- PublishedJuly 2013
- Comments1 Comment
- Posted InProfessional Design Practice
A rookie mistake in the design world is working without a contract. I too, have fallen to the sorry plight of ultimately working for free with no promise of continued work or payment on the horizon. While it is easy to scold and reprimand, it is in fact difficult to approach a new client with a contract especially when you are just starting out professionally. Be confident in your abilities. The most important thing to keep in mind is that this is your job, and while others may see it as a hobby since it is artistic by nature it is ever important to become educated and to educate others on the business of design.
Head straight to the end of this article to find a downloadable blank graphic design contract.
- PublishedSeptember 2012
- Comments3 Comments
- Posted InProfessional Design Practice
Providing a quote for graphic design services is one of the most difficult areas of the field to navigate. It can kind of be like going on a first date. Through working with a variety of clients, my best advice for contracting your services is do not jump in the water before you know how deep it is! By this I mean it is absolutely imperative before even agreeing to work on a piece that you know the entirety of the project. I have learned the hard way to never respond in the affirmative until you ask the right questions.
Hey there. In the last article we discussed the role of receiving and understanding the creative brief — a vital part of the designer’s job. Once the document has been digested and the nettle grasped, one of the most fun parts of the creative process may begin — research and mind mapping. This is the stage where, empowered by a belief that anything is possible, the designer can delve fully into his subject, unleash his imagination and give full rein to his creativity without fear of being pulled up short by the client (—that might occur later!).
The brief. That genesis of the creative process. All design jobs begin with a briefing from the client, usually in written form (the preferred option) though they can also be given verbally. It’s difficult to overstate how important the humble brief is to the design process. In short, no brief, no project! Breaking the topic down into key aspects over several articles, I’ll be taking you through the ins and outs of everything you need to know about the brief. Let’s start with…
Something big has happened in the publishing world. Something interesting. While mainstream publishers continue to stare grimly at plummeting sales figures, falling advertising incomes and budget cuts, a persistent torrent of web-savvie, well designed and highly varied independent titles is thriving, with new titles cropping up every month. These independents cover every conceivable subject, from the predictable (fashion, architecture, cookery) to the more esoteric (sneaker culture anyone?) and are invariably beautifully designed. There’s no victory of style over substance here though — each small publisher seems to care deeply about his chosen field and has the expertise to back it up. Here are seven titles to appear in British design bookshops in recent years, though the magazines themselves are international. Any one would make a fine addition to any designer’s bookshelf. Enjoy…
Next to sculpture, painting, architecture, cinema, cuisine and couture, France’s graphic design seems nowhere. Even in France itself, graphic design’s profile burns less brightly than the other arts, though its influence on its country’s wider visual culture is by no means insignificant; a high creative output generated by both established and emerging designers and ateliers. France seems to hold firm against the seductive Esperanto of globalised design more successfully than other nations, retaining it’s own particular elán—a good reason for us to glance over its national resumé…
- PublishedJanuary 2011
- CommentsNo Comment
- Posted InTypography
Following on from Contemporary Type Foundries Part 1, presented below are the final six type foundries I’ve chosen to display. So, without further ado…
The 20 Things project was a challenge to break ground with new technologies and deliver a rich, educational experience that these technologies make possible. The Fi team rose to the challenge and produced a web app that is as fun to play with and explore as it is interesting to read.
- PublishedNovember 2010
- Comments1 Comment
- Posted InTypography
Working with typefaces is about as basic as it gets for graphic designers. A solid knowledge of type, a keen eye for which fonts are appropriate for each project and an awareness of what’s available to us are rudimentary components of the job. Many fledging creatives use only what they have in their system fonts library and a handful of passable faces saved off a cracked disc of thousands of dubious free fonts. Working this way, a designer can produce perfectly good results (some say this can be achieved through Helvetica alone) but it’s the wise designer who maintains an awareness of modern-day type foundries. Between them, foundries release beautifully crafted, extensive and noteworthy font families year on year. Whilst many cost money (staff at foundries have to earn a living too) some are reasonably priced and others offered for free. And besides the fonts, through their websites type foundries offer all sorts of helpful advice and a glimpse into their fascinating profession, which is what I aim to show here, in the first of two articles on the topic.
James Victore is a man of action. He believes that knowing about jazz and wine and auto-racing can make you a better designer. That graphic design is about experiences and stories and using your hands. That the best designs punch you in the gut – or, at the very least, stop you in your tracks.
It should come as no surprise that some of the best designed and looking websites are those of design studios themselves. Untrammeled by meddlesome clients making design-threatening requests and free to divert the necessary time and budgets into things, studios are able to focus their designers’ collaborative energies into producing —often— groundbreaking sites. We’ve generated video clips of each design studio website I thought really distinctive, both from the masses and each other. Happy perusing!
Brasil, the sunniest of the amusingly-acronymned BRIC nations (Brasil, Russia, India, China), is currently enjoying unprecedented amounts of goodwill on the international world stage, not hindered by its increasing confidence in areas like diplomacy and manufacture, nor Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes winning the Olympic bid for his city. But enough of the geo-political preamble, “This is a design blog!” we hear you cry. Rest assured readers, we haven’t forgotten my duties to you, just providing the wider context to introduce some impressive contemporary work in the visual fields, from both studios and freelancers, to have recently emerged from this Latin giant.
Introduction image © Kiyoshi Takahase Segundo.
To maintain a curious eye about the world, to look and attempt to decode the terrain around you is what separates a great designer from a mere ‘good’ one. That, at least, is what my old university professor once told me, and it seemed like a sage morsel of wisdom at the time. Still does. The world is awash with things to decode and contextualise, so, to take just one of them, and with our heads cocked quizzically to the side, let’s look at neon signs. Dazzling yet ubiquitous, and produced in a range of typographic and illustrative styles, neon has been utilized by advertisers for decades. It’s time for a fresh appraisal. (left) Image © Marc Weinreich.
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a graphic designer is the sheer scale of gorgeous and tactile materials to work with and print on. There are dozens at your disposal, some in common usage and others waiting to be discovered and put to graphical use by future pioneers. Because of their widely diverse nature, substrates can be used to suggest all kinds of meanings and signify all kinds of signs, from luxury and good taste right through to anarchy and roughness. Substrates help to reinforce the messages you wish to communicate. I’ve hand-picked seven of them for the last in our unashamedly image-teeming short series of articles on substrates and finish. So without further ado…
As varied as they are exciting, print finishes encompass a wide range of processes for designers to investigate and use. A finish may be applied once a substrate has been printed, to provide the finishing touch to a graphic object. They can be used to add a decorative aspect to a piece, or a textural quality. In some cases a finish might aid graphical function, or even represent an integral component of a piece’s form. Seven print finishes have been chosen for this article based on their powers to captivate, dazzle and add weight to ideas. Read on, take notes, and choose one for your next project to turn a mere good response into a graphical tour-de-force…