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

10 Tips for Presenting Designs to Clients to Keep Projects Moving Forward

Business / 16 Feb 2021

10 Tips for Presenting Designs to Clients to Keep Projects Moving Forward

It’s a common part of the job – presenting design work to clients. Practice doing it well so you can keep projects moving in the right direction and toward the finish line.

If you need a little push, these tips can help. We’ll be looking at how to lay the groundwork, approach challenging topics, clearly show your solution, and weave a narrative with your client.

Let’s dive in!

8 Data Points That Will Make You a Better Web Designer

Business / 25 Jan 2021

8 Data Points That Will Make You a Better Web Designer

Website design is such a creative exercise that sometimes it is easy to forget all of the left-brain things that go into a stellar project.

A good design uses solid data and analytics to help shape decision making, map user journeys, and include just the right visual elements to make the most of the design for visitors. (Almost every new website project I take on begins with looking at the analytics of the current website.)

So what data points are important? And how do you use them?

These tidbits are extremely useful for new website projects, but you can also use them to help find and fix issues with existing designs. Data-powered visuals can make almost any project more impactful.

5 Tips for Working With Design Influencers (Or Becoming One!)

Business / 17 Jan 2021

5 Tips for Working With Design Influencers (Or Becoming One!)

Who do you look to on social media when you need extra design inspiration? Those are the people that you see as design influencers.

Have you ever thought about working with designers, illustrators, and photographers with a strong social media presence (or becoming one yourself)?

There are things you can start doing online now that will make it easier to work with influencers and show that your accounts are on trend in the design space.

Here are a few tips, plus a tool for helping you get started.

9 Tips for a Successful Design Retrospective

Business / 14 Jan 2021

9 Tips for a Successful Design Retrospective

Sometimes the best way to inspire a creative team is by looking back at projects. A design retrospective can help you evaluate projects upon completion, look back at workflows and results, and take lessons learned to future work.

Too often there’s a negative association with a design retrospective, while constructive criticism should be welcome, there should also be plenty of opportunities to highlight wins, big and small, from a project.

Here, we’re going to look at tips for making your design retrospectives more successful. You want them to be a welcome experience.

When (And How) to Outsource Design Work to Someone Else

Business / 10 Dec 2020

When (And How) to Outsource Design Work to Someone Else

If it has ever crossed your mind that a certain element of a design project would be better if you had help, then outsourcing work could be a viable option.

Design agencies, small shops, and freelancers can all benefit from having a bench of partners that can help with projects. Successful outsourcing is based on a mutual relationship between parties that have a similar design style and work ethic.

This guide will take you through everything you need to know about outsourcing graphic design work.

8 Tips to Nail Your Design Presentation

PowerPoint Templates / 30 Nov 2020

8 Tips to Nail Your Design Presentation

Presenting your design to a client is often a chance to make a key first impression. It can set the tone for how the project will be received. A spot-on design presentation can help you set the stage for success.

There’s a lot that can go into a design presentation – the work itself, slides or a presentation, how you talk about and define the work, and even your skills as a presenter.

Here, we’ve got plenty of tips (and even a few tricks) to help you nail every design presentation every time.

7 Effective Personal Branding Tips for Designers (+ Examples)

Business / 23 Nov 2020

7 Effective Personal Branding Tips for Designers (+ Examples)

Branding is an important aspect of every business. Not just for big companies and startups, but it’s also true for freelancers and professionals. Especially for designers.

The way you create your personal brand will play a key role in your success as a professional. Because your brand is how your clients perceive your work and your business.

How do you create a successful personal brand? As the brand futurist Simon Mainwaring said, you should first “define what your brand stands for, its core values and tone of voice, and then communicate consistently in those terms.”

That’s exactly what this article is all about. To help you define your core values and the tone of voice to create a successful personal brand as a designer.

Whether you’re starting out in the design industry or looking to refresh your existing branding style, follow these tips to make sure you build a winning personal brand for your business.

What Is a Design Brief: Templates, Examples & More

Business / 6 Oct 2020

What Is a Design Brief: Templates, Examples & More

Anyone who’s ever submitted a proposal or tried to snag a design project has probably been asked to submit or create a design brief for the project. It’s a fairly standard practice but can often be intimidating, particularly if you aren’t used to it.

A good design brief is a tool that can help you and design clients get on the same page for projects and help them move along more smoothly.

You’ll outline deliverables and timelines so that clients are comfortable with your process.

Let’s break it down with some best practices, examples, and templates.

How Many Slides to Use in a Presentation? 5 Tips

PowerPoint Templates / 30 Sep 2020

How Many Slides to Use in a Presentation? 5 Tips

There’s nothing worse than a presentation that goes over time or poorly-designed slides that cram too much information onto the screen at once.

While there are a lot of things that can dictate how many slides to use in a presentation, key factors include how long you have to speak, what content you are presenting, and the visual nature of the content. (Some speakers don’t need slides at all to keep audiences engaged!)

Here, we’re breaking down common presentation times with a guide for how not to overload slides, and use them well—no matter what type of talk you are giving.

What’s Your Design Diet? Music, Podcasts & Books to Keep You Inspired

Business / 17 Aug 2020

What’s Your Design Diet? Music, Podcasts & Books to Keep You Inspired

Some days are harder than others when it comes to sparking creativity. I find that keeping a solid rotation of other art forms in my routine can keep those juices flowing a little better.

It’s all part of your design diet – music, podcasts, books, challenges, and other design goodies that keep you inspired to push forward, try new things and work at your full capacity.

Your design diet can change from time to time. For me, it ebbs and flows in what type of media and art I consume. From binging on podcasts, to listening to new musicians that help me find a groove, I rely a lot on others to share some of the best new things.

And that’s what this article is primed to do. I’m going to share some of my favorites with you and I’d love it if you shared some of yours with me on social media.

Should You Design Your Brand Based on Digital Marketing Needs?

Business / 11 Aug 2020

Should You Design Your Brand Based on Digital Marketing Needs?

What comes first: branding or strategy? It’s an age-old question for designers and marketers and today extends to digital marketing as well. Should your brand design be based on digital marketing needs?

In today’s marketplace, the answer is overwhelmingly yes. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a brand that isn’t leveraging some type of digital marketing, including social media, to communicate with audiences.

Here’s why.

How to Design a Presentation for Screen Viewing

PowerPoint Templates / 10 Aug 2020

How to Design a Presentation for Screen Viewing

Given how the world is changing, you are probably presenting more commonly on screens in virtual conference or webinar settings. That can impact the design of presentations, and you’ll need to think about what to change to make it work well.

There are multiple considerations when designing PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides templates for screen viewing versus when you are presenting live.

Here, we’ll walk through key considerations to help you make the most of designing presentations for screen viewing.