Questions about business and the commercial aspects of the graphic design industry. Ask anything relevant to graphic design such as promoting, managing and operating a design business.

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41
votes
8answers
4k views

How to handle client requests to violate copyrights?

I know Google image search is not a free-for-all to grab any image needed. However, many, many, many clients don't grasp this concept and often request or send images they'd like to use in a design or ...
34
votes
10answers
7k views

Is it frowned upon as a designer if you don't use “top” software?

This question crosses my mind from time to time as I am a Windows user and have often thought about going down the cheaper route by using a Linux based OS such as Ubuntu and getting free software that ...
29
votes
7answers
2k views

Should web designers make a free mockup?

I have some potential clients that ask to see something before accept the work. Now, should I make, for example, a free mockup or It's better to find another client?
23
votes
2answers
4k views

What should I do if a potential client claims my pricing is too high?

I gave a possible client a price estimation for concept of a character, and making it 3D as well. Now I find out that my estimation is double what he is paying his current artists. He never mentioned ...
22
votes
6answers
19k views

What price should I charge for design services?

I was hoping I would find some people in the industry that could help me decide what's the best price to charge to design (in this case) business cards. What are standard prices for professional ...
16
votes
6answers
6k views

What do I do when I quote a price for a design but the client keeps asking for revisions and redesigns?

I'm a freelance graphic designer, so mostly, my pricing and what not is pretty casual and I don't work 24/7 as I have other things to take care of, so when I quote someone, I figure out how long it ...
16
votes
11answers
4k views

How do you explain the value of native files to an uneducated client?

If you design a piece for print. It gets reproduced several times over the course of a few years. Then the client doesn't return for any work for a few more years. And suddenly you are contacted ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Are there any tangible benefits to becoming an Adobe Certified Expert?

I've been doing a little research into improving my skill set and I thought it could make sense to take the test, becoming an Adobe Certified Expert. For those unfamiliar, The Adobe Certified Expert ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Should I mention rush fees in my quote?

I've had a new client request a web site in 2 weeks. Not only I already find that pretty quick but I'm totally loaded so I charged a rush fee that I was comfortable with. I wrote the rush fee in my ...
13
votes
2answers
737 views

Clients always think they are a better designer than I am.

When I am designing a new website or application I am very meticulous to get every detail right so it is beautiful while still user friendly. Almost always however, the client has better ideas. They ...
12
votes
9answers
4k views

Should I ask for payment for my logo and website design when I delivered them late?

I have designed a logo and a website for a company. Because I took a little longer than usual (3 weeks), they are talking about hiring someone else. I delivered the designs, (10 Logo Designs with at ...
12
votes
5answers
372 views

How do you manage samples of physical design projects?

As a designer creates work, more and more "samples" start to stack up. With digital projects maintaining a library of past projects is fairly easy. All it takes is a dedicated hard drive and a ...
12
votes
4answers
341 views

How can I legally design something which looks like US currency notes?

I've been asked to create artwork for a mock US currency bill. Similar to those fake novelty bills you can purchase. The end goal is not to reproduce currency accurately, but to trick the reader ...
10
votes
5answers
499 views

Are logo design contests considered “spec” work and what are the pros and cons of participating as a designer?

I know logo design contests and the whole "spec" work issue is a controversial subject. As a designer given the AIGA's position on spec work what are the pros and cons of entering such contests?
10
votes
3answers
7k views

Charging an Intellectual Property transfer fee for design work

So, you've finished a design job (eg. a logo design) and the client asks for your IP surrounding the logo, eg copyright, original artwork files, notes, sketches, all of that stuff that went into ...
10
votes
4answers
427 views

How should I handle a client when they ask for my opinion about another designer's work?

I met a client that currently works with a designer whom I don't know - the client showed me his new logo and asked my opinion about it. I answered that I don't like "grey on grey background". That's ...
10
votes
2answers
13k views

What’s the difference between an art director and a creative director?

I have seen both Art Director and Creative Director as titles, but I'm not sure what the difference is. Is one to do with visuals and the other with content? Are they more or less interchangeable? Do ...
10
votes
3answers
376 views

How to give back as a designer?

What are some places or areas where one could donate graphic design services for the greater good? I don't really mean local not for profit organization, but more on a regional, national, or global ...
9
votes
4answers
677 views

What should be in a job contract?

Inspired by the great answers from this question, what are things you would include in a graphic design job contract? Are there items or conditions you would have in a freelance contract that aren't ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Repeat client is suddenly demanding intellectual property rights!

A fairly sizable client whom I've done a few jobs for over the past several years has recently contacted me for a new job. We have never had a contract for any of the work I've done for them (I'm a ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

How should a designer communicate price is negotiable to a client?

While in the stages of a bid, quote, or proposal I was curious how should a designer communicate "price is negotiable" in a professional manner instead of stating the simple fact. I know it's ...
8
votes
10answers
1k views

How can I work with a client that doesn't know what they want?

Hi all the professional out there, I am helping a client/friend with a website design. He is a conceptual thinker. Yet his ideas are always inspirational but not practical. He is always wanting a ...
8
votes
5answers
5k views

Flat Rate vs. Hourly: Fast work = lower pay?

I'm new to designing graphics for clients, I normally did things just for myself or for friends when they needed something done and I had a free minute. I've also worked at a retail store that does ...
8
votes
7answers
485 views

What are some good ways to gain practical experience to add to my portfolio?

I passed the ACE exams for InDesign and Photoshop a few months ago, but I am stumbling on how to get practical experience. I have a couple of years of news page design, and a very small number of ...
8
votes
2answers
209 views

How do I know when I'm ready to start doing professional work?

I was searching around and I found this question here talking about how a designer knows when thier work is 'good'; and it has a lot of crucial information. My question is almost an extension to ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Which is a better design pricing model?

I'm curious which pricing model other feel best fits freelance design, in what situations, and why. I am not seeking dollar values. There are a few basic pricing models a freelancer can use: ...
7
votes
8answers
925 views

Billing software for freelancers

The billing/invoicing/time-tracking software I use, iBiz, is no longer being supported by its manufacturer. I am a freelancer, so I need software which allows me to: Track time on jobs Track tasks ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

What is “standard markup” for purchases which need to be passed on to the client?

Let's say I'm designing a site, and Client and I agree that I'm going to purchase a slideshow to use on Client's site. The slideshow code costs $30. I will mark this up to compensate me for my time ...
6
votes
4answers
331 views

How should a designer handle the request to repurpose a design?

Scenario: You design a piece for Company A. The piece performs very well for Company A. So much so that they use the piece for several years. Eventually Company A shuts down. A few years later, you ...
6
votes
2answers
598 views

Client wants to purchase only stock image from my design mockup instead of my design. How to handle?

I am a graphic designer who provided spec work for a client. I worked on a flyer and I gave them 2 options. They went with one, paid for it. Now they have another project and would like to use the ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Critique: Military Veteran Themed Business Card Design

I am looking for a sort of Review of some work that I did for a contest (I didn't win). Personally I think that the business cards look awesome. I used graphics and such from the client's site. I ...
5
votes
3answers
44 views

'This page is under construction' message or no page at all?

From a Design point-of-view, if a page is not ready yet, but the rest of the site is; would it be better to: Have a 'this page is under construction' message, or Not have the page at all, until it ...
5
votes
4answers
303 views

What can a designer do if a client claims that the work delivered is unacceptable and refuses to pay?

I recently had an experience with a client that was a bit messy, and now they don't want to pay for the work I did. They needed some presentation decks, one of which needed to be editable (text to ...
5
votes
2answers
319 views

Advice on re-quoting a client for a freelance project

I took on a graphic design job recently and I quoted the client for 36 hours of work. About half way through the project the client got stalled out because of upper management's indecision and because ...
5
votes
4answers
413 views

Concept Design and Card Art freelancing prices

I'm a beginning freelancer and I have a client that wants character concepts (napkin sketches) then finished card art. He also wants a 3D figure of the character to create playable tokens. So he will ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a portfolio, and what should it consist of?

What is a portfolio, and what should it consist of? Please include details such as the format, use of, number of items, types of items, etc.
5
votes
3answers
822 views

How can I hire a manga artist, and what are the general cost factors associated with producing a comic?

If one had a story that was as yet undefined but wanted to work out the economics of a manga publication - how would one go about it? How does one get to top artists (any artist, otherwise)? Are ...
5
votes
4answers
254 views

What are the essential must-read magazines for the design industry? (UK)

What are the essential must-read and industry magazines in the design & advertising world? (UK, printed) What should I expect to find on a coffee table at a high end design house? (Why? you ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Who owns the design?

Recently, I hired a graphic designer to design a brand, a web site, business cards and several other things. After the initial design was complete and we launched, we have continued to make changes ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

Is it legal to make a vector of another companies product?

So I own a business that will soon start developing mobile apps for platforms such as the iPad. I am wondering if I can legally make a vector graphic of other companies products such as the iPad to ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How to sell a design to a company?

I am planning to design a couple of phone cases which contain features other phone cases don't have. My plan of action is like this: Design phone cases on computer Send emails around to companies ...
4
votes
2answers
300 views

What Adobe License do I need as an Individual that sells designs?

I want to do Photoshop design work, and sell designs to people. I don't have much money right now to invest in Photoshop, but I'm definitely thinking of saving up to whatever amount that is required ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Would moving away from urban areas affect client acquisition for a freelance designer?

I am an entry level designer contemplating a move to the country. This move would give me lots more time to work on my portfolio and develop my skills, but also isolate me from the more white-collar ...
4
votes
3answers
636 views

How to use value-based pricing for design projects?

tl;dr What is the best way to use value-based fees for design projects? What would the "value" be? I see that a lot of designers use time-based pricing (hourly, daily, etc.) Time-based pricing is ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What does “Great typography skills” mean in the context of a job requirement for a web developer position?

I'm looking at job requirements for Jr. web Developer positions. Some jobs need "Great typography and layout skills." What does typography mean? What skills are they exactly looking for?
3
votes
2answers
546 views

What is the Right Way to Ensure Design You Really Want?

When working with logo designer, what is the correct model of communication in helping designer to envision what you want and improving chances of delivering what you have in mind? Do I "direct" ...
3
votes
2answers
117 views

Is there benefit to old-world, analog, customer appreciation?

I got to thinking...... Years ago, when you became Adobe Certified, Adobe mailed you a package. In that package was a nice foil embossed certificate, a small Adobe-branded notebook (great quality) ...
3
votes
4answers
128 views

Is a resumé/CV required for a freelancer?

Since a freelancer usually (or from what I understand) takes on all aspects of their work, they don't really get hired for permanent positions and thus work off individual projects. A client hires the ...
2
votes
3answers
158 views

Client is selling her business - can she on sell the design work I've done for her over the years?

I've had an amazing client for the past three years who I've done regular graphic design work for - mostly product promotions (print & web), product brochures, posters and point of sale. She is ...
2
votes
2answers
352 views

How much should I charge?

I have a friend who is a jewelry designer that works for a small jewelry shop and she mentioned to me that her boss is looking for someone to edit some images of the staff, not sure how many exactly, ...