Author Archive

Use a Wacom tablet to improve your designs

Published by | Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
Use a tablet to improve your designs

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Whether you’re designing a website, a logo, a product, a building, or an app, it’s valuable to begin that design process with a drawing. Drawing enables us to focus on the overall vision without getting distracted by details like color, font, or texture—which at this early stage are not important, and can actually hinder the development. The beginning is about the broad strokes, which is why drawing is such a perfect medium. Drawing on a Wacom is even more perfect, for a couple of reasons:

Greater accessibility
We live in a world where the majority of the content we create (text, designs, messages, etc.) is digital, so having your initial drawings in digital form lets you share them more easily, and import them to other programs where they can be further refined.

Track your freelancing business expenses

Published by | Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

freelance_home_office_plan

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One of the most important responsibilities as a freelancer is tracking your business expenses. Deducting expenses from your income can result in a huge savings, and in Running a Design Business: Freelancing, Petrula Vrontikis offers expense tips that are relevant for any kind of freelance business—not just design.

Personal versus business expenses
The smartest way to track expenses is to keep personal expenses and business expenses separate. Have separate checking accounts and separate credit cards so you can easily track, categorize, and recap your business expenses.

What to look for in a press proof

Published by | Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
What to look for in a print proof

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Going on a press check can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but it doesn’t need to be. In this checklist from Print Production Fundamentals, author Claudia McCue shows you what to bring and what to look for when approving a proof.

Why type choice is so important

Published by | Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Type has two primary goals. The first is to convey information (what the actual words say), and the second is to add further context to the information. A typeface helps form that critical first impression about your message; before the viewer even reads what the words say, the typeface offers important clues. This is why it is so important to choose the right one. As you can see above, typefaces are so much more than just stylized alphabets; they have personalities that come across immediately and inform the viewer.

Choosing a typeface is important

How to choose the perfect color palette

Published by | Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Create the perfect color palette for your images

Color is a tricky element in design, and made even more challenging when incorporating images into a layout. It can be difficult to know what colors are going to complement the image and the overall design. There’s a lot of science surrounding how to mix and match colors, but John McWade of Before & After offers some foolproof ways to pick the right colors from an image in his course Before & After: Things Every Designer Should Know.

Anyone can draw!

Published by | Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Drawing Vector Graphics

Many believe that drawing is a skill you’re born with: If you weren’t lucky enough to get that gene, you’re destined to draw stick figures. Not true! Drawing is a skill that anyone can learn. It’s like skiing or writing or cooking; the more you do it, the better you’ll become. Walt Stanchfield, an American animator, once said, “We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us. The sooner we get them out, the better.” The fastest way to do this is to embed drawing into your daily routine. In Drawing Vector Graphics, author and illustrative designer Von Glitschka shares his thoughts on how to make this happen.

The importance of saying no

Published by | Friday, July 12th, 2013

love-time-money

One of the greatest challenges faced by freelance designers and design firm owners is knowing when to decline work. Not all jobs are created equal, and just because you like the client, or the pay is good, or it seems like an interesting project, doesn’t mean the job is going to benefit you or your business.

Let’s say it’s a company whose mission you admire and want to support, but they have a small budget and the schedule is too tight for the scope of work. The best-case scenario is that you’ll end up working too hard for too little compensation. The worst-case scenario is that you won’t be able to produce work you feel good about because of the time constraints. Additionally, you may even have to pass on another job that would have been more beneficial to your business.