Why designers should consider tolerating spec work

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Spec Work has always been a controversial subject in the world of design. Why should you work with no guarantee of getting paid? Many designers claim that it signals the end of the industry. To me, however, it’s the future of the industry. What is Spec Work? Spec work, or speculative work, to refer to its full name, is the process of doing design work with no contract or any guarantee of getting paid – If the client likes it,

6 Questions to ask yourself before attempting a redesign

Recently, I asked all my friends* on twitter what sorts of articles they would like to read about here on GDB. One friend suggested a sort of checklist-style article about preparing for a redesign. Hence the following article. If you would like to suggest a topic for discussion and exploration here at GDB, head on over to our contact page, facebook fan page, or @mention me on twitter and we’ll try to help you out! (Also, to whomever requested this

How to turn design clients into raving fans who bring you more business

Lately my business partner and I have been going to quite a few networking events – some that are more casual mixers, and others that are more formal. Through these events come opportunities to interact with good people. In speaking with many of these people, I’ve noticed an underlying attitude that can be summed up in one sentence: “what can I get from this person?” or “how can this person benefit me?” If you hold this same kind of attitude,

How to make your logo design process more profitable

The other day, I was visiting with a fellow designer who commented to me that they had recently completed a logo design project for which they collected very little money. Now, don’t get me wrong, it was more than $5 or some ridiculously small amount, but this designer felt like they should have been paid a lot more for all the work he put into designing this logo. I agreed with him. Surely this has happened to you or another

How having the right people around you can boost design business

One of the things about being a freelancer is you end up spending a lot of time alone. After all, you work at your computer, at home, or in cafes, and only you and your expertise are required in order to have a fully-operational business. But it doesn’t have to be that way. For a long time I bought into a lot of self-help guides and motivational speakers who said, “You only need yourself. Other people are nice – but

What’s really keeping you from freelancing?

I‘ve been there before. You wake up every morning, dreading the day ahead of you. You drag yourself into work, find a pile of sticky notes on your desk, make it through lunch, and work through the afternoon looking at the clock every 30 minutes. Every day on the drive home you think to yourself, “Man, I should really quit and just start my own business”. While I am a big fan of a steady job, sometimes freelancing can be

Are you taking enough time to build your design business?

Not long ago, I read the E-Myth Revisited (affiliate link), a phenomenal book about entrepreneurship. One of the most life-changing (or I guess you could say business-changing) concepts understood from the book was the importance taking time to build your business. Many entrepreneurs spend too much time working in their business instead of working on their business. This article will explore the best ways to build your design business while still finding time to do what you enjoy most: designing.

11 ways to grow your design business in less than an hour

Whether you are working as a freelance designer, in a design firm, or otherwise, it’s important to be able to help your design business grow on a regular basis. But let’s face it, marketing your design business frequently becomes the “project you’ll get to when you have time”. Since no one is directly paying you for the time you spend building your business, it often gets pushed aside. This article covers 11 simple tips that can build your design business