In this round of Q&A I talk about the transition from employment to self-employment, what details to include on your business card, web hosting issues, and corporate identity.
Richard, of Peacock Carter, asks:
…is it ‘just’ logo design you offer, or do you also offer corporate identity to your clients?
Some of you may think logo design and corporate identity are one and the same. From Wikipedia, corporate identity is composed of three parts:
- Corporate design (logos, uniforms, etc.)
- Corporate communication (advertising, public relations, information, etc.)
- Corporate behavior (internal values, norms, etc.)
From these three facets, my services include both design and communication, but I do study corporate values and behaviour on the way to an effective design outcome. I find such research to be an essential part of the logo design process.
Whilst I’ve decided to specialise in logos, I also help with company stationery, such as business cards and letterhead design. People ask me about web development, and in these cases I refer them to a select group of talented designers I’ve come to trust.
Chip Carey asks:
I noticed you don’t have an address listed on your business card and I was wondering what led to that decision. I’m making new business cards for myself and I have heard arguments for and against listing an address. Could you enlighten me?
I choose to keep my personal business card as clean and minimal as possible. There was, however, a little more behind the decision to omit my physical address. Since that initial print-run, I’ve moved home twice — first when I moved into another Edinburgh flat so I could share with my girlfriend, Catherine, and second when I recently left Edinburgh for Northern Ireland, where most of my family live. Needless to say, I’ve saved considerable expense by excluding my address.
You must consider what information your card recipients need to know. The majority of my clients are based overseas, so contact details of most value are my telephone number, email and web addresses. If, unlike me, you offer a product rather than a service, your physical location can affect shipping costs, amongst other things, and therefore takes on greater importance.
Chaitanya, of BrandPirate, asks:
How do you manage the transition from a full-time job to a freelance career? Do you know anyone who did that successfully? What are the possible challenges that might be faced during the transition?
I wouldn’t be self-employed if I didn’t start out with a large retainer client. By that, I’m referring to a former employer, Myeloma UK, who never filled the gap left when I embarked on some world travels. Upon my return, I contacted the chief executive explaining my desire to ‘go it alone,’ and asked if he’d like to hire me as a contractor. Thankfully, he did, and for the next 18 months I spent three days per week designing Myeloma UK’s print promotions. We no longer work together — the increasing workload made it more cost-effective for to bring back an in-house designer — but that initial 18 months of steady income enabled me to work on self-promotion and build my client base.
Two others who are successfully self-employed within the design industry include the good guys Chris Spooner and Alex Peterson (I’ve previously been on holiday in Prague with Alex and a number of other friends).
There are many challenges faced during the transition, and I’ve written on the subject here: the pros and cons of freelancing.
George Hodgkins, of GEH Consulting asks:
I have my current (rudimentary) site hosted with ICDSoft. I notice that davidairey.com is hosted with ICDSoft, but that you changed to Crucial Web Hosting for LogoDesignLove.com. Since I have two, possibly three, blogs in production, I’m wondering if the change to a new host was due to problems with ICDSoft’s performance.
That’s very observant of you, George. I find the service of both ICDSoft and Crucial Web Hosting to be great. The reason behind my switch for the newer Logo Design Love website is because Kyle — one of the people behind Crucial — kindly offered a services trade. I helped one of his clients with a logo design project, and he gave me web hosting. Both my host providers come with my personal recommendation. ICDSoft helped greatly when my domain name was stolen, and Kyle has been a big help with my numerous coding questions (I created this site design myself, and have made many mistakes).
Do you have a question you’d like me to answer?
Thanks very much to Richard, Chip, Chaitanya and George for taking an interest and asking the above questions.
Should you have any questions of your own, by all means leave them here in the comments, and thanks in advance for wanting to know more.