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

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work in-house

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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plant

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?

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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

Business tips from 4 creative pros who are crushing it

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tipsfromtop

As I mentioned before in this post, recently I interviewed 9 amazing veteran freelancers, each on a different challenging topic they have personal experience excelling in. From hiring employees to overcoming self-doubt, here are bits of the wonderful information four of them had to share (more coming soon): On finding your niche and marketing to it Veteran marketing and SEO specialist Becky Livingston (interview here), founder of Penheel Marketing, shares her story about identifying a need in the marketplace and using

Why you should design your next website in one weekend

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weekend project

Just about anything worthwhile can be created in one weekend. That was basically the message I got from a recent Fizzle interview with Gumroad founder, Sahil Lavingia. Sahil used to work as a designer at Pinterest and left that gig to start his own venture: Gumroad. Coined as the “PayPal killer,” Gumroad combines extremely simple product sales interface with amazing (and simple) design. So it’s fair to say Sahil knows something about design and business. Gumroad has already been incredibly successful. And

Why I never design the home page first (and which page I design before anything else)

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why i never design the home page first

I’m in the middle of a huge redesign for a web site that gets hundreds of thousands (and sometimes millions) of monthly visits. It’s a big deal. And it’s pretty stressful. But if you’ve ever done any sort of redesign (maybe you’ve redesigned your online portfolio?), you know that it’s also exhilarating. And the best projects seem to be just that: exhilarating, yet exhausting. That’s how I know I’m doing work that matters and work that I love. As I

6 Places to find creative inspiration without wifi

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creativity without wifi

Designers and freelancers in general need a little help staying inspired from time to time. We all have places we like to browse while brainstorming; you never know what’s going to spark the perfect idea for you. The internet is a wonderful resource for creative inspiration. It gives you access to more information in one place than any other medium. It also has a huge flaw. It’s home to more distractions than any other form of inspiration. Because so many

Why you’re getting responsive design all wrong (and 8 ways to rock mobile)

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Young woman using a tablet on the sofa

Remember those silly mobile themes that used to be popular a couple of years ago? You know what I’m talking about… Awful, ain’t it? This is beyond me … why would anyone put such a thing on their site? There’s no branding whatsoever, it’s ugly, and gives you no continuity across various platforms. In other words, if someone visited your site on mobile and then on desktop, they wouldn’t be able to guess it’s the same site. Thankfully, those mobile

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