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Nov. 13th, 2007



Being a web designer is like...

Someone asked me what being a web designer was like. For those of you graphics design people on the edge of school and considering padding your skillset, keep this in mind:

Being a web designer is like being the only skilled laborer on a remote island under U.S. law. Not only are you expected to know how to design and build the house, you have to know plumbing, landscaping, painting, electrical wirining, irrigation, obtain the land, the permits, manage the money, secure the loans, and market and sell the thing.

Your client will be the equivalent of New Guinea royalty, somehow important but with a limited budget, may have never lived in a house or had electricity, and will still have the audacity to tell you how they think you should do it. You will be expected to know their culture, language, and what they want-even though they don't.

Oh, and that blueprint you drew up: It will change drastically throughout the project.


12 types of clients

 Client Breed #1
The Low-Tech Client


How to spot one:
Looks confused and disoriented when discussing anything high-tech, calls rather than emails, wants everything to be faxed. The Low-tech client needs to go through everything twice to get it, but will then happily take your advice.

The Highs:
The Low-tech client will rely solely on your sage wisdom for all things technology related. They will look to you as your technology saviour and will stroke your ego with their reverence of your knowledge and advice.

The Lows:
The low-tech client will need to be handheld through everything from setting up their email to opening up PDFs. Charge accordingly. They can also be particularly frustrating if they decide to ‘work it out themselves’. A Low-tech client’s idea of how a website should work for example is often not pretty.

How To Work With One:
The low-tech client needs to be handheld. Make sure everything technical about a job is in writing for them to reread at their leisure. This will save you a lot of time explaining things repeatedly. It’s also best to just accept that you will not be using a lot of the technology that makes our lives easier these days (email, online project management etc) and should instead budget in time for phone calls, faxes and face to face meetings.

It is very easy to start to patronize your low-tech client unintentionally. As you can imagine, this can damage your relationship and even worse hurt their feelings. Make sure you balance the playing field by asking for their input in the areas they know about – their business. This will keep them happy stop them feeling the need to weigh in on your area of expertise – which can waste everybody’s time.

Finally if you work in technology, make sure that your Low-tech client knows how to use whatever product you give them!


Nov. 9th, 2007


Funny Videos



Nov. 8th, 2007


50 Ways to Become a Better Designer

1] Metaphors.
Great ideas can stem from using themes and metaphors. Basing a site design around the idea of a school, for example, can open up a whole avenue of ideas. A great design works because the theme houses and conveys the content seamlessly.

2] Don’t take all day to brainstorm.
It always helps to throw ideas around with a colleague or friend (as long as he knows what he’s doing). Try to have a couple of short sessions of brainstorming rather than one massive one as ideas can quickly go cold.

3] Get off that computer!
Sometimes it’s best to just have a break. Leaving the computer can seem like going on holiday in rush hour, but it usually helps if you just take a 10 minute break and get some fresh air. If you can’t do that, try listening to some music, or taking your jumper off.

4] Join a forum.
A lot of creatives work from home, but that doesn’t mean they can’t talk to anyone. There are a lot of really helpful and talented people out there willing to have a chat about design, you just need to find them. Here are some of my favorite forums:

Pixel 101 (Probably my favourite)
Illustrator Techniques
Designate Online
DevLounge (OK, it’s not a forum, but it’s a really decent site)

5] Think brand.
Try going to a few courses on branding, as brand thinking is vital to developing the way you think. Keep your ideas squeaky simple, and 9 times out 0f 10 they will work. Thinking in terms of branding means you can develop key words to stem your ideas from. Complexity just doesn’t work.

Nov. 7th, 2007


Resume Tips

What should my resume look like?

Your resume must reflect your professionalism in its content and appearance. Using a simple, easy-to-read layout is essential. Your resume and all of its key elements should be easily understood at a quick glance. With this in mind, your content should generally fit on a single page. Interviewers look through dozens of resumes, so you should make the reading process as simple as possible. In addition, there is a good chance that any additional pages will get separated and lost.

Keep your font simple as well. It is more important that your resume be easily read than to have it be fancy. Keep your choices to the basics (a safe bet would be Web-safe fonts such as Arial, Verdana, and Times New Roman).

Go to www.professional_web_portfolio_site.com

Of course, what you put into the resume is as important as (nay, more important than) the look of the resume itself. Make sure you include such vital information as your online portfolio site. This should have a simple and obvious name such as www.jsmith.com. If you have a long name that is hard to pronounce or remember, it might be best to use your initials or some variation. You want people to be able to remember you and your site. An address that shows some personality can work too, but don't get too creative. This aspect could keep you from getting the job when you consider that the interviewer is probably a non-creative who is looking through a pile of resumes. Plus which, any address that is hard to remember or isn't professional will work against you.

Tags: ,


Idea Generator


Nov. 4th, 2007


(no subject)

Follow the link.

Definite use of cross-posting. My apologies.

P.S. Is it okay that I defined the tag as "tutorial"?

Nov. 2nd, 2007



You Have To Watch This

Sometimes the worst thing we can do for our clients is give them exactly what they want.



Lovely Design Work

Tags: ,

Nov. 1st, 2007


Web & Graphic Design Portfolio Advice

Q. A portfolio can be an artistic statement in itself. What defines a good portfolio in your mind?

Nomi: An effective portfolio accurately represents the designer's abilities and skills in the best possible light. This means that it is clean and well put-together, and while it's nice to try to be a little different, a portfolio should not look gimmicky. The viewer should be more aware of the work than the portfolio itself. An effective portfolio illustrates the designer's self-presentation and communication abilities as well as showcasing the work.

Q. When you're starting to learn design, it's tempting to stuff your portfolio with everything and the kitchen sink. What defines a "portfolio piece?"

Nomi: For a design student, the more in-depth the project, the more chance it has of becoming a good portfolio piece. A piece that clearly shows the ability to research a project and also exhibits skill with typography, color, composition, and technical issues will say a lot about the designer in a small space. A prospective employer will be going rapidly going through your work, and so you have limited spaces to fill in a portfolio.


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