Business

Learn how to run your design business, work with clients, manage expectations, and handle your finances.

A Freelancer’s Guide to Preparing for Retirement
Business / 17 Mar 2011

A Freelancer’s Guide to Preparing for Retirement

Life is tough as a freelancer, especially when it comes to planning for the future. Today we’re going to discuss some hard facts about how to financially prepare for your retirement on your own.

You won’t find an article filled with vague tips on being frugal, instead we’ll introduce you to some basic financial instruments that you should be familiar with so you can decide which are best for you.

How Dogs and Rats Can Make You a Better Designer
Business / 11 Mar 2011

How Dogs and Rats Can Make You a Better Designer

Today we’re going to venture far outside of the designer’s typical learning bubble. We’ll leave Photoshop behind and pick up the tools of a marketing executive studying consumer behavior.

This article will teach you two distinct approaches to impacting your target audience. Knowing these terms and theories will not only help you become a more effective designer, they’ll also make you look super smart at work!

Free Websites: Who Has Them and Which You Should Use
Business / 4 Mar 2011

Free Websites: Who Has Them and Which You Should Use

It’s the dream isn’t it? A completely free website! No paying greedy designers, no web hosting free, no purchasing of a domain; just a pure and simple free presence on the web.

The world of free websites has come a long way in recent years, there are some truly viable options that just might suit your needs. However, there’s always a catch! Below you’ll find out which services have restrictions that you can live with and which you might want to avoid.

10 Expert Tips for Selling Your Designs on Etsy
Business / 25 Feb 2011

10 Expert Tips for Selling Your Designs on Etsy

Etsy is a community that fascinates me. Thinking it was limited to scrapbooks and crafts I paid little attention to the site for years, but recently I discovered that there’s a lot more to this group than meets the eye. It turns out there are several very talented designers on Etsy making a decent amount of cash selling stock designs.

Today we’re going to take a closer look at some of the successful sellers of graphic design templates on Etsy to see if we can glean any trends and tips from them.

How to Prepare for Your First Design Job Interview
Business / 24 Feb 2011

How to Prepare for Your First Design Job Interview

So you’ve finally graduated and you’re ready to hit the bricks and start looking for your first real 9-5 design job. You searched some job postings and lined up a few interviews, what now? How can you impress potential employers fresh out of school?

In this article we’ll go over some of the dos and don’ts of preparing for design job interviews. You’ll learn what employers are looking for in a portfolio, resume and candidate so you can be better suited to land that dream job.

In Defense of Advertising
Business / 2 Feb 2011

In Defense of Advertising

It’s on our clothes, in our houses and painted on the sides of our buildings. It flies high over our cities and can be found deep below our feet in subway tunnels. It’s so ingrained into the way we live that if it were to cease existing, the global economy and infrastructure would crumble in hours. Of what mystical force do I speak?

Advertising. In many American households this is a dirty word. We’ve come to hate this plague that has taken over our society and fear that it over-saturates our lives in ways that can only be destructive. Today I will cross the line and defend not only the industry as a concept but also those undoubtably evil people that participate in it.

Pro Techniques for Smarter and Faster Blogging
Business / 27 Jan 2011

Pro Techniques for Smarter and Faster Blogging

Blogging is all the rage in our futuristic web 2.0 technology-induced world. Although the term blogging holds connotations as almost simplistic and unprofessional, it doesn’t mean anything different than writing for the web.

As digital writers sometimes tend to glorify the trade, the job may seem cushy and even quite fun. Bloggers understand the web just a little better than most and can provide their knowledge to others in a positive fashion. The profession does offer a great means for practice writing and endows a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day.

Design Meets Psychology: Putting Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Work
Business / 14 Jan 2011

Design Meets Psychology: Putting Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Work

In the past, we discussed at length Why Designers Can’t Ignore Marketing. For the most part, commenters agreed with idea that designers should familiarize themselves with basic marketing principles.

Today, we’re going to put this idea into practice and discuss Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a model born in humanistic psychology and adopted by many marketing professionals as a way to understand consumer behavior. We’ll go over what the model is, how popular companies like Coco-Cola put it into practice and why any of this is relevant to you as a designer.

How Much Money Do Designers Make?
Business / 7 Jan 2011

How Much Money Do Designers Make?

Design isn’t about money, it’s about something higher. It’s about loving what you do, making the world more attractive and satisfying your never-ending need for intellectual stimulation. Good designers don’t see design as a job, but a lifestyle. We think about design constantly while looking at the things around us, our hobbies are design-centric, we read and write about design; on and on.

Who needs money when you have a passion like this? Me, that’s who. Don’t get me wrong, lots of that mumbo jumbo above describes me pretty accurately. But let’s face it folks, we all have mortgages, bills, student loans and other factors that ensure our need for green stays intact. Today we’re going to have some fun and see how much money we should be making!

Design Discussion: Brand Advertising vs. Promotional Marketing
Business / 23 Dec 2010

Design Discussion: Brand Advertising vs. Promotional Marketing

Design is not merely the act of creating attractive things for people to look at, that’s art. Instead, every project you work on as a designer has its own set of goals for what it should accomplish. The visuals you create are meant to help lead people in a specific direction.

Below we’ll take a look at two common goals that are pursued in advertising design. First we’ll go over the similarities and differences between brand advertising and promotional marketing, then discuss how these implications apply to your design work, regardless of what field you’re in.

Farming Out Extra Work: Thoughts and Considerations
Business / 15 Dec 2010

Farming Out Extra Work: Thoughts and Considerations

Have you ever reached a point where you feel stagnant in your career? Are you working all hours of the night and day for much less compensation than you had hoped for and don’t see any possible way to increase your prospects?

Today we’ll discuss how to increase your income potential while keeping your sanity through hiring other freelancers like yourself to help take on the load. If you don’t think you can afford it or don’t know how to begin, you’ll definitely want to keep reading!

How to Cut the Crap and Actually Be Productive as a Creative Person
Business / 13 Dec 2010

How to Cut the Crap and Actually Be Productive as a Creative Person

Today we’re going to talk about everyone’s favorite subject: productivity. More importantly, we’ll discuss why your current system doesn’t work, why traditional company structures suck and how to wrangle your creative brain into submission.

If you’ve been waiting for an eye-opening discussion into what’s really wrong with your workflow and why your $50 todo list app isn’t fixing it, this is your lucky day.