There are times when creating a logo can seem overwhelming. But in an industry where efficiency is key, I’ve learned a few tricks that help me to create logos that are effective, meet my clients’ objectives, and are portfolio pieces that I feel proud of.
Today I’m going to walk you through my logo design creation process, and what better way to walk you through it than by using a client case study?
Meet The Modern Woman’s Divorce Guide, a web-based divorce how-to that also empowers women.
Photo by HAMED MASOUMI
It’s 11:30 pm. My wife has already gone to bed. I was cramming to get an ad
done for the paper the next morning. The phone rings. It’s the client’s assistant.
“So? Is it okay?” I ask.
“She hates it,” she replies.
“Did she say why?”
Frustrated silence. After a fruitless exchange of profanity and exasperation
we get off the phone. My wife is exhausted and livid at this ungodly hour.
So I turn off the ringer and go to bed, knowing full well that the assistant
is still furiously trying to get through to me and leaving messages on my voice
mail. I have a choice here between my wife and my client. I choose my wife.
Photo by laverrue.
As everyone is preparing for Halloween this evening, we thought we’d share some interesting reading for those freelancer’s with their porch lights off trying to avoid the trick-or-treaters. On a dark and scary night, who wouldn’t want to read about design and small business tips. Consider it virtual candy!
Photo by creo que soy yo.
As you probably know freelance workers do much more tasks than just designing, writing or whatever it is you do to pay your bills.
So why spend time and energy sharing your knowledge?
These days altruism is not very common. We’re so stressed with our work that there’s little free time left, and we want to spend it on anything else.
But moreover, sharing what you know is risky. Someone could steal your ideas or your techniques. It’s even a little unfair! Why share what you learned by yourself, with so much effort and without help from anyone else? And what do you get in exchange? Isn’t it a risk for your business? Is it worth the effort?
Freelance designers have a number of different methods for finding work. In many cases, simply getting your profile and your work exposed to more people can lead to an increase in work. There are a number of sites that provide excellent opportunities for designers to show-off their work and send visitors back to their own portfolio site.
Some of the sites on this list require more of an ongoing effort in order to truly produce results. I don’t suggest trying to use all of these sites. For the best results, choose a few that you think will work best for you, and become an active user.
1. Behance Network
Behance Network is a huge, “free platform for the world’s leading creative professionals.” You can set up a profile, share some of your work, network with other designers and professionals, and even look for work.
While flickr is primarily a place for users to store their personal photos, it’s also used by a growing number of designers to display and share their work. Users can set up their own accounts and profiles, and they can also join groups, such as the PSDTUTS group.
A good percentage of Virb users are in the music industry, but it is a home to all things creative, and many designers are setting up profiles. The pages can be completely customized to show off your creativity if you’re ambitious. Continue Reading
The quality of design sites around has just been escalating and escalating. Last year we published two articles on finding design inspiration – 34 Places to Get Design Inspiration On and Off and the follow up 60 More Places to Get Design Inspiration. Since then I’ve been collecting new sites that didn’t make those two lists, and today I’m happy to deliver 33 New Places to Get Design Inspiration! Without further ado:
Yesterday here on FreelanceSwitch we put up a post about Jonathan Field’s Book Cover Competition. Lots of comments ensued and since then Jonathan has cancelled the contest. This morning when I woke up to read about the design contest, I thought I’d chime in with my own opinion, as a designer. While Jonathan’s competition is no longer running, the issue is an interesting one to discuss.
But first allow me to clarify one thing. FreelanceSwitch has always been a multi-author and multi-opinion blog. We’re proud to publish many different voices on many different topics. We welcome discussion and have even posted follow up posts presenting opposing cases in the past. We don’t censor any of our writers and we see everyone’s opinion as worthwhile. And that’s why I’m about to give you mine
Personally I think that most often Design Contests are bad news. And in this post I’m going to tell you why…
Image by Jeff Kubina.
I’ve scoured the web to find nine portfolio designs that are, dare I say it, probably better than yours, mine and just about everyone else’s.
I’m sharing them because they’re fun, inspiring, creative and ultimately, works of art.
I’ll be up-front about one thing before we start, though. Unless you’re a Flash genius or have lots of dosh to spend on things like that (doing work for Nike and Microsoft helps), you’ll probably never have an online portfolio like one of these.
The main question they might encourage you to ask, though, is this: is your online portfolio reaching its full potential, or are you settling for ‘good enough’? Continue Reading
Freelance designers who specialize in marketing materials are in high demand. As a result, freelance promotions designers can make a lot of money. So what specialized skills do you need to be a publicity designer?
Actually, you don’t need any. To move into freelance publicity design, all you need to do is:
- Familiarize yourself with the conventions of direct selling promotional materials, and
- Develop a basic understanding of your clients’ marketing goals.
I’m a copywriter and I work with designers. I prefer to work with designers who understand the marketing aims of the graphic design assignment I hand to them. I tend not to call upon designers who design visuals that are unsuitable for the sales messages I am trying to communicate in my copy, however good the design looks.
That’s why the tips I reveal in this article are not really ‘design’ tips. They are practical tips aimed at giving you clarity when you interpret your brief. If you want tips on what colors or effects to use, this article isn’t for you. If you want ideas to help you plan your approach to publicity design, read on.
Last week, Shaun told us how to frugally market your freelance business. This week, he tells us how to:
PART 2: HOW TO BOOST YOUR FREELANCING JOB OPPORTUNITIES AND INCREASE YOUR FEE ON EVERY PROJECT
Last week we offered best-practice promotion for all freelance artists. Now let’s examine some ideas for artists who want to go a step further. How can you market your business to double, treble, even quadruple your regular income?
Offer something unique
You are most likely to be competing with other freelance artists in your area who offer a similar service and charge a similar fee. The fact that you might be better than them doesn’t guarantee regular work or considerable fee increases. You need to offer something unique to stand out in an increasingly crowded freelance arena. The idea is simple: offer something unique about your service, and clients will remember you; they will also be prepared to pay more for a specialized service, so you can charge a bigger fee.
A unique aspect of your service might be a specific skill you specialize in or a layer of service you provide that others don’t. For example, if you are a graphic designer, your unique selling proposition may be one of the following:
PART 1: HOW TO FRUGALLY MARKET YOUR BUSINESS
Get the most out of business cards
Business cards are your most important publicity items. They tell people how to contact you (don’t rely on email signatures—clients will wipe off your emails without hesitation and will not be able to contact you when a job comes up).
Executives normally keep vendor business cards in a case or card-box. Make sure you’re in it. And make sure your card has ALL your details: mailing address, telephone, cell phone number, email, and website address.
Your business card should be smart, clean, and easy-to-read. Don’t be too flamboyant. I know a designer who had his details printed from left-to-right on one side, and his details printed backwards from right-to-left on the other side. Whilst filing it away, his biggest potential client clipped it onto a backer card inside out. When she called upon it later she couldn’t make sense of it. Consequently she trashed the card and called another designer.
A few weeks ago we published a list of 34 places to get design inspiration online and off and it proved to be one of our most popular articles to date. So today we journey back out to the world of design inspiration to bring you many, many more places to get inspiration – 60 to be precise.