Creative Industry Related Information for Graphic Designers & Web Designers!
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There are no Standards on Pay for Graphic Designers

Posted: September 1st, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Finance and Loans | Tags: , | No Comments »

What happened to Aiga.org, they used to serve this industry fairly well 10 years or so ago fighting for designers, but they’ve become a useless organization for creative pros.

I think it’s time we build an organization or create a Union to help designers get the pay they deserve. This is hard to do, but this industry is suffering more and more every year.

So many designers have bachelors degrees, or years of experience, but the market does not back them up, businesses just want cheap labor.

Designer pay has been about the same as it was since about 2003. Almost 20 years later and the majority of salaries or freelance wages have staid the same.

Just remember this, you would not have your business without graphic design. Your brand would fail, your marketing collateral would not exist, your product packaging would never be on display nor would you have a company website or online presence.

Graphic designers are a crucial part of a business. Treat them with respect.


Graphic Design Slave Labor

Posted: August 24th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Quick Blurbs | No Comments »

My rant for the day….

Low class company (The Social Robin – Dallas, TX) offering slave labor wages for a graphic design position in Dallas, TX. They want to pay up to $10 per hour for 1-2 years of experience as a graphic designer. You have to travel some which will take up your entire $10 for one hour just to drive to Dallas. Plus, you have to bring your own equipment. What a bunch of cheap ass wipes!

These companies should be ashamed of themselves. I will shame every company I find online doing this to graphic designers.

View the job post below and pass along the shame!
https://tinyurl.com/y5oveary

@thesocialrobin


Design by Committee

Posted: August 24th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Design, Funny Stuff | No Comments »

And more corporate idiots making design decisions.


The Process – Designing a Stop Sign by Committee

Posted: August 24th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Design, Funny Stuff | No Comments »

The failure of working with a group of corporate idiots!


Top 6 Design Programs for Businesses

Posted: August 19th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Design, Software | Tags: | No Comments »
Graphic Design Software
Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Whether it is through the beauty of a book’s cover art or the glitter of a commercial poster, the power of images is invaluable to businesses for marketing, communications and other essential functions. To create stunning images, you’ll need a reliable design program and there are certainly many of them around.

This large range of choice, however, presents its own issue. How do you know which program is right for your business? Let’s take a look at the 6 best design programs for businesses.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a graphic design and editing program that started primarily as a raster graphics program and soon grew into the most prominent name in the industry. Its popularity has led to its name being used in connection with design and editing software in general as in: ‘a photoshopped image’, ‘a good photoshop program,’ or ‘I want to photoshop a picture’.

Photoshop is capable of multi-layer editing and can be used with various colour models including RGB, CIELAB, CMYK, and Duotone. It also supports masks and alpha compositing. From a student working on their academic project, to a business organisation that creates stunning, professional-level stickers, to a photographer looking for that refined touch to the captured images, no one can deny the enormous value of Photoshop.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is a leading program for layout and page design which can be used to create and publish books, e-books, colourful digital magazines, interactive PDF documents, posters and more. The publishing industry was greatly influenced by its introduction in 1999. Today, millions of professionals rely on its wide range of features to take their publishing endeavours to the next level.

It allows you to use images from Adobe Stock or other sources and with Adobe Experience Manager, handling production is a breeze. You can use it in tandem with Adobe Creative Cloud to easily share your work across all your projects.

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is an excellent graphic design and editing suite for MS Windows used for professional vector designing, high-quality typography and photo editing. Its pen and touch functions, support for Microsoft Surface Dial and Windows colour management make it a perfect Windows companion. It is an all-purpose tool finding application from apparel design to technical schematic creation and from signage to branding and marketing.

The graphics suite is a basket of various CorelDRAW programs such as the primary CorelDRAW itself that provides graphic design and layout capabilities and Corel PHOTO-PAINT that incorporates photo-editing into the workflow. Other components in the package include CorelDRAW.app, Corel Front Manager, CAPTURE and Aftershot 3 HDR. Leveraging emerging technologies like AI and compatibility with countless file formats have made it a universally powerful digital design tool.

Affinity Designer

Though a new entrant in the field launched only five years ago, Affinity Designer is an award-winning program from Apple, PC PRO and Digital Arts. It focuses on real-time functionality, smooth workflow features and a high level of flexibility. The file formats work seamlessly across different platforms such as Windows, Mac and iPad.

The software provides an amazing collection of elements for smooth vector design, photo-editing, typography or game creation. With capabilities of handling thousands of objects without lag and highly complex documents, it is indeed a program suitable for today’s fast-paced design world. Single-click switching between diverse functions, more than a million times zoom feature, and unlimited artboards are other valuable features.

Inkscape

Inkscape is a powerful and at the same time free-to-use digital design tool for creating vector graphics of excellent quality. The program has ‘Draw freely’ as its tagline and works reflecting its open source standards. It is free to download and use and is compatible with GNU/Linux, Mac OS and Windows.

The major specialization of Inkscape is vector design which has a large number of applications including branding/ marketing, cartoons and games, web design graphics and engineering and CAD drawings. Inkscape is a place where you can learn, develop and contribute, all for free. It also has a thriving community of enthusiastic users including developers that keep improving its features. The Community Gallery showcases the creations of numerous active members.

Sketch

Sketch specializes in features facilitating teamwork and high levels of collaboration. You are free to use the existing readymade components or build your own. Moreover, you can create your own custom rules and system that can be understood easily by your team and collaborators. With Sketch, you can design, create and modify in a combined fashion with your team, whether you are building an interactive prototype or a functioning vector.

Scalability is one special feature provided by Sketch that helps you create something small and easily develop it into the full-fledged form you want. You can then replace it with all elements in the previous form with a single function. Live data interactions is also possible, thanks to a collection of useful plugins and integrative features.

Regardless of your business or sector, you’ll find a graphic design and editing program that suits your needs. Though these programs have common features such as photo editing, vector design and typography, the approach and presentation can differ from one to other. Each program can also have a specific orientation or focus on a certain philosophy or methodology like team collaboration, smooth workflow or cross-platform functionality. That’s why it’s important to do your research and find the perfect design program for your business.


Registering a Business Name

Posted: August 6th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Business | No Comments »
Graphic Design web design

Registering a business in my county is one thing, but what about finding a name for online purposes? What if the name is fine for the county, but there is another company with the same name on the Web? Would I have to find another name for my company if I want to go online?

Well, it is best to find a domain that matches your company name. If not, then you don’t have a brand identity. My suggestion is to find a name that works on the Web and for the company too. Plus, you need to make sure clients don’t get confused if there is another business using the same name even if that business is not in the same town or state.


Pricing an Annual Report

Posted: August 6th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Business | Tags: | No Comments »
annual-report design pricing

A company wants to hire me to do their 10th financial report. I’m trying to figure out my price for them (I’ve never worked for them so I don’t know how time consuming of a client they are). It would be 30-40 pages (4 color) and I would be responsible for:

  • Creative and art direction (conceptual, photoshoots, etc.)
  • Design (2 initial designs and meetings to come to a final approval)
  • Project management/trafficking (scheduling project, interacting with printer and photographer)
  • Production (layout, corrections, preparing for printer, releasing, checking proofs)
  • Press checks (on site checking print quality and approving).

The conceptual and design would be done over the next 3 months (just to set the scheduling, decide on concept, design, and approval — probably about 50-100 hours total). Then I would be working on production, design (always some more), project management, and press checks in June, July, and August (perhaps about 360 hours — based on 30 hours a week for 12 weeks). This is a rough hour assessment which would total 460 hours. It could go drastically up or down depending on the client.

My questions:

  1. WHAT IS THE STANDARD FEE FOR THIS SERVICE IN THE NEW YORK CITY AREA FOR THIS PROJECT?
  2. WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST I BILL THE CLIENT CONSIDERING I AM COMPLETELY
    COMPETENT AND EXPERIENCED IN EVERY AREA THEY NEED?
  3. HOW DO I PRESENT THEM WITH THE FINAL PROPOSAL?

My personal background — generally I charge by the hour, 50/h is absolute minimum for straight production but design/art direction goes up to 100/h. I am basing my rates on my experience and standard New York City pricing.

Answers to Your Questions

I am not based in New York and have no standard fee knowledge of what the going rate is for an annual report there. However, I suspect that the costs are very similar to my area which is Dallas Texas. As for the time you are planning to put in (360 to 460 hours) is quite a lot. Most companies are not willing to spend $30,000 on an annual report unless they are hiring a large firm like DDB that would have a staff of 10 or more working on the project, including copy writing and more. My suggestions below reflects what I would charge in my one person studio. My pricing also does not reflect copy writing, the client must provide this service.

Also, the time frame of 3 months is quite a long time to continue on a project. You need to force your client to try to get everything approved for final design within a month. On the second month, they should finalize and go to press. The more room you give your client to make changes and stuff, the longer the project will be and the more mistakes will happen.

Listed below is what I suggest for pricing. However, since the company is a non-profit, they will be tight on cash, even if they are a large company.

WHAT IS THE STANDARD FEE FOR THIS SERVICE IN THE NEW YORK CITY AREA FOR THIS PROJECT?

Photo shoot
Cost per day photo shoot direction = $1,000 (10 hours, does not include photographers fees, development or photo retouching)

Project Management/Working with Printer/Press Checks
Cost = $1,000 (10 hours)

Design/Production/Art Direction/Concept/Proofing
Per page cost = $300 to $400 (40 pages / 3-4 hours per page)
Total cost = $12,000 to $16,000

Revisions/Alterations/Changes/
First 3-4 hours no charge
Cost over 4 hours billed at = $100 per hour

Total approx. cost of annual report = $12,000 to $18,000

WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST I BILL THE CLIENT CONSIDERING I AM COMPLETELY COMPETENT AND EXPERIENCED IN EVERY AREA THEY NEED?

I suggest you bill between $12,000 and $18,000 for a very high quality annual report. This depends on what you think they would feel comfortable spending and how much you feel you could cut in order to get the job. Don’t forget you still have a photographer you have to pay – that will be in addition to your total cost.

HOW DO I PRESENT THEM WITH THE FINAL PROPOSAL?

Present them with 2 options on price range, and let them know you would be flexible based on what they need. Many clients have big eyes on what they want to do until the pricing closes them. Don’t be so set in stone about your pricing, give them options on where they can save money and still get a great product. Remember to take care of yourself and make money. Nothing is worse than working on a project that you underbid on.

I used my base rate of $100 an hour, but to get the job, I would be willing to go down to about $60 to $75 an hour. You might even consider doing a flat $60 to $75 per hour and put them on a retainer and charge them hourly.


3 Ways How Great UX/UI Can Generate More Traffic For Your Site

Posted: July 21st, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Articles, Design, SEO Marketing | No Comments »

UX/UI designs are like ‘vitamins’ to traffic feeds. A change agent to engage your web traffic with a unique experience.

web design, search engine optimization, marketing

Source

Today search engines are training Algos to be more ‘sapio-pathic’ for traffic retention. Allowing empathetic websites for more organic click-through action. Interactive fit-bits call for User experience designs (UXDs) that match the tone for the served contents. Designs that speak through aesthetics, and layouts that foretell the wants and needs. 

If you are getting high traffic but no business, then it’s high time to rethink your website design.

Don’t worry, there is no need to redesign from scratch. Rather UX/UID makeovers allow more accessibility to your website contents. An interactive Graphical User Interface (GUI) that lingers and ensues longer interactive sessions. Of course, a great way to tap the mobile net surfers and users. Because bigger fonts, a background shader, or a ‘read aloud’ option is fun to fetish.

Know how UX/UI web designs are tapping the ranking factors for future SEO specialists. Here I am leaving 3 pro-tips to steam your interest over UX/UI designs.

Before that, know few traded false-beliefs about UI/UX design fidelity which needs to busting 

  • White space is never a waste space 
  • Simple designs equal to fewer elements 
  • UX is only for usability 
  • All web users are readers 
  • Need for 100% design originality 
  • The Ultimate 3-click rule for web navigation 

Now feel smarter. Smash the UX/UI bluffs who try to pitch such fossil ideas. 

Moving on….. UX/UI – 

Improves SEO 

User Experience (UX) ensures a ‘longer’ click-through.

UX Design, UI Design, User Experience (UX)

Source

A User-friendly design will make your users obsess over your website. For all ‘content is king’ influencers out there, trust the design aesthetics. Rich web designs with easy navigation, less page-load time, and optimized to fit any screens are a must to stage your content. 

Kill the negative space on your website! UXDs understand that visual organization of web layouts will generate more leads. Serving not only the purpose of more content visibility but also increases the conversion rate for the users.

A successful landing page conversion strategy will debunk the contenders in the market. And when your web designs resonate with your visitors, you are all set for the long run. Be it event call-outs, awareness campaigns, or delivering opinions, you will always have enough virtual attendees for participation.

Is Intra-Personal 

Use templates that speak user-sentiments.

It is very likely that a researcher who landed at your website, hungry for answers and yet not contented. You might think that you lost a lead, this is where one can go wrong. Redirect the lead towards other curated contents. With which you can transform slug moments into a head-turning event. 

Ask your visitor what they are looking for. Plant a few relatable blue links or consider a UX Design suite for your website.

Whereas using Interactive templates, you can churn-up endless possibilities. Small survey boxes to get the user’s views, a panel window with many FAQs, or even tips to improve searches online. 

You might be thinking that aligning such concepts within a single-window view is an impossible feat. Instead, ask a professional UX designer to chalk-out an engagement plan for your organic web visitors. The clutter-free designs will promise an immersive user interface that adjusts the eyeballs screening the contents. 

Acts-Out Emotions 

Who doesn’t like to click on jolly features? Or play with elements that animate when touched? Narrating one of my personal experiences where the pet-care website had a ‘waking dog’ cursor when you land on their web page. A minute detail has touched this pet-lovers heart and that’s how UI designs imprint on visitors. 

In developing quality user facets, User Experience designers rely on evidence decked by behavioral sciences. Take Nielsen Norman for example, how his design team works on evidence-based UX designs by collecting proof of events on user testing and behavior. 

Ending with a happy note for the crawlers who are reading the article, look out for SEO – UX/UI collabs. The integrated application is revolutionizing the concept of what the web designs were yesterday and are now. 


Letterpress Business Card Printing with 5 Pantone Colors!

Posted: July 20th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Design, Really Cool Stuff | No Comments »

Why Tech’s Favorite Color is Making us all Miserable

Posted: July 20th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Design | No Comments »

The cold blue light of modern touchscreens may be aesthetically pleasing, but it poses health problems. Designers and technologists should take cues from military history and embrace the orange.

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