Monday, May 19, 2014

Changes in Interactive Media

As this semester comes to a close, I have realized that technology is not the same as it was in January. I know that may sound crazy, but it's true take the Apple, Inc for an example they blogged about the technologies that they were launching later that year. They improved there iphone, ipads, imacs, macbook, etc. They took there software and made it better and more usability friendly.

Technology changes every second, hour and day. I have realized that the more I have blogged each every time I would go look to see what was the newest trend in design, what is the hottest font to use, what new way can I promote myself. I believe the only to stay on top of the new changes is reading the latest blog, researching, watching tutorials, read what people are saying, attend conferences and most importantly blog about what you feel about the new technology changes. Doing all of these should keep up to date with what is new in the technology world. 

As technology changes do not become comfortable with what you know how to do. Take risk in learning how to do something. Take me for example, I am currently building an interactive campus map on North Carolina A&T State University. When first deciding to do the map I had know idea of where to began, so i began researching different types of campus maps and what they used to build them. After that I began,  playing around with different ways to build the map and different ways to style the map. Once I was done coding the map I felt a since of accomplishment, I achieved something that I didn't know to do and I didn't take the easy way out doing it. My point is do not stay in your comfort zone, go outside the box to be the best!

P.S. Thank you Dr. Sturg for making me blog this semester, it really made look at my career and I how want to promote myself as a designer I really do appreciate it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Reasons Why Designers Blog Part 2

1. Communication Skills

Communication can be done through proposals, email, phone calls, and other sources. Blogging is one great medium to communicate with the outer world making others well acquainted with your creative skills too that will directly help you in freelance business.

2. Online Appearance

What's the point creating amazing designs which no one knows about. Building strong professional network, having connections can lead to referrals and spreading the word around. This is where blogging comes into play. Through blogging you get to meet people all around the world.

3. Another Income Source

If you are a designer that doesn't meant that you can earn only through designing. You can add to your income if you want to by investing your free time and efforts in something productive like blogging.

4. Serves as a Platform

When you are handling some projects for clients you don't get the option to make other people know about your creative talent. This can be well done through one of the most effective blog. Whenever you create a new design, blog about it and let the world know about it.

4. Break the Monotony

No matter how interesting any work is at one point or the other you tend to get monotonous feeling by following the same routine, handling the same kind of projects, using the same tools over and over again for years. Blogging is one interesting trick that definitely works as its your personal space where you can share your ideas, viewpoints, designs, communicate with the outer world and much more.


Monday, May 5, 2014

5 Reasons Why Designers Should Blog!

For the past couple of days I kept asking myself why should designers blogs? There are multiple reasons that came to my head on why I think designers should blog. Should they blog to get their name out to public, to give their advice, to gain clients, to let to people know there skill set, etc.  Then I thought about what other designers say about designers blogging.

1. Relatively Low Cost

Blogging costs a little money and takes a little time. It is still a relatively low cost to promote your design business-especially when you compare it to paying for advertisements.

2. Builds Authority 

Use your blog to show off your knowledge in your area. To do this, create and share high-quality that is relevant to your specialty.

3. Grows Relationships 

Blogs tend to have communities that grow up around them. These communities consist of regular commentators who interact frequently with the blog's authors and readers.

4. Shows off your skills 

Your skills aren't always evident in your portfolio, which only shows the end result. In your blog, you can connect the dots and tells prospects how you worked behind the scene to make that project a success.

5. Your Unique Voice 

No one approaches the design business quite like you. No matter who you are, you have a unique slant on the industry. With your blog, that uniqueness gets a voice.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Graphic Design Tips for Social Media

This week I read an article on the Huffington Post, stating learning the basics of graphic design will help you create stand-out posts for your social media pages, by spreading the word with engaging blog graphics and generate share content. This articles list five tips that are fundamental to help you create professional looking designs.

Tip #1: Use contrast to help your designs stand out

The best designs stand out. One of the simplest ways to make your design jump off the page is using contrast. Choose colors that contrast well. If you have a light colored background then use a dark font.

Tip #2: Choose your font palette

Does your company have a standard brand font? Choosing a consistent font palette is a fantastic way to ensure consistency and to build familiarity with your customers. Try choosing a heading font subtitle font and body text font. Pick a bold font that stands out for your heading, and simpler subtitle and body fonts.

Tip #3: Pick a color scheme

Next step when it comes to design, is to choose your color scheme. Is your brand fun and fresh, or established and trustworthy? Choose colors that reflect this 'brand personality'. Start with 2-3 main colors and build from there. Use these colors consistently.

Tip #4 No naked images

Images are a key part of graphic design. It's actually very simple to get a professional look. The key? Use grids or frames wherever possible. By adding some order to your images, your designs will be looking better in no time at all. This is a simple trick which will give your design a professional edge. There are hundreds of grids to chose from in Canva.

Tip #5 Keep it simple

Lastly, it can be easy to get carried away with so many great images, graphics and fonts to choose from. Simple is always best when it comes to graphic design.  Reducing clutter means you're more likely to get your message across! Make sure you have a reason to use every design element, and keep the number of fonts, colors, shapes and frames to a minimum.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Habits of Graphic Designers Part 3

As you may know that being a successful designer isn't hard to do. As long as you deliver a great product or service to your client, you should have no trouble succeeding in the design world! Here are the last few habits that I found that could help set you apart from other designers.

Work Under Pressure

As you may know that being an designer, deadlines are the most important of your career. As a designer you are always going to be under some kind of pressure to get things done. If you want to sit back and do things whenever you get around to it, find another profession. If you like pressure, and a challenge, and you like to solve problems effectively, then become an DESIGNER!!!

More on the DESIGN than the Software

Photoshop and Illustrator don't make you any more of a designer than having a Paula Deen cookware sets makes you a world class chef. Don't lose your head. If you have a great computer, and your software gets the job done, then don't worry about it. On the other hand, if you are using an ancient laptop, and your hardware and software are severely hindering you, then you might need to consider upgrading.

Designers are always striving to Improve

Successful designers are always one step ahead of you. They were doing responsive website design when you were learning HTML and CSS, and they will be on the latest in design when you are learning responsive design. You can always improve. The more you know, the more you're worth. If you have a wide range of skills, and you excel at them, you can charge a lot more, because clients will still save money over hiring a large firm.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Habits of Graphic Designers Part 2


Last week, we talked about habits that sets you apart from other designers? Here are a couple of more habits that can help you set yourself apart from other designers.

Time Management

Be aware of how long something takes! Time Management is one of the hardest things to handle when designing anything. When designing you are not going to cut a project short and hand someone a design that looks like garbage, because you either will not have a job or you will not be in business long. Carefully planning out a project before starting from how are you going to solve the problem at handinstead of just jumping into it and moving things around the page. Start with a hand sketches, and mockups before jumping into Photoshop, Illustrator or on the computer. 

Following Up

Follow ups are the most important part of being an designer! As a designer people love to know that you are hungry and want the work. However, as you are following up please do not hound people because they will think that you have nothing better to do and that their project will make or break you. Look professional not desperate.

Not too much Social Media  

It's good to stay informed with latest news, technology, design, or business. But don't just sit there for hours on end reading article after article or Tweet after Tweet. Social media doesn't make you money unless you are the one sending out the Tweet. Set a time limit on how much you sit down and interact on social media. 45 minutes each day is good! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Habits of Graphic Designers Part 1

As a designer you may ask yourself sometimes, what sets you apart from other designers? Some may say that your unique style sets you apart and then some may say that it's your design experience that sets you apart from other designers. While this is may not be true in some cases, it's not just your design skills and experiences that will make you more successful than other designers. What sets successful designers from others are their habits?


In the design field,  you will most likely be working on more than one project at a time. You will be expected to keep up with each client request and needs. You will have to figure out how to solve their problem with your designs, and you'll need to do it quickly. 


Being an organized designer is a must! You need a system for keeping track of everything that you do. From thumbnails, sketches, mockups, and final product. You have to keep each client's records in a certain place, whether you have an online filing system or a physical cabinet for their projects, invoices, releases, and other materials. When organizing you need to figure the best system for you to organize, you can not remember each task in your head. I recommend that  Remember the Milk or Wunderlist  to help you organize your work.


Prioritizing your work is great when you are a designer! You have to be able to determine what tasks are most important and what should be done first. You shouldn't be working on something that is due next week, when you have things that are due at the end of the day. Knock out all main tasks of the day, and then you can work your way down through all of the rest of your tasks in the order of their priority. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Logo Design


A couple of months ago,  I got ask to do a logo for a client who is launching her own non-profit organization. When talking to the client and trying to get a better understanding of what she wants her logo to look like, I had no idea of how I was going to make all the things that she wanted in her logo come to life.

Final Logo
After, hearing about what her organization is going to be about and what is type of audience she is going to attract. I sketched up all the ideas of what she wanted her logo to look like and then I sketched up ideas that I think she go with. I know you are probably thinking why did I do two sketches of her logos? As a designer I feel that sometimes you need to show the client what they asked for and what you know would be better. Remember, when designing you are the expert, you know what the design would look like when its printed, when its shrink to print on a business card, when its used for social media, etc. Once, I was done sketching the logo, I then did some mockup versions in Adobe Illustrator. I chose Illustrator because her logo was text and I think Illustrator is perfect for that.

A guy t-shirt
My client
After, showing her my mockups and saying what I think would be best for logo. We decide to go another route of what she wanted her logo to look like. After spending a couple of days reworking the design I thought about her audience and the people she will be attracting to the organization and the logo needs to attract the same people. So, I put my self in the audience shoes and saying to myself what would get my attention to want to say "Yes, I will come out to any event that you are having". Once I did that the "design juice" started flowing. I showed the client the final product and she loved and the movement of her organization.

So what I am trying to say here is that you never know your process that you are going to go through when designing for a client. The idea that they have their head could be great but when they see the idea come to life it can change the way their whole idea concept. As, the designer you should be patience with the client, don't be afraid to tell them NO that is not going to work. Also, take risk by designing something that they didn't ask for! Remember if the design doesn't work in BLACK and WHITE then it is not a good design!

5 Super Fun Marketing Tips for Your Design Business

When you are freelance designer it can be fun and it can be rough at the same time. Having your own design business can be fun and rough at the same time. A lot of times people struggle with how they should market there business, Bianca Board has given a few tips on how to market your design business.

1. Talk

Connect with local business groups. She suggested that you talk to their group and offer some valuable branding advice for small business. She also suggested that you talk to anyone who will listen, because as a designer ANY business can become a client. Oh and when you do eventually get a speaking gig, don't freak out! Just let your passion for design show; and let your love of getting results for clients show even more.

2. Write

Build your online presence. That means you need a blog on your site. Keep your focus on you being the solution to their business needs, talk about the struggles your clients experiencing, and how can you help them. For example professional branding issues, how to choose your logo, how to get noticed with a professional designed website.

3. Film

Film video tutorials and guides. The name of the game here is create content. You don't need a big budget, you don't need a camera crew, you don't need an expensive camera. Your videos you can embed on your website, upload them to YouTube and Vimeo for extra traction. When filming the video don't just talk about what clients can expect when they work with you, create content that is valuable. Do a video about how to choose the best graphic designer for your business or how to choose a logo?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Creating a MEDIA KIT to get more Freelance

This week I got the chance read an post on one of my favorite blogs Graphic Design Blender. The blog post that I read, talked about how as a freelance designer you should have a media kit to get more business, referrals, and publicity. The blog post gives you two reason of why you need a media kit.
The 2 things are:

What's the benefit of having a media kit?

 Publicity: It is easier for people to feature you, write about you etc. the more likely it is too happen.

Referrals: Send your press kit to your favorite clients and ask them to forward it to a couple of friends who might need design work.

What should you put in a media kit?

The media kit is a versatile package that will cover all sorts of information requests. Think of it as part portfolio, resume, and biography.

A good start would be:

  • A photo of yourself.
  • A couple sample photos of the work you are most proud of. (a good place to include a link to portfolio)
  • Your biography in the form of a simple text document.
  • Some nice high-resolution images of your personal branding or logo if you have. (No one wants to hire a designer with a fuzzy logo!)
  • A usage guide  outlining what people can and cannot do with the provided materials. 
  • Your social media links, web address and contact information. 
Label everything properly and zip it up to send off to anyone who wants information on you and your business. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Meet Freelance Designer Kache Byrd!

Hello Designers! This week I got an chance to catch up with a freelance designer Kache Byrd who works from home, while maintaining being a business woman, wife, mother of one, and expecting another she still finds time to make Design the aspect of her life.  I got a chance to ask her a couples of questions and get to know her a little better.

Kache with her daughter Chasity 
1. Tell me about your background in design.

Kache says that as a child she was always crafty and love to paint anything that was visual. While in high school she thought that she wanted to take her crafty art skills and put them towards Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) so she went to college for that. While majoring in CADD in college, she had to take basic design classes which allowed her to be as creative as she wanted to be. Taking those basic design classes gave her a spark about what she wanted to do with her career, plus she was good at it, she says. During college, Kache says that she met owner of Trendsetting Design and begin working for the owner as co-designer. While working for Trendsetting Design she realized that if you followed your passion it would never be considered work, says Kache.

Her Logo
2. Tell me about your business

Kbyrd Creative Design is the name of her design business. Kbyrd is a creative design company that is geared towards graphic design. Kbyrd is focused on marketing, graphic design, advertising, and branding. Kbyrd is also her personal portfolio, she says.

3. How do you obtain clients?

Kache says that she obtains her clients by different social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Elance. She said that she also obtains her clients by Linkedin and word of mouth.

4. How do you set yours prices?

Kache sets her prices by hourly rates because she pretty much knows how long it is going to take her to do a design. Although her prices may vary because of what she may be designing she is takes her job as if she is a entry level graphic designer a top design firm.

5. What is your day-to-day like?

Kache and her husband Anthony 
Kache's day-to-day life is attending to her daughter Chasity most of the day. In the early morning, before 7am she is sketching, sending mockups, responding to emails, and researching. In the afternoon, she is cooking dinner, cleaning, doing laundry, and on conference calls. In the evening, once Chasity is off to bed is when she really get her design work done. She sits on her computer and begin designing everything that she and the client talk about.

6. What advice would you give to an upcoming freelance designer?

Kache said, that her number one advice to freelance designer is to be unique, be original, and if your design doesn't work in black and white it's not a good design. As a designer should have your style and your own way of doing things, look for professional designers blog and their design process, she says. Kache says when it comes to designing work for clients to establish a great relationship with them, give them as much information as possible, be the expert of the design, and explain the use of all file formats for quality output.

7. How do you manage being a wife, mother, and a designer?

One of her many designs
Kache says she manages being a wife, mother, and a designer by balance, time management, and most important by having a schedule. Kache plans her day from the time she wakes up to the she goes to bed at night. Kache schedules when she is going to clean, cook, do laundry and design.

You can contact Kache Byrd on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Also look at her portfolio

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Freelancer Guide Part 2

Good Morning Designers!

I am back again to give you a couple of more steps on how to become a successful Freelance Designer and how to be great at it.

4. Networking is the key

 Networking is key on how to build your clientele. As a freelancer you should attend as many design conferences as possible. Secondly, you go to conferences that your client are attending, maybe they can introduce you to people who can use your services. Also, do some pro-bono work for charities and non-profits because that can lead to people who need your services.

5. Don't Ignore the Little Things

Do you have an signature in your email? You should have a signature in your email linking to your portfolio. I know it may sounds crazy but that is free marketing. Every time you are sending out or responding to emails they will see the link to your portfolio. Also, ask your friends and family can they spread the word to anybody that could use your services.

6.  Treat Your Clients Like Kings and Queens

You should treat your clients with the most respect and care when designing work for them. You never know who they are going to refer you, so go the extra mile to take care of them. Also, be mindful that because you are taking care of them doesn't mean they can take advantage of you.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Freelancer's Guide Part 1

Good Morning Designers!!

As the world around us changes, the more we adapt and we choose to find work on our own and for ourselves rather than for a permanent employer. The days are gone of the industrial revolution when you would get a job at an plant and work there all your life. Being freelance isn't just a walk in the park, it's a lot more challenging than working in an office for someone else. You don't just have the task before you to do, you also have to worry about what task comes after that and, if there isn't any, then go about finding the next job. When living a freelance life in a freelance world means you need to find your own clients. That's a lot more difficult than you imagine before you start out. It does get easier the more you do it. The more work you do the more work will come your way. Being a freelance designer you ask yourself how do I get clients? How can I be noticeable? Here is a Freelancer Guide that can help you:

1. Viral Video is your friend

You are probably thinking that is crazy, well it's not. Nowadays people are posting videos to Vine, Twitter, and Facebook each and everyday hoping that somebody would share, or repost there video. If you can create an entertaining video that is in some way related to what you do, what ever it is you're selling, then you'll wind with a lot of leads should it go viral. Also, promote the video on Facebook, I know it costs to promote on Facebook, but that is something that you have to think of when trying get clients.

2. Referrals

You may often here that the world is such a small place, well it is a small place. You may ask how do I get people to refer to me to a client? Well, that's easy. You have friends, family, neighbors, church members, etc. that know people that you might not know and refer them to you for design work. Also, these same people can help promote you as designer by having a couple of your business cards, reposting or sharing your videos on different social networks.

3. Job Boards

When you are first staring out as a freelance designer, you should be checking job boards. If you're creative, check out the job board at Behance, Craiglist, Elance, and other job board sites. These are great websites that are always looking for freelance designers. Also, this is a great way to gain loyal customers and to get your name of there.


Why You Shouldn't Fear Outsourcing Design?

Often times as a freelance designer you might be asked to do something that you can not complete or you might be overwhelmed with one project that you might not be able to complete another. Well that is when you outsource to another designer although you and other freelance designers are in competition with each other, it's still important to know that you have help when needed. Here are a few tips of why outsourcing isn't that bad:

1. Outsourcing 'grunt work' makes business sense.

If you're going to be a successful designer you need to be a business-owner first, and a designer second. I know that may sounds crazy but as a freelancer you need to think like a CEO, you need to focus on building your business by designing.  Hiring a couple of outside designers to work for you isn't bad at all because at the end of the day they are working for you because you hired them.

2. You can't run a business if you're run by fear.

Fear makes you inelastic and less responsive to change. It makes you focus on the threats and it stops you from seeing the opportunities. And, in the business world, if you can't adapt you're history. For example, think about the silent movie stars of yesteryear when "walkie talkies" were invented. Those who accepted and adapted to the new technology thrived, and those who didn't quickly became a memory. Who do you want to be?

3. Outsourcing makes your life easier (sometimes).

It's usually this fun stuff that is more high-value and will add more to your bottom line so create a list of what you love doing and delegate the res. By outsourcing selected tasks you can choose your projects, and you can focus on what you enjoy. Once you've found your outsourced worker, the whole process is easy to manage with online project management software like Wrike, Basecamp, or TeamworkPM.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

How To Give Yourself A Promotion As A Freelancers?

Do you deserve a promotion in your freelance design business? If so, how are you doing it? This week I was approached by a client to build a them a Wordpress website and redesigning of the logo. After, meeting with them and talking about deadlines and prices. I thought to myself am I charging to them too much then I thought about all the hard, sweat, and tears that I will be putting into the project. Also, remember reading an article saying how to give yourself a promotion as a freelance designer. This article gives you three tips on how to give yourself a promotion as a freelancer.

1. Promote yourself to a management position

Bring on more clients and increase your income while still remaining small. Promote yourself from "freelance designer" to "freelance creative director". Hiring other freelancers to do some of the work that beings drudgery to your freelance lifestyle can breathe new life into your work, your attitude, and your outlook on your business.

2. Promote yourself to work on your "top accounts"

Typically in an design agency the most talented person works with the best client. As a freelancer you should do the same. In order to that you will need to outsource your difficult clients.

3. Increase your paycheck and reduce your weekly work hours

Find design jobs that allow to make money multiple times on the same project. Whether your designing Wordpress themes and sell them over and over again on sites like MojoThemes, sell stock design, desing and sell products like apparel, or any other of the thousands of options, passive income can be one of the most gratifying parts of running a business.

Friday, February 21, 2014

How To Become A Freelance Designer

Hello World!

Being a freelance designer can be fun and difficult at times, you may ask yourself a couple of questions, How can I become a successful designer? How do I get clients? How can I make money? I ask these questions because as a freelance designer some people may think that you just sit at home in your pajamas all day and work at your own pace. Which can be true, but at the same time it is false, you do have deadlines to meet with your work.

How can I become a successful designer?

When first starting out as a freelance designer, I recommend that you start slow, don't just up and quit your day job (unless you don't have one). I recommend that you work and do design jobs on the side for two reasons: to see how much you can handle and to gain clients. I know that may sound insane but freelance designer are always working on more than one project at the same time. Once, gain enough experience and clients then you can quit your job and work full time as a freelancer.

How do I get clients?

When looking to find clients, there are so many different ways to find them. You can look on Google, Craiglist, and Twitter. When looking on for a job on Google use Google Maps when looking on Google Maps, search for businesses in your area that could possibly use your services. You can search for design firms, print companies, marketing agencies and anything that you think could your skills can be used at. Once, you are done searching and you find a business that you think could use your service send them an email introducing yourself and your work. As for Craiglist, their is always somebody up there posting that they need graphic designer services. Using Twitter, can make connection to design companies as well as help you get a design. Many different marketing companies post that are looking for a freelance designer a project. Also, there are a lot design contest that are being posted on Twitter. By doing all of these daily you will be sure to find clients.

How can I make money?

As a freelancer everything is coming out of you pocket. So when you are setting your rates please remember that you are  paying for all coverages. So you need to make sure that your are covering all these in your pricing. That doesn't mean charge a lot for design, but charge enough to make sure that you are covering all fees.

Please remember as freelance design you do need the latest software to design.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Who Should Care More About Your Design: You or Your Client?

For this article, the writer Addison Duvall proposes the question Who should care more about your design, you or your client? Many designer stress that it's the client's needs and desires of which should come first, no matter what. Duvall says," As the designer, your name is attached to everything you produce, and your reputation as a competent professional is tested each time one of your designs goes public."

Duvall explains that as the designer you should take pride and joy in every design that you do and know that your clients would cherish your design as much as you would. She also, say that when you are producing and putting work in your portfolio it should be an accurate reflection of you styles and values, which send a clear message to potential clients.

It is the client who has the final say so whether your design vision gets to see the light of day. This is only fair, it's their business that your design is representing.

8 Ways To Brand Yourself and Your Freelancing Business

Being a freelance designer you need to develop a brand identity for yourself and your business, so you can have clients to continue to reach out to you. This article gives great ways to brand yourself, your business, and develop your own style as freelance designer.
  1. Define your business 
  2. Define your audience
  3. The business name
  4. The logo
  5. Your website design, business card design, and everything else
  6. Write an elevator pitch
  7. Write an about page
  8. Get client to reach you