How to thank your best clients this year (without going broke)

reward your best clients

Can you believe it’s already December? If you’re like me, you’re scrambling to put together something for your best clients in time for the holidays. But what to do? And how can you afford it – December generally being a slower month for designers* (and generally more expensive in our personal lives)? You’re in luck…I’ve done the research for you. (If only all research included scouring Pinterest!) Here are a number of fun, crafty, tasty, and most importantly inexpensive holiday

How to start a successful business when you’re not an expert at anything

dont need to be an expert to start a business graphic design blender

It’s a common voice all entrepreneurs hear inside their heads: “Will anyone actually pay me real money for this?” “Why would anyone pay me when there are so many other experts out there?” “Who am I to build a business around what I love to do?” If you’ve ever given in to these kinds of thoughts, you’re fooling yourself. You’re tricking yourself into believing you can’t do it. You’re lying to yourself when you say you aren’t enough of an expert to build

13 Signs You’re a Design Slacker (And How to Step Up Your Game)

signs you're a design slacker graphic design blender

Admit it. There have been nights you’ve gone to bed without brushing your teeth. Some days you skip washing your hair. (I’ve just discovered dry shampoo and I’m embarrassed to say I use it, but hey, this mini-mohawk is temperamental so desperate measures are required when I’m in a hurry). Other times, you ventured out wearing the same underwear cos you’ve fallen behind with the laundry. Eww, I know, but whatareya gonna do? Go commando? Come on admit it, we’ve

100 Creative holiday gifts for freelancers

holiday gifts for freelancers graphic design blender

As freelancers we are busy, picky, and at times eccentric. What a nightmare to buy for! So, if you’re shopping for fellow freelancers, a designer friend or co-worker, or just looking to treat yourself for the holidays, you’re in luck! Today, we’ve got you covered with a list of 100 Creative holiday gifts for freelancers. Take a look and then add your must-have holiday gift by leaving a comment. We’ve broken them down into 5 main categories (click link to jump): On

How to give constructive criticism without being a jerk

critique without being a jerk graphic design blender

Have you ever been asked to critique a fellow designer’s project that needs more than a little bit of work? You don’t want to come off as snooty or rude and you certainly don’t want to hurt their feelings, but you do need to make it clear that there are several improvements that could be made. And while your mind automatically wants to mess around with it on your own, it’s not your project, so what you’re really looking to

How business plans actually hold back many entrepreneurs

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There are a lot of reasons you haven’t started your dream business yet. Maybe you think you need tons of money to get started (wrong). Maybe you think there aren’t enough hours in the day to make it happen (also wrong). Or maybe you think you need a seventy-page business plan in order to build a business that actually succeeds. PS: This post is the third in a series addressing common reasons entrepreneurs never get started on the business they

10 Embarrassing Examples of Designer Jargon You’ve Really Got to Stop Using

jargon you've got to stop using graphic design blender

Who decided jargon was a good thing? When did we start believing it made us look smarter? I don’t know about you but one of my biggest gripes as a designer is the amount of jargon I come across, especially in the web industry! I despise it so much, I actually created a strict ‘No Jargon Policy’ over at Web123 and I encourage my design partners to follow the same suite. If we absolutely must use jargon for some technical

Is following design trends good or bad for business?

IMG following design trends graphic design blender

Design, like most everything else, changes with the times. There are landmark art and design movements that we are taught about in school. These come about as there are massive shifts in technology and popular culture. There are also more fleeting, yearly and even monthly design trends that can be a lot tougher to keep up with. So should you even try to keep up with the latest trends? Keeping up can be a very positive thing. It makes the