Work for Money Design for Love

Work for Money, Design for Love

Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Starting and Running a Successful Design Business

A straight-talking advice guide that tells designers what they need to know about launching and running their own design businesses. In fact, the book was inspired by the many questions I receive from the hundreds of thousands of people who’ve visited my design websites over the years.

  • How do I find new clients?
  • How much should I charge for my design work?
  • When should I say no to a project?
  • How do I handle difficult clients?

These questions and many more are answered using anecdotes and case studies collected from my experience of running a successful design business since 2005. I also share tips and lessons learned from designers around the world including such creative professionals as Mike Dempsey, Jerry Kuyper, Eric Karjaluoto, Simon Manchipp, Alina Wheeler, Khoi Vinh, Armin Vit, and the late Ivan Chermayeff.

Work for Money, Design for Love


Adam Ladd
Alina Wheeler
Andrea Austoni
Andrew Kelsall
Andy Budd
Antoinette Marie Johnson
Antonio Carusone
Armin Vit
Atakan Seckin
Bernadette Jiwa
Blair Thomson
Bob Mytton
Chris Coyier
Chris Harman
Chris Spooner
Con Kennedy
Cristian Paul
Daniel Howells
Darragh Neely
David Hyde
Eileen MacAvery Kane
Emily Kane
Eric Karjaluoto
Fiona Burrage
Gary Holmes
Ian Vadas
Ivan Chermayeff
Jenny Theolin
Jerry Kuyper
Jessica Hagy
John Clifford
Jonas Salvador
Jonathan Selikoff
JP Jones
Karen Huang
Karishma Kasabia

Katherine Ramsland
Khoi Vinh
Lee Newham
Lita Mikrut
Liza Lowinger
Luke Mysse
Luke Tonge
Maggie Macnab
Mark Bloom
Matt Griffin
Matt McInerney
Meredith Gossland
Mike Dempsey
Mike Reed
Nancy Wu
Nick Asbury
Pascal Rumph
Patricia Schaefer
Paul Buck
Phil Cook
Reese Spykerman
Richard Knobbs
Russell Holmes
Ryan Tym
Shauna Haider
Sheena Oosten
Simon Manchipp
Stellan Johansson
Steven Key
Suzana Shash
Ted Leonhardt
Thierry Brunfaut
Tim Lapetino
Tom Actman
Von Glitschka

Work for Money, Design for Love

In others’ words

Imagine sitting a successful, self-employed designer down for a few hours, plying him with pretty much every question you can think of, and also getting him to cough up the goods from tons of his successful designer friends. This is what you’d end up with.
— Richard Knobbs

Full of sound and practical advice for the design professional. If you plan to launch a design business, or are in the middle of figuring out how to make it all work, this book shows you how.
— Grace Oris

A great guide to running a design studio.
— Moving Brands

I established my design firm in 2004 after 20 years of experience with some of the most highly regarded brand identity firms. I wish David had written this back then. It confirmed information that took me years to acquire and provided many useful insights into creating an online presence and moving beyond clients. David blends his own experiences with those of other designers from around the world to hit on every issue one needs to consider in running a design business.
— Jerry Kuyper

A treasure trove of insights, advice and guidance on the fine details of getting a design business off the ground. David and a number of contributors share their stories and explain how these formative experiences shaped their careers as designers.
— Tom Actman

An essential tool for converting my emotionally-fulfilling (although bankrupt) business into a money-making one. Reading this made me feel on a par with many designers that I admire. Should be recommended reading in every design school.
— Lorena Vogeler

Work for Money, Design for Love

Other design books

Identity Designed
Identity Designed The Process

David Airey
Brand identity design

Independent since 2005
Website hosted by Fused

64 Beechfield Avenue
Bangor, County Down
Northern Ireland
BT19 7ZZ