Category: Business


Articles / 10 Jan 2012

Is It Time for Your Business Cards to Go Digital?

Are traditional paper business cards becoming obsolete? Have you considered a digital option? The type of card you use and how it looks can say a lot about you and your work. The style of card – from simple embossed text on a white card to ornate colors and fonts – can be a client’s first impression of your work.

You want to use a card that represents your style and works with the kind of clients you work with. When looking for a business card, consider both digital and paper options and integrate your digital self into paper cards. A business card does more than provide your contact information, it is a gateway to your portfolio as well.

Business / 5 Jan 2012

Know Your Weaknesses: How to Improve Your Creative Review Process

Every designer has to answer to someone. Freelancers turn their work in to a client, company guys hand theirs over to a team or supervisor, there’s always someone next in the chain of command that gets to take a look and offer an opinion. It’s at this point that the initial draft ends and the creative review begins.

This critical point can have a dramatic effect on the future of the project. Sometimes this is a good process that takes the piece to new heights that it could’ve never reached without some fresh insight. Other times the creative review process kills the genius of the initial draft and results in a misguided final product. One factor that plays a key role in this is the size of the review team. How many people should review a design and offer ideas? Should it be a small team? What are the pros and cons of each? Let’s discuss.

Business / 16 Dec 2011

10 Tips for Managing Creative People

Today’s workplace is filled with different personality styles. Understanding those differences and how they affect your workforce can make you a more effective manager.

Working with “left-brained” (more analytical) versus “right-brained” (more creative) employees has its own set of rules. Most creative workers use the right-brain style of learning and working, which is a visual, random, emotional and somewhat impulsive style of learning, according to data compiled at Western Michigan University. Right brain people like to work with sound in the background (note all those ear buds around the office), like to move about while thinking about concepts and generally start with a big idea and narrow it to the details. Left-brained workers and more verbal and logical, like things in order and prefer a formal workplace.

Take a look at your staff. How many right-brain workers are in the room? My guess it the number is pretty high among designers. Here are a few tips for managing your creative people in a way they can relate to.

Business / 17 Nov 2011

The Ten Commandments of Writing Copy That Wins Clients

Web design companies and freelancers should never underestimate the power of good copy. Likewise, they should never doubt how much bad copy can hurt their chances of winning clients.

Follow along as we discuss then ten commandments of writing simple and effective copy that will convince your potential clients that you can successfully meet their needs and blow away their expectations.

Business / 14 Nov 2011

Going Global: Leveraging Cultural Dimensions for Better Design

The world is a widely varied place and it’s naive to imagine that a design that resonates well with one group of people will be equally effective with another group on the other side of the globe.

Today we’ll show you how to wield Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions to better tailor your designs to different cultures through a basic understanding of the values that they tend to pursue.

Business / 28 Oct 2011

How to Develop Task Management Skills as a Freelancer

The life of a freelance web designer varies in many ways to that of a corporate entity. Software firms and design studios are able to work together on big budget projects to earn a lot more than the average freelancer would. This often means when going solo you’ll work with a larger number of clients and have to divide your time up into unfair portions.

For anybody in the industry it’s absolutely essential to understand task management. Timing, repetition, sleep, nutrition, and a lot of other factors play a role in your work attitude. And by synchronizing yourself with natural rhythms and an upbeat schedule you’ll feel more productive throughout the day.

Business / 17 Oct 2011

Running Your Internet Business With Google Products

Google has become a powerhouse industry for digital professionals. It seems just a decade ago Gmail was still a newcomer to the field. And now in-browser webmail is commonplace, along with IM Chat and file storage/upload in your browser as well!

For the average webmaster these tools provide a very powerful and free resource to setup as your backend. Google can be used to fuel your company and track visitor stats, revenue, plus tons of other metrics! We have gone over some of the most prosperous services and how you may benefit from them. With just a single Google account you have access to all of their apps completely 100% free. Talk about a sweet business deal.

Business / 13 Oct 2011

Is This Spec Work? Should Designers Be Asked to Prove Their Worth?

Let’s discuss a topic that gets your blood boiling: spec work. What is it and why do designers hate it? This will give us a foundation to discuss some legitimate practices that many are labeling as spec work hiring tactics.

Do you think a designer should be asked to prove himself/herself before being hired? Is this debate an example of employers going too far or designers not willing to go far enough? Let’s find out.

Business / 10 Oct 2011

Establishing a Hierarchy of Goals for Everything You Design

What one thing above all else makes for a great design? Where should your focus lie? More importantly, is it possible or even desirable to focus on a single goal at the expense of others?

Today we’ll take a look at why goal-oriented design is good design and discuss how being a designer means weighing several competing factors. We’ll also discuss how to decide which goals are the most important and how establishing a hierarchy for each project will make for a better experience for the client, the user and the designer.

Career Options: 10+ Types of Graphic Design Jobs to Consider
Business / 21 Sep 2011

Career Options: 10+ Types of Graphic Design Jobs to Consider

So you want to be a graphic designer? What does that mean exactly? What types of jobs are available? It turns out deciding to be a designer is a pretty vague choice that often requires some more direction and career evolution before you really land yourself in a meaningful career.

Today we’ll explore the underlying structure of the graphic design industry and take a brief look at some different design jobs and career paths that you can and should explore. Whether you’ve been a designer for ten minutes or ten years, this article could help you find your place in the industry.

The Best Online Portfolio Service: Three Free Options Compared
Business / 14 Sep 2011

The Best Online Portfolio Service: Three Free Options Compared

Whether you’re a freelance designer, a full-time-employee or an out of work designer actively seeking a position, it’s a good idea to increase your web presence as much as possible. It’s always great to have your own site and domain, but you can easily supplement that with some awesome free online services created specifically to host creative portfolios.

Rather than give you another roundup of twenty of these services and force you to do the research yourself, I’ve gone through and picked three of my favorites for comparison so you can quickly see which is best for you. Let’s get started!

Four Things I Learned From Designing in-Store Advertising
Business / 12 Aug 2011

Four Things I Learned From Designing in-Store Advertising

In-store advertising and marketing is a unique area of design that presents an interesting set of problems. Today we’ll talk about some of the lessons that I learned from the years I spent in this area and how all designers everywhere can apply these lessons in their own work.