As a woman I should probably be offended. But as a marketer I can't help but to see the brilliance behind yet another Volkswagen ad from the 1950s. If you've followed this blog at all you probably already know that second only to Seth Godin I think the marketers, writers and designers that were behind the Volkswagen ads from the 1950s and 1960s were some of the most brilliant minds in the industry. Below I have included the full text from this ad I found on Vintage Ads.com.
Today's bookmark is inspired by the many cracks and potholes present in the Tulsa roads after a series of winter storms and sheets of ice. Smashing Magazine issued a challenge to designers for the new year, and I’m on board! I tried to decide what type of design I’d want to do and could stretch my boundaries as a designer. So in answer to this Challenge, I will be designing and posting a new Bookmark design each day on this blog. The Designs will link to a downloadable file that you can feel free to download, print out and share as desired.
Recently, I was carefully thinking over a new design for a client. I realized that as I rehearsed scenarios and applications for color in my head that the decisions I made in a matter of seconds would truly have an impact on how the piece came out. What seemed like a minor move, was actually an enormous piece of a dynamic puzzle that was being created by an artist. Namely me.
But the same principle certainly applies to every designer in every situation. Innately, we are gifted with certain talents that somehow connect our hands to our brain and our eyes, enabling us to create incredible masterpieces in every area of business, commerce and life. Man! Think about it. This design stuff is no small task.
The weight of the world may truly be on our shoulders. A bit dramatic? Perhaps. But think about it. On a daily basis society is accosted with images, advertisements and colors vieying for attention. What is the determining factor between something that is chosen and something that is ignored?
In a word? Design. Yep. The way it's laid out, crafted or arranged. Whether consciously or subconsciously, the design you see before your eyes will either draw you or cause you to repel.
Designers, the next time you set down before a blank canvas, a new document or behind the lens, remember that your decisions, no matter how seemingly unimportant, may have a huge impact on what others see and decide around you. Choose wisely.
Enjoy this guest post by Senior Designer, Amanda King! With a solid degree in Communications, Amanda King found herself exploring her creative nature through an internship with a ministry in Tulsa, OK. Quickly her innate creativity was revealed as she was assigned more and more tasks and today, the rest is history. King’s responsibilities include creative branding for a variety of groups and ministries. She frequently finds herself working on print projects ranging from letterhead to magazine layout.
I know we have all had to work with people that aren't always easy to work with and lets be honest, that drive us crazy! But sometimes, we get the opportunity to work with someone that is not only easy to work with, but that challenges you to do better. And you come out with a product that wouldn't have been as good if you hadn't worked with that person.
Collaboration is one of the most important tools at our disposal as designers. I had the opportunity this last week to pick up a job from another designer in the office. Long story short the job I picked up should have taken about an hour or two to complete, but the concept behind the design was a little more difficult to create than initially anticipated. So, it literally took myself and the original designer assigned to the job, a whole day going back and forth on the design until we really nailed it. And I have to say, I definitely couldn't have gotten to that point without the collaboration with my co-worker.
So don't be afraid to ask some of your co-workers, colleagues, friends, whoever, that you trust of course, for their input. They may be able to see something you don't, or have an idea you haven't thought of, and that's okay. Sometimes we get stuck in this competition mindset. There are times to be competitive, don't get me wrong, I like a good competition, but sometimes you need to let someone else give you an honest constructive opinion, and that’s when something good can become something awesome!
One of the hardest things we deal with as Designers is continually opening ourselves up for rejection. Every time we design something we pour a little part of ourselves into it. Is there a way to avoid that? Not if your truly passionate about what you do.
At the same time, it's important that we don't allow the rejection and criticisms of our work to alter our self-confidence. Sometimes one of the most difficult things we encounter is the "finger-pointing" that often goes along with design.
I recently ran into a similar instance while working on a project for a friend. They had an idea of what they wanted. I rushed home, designed the piece, excited to send it to them. It was disheartening to say the least. While they had something else in mind I had designed exactly what they directed me to the best of my ability.
Many times, "lack of communication" is the main cause for rejected work. In this case, I was shocked to find that what I had done was not apparently what they had in mind. Even worse, occasionally your client may refuse to "work through" a piece with you, instead wanting to turn to another designer or halt production. My best advice? Let them go. You'll be much happier in the long run. There are good clients out there, don't settle for any that mistreat you.
However, a lack of "designer trust" also can play a key role. As an employer if you want the best for your marketing, design and promotions, then you need to trust your designer.
If they were good enough to hire, then let them do their job. So MANY times, I've seen good design completely re-worked and re-created based on the "client's" wishes. While this is definitely their prerogative it's no small surprise when those pieces turn out sub-par. The worst of these situations is when the client literally takes it upon themselves to select a stock graphic for their piece.
When that happens, I generally know the piece will NOT be making it to my portfolio. While it's sad to see, it also happens to the best of us and we must not let it wear us down. Remember that YOU are equipped to do your job, regardless of what your boss or your client may think. When you do that, your designs will reflect your confidence.
I think the title of this one says it all. Got a migraine. =( Smashing Magazine issued a challenge to designers for the new year, and I’m on board! I tried to decide what type of design I’d want to do and could stretch my boundaries as a designer. So in answer to this Challenge, I will be designing and posting a new Bookmark design each day on this blog. The Designs will link to a downloadable file that you can feel free to download, print out and share as desired.
Number 4 in this series:
That's right folks, you heard it here first. As designers, we all go through those phases. One mistake may snowball into several, or you get one of those jobs that never seem to end.
Jobs that never end? Oh yeah. I've had them. The simple little layout that you quote to someone who sounds sweet for less than your normal price. Next thing you know? Forty print-outs, 35 corrections, 4 stock photo sites and several months later you find yourself still working on it.
How do you get rid of this anvil around your neck? Cut it off! Do whatever it takes to end the project, even if it means having to eat a little more profit yourself. It's worth it in the long run to get your time and aggravation back!
What about the jobs where you don't get all the information upfront? Ever quoted a freelance job too cheap? I have. It's easy to do. I find myself wanting to help out the client, give them the best deal possible and then 100 hours into the project, I'm kicking myself.
How do you stop that? Well, for me, I've sat down and objectively outlined the main-stream projects that I do on a regular basis, logo-development, magazines, etc. As I outlined each one, I added a realistic price and time frame. My prices are there and set in stone.
I've got to admit though, I still get sucked in and drop them on a case-by-case basis. As a designer, I'm not perfect, but I do hope that the clients I work with know that they have gotten their money's worth and are pleased with the result.
This designer's verse is something that is so often true in the world of design. Hope it gives you a chuckle tonight. When the client moans and sighs, Make his logo twice the size. If he still should prove refractory, Show a picture of his factory. Only in the gravest cases, Should you show the clients’ faces. Download it here. Smashing Magazine issued a challenge to designers for the new year, and I’m on board! I tried to decide what type of design I’d want to do and could stretch my boundaries as a designer. So in answer to this Challenge, I will be designing and posting a new Bookmark design each day on this blog. The Designs will link to a downloadable file that you can feel free to download, print out and share as desired.
There are many keys to making your graphic design skills profitable. However I think without a doubt the most important is your speed as a designer. If you are fast enough at what you do you will not have to charge an exorbitant amount of money for each design that you produce. At the same time as you enhance your speed, you will not be able go charge by the hour--because you'll be producing multiple projects an hour. Instead as you charge by the project you will have the opportunity to make more money and touch more prices. This may sound great but how do you actually increase hour design speed? We'll look at some tips to help you get faster: 1. Learn your software. If you're a designer using your software should be second nature to you. It should be so instinctive that you aren't even thinking about your keystrokes. 2. Know what your software CAN do FOR you. As a designer, you will be severely limited by your knowledge or lack thereof of your software. You may be able to accomplish the same things but may be spending more time than necessary to complete a task. Having a thorough knowledge of your software will increase your speed abundantly. 3. Rough it out. You will save time in the long run if you create a draft of your design while the ideas are flowing before going back and fine tuning the details. If your typesetting- get the text flowed and them go back and align. You'll see a big difference in your work time. 4. Time yourself. Having an idea of what you can and cannot accomplish in a given amount of time will make a big difference to you as you set deadlines and make commitments. Each of these keys will help you to speed up the design process. However, you will need to be aware and walk the fine line between speed and sloppiness. Never let a client have to clean up your messes or pay for your mistakes. Do your work with excellence and understand that each project is different and will require different skills and time.