In a previous post on FreelanceSwitch, ‘How to Unlock a New Source of Design Income‘, we explained how Microlancer allows freelancers to spend more time doing what they love and less time on admin, marketing and pitching for gigs.
In a more recent post, ‘Giving Yourself the Best Chance of Success on Microlancer‘, you learned how to create a high quality service listing.
If your service listings made it through the review process, it shouldn’t be too long before jobs start coming through. But there are a few things you can do to kick-start your success on Microlancer. Continue Reading
As we recently announced, Envato (the company behind FreelanceSwitch) has launched Microlancer, a new source of jobs and income for freelance designers. In a previous post on FreelanceSwitch, How to Unlock a New Source of Design Income, we explained how Microlancer allows freelancers to spend more time doing what they love and less time on admin, marketing and pitching for gigs.
If you read that article and are interested in becoming a service provider, this post will explain how to create service listings that will pass the review process and go on to attract enthusiastic buyers. Continue Reading
Freelance graphic designers and web designers often have to get creative with their marketing efforts. Sometimes the budget simply does not allow for outsourcing.
Even more so, freelance graphic designers simply do not have enough time to spend on marketing. This is why social media is such an excellent method of marketing for freelancers – social media is free and can be updated regularly without a huge, initial time commitment.
For freelancers in the graphic or web design fields, Pinterest is just as important as Twitter or Facebook, or even more so, simply because of the nature of the site. In fact, it is now considered the third largest social media platform online.
Pinterest users search sometimes hours a day for inspiration, crafts, blog articles, and much more. When they find something they like, they repin it. This means that all of their friends can see this new pin and repin it too. Images and graphics are very popular on Pinterest, hence the connection with graphic design. You can almost think of Pinterest as a freelance graphic design resume of sorts.
While you may not have yet jumped on the Pinterest craze, as a graphic designer you may want to seriously consider getting involved. To make the most of your Pinterest marketing efforts, you’ll want to take some necessary steps for ensuring success.
The following is a complete guide to marketing on Pinterest for freelance graphic designers. However, with a little focus, any freelancer can benefit from the 14 points that follow. Continue Reading
Each week I get two or three requests for design work. They come sometimes from contacts, but more often than not they come from random people. Sometimes they even come from web-famous people or well-known companies. What is interesting about this though is that I no longer freelance, advertise for work or even have a portfolio.
Actually it can be pretty hard to contact me, though I did finally put up a little website for myself two weeks ago.
Although these days I turn away all this work, for some years I did in fact work as a freelance designer and happily always had more work than I could do – despite being inclined to overwork.
So how do you get web design jobs? Or any other type of job? Here are some things that have worked for me. Continue Reading
With collaboration services being one of the most in demand in today’s web-specific market, there have emerged a considerable number of online tools that help to ease the process of creative work.
The project collaboration app segment isn’t an exception here in any way. Freelance designers need convenient tools for communicating with their clients and getting sign-off on creative projects. Also, teams require reliable instruments that enable their online collaborative design work.
Even in this quite narrow field, demands for what is really essential can vary, but still we can identify a series of features almost every designer would find useful in a design collaboration service, such as: support for various file formats, commenting options, project management features, client approval tools, and more.
To help freelance designers make up their mind on what is the best online collaboration tool for project sign-offs that fits their creative business scope, we have reviewed a number of web collaboration services. To decide on the right service for you, consider such features as:
- Intuitive Interface – to save time, it’s of vital importance to grasp how everything works from the first minute you open the app, and without needing to read through a heap of guides.
- Reviewing Tools – any kind of built in tools that help you emphasize your creative work or make a visual comment, for instance: pointers, highlighters, shapes, etc.
- Discussion and Commenting – ways to organize a debate for your team or receive feedback from your clients. Ideally they should allow for convenient discussion and prompt collaboration.
- Versioning – options to easily switch to previous editions of a creative file, enabling designers and their clients to track work as it progresses.
- Support for Multiple Formats – the more formats an app is able to process, the wider the field of creative work it can support. Support varies for graphics, web design, mockups, and video files.
- Sharing and Access Rights – apps should provide options for a designer to give access to authorized team members, as well as customers, and correspondingly to restrict files from undesirable intrusion.
- Accessibility – cutting edge technologies have given way to cloud apps easily reached from any location in the world with only an internet connection needed.
- Affordability – cost effectiveness is everything. Some apps stick to the freemium model, giving away a part of functionality for free, meanwhile the majority will allow you only a free trial, with the flexible pricing options offered according to the number of users and amount of storage space used. However, we’ve also managed to trace several applications providing completely free accounts as well.
To many designers, “revisions” can be a dirty word.
I think the reason for this is the fact that these three little syllables can have so many radically different meanings from project to project. It’s unpredictable. Revisions are normal, even expected in virtually every project. The trick is to be smart and proactive from the very beginning of each project in order to streamline and get the most out of the revision process. Because if you don’t properly plan, you can end up on a never-ending logo revision merry-go-round. I don’t know about you, but I just don’t have the stomach for that.
While it is rare to nail what the client is going for in round one, it’s gratifying to be able to get it right by round two or three. There are several things you can do to stack those odds in your favor from the very beginning. Continue Reading
Signage, stationary and forms, oh my! Businesses can easily create enough visual material to fill up an ark. There’s a logo, of course, and everything it gets applied to, such as: brochures, catalogs, websites, print and e-newsletters, Facebook pages, ads, uniforms, vehicle graphics, and more.
When a company is successful, it grows and expands. As it moves from infancy to adulthood, its visual armaments grow as well. One location becomes three, then twenty and so on. Each one brings with it more of everything. More signs. More stationery. More forms. This can avalanche out of control. Hopefully, someone is keeping an eye on things. But, that’s often not quite the case.
Enter the design audit. “Audit” might be a word that puts the fear of the taxman into you, but don’t sweat it. This kind of audit is a good thing. And it’s an opportunity for freelance designers to expand their service offering. Continue Reading
A career in Freelance Illustration is much more than drawing pretty pictures. As much as you’d like to spend the entire day sitting in front of Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, you’ll also need to learn about selling yourself, keeping your portfolio fresh and, all the admin work we love to hate. It’s this work we love to hate that will define your success as an illustrator.
There are many different things you may wish to consider when thinking about entering into professional illustration, such as:
The purpose of your illustration: Illustration itself covers many different areas. While drawing pretty pictures maybe one aspect, you need to be specific in your objectives.
Are you wanting to illustrate for advertising campaigns? What about book covers? Maybe graphics to accompany news and magazine articles? Maybe graphics for a cocktail menu? How about diagrams for medical journals? And there are also illustrations for packaging? These are just the tip of the iceberg of the many avenues you could go down in finding a niche illustration market.
The medium of your artwork: Sometimes the purpose of your illustration can depend on what medium your artwork will be rendered in. For instance, is the work going to be displayed on a CD cover? If so, maybe an illustration within Photoshop/raster based work will be fine. However if the work is going to be displayed on a billboard and you’re going to need a high resolution graphic, perhaps looking at vector work in Illustrator is what you need. If you’re unsure of the key differences of these mediums, check out this article on What is Vexel Art?, which goes into what raster and vector art is.
Client vs Stock: There are several ways you could earn money as a freelance illustrator. The most obvious is via clients who commission you to create a tailored piece of artwork to their specifications. However there is another way you can earn money with illustration and that’s selling your illustrations via stock websites. There is a huge benefit of creating illustration stock and that is that you don’t have to deal direct with clients. So if selling yourself and hunting out clients isn’t your thing, then maybe this route is something you may want to consider.
To find out more about this check out these articles on How I Make $2,000 Every Year Without Doing Very Much and the follow up article 9 Tips for Creating and Maximizing a Steady Income Stream by Selling Stock.
Agency Representation: Illustration agencies act as a third party. They market your work through the relevant channels and are great for getting those household name clients. Bigger companies tend to target agencies due to the variety of talent on their books, experience and convenience.
The benefits of being represented is that they will can handle contracts with clients and can help negotiate larger fees. However, they don’t do this for nothing and they will take a commission percentage from your fees. They may also ask you to cover costs for promoting your works to directories and marketing opportunities. For more, check out the article on Computer Arts: Finding an agent.
Advice from Talented Freelance Illustrators
I’m going to introduce you to five talented Freelance Illustrators. They’ll tell you how they got into freelancing and what advice they can give you on getting started in a career in Freelance Illustration.
View engaging conference lectures, interesting how to discussions, and high quality freelance advice via video here on FreelanceSwitch.
This week we look at Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is. presented by graphic designer Chip Kidd. In this video we learn about the art of book cover design. Chip Kidd creates book covers that embody the book — and he does it with a wicked sense of humor. In one of the funniest talks from TED2012, he shows the art and deep thought of his cover designs. Continue Reading
In this day and age it’s not uncommon to hear bold statements such as “The business card is dead, it’s all about wireless vCard” or “I’ll email my contact details over after the conference”.
The truth is business cards are as prominent as ever, especially with the ever advancing methods that printing allows, such as: unusual shapes, textures, thicknesses, and sizes.
Business cards provide a platform to express your workmanship and creativity, allowing you to nudge aside the tech obsessed that are trying to bump their phones together to exchange details. You can attract the attention of potential clients or partners with a compact and handy card. What do you think is going to make more of an impact, an electronic vCard you forget about the moment you receive it, or a sturdy and beautifully designed business card?
We have compiled a list of common mistakes people make when designing their business cards, which will help you to create a compelling business card design.
1. Low Quality Images and Graphics
Nothing ruins a business card design more than blurry or pixelated images. You wouldn’t put one on your website, so why make an exception for your business card. Remember that just because something looks good on your screen, doesn’t mean it will print fine.
A good guide if you are using photographs is to make sure that they are at least 300dpi. Also, if you are using a logo ensure that it is vector based. Vector files will easily scale up (or down) without any loss of quality.
2. Cheap Quality Card
Think about what your card “says” as you hand it over. Is it strong, sturdy and solid or is it weak and flimsy like a limp handshake? Nearly all online printers offer free sample packs these days, so request one and try them out! Continue Reading
The graphic designer leave behind has, ironically, been left behind in recent years. Its something that is heavily focused on in design school, but rarely is it put into practice in the real world. I think that’s a shame.
If you made a good impression on your potential client or interviewer, the leave-behind is such a great opportunity to make that impression last. When done right, leaving something tangible behind will help keep you top-of-mind, which will increase your chances of landing the job. Continue Reading
View engaging conference lectures, interesting how to discussions, and high quality freelance advice via video here on FreelanceSwitch.
This week we look at What to do if a Client Hates Your Design (and more!) by spoongraphics. In this video learn what you can do if your client dislikes your design work, what you can try to avoid back pain while working at your computer and whether it’s a good idea to label yourself as a Freelance Designer.. Continue Reading