Category: Business


Business / 13 Dec 2012

Quote Robot 2: Creating Impressive Client Proposals Just Got Even Easier

As a designer or developer, paperwork is probably a necessary evil, not something that you particularly enjoy. Tasks like creating and managing client quotes and sending invoices can be annoying or even intimidating.

Fortunately, QuoteRobot is here to streamline the process for you. We took a look at this great app when it first launched, but now it’s been completely overhauled for version two, so it’s high time we had another peek!

Business / 15 Nov 2012

5 Reasons to Start a Web Development Blog Today

It’s there, lost in your “someday” todo list, right under “spit off the Eiffel Tower.” One of these days, you’re going to start your own design or development blog. Is it really worth the effort though? Realistically, what can you expect to get out of such a venture?

As a full-time editor of multiple popular publications, I’ll share with you my top five reasons that you should start your own blog today. All five come from personal experience and I’m convinced that they’ll all be right in line with your personal goals.

Business / 13 Nov 2012

How to Create a Visual Brand for Yourself

Getting work is about more than your portfolio. Designers must also know a bit about marketing. This is especially true for freelancers. Your marketable self can, and will, help you land (or lose) work before it even hits your radar.

It is important to create a consistent brand for yourself today. Look at the channels you are using and how you are identified online, decide how you want to be identified and what your name and image should be, and then go out and make it happen. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Business / 25 Oct 2012

Meet Creative Market: A New Platform for Buying and Selling Creative Resources

The folks that brought you COLOURlovers have cooked up something new and exciting: Creative Market, a beautiful and simple way to buy and sell digital creative goods online.

Join us as we jump in to see what Creative Market is all about and how they’re uniquely positioning themselves in this market.

Business / 19 Sep 2012

Compromising With Clients: Play Nice or Take a Stand?

I was recently put in an interesting position where I had to choose between my professional principles and a paycheck. As a designer, you’re probably no stranger to this situation.

What’s the right course of action? When is compromise a laudable action and when is standing firm and refusing a request the better way to go? I’ll share my thoughts through a real and personal story.

Business / 21 Aug 2012

How to Find Work When It Doesn’t Find You

Freelancing for a living is flat out nuts. Some days you’ll be so buried in work that you never think you’ll see the sun again. Other days will make you wonder how in the world you’re going to make rent this month.

This article will focus on the latter situation. You’ve reached the end, you’re finished. There’s no more work, the economy sucks, no one’s calling, now what?

Business / 12 Jun 2012

You’re a Designer and Don’t Have a Website? Get Started Now

It is still hard for me to imagine that there are print and even web designers who don’t have their own websites. It is imperative in today’s business climate that everyone has a digital portfolio and that it is up-to-date. The hard part is just getting started.

What you don’t need is a world-class website filled with animations and color and gimmicks. What you do need to have is a clean, easy to navigate site that showcases your work. You can go all out and design a site from scratch or for a quick fix, use one of the many (and often free) host sites available to create get your portfolio and be online by the end of the week.

Business / 25 May 2012

What if I Don’t Like the Work? Dealing With a Design Project Gone Wrong

Typically, the articles that I write on Design Shack are from the perspective of the designer. One topic that comes up regularly is how to deal with clients on various issues. However, today I’d like to flip things around and jump to the aid of the other team.

Designer/client relationships go both ways and just as often as there is a frustrated designer, there’s a disappointed client. Today we’re going to tackle the question of what to do when you hire a designer and just don’t like the work that resulted.

Business / 27 Apr 2012

10 Things to Learn From Failure

We’ve all had them – the dreaded unsuccessful or failed project – and we’ve all had to bounce back. From graphics busts to web disasters, some good can come from projects you’d rather forget. Even big companies, such as Gap with a logo change and subsequent reversal in early 2011, have had to deal with design snafus.

Start the recovery process by taking a minute to figure out what went wrong and then make a resolution to gain something from the process. Learn how to improve yourself, your team and your next project. Although you should not dwell on it too long, here are 10 things you can learn from failed projects.

Business / 23 Apr 2012

The Freelancer’s Secret to Learning Any New Skill

As a designer, developer and all around creative person, there are some skills that likely came very naturally to you. The learning experience just sucked you in and you enjoyed yourself enough that you picked up this new talent in an impressively brief timespan.

Other skills however, prove to be more difficult. Sometimes you can feel like your brain is simply full and that there’s no more room for this old dog to learn a new trick. How do you overcome this mental block and force yourself to learn that new skill you’ve been wanting to pick up? There’s a secret that many freelancers know well that is a sure fire way to learn almost anything new in your given field. Read on to see what it is!

Articles / 13 Apr 2012

How to Sell Your Design Idea

Sometimes getting others to visualize your great idea is not so simple and takes some “selling” on your part. It may even take advance (or free) mock-up work to help some of the non-visual people in the room get on the same page with your idea.

Here are a few things you can do to help you get your idea on the fast-track to approval and how to really sell your design concept.

Articles / 6 Apr 2012

10 Tips for Writing for Designers

Ever get that feeling that some members of your creative team just aren’t quite with the program? It is entirely likely. Sending out communications and messages that will reach your whole team can be somewhat tricky because of the differences in how people think.

Creatives sometimes tend to be a little more free-thinking and less-structured than some of their office counterparts. Research has shown that people who use more right brain functions, such as designers and creative thinkers, also respond to and process the same information differently than left-brain thinkers, who tend to be more organized and logic-oriented. (Some studies have even shown that the highest rates of dyslexia, which affects reading and comprehension, have been found in right-brain thinkers.) With just a few tweaks, you can more effectively get your message across to everyone.