Category: Business Page 3 of 4

Amazon Associates: helping designers look sharp

Amazon smile logo

It’s hard to imagine someone clicking an Amazon link for a design book, then thinking to themselves, “Mmmm, peanut butter.” But it happens.

iMac buying tips

Apple wallpaper

I upgraded to a 27-inch iMac. Here are a few tips if you’re thinking of buying one, too.

Quality vs quantity

pantone leaves

I’d make a lot more money if I accepted every project on the table.

But there’d be consequences.

Responding to spec work requests

golden ticket

I rarely reply to the weekly email requests that ask for spec work. For whatever reason, today I did.


NO!SPEC logo

I offered to create a fresh look for the NO!SPEC website.

The Win Without Pitching Manifesto

Win Without Pitching Manifesto

Lots of solid advice to use when dealing with clients.

Advice for design students

information sign clouds

With 700+ pages on this site, here’s the content I think is most helpful to students.

Showing sketches to clients

sharpened pencils

“Can I see sketches?” A perfectly valid client-request.

When small is good


As businesses get larger, it’s easier to hide bad people in them. This is because there are so many things going on, alongside numerous coworkers who can shield one’s dismal performance.

Proverbially speaking

Chinese typography

Chinese proverbs might not relate directly to the design profession, but with a little translation, it’s easy to see how designers can heed the advice.

I wish I’d known that

green dice sixes

What advice would you give a design graduate? Chris Arnold, founder of Creative Orchestra and former creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi, offers his pearls of wisdom.

AIGA panel on spec work

integrity type

Here’s a video from an AIGA Metro North event titled reSPECt, “A civilized dialog between advocates and opponents of speculative branding and design work.”

More than just a title

Chess King

Titles can matter to those who hire you, but you’ve got to make sure you walk the walk.

Self-employment advice for designers

wood type

Fifteen pieces of advice to those thinking of “going it alone.”

How to convince your clients they need a brand, not just a logo

Coca-Cola logotype

A brand idea will form the basis of all the company’s branding (and perhaps even future business decisions) of which a logo should only be one expression.

How to win friends and influence people

How to Win Friends and Influence People

“In his exuberant, conversational style, internationally bestselling author Dale Carnegie offers practical advice and techniques for how to get out of a mental rut and make your life more rewarding.”

How I became a self-employed graphic designer

Myeloma Matters

I’m often asked how I made the switch to self-employment. Here’s a snapshot of that time in my life in 2004/05.

How to improve your portfolio with pro bono design

Leather portfolio detail

Pro bono is a Latin phrase that means “for the public good.”

Studio Culture

Studio Culture book cover

A brief look inside Studio Culture: The secret life of the graphic design studio.

The design pricing formula

money roll bank notes

A lot of designers struggle with pricing, and I’m regularly asked how I work it out.

AIGA President Debbie Millman on spec work

AIGA book cover by Paul Rand

Cat Wentworth conducted an excellent interview with AIGA President Debbie Millman.

Hiring a designer: a client’s perspective

train tracks splitting

Insights from the customer side that will help you satisfy your own clients.

The vendor client relationship

An all-too-familiar video that shows what I’ve experienced with plenty of potential clients. I get the impression I’m not alone.

Graphic design contracts – your advice

signing a contract

A few months ago I wrote a brief article about graphic design contracts. You offered some excellent advice in the comments, and here I feature a select few of your contract tips.

Agency vs freelancer – your take

green apples

Your thoughts on the difference between a studio and a freelancer.

Getting your foot in the door

Door knock

When Lee Newham worked as a senior designer he would receive three or four CVs each day. He’s offered some tips to get your CV to the top of the pile.

Design agencies vs freelance designers

orange segments

When a client works with a graphic design agency, instead of a freelance designer, the choice can offer many benefits, but it’s not a one-way street. Here I outline the advantages of relationships with one over the other.

How 20 designers charge their clients #3

James Joyce

The final part of the series — how 20 designers charge their clients, and a few relevant resources.

How 20 designers charge their clients #2

bank of England note

Following on from part one, seven more designers talk about how they manage their finances when dealing with clients.

How 20 designers charge their clients #1

George Best bank note

How do you charge clients? How do you accept payment? Why do you recommend working this way?