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The most difficult part of being a creative of any kind is idea generation. Why do you think there are so many copy-cats out there? There are several methods available to brainstorm.

Mind mapping has been around since the 70's, it’s uses and attraction is snowballing. So what is it? And how does it apply to Graphic Design?

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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.

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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.

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The Creative Brief :: Part 2

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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!).

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The Creative Brief :: Part 1

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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…

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A State of Independents

  • PublishedFebruary 2014
  • CommentsNo Comment
  • Posted InTrends
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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…

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Focus :: Graphic Design :: France

  • PublishedFebruary 2014
  • CommentsNo Comment
  • Posted InEurope, Trends
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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…

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20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web

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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.

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Focus :: Contemporary Type Foundries :: Part 2

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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…

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Focus :: Contemporary Type Foundries :: Part 1

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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.

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