Open/Close Navigation

Articles by ‘Tara Hornor’

How to Help Your Client Decide if a Native App is Necessary

More and more people across the world are using their mobile devices to access digital content. According to eMarketer, mobile phone use will grow from 61.1% to 69.4% worldwide. The same article also claims that nearly one-fourth of the global population use a smartphone monthly, but by 2017, this number will increase to 50%.

American cell phone use has already surpassed the global numbers. The Pew Internet Research discovered that as of 2014, 90% of American adults own a cell phone, and 58% of those cell phone owners have a smartphone. Interestly enough, though, America only ranked number 13 in the 2013 list of countries with highest smartphone penetration. The top 5 in the list were United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Norway, respectively:

Read More »

14 Amazing Resources That Reveal the Secrets of DIY Photography

Photography is one of those skills that comes in handy for any creative career. If you know how to take and edit a great photograph, then you can save yourself some time and make a little extra money. Of course, some jobs will simply require the work of an experienced professional, but very often as a graphic or web designer, your client may not be able to afford the high costs. And you can offer photography as an extra service to add on to the invoice. First, though, you will need to find some learning resources for DIY photography before advertising this service, and photography tutorials – both videos and articles – are an excellent place to start…

Read More »

10 Mistakes to Avoid in UI Design

User interface design has to do with both the outer layer of a design and the placement of elements in the design, whether it be a website or an app. In simple terms, UI design refers to everything that users can see. However, the more important meaning involves the usability of a design. Just as with a street sign, if the design doesn’t provide clarity, then confusion can occur and scare users away, often permanently…

Read More »

Programming Skills Most Desired by Employers in 2016

It’s no myth that programmers are a highly sought after group in companies all over the globe. In her Forbes article on the Top Jobs for 2014, Jacquelin Smith analyzes an EMSI job study, which found that software developer (applications and systems software) is "the higher-paying occupation that has produced the most jobs post-recession". She also points out that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 30% increase in software developers between 2010 and 2020.

Joseph Mapua also points out in his article in SkilledUp that, according to the BLS, businesses are looking to hire IT and computer workers due to the high demand for implementing new technologies. Developing software, enhancing security, upgrading outdated systems are all areas for which organizations have a need for computer professionals.

US News Today came out with their list of top 100 jobs of 2014 recently as well. Software developer and computer systems analyst were the top two in the entire list! Within the list of tech jobs, the top 5 careers include these two plus web developer, information security analyst, and database administrator.

Read More »

What Makes a Google Friendly Site?

Google has always had the goal of making sure that their search engine provides the most relevant results to searchers. Through the use of algorithms, Google determines how related a site is when an Internet user completes a search for a certain keyword or keyword phrase. Over the years, Google has made some very drastic changes to its algorithms. These updates have left many unaware website owners wondering how to make their website a Google friendly site, causing it to appear high on Google searches…

Read More »

Mobile Apps: What Every Consumer App Needs to Succeed

A consumer app is only as successful as the sum of its parts. Simply take a look at any user’s mobile app download history, the number of apps left on their devices, and the number of apps that actually use consistently to know the aforementioned statement to be true. Then, just ask any user why they don’t use a consumer app anymore, and you’ll get an answer that more than likely fits into one of the sections in this article.

Think of mobile apps like a machine run by gears, such as a watch. If any one of those gears is loose, weak, or simply janky in any way, the machine won’t work, or at least it won’t work properly. And this is how consumers feel about a mobile app that has a weak aspect, whether the “not working” aspect is a bug or the fact that the consumer app simply doesn’t provide enough benefits.

The following sections in this article include the aspects that every consumer app needs to succeed. Whether you are a business considering creating or revamping a consumer app, or you are a developer or agency looking to build better apps for your clients, the aspects below will help you achieve fantastic results in your app development and design…

Read More »

30 Inspiring Facebook News Feed Redesign Concepts Worth Sharing

The Facebook news feed has needed an updated look for awhile now. It’s understandable, though, that Facebook hasn’t redesigned the site. Users have learned the layout, buttons, and links. A redesign, especially a major one, could meet with lots of protests and complaints. I wouldn’t want to deal with all of that.

On the other hand, a redesign would probably provide Facebook with a huge publicity boost that would be worth the angry tweets. And, let’s face it, anyone who felt strongly enough to boycott Facebook would be back once they got to the unbearable stage of withdrawals.

But, there is no rumor in sight to indicate Facebook will make a change any time soon. Still, it’s fun to play “what if,” which is what we can do with the following Facebook redesign concepts. The following concepts are really impressive, even those that are a bit incomplete. Yet, even the ones that leave out some key elements that would need to be included give us a good glimpse of just how fun a new design could be. Some of these redesigns are even of the iOS and Android apps, which are also a bit outdated.

So, take a look at these Facebook redesign concepts…

Read More »

17 Top Free Resources to Learn Online Marketing Techniques

Online marketing is one of the more important aspects of a successful business, large and small alike. For freelance graphic designers, web designers, web developers, or other freelance creatives, a strong online marketing push in the beginning of your freelance career could be THE factor upon which your future rests. Sure, you gotta have skills too, and people skills, and so on and so forth. But if all of these other aspects are in place but no one can find you, well, then, you may as well be stuck in a hole.

Even if you are one of the lucky few graphic designers who gains clients right away from referral after referral until the end of your days, you still need some basics in place just in case your referrals decide to look you up before trying you out. A strong and positive online presence usually gives the impression that you are an expert in your field. But how, exactly, is a strong and positive presence on the web achieved? The answer to this question can be found in the resources below, and the exciting part is that they are all fabulously free.

Read More »

How to Sell Yourself on Your Freelance Website

Freelancing is quite addicting. Being your own boss, setting your own hours, working from your favorite location, just to name a few. But every freelancer knows that the job comes with more than a few difficulties: dealing with clients, accounting, invoicing. And then there’s the part where you have to know how to sell yourself well enough that clients keep knocking on your door for more work. Your freelance website is one way to make sure that this happens…

Read More »

Social Media: Finding the Balance Between a Waste of Time and Necessary Networking

Ah yes, the all too constant struggle of networking with social media. It’s one of those necessary evils that everyone, from job seekers to freelancers to name brand companies, have to rethink constantly. This is why it is one of the most commonly discussed topics across multiple industries. We all know just how important social media is, and most of us continue to struggle between making it a successful marketing avenue and a waste of time.

As a freelancer who has struggled with wasting hours on social media and completely ignoring it for a month (or more) at a time, I have learned a few ways to help me narrow this gap between the two extremes. Now, have learned how to better focus my efforts with social media. It’s still not perfect, but I am on the road to tightening down my efforts and am already seeing results. And for those of you social media skeptics, even when I was only flailing along with social media, I gained enough clients through my exposure via Twitter and Google+ that I haven’t had to search for clients since I became active in several social platforms.

If you are a business owner, freelancer, or even an individual simply looking to build up a strong network in your search for a career, you may find the following tips to help you better take advantage of the benefits that social media has to offer. Hopefully, some of the resources below will help you greatly reduce the time-suck trap many fall into with social media. Use your own experience in combination with these tips, and like me you may find clients knocking down your proverbial door.

So, take a look at the following 10 tips and resources and get ready to re-adjust your social networking plan into one that will waste less time and build more positive results for you and your business ventures.

Read More »

Designers Rejoice! Microsoft Kills Off Clipart – 15 Free Microsoft Clipart Alternatives

Well, they’ve finally done it. Microsoft has announced that it is removing its clipart from the Office Suite and replacing it with a Bing Image Search. After years of no one actually using the product, it was definitely time for it to die. In fact, it was probably safe to assume that the Office clipart has been dead to designers and developers since, well, always. And most of you readers already know that much better alternatives abound…

Read More »

30+ Yummy Dessert and Candy Website Designs

There’s nothing like looking at pictures of candy or desserts to get the mouth watering. For designers, viewing creative designs can have a very similar affect! Sometimes just even the sight of a unique font or clever use of texture can cause a creative mind to start “watering” with ideas.

The following list of websites are all dessert, bakery, or candy websites – and all are designs that have more than a few inspiring aspects. A few are amazingly easy to navigate along with a clever design. Others have a beautiful home page, while some are creatively interactive. A few contain photography too brilliant to pass up. Some of the best below will get both your saliva and creative juices flowing, so you may want to have your favorite treat to munch on as well as a pen and paper handy for phenomenal design ideas that appear due to inspiration.

Be sure to share which are your favorites or even those you think are not worthy of inclusion in this collection. If you have a favorite dessert or candy website design that’s not included in this list, tell us about it!

Wonka: Feed Your Imagination

Read More »

Should You Run Holiday Sales as a Designer?

It’s that time of year again when nearly every business is offering holiday sales and specials as consumer activity increases by leaps and bounds. You may even know of fellow freelancers who offer discounts for the holidays, but is this something that you should do as a freelance designer? Do holiday sales hurt or help graphic design freelancers?

The first thing to realize in order to answer the above questions and ultimately decide whether or not to extend discounts is that every freelancer is different. You have different goals than the freelancer just down the street from you. And not just because you are a graphic or web designer. Discounts may work for the web designer across town but not for you – it all depends on your unique situation…

Read More »

25 Incredible Examples of Flat Design

It almost seems that this year flat designs have taken over the world of graphic design by force, but especially in the arena of mobile apps with the first industry-shaking flat design being for the iPhone5. Reality is that flat design has been around longer than the emergence of the iPhone5, but of course it was Apple that helped to bring such cross-industry awareness to the design style.

You ask almost anyone who owns an iPhone5 or who has read about the design in the news, and they’ll describe flat designs as, well, flat. In the design world, flat indicates a design style that avoids 3D effects, animation, and other bling-bling. Most flat designs also include lots of illustration, bold use of colors, and fairly minimal layouts. Just as with any style in graphic design, however, most flat designs do not include all of these aspects. A design can be usually agreed upon as flat if it includes more of these minimal aspects and less of the “extras”.

As mentioned beforehand, you can find flat designs in almost every area of graphic design. The list below includes websites, icons, and mobile apps that most would agree fall under the “flat design” category. Most very clearly follow the guidelines, if you will, for flat, but please feel free to share in the comments below if you have found a better example.

Websites

The following flat website designs use several flat aspects in a large part of the design scheme. A few do include a bit of animation, but were so minimal that they still fall under the flat design category.

Operativnik Website Design by Felix Baky

Read More »

Know How to Recognize Scam Jobs as a Freelancer


Photo Credit: Ivy Dawned via Compfight cc

For many freelancers, especially beginners, a very real fear is to fall victim to a scam job. Once you have been around awhile, you automatically can recognize scams. In fact, freelance graphic designers and web developers can get to a place in their career in which they acquire most of their work by referrals, and the freelancer is almost the one who does the "interview" to see if this is a client worth their limited time.

However, you could be a seasoned freelancer whose client list has become stale, which finds you looking for jobs to bid on in the marketplace – you may have forgotten what scam jobs look like in this case. And, of course, for very many graphic design freelancers new to the business, scams can be quite common.

Read More »

10 Humorous Infographics Beautifully Designed

Like many web surfers, I could waste a lot of time browsing through infographics, especially if they are insightful or funny. In fact, infographics are becoming a popular way of providing information, creating awareness, or simply attracting attention with some humor. As such, infographics are a design speciality that should be added to any designer’s list of skills. The benefit? You will always find businesses needing an infographic for their blog. The drawback? Infographics can take a long time to create.

However, just as with any other design skill, becoming faster and better at creating infographics is as simple as researching and practicing. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a little fun along the way. So, here for both your entertainment and education are 10 humorous infographics that are quite beautifully designed. Some are thigh-smacking hilarious, a few clever, and others a little odd in a funny way. Take a look, enjoy, and be sure to let us know which of these are your favorite.

Thirteen Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics

This incredible web-based infographic designed by NeoMam Studios presents reasons why infographics are so popular in a brilliant paralax scrolling effect. The team designed the entire infographic using HTML5 and CSS3, and while more informational than humorous, it still includes some funny illustrations that will produce at least a giggle in most viewers.

Read More »

Free Resources for Creating a Flat Design

Flat designs are taking over quite quickly it seems. I doubt anyone could argue against it being the latest and greatest for (fairly) new trends on the web, in mobile devices, and even in print. The simple description for a flat style of design is one that lacks 3D effects, such as bevels or drop shadows.

The stylistic details of a flat design can vary somewhat, just as with most design styles. Usually, though, a flat design is quite minimalist with primary-ish colors and lots of “white space”. The font is usually thin without too much flare. Boxes and buttons are, of course, without strokes or 3D effects. Some flat designs do contain shadows, but these are usually flat-ish as well.

Whether you are new to flat design or simply need some fresh, new resources for your next project, most should be able to find a few items below to help. The list below is divided into 5 categories: UI kits, icons, templates, WordPress themes, and tutorials. The best part? All are free. The ones that specifically mention “free for commercial use” are noted as well. Have fun browsing and be sure to let us know of any other amazingly free flat resources.

UI Kits

A UI kit is a user interface collection that comes with all the parts and pieces you need to design your own website. Usually they are PSD but sometimes will come with other components as well. While you can use the color scheme in the file, you can create your own color scheme. They also come with patterns, brushes, and much more. Hence, UI kits save a web designer a lot of time, improving workflow and decreasing time spent on projects.

DesignModo Flat UI

Read More »

30 Fresh Websites with Modern, Clean Design

So much is possible these days in web design with CSS3, jQuery 2.0, etc, which is why so many websites include animated imagery. You can design a website with all of the bells and whistles and it can still be mobile-friendly, most of the time.

However, my favorite designs still tend to be the ones that have a clean, modern look to them. Clean design doesn’t necessarily mean minimalist, although many are to a certain degree. A clean website often has simple navigation and well-organized elements on a page. The content is easy to read, find, and browse. Some clean websites include minimal animation. Many have a single page design, while many more include several pages, all with a clean look and feel.

What do I define as both clean and modern? By modern, I included the latest trends of this year. Parallax scrollling, full-page images, retro illustrations, and creative typography are all modern trends you’ll find in the collection below.

Very often, a clean design is used by design agencies, freelancers, photographers, artists, bloggers, and other creatives with limited content. The amazing feat is when a website with tons of content is cleanly designed. The list of modern, clean website designs include those with brief content and a few of the awe-inspiring ones with a plethora of content organized incredibly well. Keep in mind that for many of these, you will need to visit the site to get the full affect.

Playful – New Finnish Design

Read More »

Best LinkedIn Tips for Creative Professionals

linkedin logo

In the creative world, it can be quite difficult to find time to market yourself. Many of us spend every moment of our free time simply trying to get a project time within the timeframe we promised. Some of us work from home with kids and a spouse often causing distractions. Some of us spend all day at a job then come home at night to our freelance work. As such, most creative professionals have very little time to spend on social media, even if it is a key way to market yourself.

This being said, social media marketing is still an important part of gaining new clients, making a name for yourself, and building valuable connections. You simply need to set aside time each week for social media. And one of the most important social media accounts that a web designer, graphic designer, musician, fine artist, photographer, or even a craft artist can have is LinkedIn. While Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or other social sites are definitely important, a LinkedIn account is where you can really show your professional side. And it’s important for connecting with other professionals looking for your services.

Read More »

Five Key Practices To Keep Your Creative Job Engaging and Avoid Burnout

avoid-burnout

In a way, each one of us is creative, and many of us are fortunate enough to be able to have creative careers as well. We are writers, designers, programmers, and creative tactical workers, and we chose the careers we did because we grew attached to the particular form of creative work we discovered.

Now, if only we could be creative — and genuinely enjoy that creativity — all the time. That creative focus we get now and then doesn’t last forever, and it most certainly doesn’t have an ‘on’ switch. All creative jobs, even those that we are passionate about, eventually end up becoming boring.

So how can we continue to stay engaged in our work? How can we reignite that creative spark we miss when we’re feeling discontent?

Read More »

Some Interesting Possibilities with CSS4

CSS4 is definitely still a work in progress, meaning that many of the new features that the WS3 editing team is working on still have the possibility of removal and others may be added on. Does this mean it is time to quit working with CSS3? Of course not! CSS4 builds on CSS3, so certainly continue your path to becoming a master CSS3 developer. In addition, CSS4 is still a long way from being released and implemented on browsers. So why are we even reviewing this futuristic version?

For one, taking a look at some of the possibilities with CSS, Level 4, is quite exciting. Two, you may be more encouraged to hang onto some designs that seem utterly impossible right now. And, three, maybe it will give you a head start on learning CSS4 so that it doesn’t seem too overwhelming when it is finally released.

The WS3 folks have edited drafts available for preview for both Selectors and Media Queries. You can view the Media Queries Level 4, Editor’s Draft 30 August 2013 and the Selectors Level 4, Editor’s Draft 21 August 2013, which is pretty cool of the team to let us in on the work in progress. The team is a bit farther ahead on Selectors Level 4, with a latest working draft of Selectors Level 4, released on 2 May 2013. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Media Queries Level 4

Simply put, media queries allow for responsive design. Media queries were first introduced to CSS in version 3 and allowed developers to create styling decisions based on the browser on which the web page loaded. Level 4 queries are very new, as in less-than-a-month new. You may not have even known that the WS3 team publicly released their editing draft. Some of the changes being made to existing CSS3 features are as follows:

Read More »

23 Interesting Twitter Redesign Concepts

Beautiful Twitter Redesigns

As one of the top social media networks in the world, Twitter’s design has to appeal to millions of users from multiple cultures, languages, and regions. So far, its design has worked well, especially its infinite scrolling feed with super convenient tweaks. For instance, Twitter allows users to view other users or a tweet in more detail and then exit back to the feed in the same exact spot in the list that they left off. This makes getting through a ton of tweets very quick and easy.

However, there are other areas of the design that are a bit more confusing. For instance, the arrangement of links to other pages and features simply is not intuitive. Plus, there are too many buttons, such as the Me button when you can already access your profile by clicking on your name in the left column. And, some may agree with me here, the look is a bit outdated. Twitter could really use some additional UX changes…

Read More »

Classic and Dreamy Hand Drawn Fonts

There’s just something authentic, nostalgic, and beautiful about hand painted signs. It’s one of those artsy designs that get me into a creative mood quite easily. I’ve even had to create a few of my own hand drawn or hand painted signs before and found out very quickly that my handwriting is atrocious when it comes to signage. This got me to thinking: what if there are hand drawn fonts out there that can easily fool people into thinking a sign was handwritten?

Sure enough, I found plenty of hand drawn fonts for reproducing hand painted signs, without using your hands. You just need a font or two with characters that look a bit scrawled, possibly wobbly, and – even better – ones that include alternates to really give each letter a more unique look. After all, when I write by hand, none of my A’s look exactly alike.

In the list below, I included both free and premium fonts so that you can find one within your or your client’s budget. And I tried to include a wide variety of styles while remaining within the hand painted signs look. Most are somewhat new, but I couldn’t resist throwing in a couple oldies but goodies because, well, a classic is a classic no matter how old it is…

Read More »

29 Best Podcasts for Freelance Graphic Designers

Graphic Design Podcasts

As a freelancer, I don’t get many opportunities to surround myself with similar creative minds to keep me sharp. While attending meet-ups and co-working can be great ways to engage with others, it can often be time consuming and expensive since I usually work from home.

Lately I’ve started listening to a variety of different podcasts for graphic designers while I’m doing tasks that don’t require as much concentration.

The great thing about podcasts is that I can keep my eyes on the task in front of me. And it’s a much more efficient use of my time, since I’m keeping up with industry news, learning about new apps, and learning new skills. Watching the latest season of my favorite TV show is, of course, more fun but arguably much more distracting.

So, in my search for podcasts over the past few months, the following 29 podcasts are the best ones I found in the freelance and graphic/web design industry. Some are specifically related to business topics that I find useful, while others are more for industry news or design skills. I also added a few of my favorites that are geared toward web development for those of you who enjoy coding more than designing.

Read More »

When Highly Interactive Websites Work

Every website today should have an interactive design on some level. Why? In simple terms, interactive design makes a connection between the digital world and humans. Basically, interactive websites are designed for easy use. And who doesn’t want a website that users navigate confidently?

Interactive designs provide quite a few more benefits than just user confidence. They help with organization of a large amount of content. Interactions also increase time on site, meaning that people spend more time learning about a service or product. This in turn increases the chances that they will use the services or products.

Now, a great many websites probably only need anywhere from a small to a medium amount of interaction to create that connection between a website and a human, for instance, clickable buttons that change color or animate when hovered on. Only a few need the high level of interaction such as the examples I discuss below…

Read More »

28 Interesting Craigslist Redesign Concepts

Best Craigslist Redesign Concepts

As one of the most popular websites on the web, Craigslist certainly gets a lot of attention when it comes to the topic of redesigns. As a service, the idea is brilliant and that is why it is the huge success it is today. While the UX works fine, the design itself is quite controversial because it has only had minor updates in the past 15 years.

There seem to be two different thoughts on the design for Craigslist, hence the controversy. Some believe that the reason the UX works well is because the design is perfect for this site. Others believe that the reason Craigslist offers a positive user experience is simply because it has always been this way and everyone is comfortable using it.

All of the incredible Craigslist redesign concepts out there do seem to make it obvious the site needs to be updated. And I’m pretty sure that both parties on each side of the controversy may agree that the design is not very pretty and could use at least some more minor updates.

The following list includes a wide range of redesigns, from complete identity redesigns to a minimal update of the current website design. Browse through the list below to find out which one is your favorite and then feel free to leave your opinion in the comments below…

Read More »

Daily Practices to Overcome a Creative Block

Creativity in web design, graphic design, illustration, and any other creative profession is an integral part of daily life. And if you, as a creative professional, have ever experienced a creative block, you are certainly not alone. Keeping the creative juices flowing and fresh day in and day out can take a toll after awhile, but some daily practices can be the medicine you need.

Even if your dream and your passion is web design, a daily job in this field can suck the passion right out of you. And believe me, as an online writer for over 7 years, I feel the suckage right down to my very bones. So, this article is as much for you as it is for me!

If you have come to the point where walking up to your computer to start work each day (or night, depending on your routine) leaves you feeling drained, then it’s time to make changes. Below are some daily practices you can start to enhance creativity. I know that “daily practices” can sound a bit intimidating, but most of them are very easy, will add only a few minutes to your day, and are actually quite fun. I have tested them all, and found out that all work for me, with varying degrees and with different twists. So, like me, you’ll need to pick the ones that work best for you, and add them to your daily routine in a way that works for you to really renew your creative flow…

Read More »

21 Beautiful Gmail Redesign Concepts

Gmail has needed a redesign for awhile now. The interface is quite cluttered and not at all easy to use, and the apps for iOS and especially Android are even worse. While drastic improvements have been made over the past few years, there could still be a lot of improvements made. Word has leaked that Gmail may be working on a redesign, and a pretty drastic one. Mashable explains the new Gmail features, which include some interesting additions such as Finance and Travel labels…

Read More »

Animated Websites: 10 Designs that Wow

You as a web designer have the responsibility to suggest the right style and amount of animation necessary. A website should have enough humanity (via motion) for viewers to connect but not so much animation that it distracts from the message. Animation should increase the usability of a site, not make it more confusing to navigate. But of course, the nature of some websites allow for much heavier animation than others.

The following are 10 websites that utilize animation in varying degrees. Some are fully interactive animated websites, while others only include animation in certain sections of the design. All are great examples of when and how animation works for a variety of purposes…

Read More »

Best Design Blogs to Follow To Keep Your Skills Sharp

Designers who keep up with the latest tricks, tools, resources, and trends remain competitive much more easily than those who never check in on what’s new. And one of the easiest ways to keep your skills sharp and savvy as a graphic or web designer is to follow the best design blogs in the industry.

The only problem? There are way too many to choose from, it seems, especially if you are a newbie to online blogs. And, not every design blog is worth your time. So, I have put together a list of web and graphic design blogs that are my favorite and what I believe to be the best for a designer’s “continuing education.”

While there are many more excellent blogs to be found, the following list is limited to those geared to both graphic and web designers as well as developers. The list excludes blogs of a purely inspirational nature, since these, while certainly inspiring, don’t offer much in the way of actual skills. Another important part of this list are several blogs that offer freelance/ business advice and a few that help designers stay on top of the latest industry news.

Now I know that you don’t have the time to follow all of these, but my recommendation is to browse through each one and subscribe to those that interest you the most. You can always unsubscribe later if you find that some of the design blogs aren’t helpful to you…

Read More »

The Secret to Telling a Memorable Story With Your Brand

telling-a-story-with-your-brand

Good stories leave a lasting impression. Even if the audience can’t remember exact details, years down the road, they will still remember if it was “awesome,” “horrible,” “sad,” “funny,” and even to what degree of emotion the story evoked. Brands who have a strong story provide the same long term results as a movie or story. And just as with a poor or boring story that is easily forgotten, a brand without a stand out story is quickly forgotten and replaced.

Graphic designers, web designers, web developers, illustrators, design agencies, and others in the graphic design field have to stand out from the competition. If you have a unique skill set, then you probably won’t have trouble finding work or clients. But web designers and graphic designers seem to be found in abundance these days, so creating a brand that prospects and clients remember long after an encounter with you is vital.

Turning your graphic design brand into a memorable story is one powerful way to stand out from the online sea of designers. With a strong story, you make yourself more personal and, therefore, easy to approach. You make yourself real, and clients want to connect with real people, not a company. A story told well also evokes strong emotions, which last longer than a plot line, making it that much more likely that customers will remember you years down the road…

Read More »

Client Acquisition Tips from 11 Freelance Design Experts

Being a freelancer is hard work. Not only do you have to keep up with work projects but you also have to keep track of invoicing, communicating with clients, marketing yourself, and even making sure you have enough work for upcoming months to keep bills paid. This can make freelancing quite time consuming and exhausting. Thankfully, there are solutions to keep clients flowing in without taking away from the actual money-making tasks.

Bringing in new clients can be less of a pain and time suck with the right methods, and seasoned freelancers are just the ones to ask. The following 11 freelancer designers are experts in the field and have a lot of experience in client acquisition. So, we asked these experts the same question:

What advice can you give on finding new clients and/or making yourself visible enough that your work queue remains full?

While their answers vary slightly, most of them show that gaining new clients can become almost automated, if you put in the right leg work in the beginning. As you read through the advice below, you may want to think about which fits you the best. Every freelancer varies in their gifts and skills, so pick the method that will be easiest for you to keep up with until the time comes to let your efforts bring the clients to you…

Read More »

Fantastic Examples of a Fullscreen Video Background in Web Design

One way to make a larger than life impression with your web design is with a fullscreen video background. I’m not sure if it’s the same for anyone else, but when I visit a website with a high quality fullscreen video right there above the fold, I am mesmerized. And suddenly, I justify the time to explore around the site to find out more about this wonderful organization that stated its message so artfully and gave me such a powerful feeling.

Now, notice I said “high quality” in my statement above. I’m sure most of you have come across websites with a video background that caused your opinion to drop several bars. So have I, and it’s less than disappointing. Usually my experience with these slow loading, poor quality fullscreen video designs ends up with me frustratingly exiting the website as quickly as possible. Fullscreen video backgrounds only work if they have the following components…

Read More »
Page 1 of 212