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Starting a Graphic Design business: The Complete Guide.

Should I start a design business? Yes!
But how do you even begin?
About Freelancing, getting Clients & Growth.

Congrats, you're making your way to start a business!
You’re seeking for tips and ideas that will help you to make your own way, Being in charge with all that comes along. Initiating a business is really crazy turnkey and a huge chance.

A brief overview:

This article covers the main footsteps in becoming a business. From a general idea about how to define your business and down to details on equipment that designers acquire. The benefits and the hardest parts of creating a business. How can we get more clients? What are the prices I should charge? Do I really need to buy a chair in $700 !? (no..).

Herman Miller Classic Aeron Task Chair.
You surely don't need to buy the most expensive chair.

The Starting point - Awesome Reasons and the Easiest parts for making the first steps as a business

It is scary, but remember all the big firms or what ever started that way. One man, Friends, Few workers, Some more workers, a staff and business partners etc. while Motivation and Inspiration will help you get out from the cushy position or lazy couch, Still, Developing a profitable business is not a predicted path. You might hit right on the spot but maybe it will take some fails. In fact, many say that you learn great lessons from mistakes but more say it's better to succeed fast and learn from others - wishing it was like that - but hey, life is great for those who don't make a fuss out out failures and keep trying.

Before we start, Just to make it clear: Don’t do free work and don’t offer Cheap prices.

Don’t do free stuff, aside for friend or family, and even then. Free work puts you in a really bad position. Although you might be just a starter still you have a knowledge that some will pay for. Charge per hour if not per project. You have to get paid for your time.

How about getting paid less and working for cheap - Don’t do that, At Least not as a freelancer. Clients who don’t wish to pay won’t return to you when they will be able to afford it. Low paying customers can still demand good amounts of time in endless rounds of repairs.

You don't have to start with buying the best computer for graphics, a wacom graphic tablet and a long list of the greatest literature in design. You can start "lean".

Here’s a good Question - What is the definition of a “Design “Business”, right? Like, you design for people and You get paid... But why call it a “Business”. Also, why you shouldn’t Believe people that divide issues to 3.

You can divide the design businesses to 2 kinds of businesses.
First, you can provide your skills as a service by freelancing to a variety of customers in the fields you feel you’re, as Sheryl Crow says, “strong enough”. If you know how to work with the tools you need - Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere, Aftereffect or what ever you can always offer your abilities to potential clients. Designing logos, Editing photos or Videos - freelancers find themselves producing all kinds of materials and products.

Some designers, with time, becoming to be known for specific graphic products or hired for projects by Showcasing Great portfolios similar works they did before. As a freelancer, you get paid for your work and not the time you spend at work. For some people, it can be an advantage - if they work fast and doing their pricing right - but for some, it's a drawback - not because they don’t know how to work or even being slow but mainly because of pricing mistakes or having trouble with finding clients.

Secondly, Believe it or not, you can use your skills to make products. For example, Photographers sell images in Image banks. Film makers earn from viewing their features on Vimeo and Music producers sell sounds like screams and clicks. You as a graphic designer can do the same. Designers sell Posters, Graphic elements, Site templates, icon sets and even design shirts. This model of business called a passive income. You don’t get paid per hour or directly for your work. Of course, you still need to put efforts to make things you can sell but the potential is much bigger. For example, a Pakistanian developer built a WordPress theme and sell it for 59$ - the guy sold it for like 200,000. Yes, he put lots of effort and still develop it. But 200,000 X 59$ is 11,800,800$$$$ which is like o-m-g! Right!?

Oh.. and about why you shouldn't believe people who divide stuff to 3: A research says that most trustable researchers outcomes almost never divide into 3 categories. So, if someone divides stuff to 7 sees them as trustable. But here it’s 2, probably not the most accurate deviation for business styles in the Design field but for now, it's not too shabby.

Defining your business style.

Try to make a practical observation - what do you specialize in? Maybe you're good in connecting with clients and designers? Perhaps you wish to brand business all day long. Do you have specific clients you wish to work with or projects you want to get hired for, industries like Music or Education you would want to work in, any kind of niche? Exactly as the cliche - where do you wish to be in 10 years.

Yes-yes, I know, many times you just follow your clients and try to do what comes up and not making a real choice. With time, while doing lots of work, we learn what we love to do, meeting people and clients, launching projects digitally, printing. You’ll see yourself happening to do some stuff more than other things. You’ll be able to pass on some projects and even lead clients to ask for what you aim for.

At the beginning, every customer provides an option to show your abilities. It doesn’t mean you should work for free. If you consider working for free to build a portfolio so you should know two things. First, yes… even big firm has - what they call - strategic clients. Some which are not profitable so much but just the idea that those appreciated clients bring their business to those firms make them look better. Second, If you wish to build your portfolio so instead of free work you can rebrand some local business and be more experimental than deal with a true client.

Try to describe your Business Style and your Design Style. Be general, do go right away into details. Just as a “Stylish’ idea of how you want Potential Clients to look at you.
Are you more of a Classic designer or more like a Modern one. Are you a Fun to work with kind of designer - with those “fun” designs. Bright colors, funny little figures, using lots of humor. How available are you? Will you answer the phone in any second of the day? Will you work at nights? Are you way too personal with your clients or Professional all along? How flexible are you? For changes in the last minute. For taking the client side and leave aside your opinion about what considered good design.

After you’ve tried to think about who are you in the first place - try to explore for a project you had wished to do. Who are the clients you prefer and where can anyone find them.

Starting a design business is FREE. You got that right: No need for an investment to set up your Digital firm.

Well, you need some stuff but you probably already own what you need. Of course, you can upgrade your gear. Get a better computer suitable to Graphics, Buy a better Chair to keep on your posture while working hours sitting, But in general - No. You don't need to rent a place or purchase lots of whatever and store them. Most Businesses need money to start - they need supply, take care of shipping and handle all kind of dealers. A design business needs just a tiny cash flow in order to start - primarily for the software.

No need for a team, although it's always good to have some buddies to help you when needed. You can have the ugliest office and the worst computer and you’ll be able to do wonders. Just a second... An office? Why?? Start at home, Set a nice corner next to the window not far away from your healthy snacks. People start with free software, lack of portfolios, no domains, not even a logo for themselves. It's fine! Work and upgrade while doing so. You can start with buying the best computer for graphics, A herman miller Chair, The  best wacom’s graphic tablet and long list of the best literature in design. You just don't have to do so. You can simply start by yourself.

Many freelance designers combine today a high range of skills. Coding, Marketing, Writing Copy and Micro Copy, whooo - and Business Skills - don't forget business skills… Saying you don't need a team means you should be able to create a project all by yourself. Not any kind of project, at least some. Get trained, set a goal and skills you wish to perfect. If you wish to look good right away you can simply buy a domain name (10$), a cool Theme (0-70$) and storage (30$~ per year) in Maybe just a Facebook page.

Awesome… BUT where’s the hard part??
Well, there are two kinds difficulties.
Failure and Real Success.

Starting slow. No real income. The Business dive deep into nowhere. Pure Bummer. That’s the first kind of a difficulty. Starting and Failing. How long can you keep trying gambling on future growth? How much time will it take you to stand up and succeed?

The second kind is much more preferable - Growth. It may be slow, perhaps fast, might not be so stable in short term but by periods of months and years it shows clear growth. Now the hard part is Operations. Finance your way in a matter of costs, expenses, pricing, etc. Without even mentioning pension, social and Health insurances. You’ll probably fill lost - wish that you would’ve got some more background in economics and finance.

Success, let's focus on that. You’ll never know if you won’t try, and way starting with the fear of failure. You can start safely, no need to rush, as we just described before. The truth is that there’s lots of work in design and clients looks for good and reliable designers all the time. As a professional designer, you are open to all industries, every service provider, and even the Academy. You’re not chained to design fields: Digital, print, Motion, Graphics, animation, 3d or whatever. You can go directly to any store or manufacturer and provide them your graphic design skills. Branding or web design, film and edit a short clip, writing Seo and creative copywriting. New opportunities rise up all the time. Business wishes to be where everybody else is. Facebook and Linkedin, twitter is so basic but even they develop new stuff all the time - new ways to get noticed.

O-M-G how can anybody get a grasp on all that?!
Yes, you can - with the AMAZING help of the Awesome community of the web.

You’ll start with something - a skill. You can start as a production designer, handling few of the basic software. Pixels and Vectors. One day a project will pull you into a full process of branding. Afterwards, you’ll have the chance to animate something you’ve design. How on earth will I do it? Or Should I ask - Which youtube channel or a forum member will help me do so? Is there an online course on the subject? Probably yes.

Find the right community, and you’re good. Ask, learn, try, don’t be afraid to fail. You’ll find tutorials for almost anything you’ll wish to produce - the secret is to know what to ask for.
“How can I make ____.”
“What is the best way to _____, and _____, and then _____.”
Many experts answer and share from their experience. Some people might answer false but usually every answer is a lead to solve the problem, and when a true professional answer we will notice.

Being a Business means possibilities. Yes, it Requires a variety of efforts. But it's worth at least a shot. Besides, there will be unpredicted benefits.

Business possibilities can bring a huge change to your life. It’s one thing to be depended solely on your paycheck than being able to drive earnings also from your side business. Beyond that, as a professional freelance, you’ll develop connections with all kinds of other professionals and business owners. Those people will lead to future projects and will help you to achieve a better chance for desired positions. Becoming a freelancer allows you much more flexibility. Moving between projects, dedicate your skills for a period of time to a temporary high position or working hard for a while andthenn easing the pace. Things aren’t as flexible in the world of the employee.

Just do it. If you are delayed because of fear so just go ahead. Sure it’s ain't gonna be easy. Business statistics don't show a nice picture. So what. don't rush ahead, just keep it steady. Geniuses fail while those who persist - succeed. Change your attitude. Do not look for quick success. Say you come to learn from mistakes, understand, see how it is to be a freelancer. Come to do what you like doing - in your rules. While you can’t fire customers at work as a freelancer you can. You can choose to do what you like, Go after Design project you wish to participate in. Offering your skills to the fields you like the most - Branding, Print, UX, UI. Web design, whatever. Literally whatever. Does it sound too good? Well, almost every hired designer pass on Cool offers - just because they are busy at work. Just because they don't have their own decent tools. Sometimes, Just because of a set of mind.

The basics on short:
  1. Check your current position. Where do you stand financially? What can you offer?
  2. Set your goals. No one promises you anything but try to mark your target.
  3. Persist. Once you decide - stick to it.

Employee by day, Freelancing graphic designer at night. Branding yourself while working in a day job.

Do you work as a graphic designer in a studio? Great.
Can you do freelance? Why not!

If you already work as a graphic designer so you own the essentials that allow to run a design business. A design business requires more than just knowing to design, sure. But how much more. There are two important points a designer need to pay attention.
Bringing work > Design > Selling.
The starting point - Getting projects and clients.
The end point - selling your design and getting payed for your job.

Preparing and branding - In order to attract projects.

Don't Just come up to people saying you're awesome. Impress them. Make them trust and believe in you or at least giving you the chance. As evident your portfolio will be for someone how looks for a service as you offer, more chances you’ll be hired. Build your portfolio in categories. Don't be to scattered, show specific expertises or examples. Than state what do you do and offer. Usually designers involve in classic branding. Logos and basic stationary elements like business cards, flyers and ads. Build a list of products you can supply.

Graphic design basic product list:
  • Logo
  • Business card
  • Paperwork
  • Ad
  • Invitation
  • Email newsletter
  • Email signature
  • Social elements - facebook, twitter, etc.
  • Website design
  • icons

Depending on your skills, clients and personal wish, you’ll build with time your list. Showing your portfolio to potential clients will allow them to have some judgment and understating about your taste and experience. don't fall for the mistake every young designer make - don't try to build your brand by yourself. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Can you compete with other professionals? Search after great protfolios. You’ll be able to find some really good ones on the first pages of those kinds of sites: Dribbble & Behance. Check out for the Best branding studio or advertising agencies - how do they show of their projects? You can also look for lists like “best design portfolios”. Though make yourself a favor and don't focus on the site it self, but try to understand how the projects are shown. What makes you immpresed as a client, not a designer. In generel, it’s good to think from the client side and thats true in every aspect and stage.

Learn the industry. If you’ll understand the needs you’ll probably be able to offer solutions. Preparing yourself and branding is showcasing solutions. That’s only the start, but that basic step is what makes selling possible. When you build your portfolio you need to show abilities, not necessarily proven work. Create a few but decent design process instead of mixed and separate works. If its branding - showcase sketches, the logo, some mockups: business card, envelope, website and such. If it's and app, so the same. Show sketches and screens. Describe in short words the process in terms of problems, aims and solutions.

Present your portfolio while you build it. Don't ask for too many opinions and reviews - It can be more confusing than helping. Use your portfolio while you build it. Start showing it to. don't worry if the project show don't fit exactly for the needs that the client describe. Some client wish for an exact experience but some (i think even most) look for good design examples and that's it.

How to get clients is probably the biggest issue in any industry. Selling is a big issue for it self, but you first need to find the people who match the client profile. Ones who have the need, will hire the professional, and will pay.

Finding clients is not an easy job. How to find, where to find, how to close the sell. You can be an awesome graphic designer but income don't pays by talent - you need clients, that's business. Please don't be intimidated, on the contrary, Selling skills are really awesome. Seriously, becoming a good salesman is a cool route. Working with clients, charging payments and even succeeding as a great graphic designer has more to sales skills than design skills. It’s a process, it takes time to refine business skills, especially for professionals that are not focus on economics and business.

Business skills are Super Coooool - i’m not joking, seriously.

Your going to design for businesses, all kind of businesses. As more you’ll know about deploying a business you’ll be even a better “designer”. A person how can analyse a business understand it’s needs, strengths and weaknesses. Business skills are not only math, a lot of psychology is involved. Knowing how to “feel” clients, the time to close a selling and even stuff that seems basic (but aren’t) like pricing and raising prices.

There are tons of great materials oriented about Business skills. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is probably the first book you need to start with. Afterwards continue with materials around building a business, marketing, branding - from the marketer side. Body language is highly important. Accounting is also really important - yes it is.
Focus on Intros. If you find a subject interesting so go for it and dive deeper. Intros have a lot to offer - Terms, Ways to observe reality, Subject to focus on. Here’s a bunch of most recommended books in business section. You can find even business books especially for design businesses.

Having the tools that allow you to understand clients will help you also to reach them.

It Sounds like a psychology for a buck though it is true. A businessman wish to market like a pro, you can help with producing marketing materials - go fot it. A restaurant owner wish to look like a pro-restaurant, guess what you can help with that. Still that is so general. Buttttttttt…. If you can offer specific stuff, simple as an example for a similiar business act. Renew a logo, social promotions, rebranding, all kinds of ads, flyers, loyalty cards or what ever. You can come up with ideas and offer your abilities to promote them. Create offers, reasons, motivation, points to pay attention for.

Finding the “right” clients & projects is the next level. Paying clients is a basic requirement. Respectfull people that will

There’s no such thing “Right clients” - only lack of setting limitations and rules.

When you first contact a client what will you talk about, what will you ask to hear, offer. A business owner is always two step ahead, maybe even more. Clients care about the use of the design. Yes, they care about the design process also but they don't do that kind of stuff - they pay you for it. And they wish to have “it” in order to achieve business goals.
All of the above means one thing - if there are no set of rules for the “game” i.e. project - the client has one big Lish - The PAYMENT. Many clients are decent people and the process will be reasonable. Some clients including a high percentage of marketers can be very pushy. Calls late at night, Every thing is last minute and urgent, payment is delayed, and in general no fun.

Bad clients do exist. There are people you better fire ahead getting involved with them in a project, or just be alert. The BIG QUESTION is - Can I work with those kind of people without being troubled or even SUFFER?
YES. You can.
What makes clients “bad” is not their urgancy or attitude (well..) the fact is that you might allow them act like this. Maybe a previous designer they’ve worked with allowed them to behave like that - who cares. If you’ll set some basic set of rules you’ll protect yourself from those kind of @#$% (-evil) cleints.

A short list of rules.
  • Advanced payment.
  • Calls until...
  • Everything summed in email.
  • Urgent is cool - you should love deadlines
  • Quality files after payment completed
Final note - all of that when it comes to new customer, if you know the client and there is trust - so of course you can be more flexible and trusty.

Clients seek for value. If they can get it free or at low cost, they should do so. However, if clients see a value and must pay for it - they will do so. Now, all you have to do is to show the value and set the frame of work.

Ye ye.. But just - How do i show my value?!

Showing you value includes to actions:
1. Showcasing a visual portfolio.
2. Explaining what you do. If you’re showing a design and say you also did the copy and the research and the UX you’ll get much more points. If you write a full case study about the project that’s awesome. A client sees that you’re not just a good visual designer but also someone who can help with copywriting and strategy.

Don’t show only the final design. Let the client understand you capabilities by showing him 2-3 full procedures. Few full case study.

What is a framework?!

After a while in the business you’ll figure out what kind of clients are great and which one will give you a headache. A good frame work allow you to prevent the aggressive clients to use you. As simple as it sounds.

When you write proposals or send contracts be clear and detailed about the payment and the amount of work the project includes. It must be a short description, not more than a few sentences. Surely no more than 1 page.
  • Describe the work.
  • Describe the items that will be designed.
  • Describe the payment & and the advanced non refund payment.
  • Describe the cost of the rounds of fixing, for each item.
  • Describe how final files delivered after full payments.
Once you did that, that’s it. Even if a customer suddenly choose to ditch, you got the advanced payment, for example. However, don’t be too harsh, some companies can't pay in advance, some pay after months. So choose your “formal battle tools”. If a client commits to pay, in written by email, for an advance non refund payment but asked to pay it after a while - So the client is aware that you have a “case” and he doesn’t do you a favor.

Finding the right clients - Is that so hard?
Well ye.. But you should know - it’s mainly about Tracking, repeating and Networking!

Right clients do exist, Bad clients can be blocked from making any kind of harm.
Dive in, with your set of limitations - Advanced Payments, Clearing out the work by short and precise descriptions.

Tracking your best clients.
After having some clients try to analyse how the good ones got you, how they behave, what do they like and why do they come back. Understand the highlights of your service. Maybe you’re cheaper, faster, reliable. Try to figure it out by assumptions and statistics. Try to repeat successful steps.

You can try widen your better list of clients by profiling and reach for similar personas. Ask your clients if they know fellows who involve in any kind of business that might need your set of skills. Look for any kind of groupings - events, startups accelerators, entrepreneur, business schools alumni meetups, all kind of meetups. It doesn't have to focus around business events, but it sure helps.

Look for long term clients. Not for someone who looks for a cheap provider for a one time job. Clients with a continuous scale of work.

Track your “Parallel professionals” and play the networking game.
Developers and copywriters, marketers, consultants, accountants. Any professional is a potential lead. You’ll be surprised to see how people are happy to introduce between strangers. Don’t sell yourself to much play as the busy one and show yourself as a problem solver, even for small favors. Don’t do Big favors, it will make you chip.

Some basic networking tips:
  • Don't sell yourself to hard.
  • Bring a friend.
  • Tell about yourself.
  • Tell funny stories from your experience.
  • Bring value for conversations and share information.
  • Make interesting conversations:
    • Ask Others’ opinion about professional problems.
    • Ask about pricing.
    • Talk about softwares.
    • Talk about Contracts.
    • Ask for advice about projects.
    • Ask for critiques.
    • Ask for recommendations.

Figuring out how to sum up your value - in a simple, natural and short message.
Is that even possible??

When you meet others, it's not easy to build trust, moreover to make them hire you. Having a great portfolio sometimes is good enough, but there’s so many good designer with awesome portfolios out there - so, we’ll still compete with too many other professionals.

Selling yourself as a professional is almost like selling a product. Why should anyone buy it? What will convince and justify the cost. Hunger and Thirst justify food. A certain salary will motivate for acquiring a profession. There’s always a reason. Although design has logics. It’s hard to show the need and prove your abilities. Not even mentioning the problem with promising a certain design based on previous projects.

There are no shortcuts but there is a good process that can help growing trusting customers. Price is a bad strategy in general and people do pay when they see the value. So first of all “map” your process. Keep track on your good and less-better clients. Pay attention to your marketing workflow. You don't have to write everything down but you must pay attention.

In short do the following and search for more materials about each issue:
  • Set a website, carry a brochure & a business card.
  • Establish yourself in old school style:
    • Meet face to face.
    • Call everyone, whenever you can.
    • Research for clients, print pages with phone numbers, call on the way.
    • Tell your story in a short and cool way.
    • Share your workflow and projects with friends and family.
    • Talk to any business, in every store, service, product.
    • Send newsletter to all of you contacts about an awesome thing you do.
    • Don't talk to “sell” as much.
    • Offer to renew bad designs (websites, posters, anything).
    • Got a client? Try to get his connections, vendors, employees, business partners.
    • Do followups, ask your previous clients if they need anything else.
    • Demonstrate and Give examples.
    • Showcase stories as problems and solutions.
    • Have templates of letters ready to be send.
    • Write short price offers.
  • Consult people you meet and add value to professional conversations.
  • Remember, from one person (not even a client) can come many clients.
  • Be easy to find and reachable.
  • Don't do free work. Maybe cool prices, but not cheap or free.
  • Be formal at first, no smilies or whatever.
  • You don't have to be “unique”, just to be the right person in the right time.
  • Become confident.
  • Eat “no no’s” for breakfast, each one get you closer to a yes.

How to Price your service.
Pricing is an art but it’s not so complicated. All you need is to make a few mistakes and you’re good to go.

First thing in pricing is finding out how much similar designers ask for similar services. The second thing is profiling clients.

Cheap work doesn't bring clients back, they even won’t recommend you as much. If they had the money they hire a well-known studio or a firm, when they’ll have the money - they’ll do so. So ask for a normal amount that will compensate your time and effort. You can calculate the price by hours, and with time, raise the hourly rate.

Sometimes, pricing methods seem harsh to designers. However, Skilled business personas work differently and feel comfortable to improve charging models. So, if that your first time think of it - take it slow. being bold, losing clients and earning more is not a linear process.

  • Check how other price their services.
  • Be open minded and negotiate differently with clients.
  • Try to specialize, and charge more for that field.
  • Got too busy? Raise the rate.
  • If you are appreciated by some clients - raise the rate for them.
  • Walk away politely - if a client does not wish to pay.
  • Compromise with price only by Compromising on project terms.
  • Justify your cost - add value by explaining and showing expertise.
  • Charge by calculating also your expenses in person and professionally.
  • Search readings on “How Much Should I Charge?”.
  • By hourly rate, you can learn what projects are more profitable, which ones are much less and have the knowledge to make better decisions.
  • There are all kinds of time tracking tools - Simple as “time timer”, and up to crazy apps like “Toggl”.
  • Always consider the hours you’ll work, even if it's a fixed price.
  • The formula is hours + professionalism that is why a short project can be charge higher.
  • Perfection takes time.
  • The biggest con in a fixed project - you're being measured mainly by your price.

Don't be afraid to be experimental. Learn others prices. Try to ask more and see what works. Sometimes it's just luck, but many times it’s by knowing how to showcase the value of your work to each kind of customer.

Have a Contract.
Without no need of a Lawyer, you can have your simple contract based on already existing templates.

The smashing magazine made a list of short and free contracts any designer can use. Look here: Useful Legal Documents For Designers (PDF/DOC).

A contract can protect you from bad clients. People who will make use of you and your skills. Bad Business is not just about unwilling to pay but also on attitude, cancellations, working hours, confidentiality, length and even clients that for some reasons disappearing for long time periods during projects.

In a contract should be mentioned the following:
  • Client identity and contact info.
  • Projects description in general.
  • Payment terms - Advance payment and final payment.
  • The final product and files.
Finally, email the contract and ask the client to approve by email.

Managing your finance.
Many hire a professional Account manager but some, at least at the beginning, do it themselves.

Expenses, exemptions and who knows what. Finance is not that easy. However, if you’re just starting you can go to the authorities and they’ll guide you. Getting the advice in a one-time meeting with an account manager or a business consultant will be beneficial.

When it comes to money you can only save yourself expenses. Graphic design as a profession is pretty simple. In general, all you do is getting paid for your time and skill. There’s no inventory, no production line, no list of vendors or many participants. Usually, it’s two sides - you and the clients. However, for many of your expenses, you can be refunded. Hardware, software, furniture, meetings expenses and more. A professional guide can save you a great deal.

What exactly a graphic designer need in order to work?
As time goes by you’ll find yourself shopping for the things that will allow you to work better.

When it comes to real work and putting all theories and tactics behind. A graphic designer needs to invest in a few tools in order to get work done. Designers don't work just with a computer and graphic software. After 3-5 years designers find them-self acquiring all kinds of gadgets and services to maintain their workflow. Beyond that, there are a few models of design businesses. One of them, for example, is managing freelancers that produce to designs for your clients - for that, nowadays, you can just have a phone. Anyhow, most chances that you’ll do some work yourself.

If you’re already in graphic design so you probably a have by now a great desktop or laptop suitable to graphic design. By time go by you’ll surely acquire a wide screen. You’ll try using a Wacom graphic tablet, and if you’re a graphic designer you’ll get an Intuos draw or Intuos pro. If you are a professional illustrator you’ll get the Wacom Cintiq. After acquiring all of the professional equipment you’ll start upgrading your environment. You sit all day, so you’ll get a better chair - maybe not the Herman Miller Aeron model in 1000$, but something good enough. When your eyes will start hurt you’ll find the Gunnar computer gaming glasses and the Systane Eye drops. Among all that you might consider getting a fitness program like p90x, buy a simple timer, Photoshop’s keyboard shortcuts or whatever that will allow you to enjoy your time while working.

Let's do business. 

Let’s try to summarize all of the above.
  • Choose a name for your business. 
  • Be clear in what you offer. 
  • Get involved in business communities. 
  • Mingle in parties, trade shows and talks. 
  • Teach. 
  • Do early morning Cold calls
  • Reach business offline. 
  • Be seen and easy to reach - website and social media. 
  • Show your work. 
  • Practice and learn. 
  • Be positive. 


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A quick list:

01. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer, and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side.

When Mr. Kleon was asked to address college students in upstate New York, he shaped his speech around the ten things he wished someone had told him when he was starting out. The talk went viral, and its author dug deeper into his own ideas to create Steal Like an Artist, the book. The result is inspiring, hip, original, practical, and entertaining. And filled with new truths about creativity: Nothing is original, so embrace in…

4 ways to improve your design skills

The minute you finish design school the clock starts ticking. You've got a limited time - about a year or two - to sharpen your design skills and Develop a methodology that will allow you to take a business and brand it. To create a process that will allow you to learn the business, to plan a strategy and finally to produce print and digital products.

School can give you great basics but you’ve got to be able to make a good work with a teacher to guide you and no - you probably don’t have a method but rather work by a hunch.
So how do you become better as a designer Here are 4 great tips that will lead and boost you on your way to become a true professional.
1. Model rule \ mentor First and foremost find a few really good designers that you admire their work. Pick them by their awesome projects and stick to them. Follow them. Read each content piece they make or what others say about them. Watch, read, and copy their work.

For example, you can follow Aaron Draplin this guy has lo…

The search after the best chair for the graphic designer

It's the chair.
As we primarily work from home, we find ourselves working on the couch, kitchen table, or our tiny home office. Surprisingly, many of us find that the back pain increases when we work from our home office, which means that we've got a bit of a problem and we're pretty sure it's the chair.

If your profession requires you to spend thousands of hours per year on a chair, then which Chair is it going to be?!
Meet theAeron chair
In an almost surprising twist on the original design, the Aeron Chair now comes in three sizes that are more responsive to body weight from 90 pounds to 350 pounds. Additionally, a new suspension system and tilt mechanism have been introduced for extra flexibility, while the new system covers your comfort with its targeted pressure distribution.

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About Herman Miller - The makers of the Aeron chair.
Founded in 1905 and recognized today throughout the world as an innovator in office and…