexibility. You just have to dig a little deeper. Squarepsace offers options so that more advanced designers and developers can do even more with the tool.

Business / 13 Sep 2017

How to Start Small & Scale Up a Design Project

Sometimes the hardest part of starting a new design project is… getting started! The best way to tackle a new project is to start small and scale the project up as you go.

Think about it in a series of small steps that build into a final product. This concept can make projects easier to manage and help you build a more predictable timeline as well.

The ability to scale is important because a lot of projects aren’t do-it-and-forget-it; websites, in particular, evolve and change over time. Not sure where to start? Here are some practical tips for graphic and website design project management so you can scale as you go.

Business / 6 Sep 2017

10 Simple Steps to Refresh Your Instagram Account

Taylor Swift did it. She deleted her Instagram account before re-emerging with a newly refreshed persona. The tactic was part of a campaign for her new album release, but shows a good point: sometimes your accounts just need a refresh.

You can learn more about how Swift did it, or take on a personal challenge to refresh your Instagram account. It’s easier than you might think. (Once you get over the mental block of changing the way you post photos, anyway.)

Here’s how you can refresh your Instagram account in 10 simple steps (and maybe even feel as diva as Taylor Swift in the process).

Business / 28 Aug 2017

How Much Should You Charge for Design Services?

It might be one of the most asked questions among freelance designers: what do you charge clients?

There can be so many variables in setting rates that you can stick to, and you have to make a choice between hourly and fixed options. Either way, a good pricing strategy can help you get the clients you want and earn a solid income from freelance work.

After you figure out pricing. Which is a challenge for almost anyone!

Business / 23 Aug 2017

How to Upsell Freelance Design Services

Every freelance designer wants to hang on to their best clients, and maintain a meaningful business relationship. Working with the same team for a long period of time has some direct benefits — particularly that you and the client know each other and have a good feel for how the partnership will work.

But how do you keep those clients? After the initial website is built or the logo is completed, what comes next? The answer is simple – an upsell. You want to provide additional value for clients so that they continue to work with you after the initial project. Here’s how you do it.

Business / 2 Aug 2017

15 Must-Ask Questions When Taking on a Website Project

The beginning of any new website design project can be a little nerve-wracking. Trying to determine if your style will match the client’s demands is often a challenge.

Add on trying to decide what to charge, and taking on a new client can be a freelance web designer’s biggest nightmare. When you do it right, the relationship and the project can be rewarding, but a miscue can make your life pretty miserable for the duration of the project.

Doing your homework at the start can help. Do you know what questions to ask a client to get the best information you need for a project? Don’t worry if you said “no,” we’ve got a checklist here for you!

Business / 6 Jul 2017

6 Portfolio Design Mistakes That Drive Me Nuts

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.

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.

Business / 23 Jun 2017

10 Awful Client Cliches That Make Every Designer Cringe

This is the third part in our series all about making fun of design related clichés that drive us all crazy. We put out the word on Twitter and asked for some of the worst things that you hear again and again from clients. The following are some of our favorites!

We’ve already picked on designers plenty with 5 Former Design Trends That Aren’t Cool Anymore and 5 Cliché Logo Design Trends to Avoid, now it’s time to turn around and give some attention to all the crazy things that clients say to their designers. There’s no shortage of cliches to choose from!

Business / 19 Jun 2017

7 Ways to Save Time as a Designer

“If only I had more time!” Do you hear yourself saying this about projects from time to time? (I know I’m guilty.) Time can be one of the biggest obstacles to getting more done as a freelance designer.

But you can find more time and get more done — and that’s good for your bottom line. We’re not going to bore you with theoretical advice. This is a set of practical tips and suggestions you can start thinking about right now!

Business / 22 May 2017

15 Skills Every Design Client Expects You to Have

While every design project is a little bit different, almost every client expects you to be a jack of all trades to some degree. Regardless of the project, designers are often expected to provide a complete solution for clients, even though most of us don’t have all the same skills.

In addition to design, clients may ask for expertise in marketing, code, or illustration. It can be a difficult balance at times. But knowing what clients might expect can help you have a plan for how to deal with specific requests, whether it is offering a referral to someone else or adding a new skill to your portfolio.

Most of these examples come from personal experience. And while I didn’t fulfill all the requested needs, seeing what a client expects from their perspective is an interesting exercise!

Business / 17 May 2017

How Many Design Options Should You Show a Client?

You’ve been working on a client project for a little while now. It could be a website design, brochure, or something else altogether — but you’ve spent some time on it. You like the concept. Is that all you need to go back to the client with? Or do you need to create a couple more options for the design review?

There’s a balance of creating enough for a client to choose from, and avoiding work that you know will certainly just get thrown aside. If you know the client well, chances are you can present just one design option. (Seriously!)

Accessibility / 26 Apr 2017

How Do We Design Hard Stuff for the Big Problems People Hate Most?

Design exists to solve problems. As you’ve likely heard before, design isn’t an act of creative self-expression but rather a process of problem solving. So why aren’t we hearing about amazing design breakthroughs that address the world’s biggest problems?

As legendary ‘I Love New York’ designer Milton Glaser once said, “Design is the process of going from an existing conditions to a preferred one.” But what existing condition does the world need our help with?

There are several respected global organizations who work towards great causes, in areas such as Food and Water Security, Economic Opportunity, Climate Change and the Environment, Social Equity and Good Governance (Healthcare, Safety, Security and Education).

You’ll notice how none of these items are addressed by selfie apps in the top ten of your local app store. So why aren’t we hearing about amazing design breakthroughs that address the world’s biggest problems?