Your questions answered

Q & A

A while back, I asked you if there was anything you wanted to know about me, my job, my surroundings etc. I’ve picked out a number of your questions and answered them in this post.

i love typography

Johno (of I Love Typography) asked:

  • Why no advertising on your blog?
  • How much time do you spend blogging?

As many of you know, I used to run Text Link Ads (TLA) on my site. That was until Google penalised me for paid links. The whole search rank debacle led to many relevant discussions, and ultimately, I’ve decided to keep my ‘flagship’ site ad-free. I use my online presence to advertise my graphic design service, so it makes sense not to dilute the message by accepting paid advertising. What do you think of this method?

My second website, Logo Design Love, is a different matter, and I’m thinking of adding the square 125px ads you see on many blogs.

On average, I spend between 8 and 12 hours per week working on my websites. This involves responding to your comments, publishing new articles, tweaking the design / layout and tracking statistics. It’s my largest marketing spend, therefore an essential part of my business.


Niyaz (of Diovo — broken link removed in 2014) asked:

  • Where do you work from? Home/office/other?
  • What is your long term goal in life?
  • Given a chance, what would you like to change from your past?

I work from home, in my central Edinburgh flat. Nothing elaborate (double bedroom, lounge / office, kitchen, bathroom, hall, storage). I’m on the look-out for something a little bigger, still in Edinburgh, and have recently viewed a few other properties.

Long term goals? I want to raise a family, and am hoping I can provide for them as well as I’ve been provided for. Fortune has smiled on me.

As for changing the past, the obvious answer is I wouldn’t change a thing because everything that’s happened has brought me where I am, but I’d actually have chosen 4, 15, 18, 30, 31, and 47 in last week’s lottery.

pixl design

Nathan (of Pixl Design) asked:

  • What sort of price did you charge when you first started out as a graphic designer?

During the first year of self-employment I charged around £20-£25 per hour (US$40-$50). These days I charge more, but it’s all dependent upon the project. I still have a lot to learn, but the past two years have brought about the steepest learning curve of my short career.

Recent meme tags on other websites

I’ll combine the above answers with a couple of recent meme tags from Cat (of Designers Who Blog) and Deron (of Random Jabber).

Cat, Deron, thanks for thinking of me, and I hope my answers have given you a brief added insight into how I pass my days. If you want to know a little more, I’ve previously published 8 facts about David Airey, and 5 things about design, blogs and me.

If you have any other questions you’d like me to answer, fire away.

28 responses

  1. I stopped using tla when page rank went away, but then I re-instated their services and am making more now than when I had them with full page rank.

    Maybe consider going back.

  2. Hi David

    What would you say is the best way to find new work when starting out alone? Aside from word of mouth.

  3. Thanks for the answers David.

    I like Mike’s question. As for me, I’m a full time engineering student so that would clearly answer what am I going to be. (^_^)v

  4. David,
    It is great to see this site without the ads.
    But since you provide me with excellent content, I can live with ads even if you decide to have em.

  5. Mike, Steve, Kris, Jacob, thanks. I’ll address those in an upcoming post.

    Jorge, as far as I’m aware, using TLA is against Google’s terms of service. TLA must have their links followed, and Google doesn’t like that.

    Rafie, you’re very welcome mate.

    Regan, thanks for noticing. Passing the 4k mark is certainly a landmark for me.

    Niyaz, that’s good to know.

  6. Thanks, David. I do think to ad or not to ad is personal decision, of course.
    I held off on iLT for a long time; it wasn’t until I realised that I was spending 20 hours plus each week on iLT, that I introduced them. I do think that targeted ads aren’t a problem; I’ve turned down numerous advertisers (it’s painful) simply because those advertisers are not type-related. Also, I have to like the product too. It all means that I make a pittance from the advertising, but it does cover the overheads, and hopefully pleases readers too–I hope so.

    Oh, and I like Mike’s question:
    “If graphic design wasn’t your career what do you think you would have been doing?”
    And congrats on hitting 4k. I’ve been reading this blog since about 1956, and it’s getting better and better.

    And when you say, “I want to raise a family…”, you mean a type family, of course :)

  7. Johno,

    Nice to read a little about your advertising decisions, and it’s no suprise to learn of you spending 20+ hours on iLT each week. The quality speaks for itself.

    There’s no doubt that keeping your ads relevant to type helps maintain that quality, especially as they’re perhaps the first elements that people look towards when arriving on your site.

    You’ve been here since 1956 eh? You must know me better than I do! I was chatting with my girlfriend the other night, and we were discussing names for our type family. Exciting times!


    You’re very welcome. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.


    A question for you: when are you publishing the YouTube video of you in Aussie Rules action?

  8. Hi David

    If you offer your own product or service then you’re spot on with not wanting to water down the impact of what you do with the desire to make a quick, fast buck.

    If you want to have multiple streams of income, the have multiple websites – and multiple email lists. That’s what I do.

    I think the important question that any long-term focused business needs to ask with any action is “how is what I’m doing today going to impact how I am perceived in 3 months time?”

    Keep up the good work.


  9. Hi David
    We see the RSS subscribers on your site (3833), and I was wondering approximately how many conventional (non-RSS) hits your website receives daily? If that number is a trade secret, don’t worry.

    I’m guessing it’s at least ten times your RSS figure, and possibly even more. Thanks!

  10. Laura, Julian,

    Thanks very much!

    Didik, Roads,

    I’ll come to your questions in an upcoming blog post. Good of you to ask.


    I appreciate your advice, coming from someone who’s been there and got the t-shirt. Cheers for dropping in.

  11. There’s no doubt that keeping your ads relevant to type helps maintain that quality, especially as they’re perhaps the first elements that people look towards when arriving on your site.

  12. Currently I am an employed graphic designer. But I also do freelance work in my spare time. The problem is I do not know what I should name my freelance design studio. Is it better to use my name as the studio name, as you have done? Or should I use a descriptive name. My long term goal is to have a studio where other people work with me. That is why I think using my personal name, might not work. What is your say on this?

  13. Hi, you can answer this in you next Q&A if you like.

    I finished a diploma course in graphic design. But unfortunately the design college went corrupt and never issued us with any proof that we completed the course. No certificate or diploma. My question is, will this effect our chances for finding good employment, either in South Africa or oversees. Or will our portfolio work be enough to get the job?

    P.S. Thanks for very informative site!

  14. Colour question…In logo design and branding, besides black and white plus one other colour, would you also allow using whatever colour one wanted in designing a 4 colour piece? I would like the freedom to do this with the logo as B&W logo is not always pleasing. I created the logo, but the marketing person is insisting I stick to just 2 choices,,,help!

    I always think color is important, but secondary to the whole design…your opinion please, and thank you…

  15. Hi Ingrid,

    I agree with your statement that colour is important, but secondary to the design. Keep an eye on contrast, because you don’t want your identity to get lost in the background. Good luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *