Category: Business


Business / 25 Jul 2016

3 New Logo Trends to Try for Your Brand

We all know the story. You spend a lot of time perfecting the perfectly trendy design element… and then, just like that, the trend is over. And your cool design goes with it. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The trick to designing around trends is speed. To make the most of an emerging trend, you need to get from concept to deployment quickly. The second trend trick is to use trends that aren’t “too trendy,” meaning they pull from classical design elements. Today, we’re going to look at three logo trends that you can start using right away. Done well, they should also have a lot of staying power because they use some more timeless concepts from design theory.

Business / 11 Jul 2016

Do You Need a Price Sheet? (Pros and Cons)

One of the biggest questions for any design freelancer is “what should I charge?” The second question is “should I publish a price list for potential clients?”

The answer to the first question includes a lot of variables, and only you can determine what a fair market rate is for the quality and scope of work you do in the market where you do business. In terms of the second question, a price sheet can provide a starting point between freelancers and clients. Today, we’ll look at the pros and cons of publishing a price sheet so you can decide if that’s the right option for you!

Business / 5 Jul 2016

How to Design a Minimal Logo That Works

It doesn’t get much more minimal than that classic Nike Swoosh. The design is simple, iconic and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone that doesn’t know what it stands for. The logo is the company.

And it’s so minimalistic. That same concept is trending again in logo design. Minimal logos are the “in” thing from brand marks to badges on website home pages. Whether you have a logo or not, there are plenty of great ways to incorporate this minimal logo style into your design work.

Business / 20 Jun 2016

The Benefits of Paid vs. Free Stock Images

Are you ready to take your design projects to the next level? A great visual presence is the best way to make a first impression and grab hold of a user.

From web-based projects, to posters, or even packaging or billboard design, a great photograph is your best entry point. But where do you find high-quality images if you aren’t a great photographer? And how can you get them fast? What are the pros and cons of finding a commercial stock images vs. a free one? Let’s take a look…

Business / 13 Jun 2016

7 Things You Didn’t Learn in Design School (but Use Every Day)

So many of the skills that get you through a day on the job weren’t things you necessarily learned in the classroom. From working with other people, to tools, to listening to your gut, there are a lot of skills that you develop along the way.

Whether you came up through design school or are more of a self-taught designer, there are a lot of things you probably didn’t formally learn (but know and use every day). If you are still in school or thinking about going into a design-related field, you’re in luck because you can start thinking about these things now. It’s never too late to learn and expand your marketability. (As a bonus, this post is filled with every day projects from the Design Shack Gallery; go check them out.)

Business / 9 Jun 2016

Billing Is a Breeze With Invoicely

While one of the best parts of the job for a small business or freelancer is getting paid, one of the worst parts is the paperwork you have to do ahead of that payment. If you are still creating manual invoices, it might be time to look at a cloud-based system that can help you keep track of clients and streaming invoicing.

Invoicely is a powerful online invoicing tool that many small businesses can use for free. The software has been used to send more than 2 million invoices in the past 30 days. Today we’re going to take a look at how it works, and decide if it’s a good solution for your freelancing business!

Business / 1 Jun 2016

What Needs to Be in Your Style Guide? (And How Do You Enforce It?)

Everyone with a website needs a style guide. It’s that simple. If you’re wanting to instil more consistency in your project, and get everyone on the same page, your style guide will become invaluable.

Now that we have that out of the way, what exactly do you put in that guide? And how do you make sure other people on the team follow the rules so that your visual presence maintains consistency? That’s a little more complicated. Let’s dive into the topic today.

Business / 10 May 2016

Data, Data, Data: How Do You Design It?

You are probably swimming in a sea of data. Analytics, reports, metrics and data-based facts are the new norm, and people can’t seem to get enough.

But how do you design with data? How do you take something that can be complex, requiring explanation, and break it down into something smaller and digestible without ruining the meaning of the information? It can be a tough task. Today, we’re going to look at different approaches to designing with data and hopefully provide some usable tips!

Business / 7 Mar 2016

7 Tips to Make You Stand Out From the Crowd

The freelance economy is growing every day. In mid-2015 more than 15.5 million people in the United States classified themselves as self-employed, and Fast Company reported that projections show that number could increase to 60 million by 2020.

While these numbers are good for you and show support for freelancing as a career choice, there is a catch: the market is getting crowded quickly. To remain successful (or find success if you are just getting started), it’s important that you find a way to stand out from the crowd.

Business / 29 Feb 2016

How to Organize Complex Design Projects

Not every design project is easy to delve into. Some projects, particularly new branding guidebooks, materials or website redesigns, can take a lot of time. There’s just so much content contained in the project.

Some projects are packed with information, images, video, downloads and other content that must be part of the final design, creating a specific design challenge. We talk about simplicity a lot, but what about those times when the project is anything but simple? Here, we’ll walk through ways to organize, manage and plan complex design projects.

Business / 22 Feb 2016

How Do You Know When Your Design Is Done?

When you are working on a project, the most-often asked question is “when will it be finished?” This question can be an internal one (particularly if you are struggling), or it could come from a client.

But how do you answer it. When is the design actually done? In some cases that’s easy. With a printed project, it’s done when you print it. But what about digital projects, where you have the ability to evolve as much as you wish?

Business / 19 Jan 2016

Learn a New Skill in 2016 With Treehouse

Are you ready to learn a few new tricks? Make this the year that you expand your knowledgebase and take greater control of your career.

You can do it with Treehouse. The online learning tool can help you learn a skill that you don’t have, help you get familiar with the latest tools and trends, or take the first step toward learning to code. Here’s a look at how it works!