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.