55+ Questions to ask when designing a logo

There are lots of questions to be asked when preparing to design a logo.  I do NOT suggest you ask a client all of these questions, but hope that this list will help you think of a few useful questions you’ve never considered before. I have broken them up into 5 categories: company/organization questions, branding questions, design preferences, target audience, budgets & proofing. Company/organization details What is your company/organization/product name? What sets your company apart from others? What services or

Balancing speed, cost, and quality in graphic design

“Choose the best two out of three.” That’s the advice I frequently give my clients. On almost a daily basis I deal with clients who want high quality work done “as soon as possible” and “for cheap”. Unfortunately finding a perfect balance of speed, quality and cost in graphic design is virtually impossible. Let me explain: Speed and low costs mean the quality will suffer This is the most frequent request I get as a graphic designer. “Can we have

Ridiculous client requests (and how to reason with them)

Ridiculous Request #1: Can you show me how you would do this project before I hire you? Unless you are a fan of doing work without getting paid, the answer to this should be a respectful “no”.  This question is simply a request to do spec work disguised as a reasonable request. Solution: The Ice Cream Store Analogy I like to use the ice cream store analogy. “Design is like an ice cream store,” I tell them, “You wouldn’t be

Three rungs on the creative ladder of success

Climbing the ladder of success in the creative industry  can be a tricky journey. In February, I visited WONGDOODY, a creative agency in Seattle, Washington where I asked Shaun Moshay, an account director at WONGDOODY, what three attributes I should possess if I wanted have his job some day. More or less, this is what he told me: Rung #1. Demonstrate Writing Skills. Working at a creative agency doesn’t mean just designing or simply brainstorming all day. It involves writing emails, giving

Why failure is a good thing in the creative business

Failure. It’s something we are all afraid of. It can, however, be an effective tool in helping you progress quickly in the creative industry. The following article will teach you why failure is not something you should fear, but something you should cherish. Some clarification Before really diving in, let me make one thing clear: Failure is a good thing as long as you keep trying. Once you let failure overcome you to the point where you quit, then it

25 Attributes employers look for when hiring creative people

Recently I have written a lot of articles about the various creative agencies I visited in Seattle, Washington.  At each agency, I asked the creative professionals which attributes they considered vital for someone in a creative profession. Below is a list of the wide variety of answers I received. 25 Attributes and Abilities all creative professionals should possess. (in no particular order) Weber Shandwick 1.    Be motivated and eager to learn 2.    Be Organized

The ideal creative professional – Are you one?

The ideal creative professional = General Education + Professional Education I recently had the privilege of meeting with Jim Copacino, cofounder of Copacino + Fujikado, a world-class advertising agency in Seattle, Washington.  Upon asking him what attributes he considered to be most important, he said to be equally educated both generally and professionally. Where professional education and general education meet, creatives flourish. This article will teach you what General and Professional Education are and why it is important to get

What professionals look for in a creative portfolio

I recently had a chance to meet with Ramon Vasquez, one of the lead designers at Creature, a world-class creative boutique and advertising agency based out of Seattle, Washington. He mentioned that he had received three creative portfolios that day and only liked the work found in one of them. He showed me the portfolio and I asked why it was so much better than the other two. The secret, he said in essence, is to show a complete creative