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19

Stefan has several excellent points, which I'll echo and expand upon: Write up a contract. You don't start anything without a contract. It took me over a week to write my first contract, but that baby is as detailed and iron-clad as I could make it, and now I can slice-and-dice and adapt it to future jobs. The AIGA has a ridiculously detailed sample ...


18

As someone who looked over résumés, I would be more impressed by a résumé which was elegant and a little different but readable than something with enormous graphics, fancy fonts, or blinking text. Or glitter. Remember that the readers are going over dozens of résumés in every batch. They need to look for keywords, ...


13

Adding to Emilie's great answer It's difficult to define what "stressful" is, because it varies from person to person (are designers more stressed than, say, surgeons?), so I'll just focus on the things that I think can make design different from other jobs. Note: Graphic Design is a HUGE field. You can work in print, in web, in motion... you can do ...


10

I think you're asking about niche sub-fields with in the world of graphic design? Off the top of my head: Typeface designer (it's an incredibly small industry, albeit one that doesn't make many people rich) Calligraphers (historically for documents, wedding invites; today they tend to be hired for custom hand lettering for a wide range of uses) hand ...


9

Common sense would indicate that: if you are going for an "adult entertainment" related job, then do include such works in your portfolio and in your resume if you are going for a non-adult job, then don't include such works in your portfolio or your resume. If you regularly go for both types then by all means have two separate portfolios and resumes. ...


8

I would highly recommend taking a look at the AIGA Standard Form of Agreement for Design Services. It is a very extensive agreement that somewhat favors the designer, so if you want to know how to cover your butt, this is probably the definitive document to read. I have read it many times over, and I don't see very much in there that is superfluous to even ...


7

You should probably consider several different versions of your resume - possibly one that's very traditional / sedate and one that's a little edgier. You should be doing a little research on any company you go to work for; it should quickly become clear which resume will be appropriate (just as you should be prepping for the interview by asking "khakis or ...


7

Welcome to the World of Graphic Design... lol.. you see their mind is growing with ideas because now it's trial and error to them. You give them a time limit. You know the job takes you 10 hours to do. You tell them how long it takes without revisions, offer 2 revisions then tell them to pay per revision there after. You shouldn't have to explain why, just ...


7

"F*ck you, pay me." Maybe not quite in those words in all possible situations, but you need to always make sure you are in a position where if you had to, you could say exactly that, and back it up. The quote comes from the title line of a presentation given by Mike Monteiro, which EVERY independent contractor should see: ...


7

I think you've got your answer: ask here! (Not me. You lost me at "Steampunk"... :-) ) More generally, you want to see examples of work the designer has done that are roughly in the market you're aiming at. Doesn't have to be an exact match -- a good designer should be able to work in almost any style -- but you would want someone who clearly speaks the ...


7

Your position is unusual but not that unusual, and you're lucky that, more than in other trades, good design recruiters are usually more interested in the quality of your portfolio and what it shows of your aesthetic sense, creativity and ability to meet a brief than they are in doing a box-ticking exercise on your resume. (but not all recruiters are good ...


6

I depends on your job position, is it a web-designer, photoshop-specialist or a vector artist, maybe UI designer? Here are most common: Can you show us your portfolio? Can you take "this" set of photos and achieve "this" effect in output? Give us 5 design ideas on how to make "this" work? Take "this" sample and produce the same result in 1-2 hours. That ...


6

I like resumés with a bit of flair. However, you should keep in mind form vs. function. If a resumé goes too far into form and loses function it's pretty worthless. I'd suggest using the necessary items and making them graphical in nature with nice headlines, use of font faces, etc. I would never put a photo on a resumé, ever. And I'd be hesitant to use any ...


6

I can't speak for the differences between working at a larger firm vs freelance, but here are things that I typically specify: Product Definition What constitutes a final product? Who will own the final product? Assets Do we need any assets from the client to do our work? When must the client deliver the necessary assets? What happens if the client ...


6

Farray and DA01 have pretty much nailed the key points. My nickel's worth (inflation, don't y'know) speaks to the freelance vs. large firm part of the question. Larger firms tend to deal with larger clients, and should already have carefully-crafted boilerplate to cover the legalities. The sums involved and potential liabilities are often large, so the ...


6

I was recently involved in helping to recruit a new designer and I was asked to design the part of the interview that would test for the right kind of practical creative thinking. What I went with - which seemed to work quite well and got very useful results - was to give each candidate a plausible very basic brief (everyone gets the same one, naturally) ...


6

Should designers put ALL of their works in their portfolio? My answer is NO. A portfolio is a collection of your best work. Not EVERYTHING you've done since kindergarten. However, I DO feel that a portfolio should be tailored for who you are showing it to just like a resume. If you are presenting to a client that wants you to do their website, then ...


6

Sounds entirely like spec work to me. Anyone asking you to do anything other than show samples of your previous work, is asking for spec work. There is never a call for the "do this job and if we like it we'll hire you." And there is never a call for creating a "mock up" of something unless you've already been hired or signed a contract. No respectable ...


6

There are many branches of graphic design and although yes, I've heard all around me about graphic design being stressful jobs, I've managed quite well on that aspect in the past so I would tend to say that where there is a will there is a way. I didn't work much overtime and when I did, I got paid for it. I find there is often a culture of overworking in ...


6

The recruiters in Sydney sometimes find it hard to find good packaging designers - with high level press/ink knowledge. Often niche requirements (to get selected) you will have to need alot of experience to stand out. Being really good in a specific area, such as Fashion or FMCG or corporate branding - recruiters and job advertisers can be very specific for ...


5

A Graphic Designer is one who is working on the conceptual/strategic side of things. A Production Artist is the one that takes the conceptual/strategic solution and and implements the mechanical files for the solution. You'll typically find Production Artists in ad agencies where they'd be working under the art directors. In design firms, the graphic ...


5

One way is to estimate in hours, not dollar amounts and make it clear that you are billing hourly.


5

I use "Production Artist," and then break out the specific skills (newspaper design, magazine layout, etc.). Copyediting is an entirely separate skill, so list that on its own as "Proofreader" or "Copyeditor." And definitely highlight the Adobe Certification!


5

I don't know if I'd call it a disconnect. This is a product of the desktop publishing era. Many small businesses (at least in the US) employ an in-house "marketing" person who does it all. They often learn graphics apps on the job or through some kind of on-line training. I've seen this first hand, coming in as a freelancer. One person who learns web and ...


5

I haven't seen a QuarkXpress file in 8-10 years. When I do see a QuarkXpress file, I simply use the Q2ID plug in and convert it to Indesign. But that's my office. QuarkXpress is very much still in use for large production houses where they've been using it for 15+ years. Essentially if a business, or designer, started before the development of Adobe ...


5

Definite No. It is tough to know where to draw the line though, particularly if you have a lot of pieces that you look at as similar quality. You should ask peers what is your best work(s), but more importantly, what is/are the worst. If you get a consistent answer for that, you are hurting yourself, even if it does establish diversity/range. I think the ...


5

It's all relative. No one lives or dies due to design, so I doubt anyone would say graphic design is nearly as a stressful profession as police, firemen, EMTs, doctors, nurses, etc have. Then again, I'd wager that graphic design can be more stressful than things like a farm hand, acupuncture therapist, hot air balloonist, etc. It can be stressful to meet ...


4

I'm not someone who's been in a position to hire someone with your skill set, so take this with a grain of salt. However, some thoughts: "Creative" is a really abstract idea. If I'm making a website and I don't know anything about design, I don't know if my first thought would be "I need someone creative." If I needed a writer, I don't know if I would say ...


4

The one place you'll find some of the most incredible designers: http://www.dribbble.com


4

Whether you go the LLC route or not, you're essentially a sole-proprietor / consultant / freelancer. For that model, I'd stay away from titles and just tell people what you do. Design, Development, Photography and Writing It's not short or catchy but you'll be able to explain yourself less and sell more. Think of the order of the words as the priority of ...



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