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List of Monthly Drawing Challenges for WHOLE Year

After totally missing out on Inktober recently, I decided to seek out some other monthly challenges. Why shouldn't we have some set cha...

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Designer's Survival Guide: Thank you Richard Baird

Go here. Do it now.

This site has been sitting on my top bar in Chrome since... well since I've had Chrome. Which is a long while. I feel the need to pass it on and discuss it in all it's glory. If I ever were to make such a guide, I hope it will be as helpful to others as this one has been to me.

You may be asking yourself - "Why do I need a guide? I'm the most glorious designer that ever was and I have clients coming out the wazoo." Good for you. I hope a spider lays eggs in your ears. Show some humility! As for me, I grab at every 'guide' I can get my hands on because I don't want just one perspective, I want all the perspectives. I want to be prepared when I get that project that makes me jump through hoops or that client that doesn't has trouble communicating what they want. I want to know ALL the ways I can promote myself without blatantly advertising.

There are 22 categories now. When I first saved this site, I think there were half as many. I'll just touch on a few of my favorites.

  • Education - Obviously, I'm personally a bit beyond this issue now but this section still holds lots of useful information. Being a college-grown designer, I did loads of research into what I want out of a school for a graphic design degree and it astounded me how many schools I visited fell short of even the most basic standards. It was a lot of work but I feel I made a better choice because of it. And I didn't even want to be a Graphic Designer to begin with - I wanted to be an Herbologist... Anyway, I know some other folks that didn't need college or just took a couple courses here and there on specific programs (with the internet how it is now, you can learn all about the design programs without ever stepping in a classroom). I'm glad it's still acceptable to not have a degree and still be a great designer. 
  • Self-Promotion - SO IMPORTANT! I have witnessed a broad spectrum of types of self-promotion by freelancers and business owners. Sometimes it's dead-on. Sucks me in, makes me curious, establishes a sort of conversation/relationship. Sometimes it's just annoying. Like a person on a bus or train talking to everyone and no one about themselves and how deserving they are of your money. Of course sometimes I meet wonderful designers in my freelance travels, designers with a wealth of knowledge and a constant updating collection of wonderful work... but no one knows about it but me, the designer, and maybe they're cat. If you create things in any capacity, please read this guide. 
  • Pricing - I still struggle with this on a regular basis. The one system I always come back to was actually one recommended to me by an Etsy seller. (h * t) + m = x     Where h = per hour rate, whatever your time is worth to you. Be sure to think about taxes here, too! t = amount of time spent on project including meetings, emails, phone calls, etc. m = materials used be it a percentage of what you pay for that design program or that laptop or the paper and printer you used to make comps. x = the total, duh silly. Thanks to guides like this, I constantly re-evaluate what I charge for my time and how I explain it to clients.
Why are you still here?! Go check it out. Put your new knowledge and perspective to good use. Make your own guide. Spread the word. Tell me about it! I'm always looking to add to my blogroll.

And thank you, Richard Baird. You've made a difference in this designer.

with love - M