Custom blog post designs: pros, cons, and best practices

A hot topic among blogging designers is whether or not to create custom blog post designs. If you are unfamiliar with the concept behind custom blog post designs, check out HeartDirected.com, a recent gallery site started by DesignInformer.com‘s Jad Limcaco. Custom designed blog posts can be a great addition to any blog, but I also started thinking the other day about a few setbacks that custom post designs might pose for blogging designers. Below I have compiled a few Pros

Is your design blog hurting your design business?

Whether you are part of a design firm or an independent freelance designer, chances are you blog about design. The design community is enormous and (dare I say) millions of designers share their thoughts online every week. But have you ever paused to consider whether your design blog is helping or hurting your design business? This article will focus on the pro’s and con’s of managing a design blog: ways it might help or hurt your design business. Ways a

Design Essentials 3: Accepting Criticism

In the previous two chapters of Design Essentials, we covered topics that dealt with the quality of your design: Originality, and Attention to Detail. While today’s essential design tip will help your designs look better in the long-run, this chapter deals primarily with the design process and how to openly accept criticism of your designs. Good criticism vs. Bad criticism First, it’s important to understand that there is good criticism and bad criticism. Accepting criticism does not mean you have

Building your freelance design business by outsourcing

Studies show that nearly 70% of readers here at Graphic Design Blender either own their own freelance design business or hope to start freelancing in the near future. Something that many freelancers fail to do, however, is work effectively with others to reduce workload and increase income. If you’re anything like me, you started your freelance career with hopes of getting paid to do what you love most while maintaining a fairly flexible schedule. Unfortunately, you only have so many

Designing through the eyes of a non-designer

Think of your favorite children’s song. Now grab a coworker and tap the tune of the song on their hand while you sing it silently to yourself. After you finish, ask them to name the song you just tapped out. According to “Made to Stick“, a book I recently read about why some ideas thrive and others fail, your friend will most likely not know which song you were tapping. Why? The curse of knowledge. The designer’s curse of knowledge

Finding your voice in the design community

If the online design community were an actual city, it would be a thriving metropolis. Complete with skyscrapers, huge arenas and enormous shopping centers. But as in any large community, the value of the community lies in each person–each individual, contributing member.Sometimes you may feel like all the “skyscraper” designers crowd out your little back-alley shop or street-corner soapbox. Perhaps you blog and tweet trying to share your opinion in the design community but people figuratively walk by, occasionally dropping

Design Essentials 2: Originality

This chapter of Design Essentials will cover the topic of  Originality in design. Originality is the ability to think independently and creatively. So why is it so important that we, as designers, are original thinkers? Put most simply, original designs are more effective. Let’s take a look at the concept of originality in design: But don’t great designers copy? It’s been a popular topic of discussion here on GDB and throughout the design community: do great designers really copy other

Design Essentials 1: Attention to detail

This chapter of Design Essentials focuses on Attention to Detail and the important role it plays in the design process. Attention to detail makes for a better experience in any industry. A candy on your pillow at the hotel or a mint with your check at a restaurant makes for a more enjoyable traveling experience. Detectives and law officials know that it is in the details of a crime scene that they find success. Engineers and architects know that the