How to create a killer branding questionnaire

SONY DSC

Walking with your eyes closed is pretty tough, right? Designing without adequate information is fraught with danger, too, and this is why every designer should develop a branding questionnaire. So to help you create one that’s sure to improve your productivity and cut down on time wasted veering to a new course halfway through the design process, I’m sharing my branding questionnaire below. Feel free to incorporate the best elements into yours. Is a questionnaire really that important? When a prospective client first

Reboot your holiday brain with this fun 5-minute creative exercise!

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Like many of you, I’m just starting to emerge from the mayhem of the holiday season, when we’re all attempting to wrangle an even taller tower of spinning plates than usual. Maybe you finished up 2014 with some last-minute, urgent jobs that kept you up late, trying to clear the decks before the relatives arrived. And you’re starting 2015 at full speed, with twelve jobs lined up that need attention ASAP. (You did implement a rush charge for those last-minute,

5 Graphic design tips to shave hours off your work week

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If you work in graphic design, you’re probably only too well aware of the value of good time management. Graphic designers are required to work tight deadlines and navigate around very busy schedules to get projects completed. Shaving even a couple of minutes off design time here and there can benefit your ability to apply yourself fully to a project. What if we were to tell you that there are ways of shaving a couple of hours off your busy

Simple InDesign tricks to speed up workflow (and get you paid faster)

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Like many designers, I learned InDesign by leaping headfirst into it and figuring it out as I went. (In my case, I transitioned from the Illustrator-centric package design world to the InDesign-centric marketing design world.) I started with the immediate, need-to-know functions. As time went by, I snooped around and learned some simple ways to make InDesign work more effectively for me. What a difference those techniques have made! If I go back into files that I created long ago,

11 Free must-have WordPress plugins that make client customizations super simple

WordPress plugins

Fellow WordPress designers and developers: Doesn’t it just make your day (week) when you find the handiest new plugin?* Something vetted by someone who has used it before. Something that wraps up a handful of hacked-together plugins into one sweet bundle. Something that will improve your efficiency and speed on at least 3 of your clients’ websites just off the top of your head. *Not sure what all this plugin-talk means for you? Check out this post and this post

Back to the cubicle?! 6 Reasons to work in-house (at least part-time)

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A design manager recently told me that he has a hard time finding good freelancers who are willing to work in-house. This is at a very well-respected marketing communications firm in Portland, Maine – a town bursting with designers. Why is he having this problem? All jokes aside about freelance designers living in their pjs, it may be time for you to consider working in-house. Maybe you spent years in a corporate or agency setting with the goal of making

No one taking you seriously? Here’s how to position yourself as an expert for massive credibility and respect

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Back in the early days of our creative marketing business, Clients from Hell was a gift from the universe. It kept me sane, reading all of those stories from fellow comrades in arms. Now, however, I have a much different take on that site and others like it. What I once saw as a safe haven of a website where I could cope with the “realities” of our industry I now see as a place packed with professionals who just

Are client emails binding contracts?

Email Clients

A couple weeks ago, Karol wrote a great post about not getting cheated by your design clients. In that post, we recommended (as we always do) that you have a signed contract with most of your clients. But in the comments on that post, we had a fascinating question posted by GDB reader Ranjit that said this: Would emails and all other correspondence between client and designer not act as some sort of contract? I found Ranjit’s question extremely important