Should You Run Holiday Sales as a Designer?

holiday sale

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…

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Ultimate Guide to Responsive Web Design

Responsive Website Designs

When I think of responsive web design I think of Transformers: Websites in Disguise. With one set of code you can build a website layout that runs flexibly from desktop to mobile. But instead of fighting off Decepticons we’re fighting an even worse antagonist known as bad design.

Responsive web design is still a fairly new concept which has grown in popularity because it fills a void. Back when CRTs were crushing our desks and cryptic dial-up tones connected us to cyberspace it was a pleasure just to access the Internet. Design was important but didn’t have a prodigious overzealous support group…

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25 Beautiful Free Lightroom Presets to Enhance Your Photos

Free Lightroom Presets

Adobe Lightroom has been popular with photographers for several years, and in the past couple of years it has also increased in popularity with designers and hobbyist photographers. While Photoshop offers all kinds of possibilities for photo editing there are a few significant benefits of using Lightroom. Most significantly, Lightroom includes very useful features to help you keep your photos organized through its Library Module.

Professional photographers obviously have a large volume of photographs, so organization is critical. For designers and hobbyist photographers its very easy to build up a large number of photos rather quickly. As you may have found, managing and organizing a growing number of photos can become quite cumbersome. Lightroom helps by allowing you to create catalogs and collections, use keywords, ratings, flags, and color labels to organize and sort your photos. While Lightroom’s Develop Module is where you are likely to spend the majority of your time, the Library Module is really what separates it from Photoshop and other alternatives.

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13 of the Best Hosted CMSs

Best Content Management Systems

Open-source content management systems like WordPress and Drupal get a lot of attention on design blogs, but they are not the only options when it comes to choosing a CMS. There are a number of hosted CMSs available that are popular with designers and their clients.

While the features vary form one hosted CMS to another, several of the primary benefits are common to all or most of them. Things like having the hosting included, the possibility for designing and developing sites very quickly, availability of pre-designed templates, and support tend to be listed among the benefits of choosing a hosted CMS.

Some hosted CMSs allow designers the opportunity for a private label, meaning that designers can brand the CMS as their own. In this case clients will see the designer’s branding rather than that of the company behind the CMS. In many of these cases the designer can also earn a commission on monthly hosting fees, which provides a nice stream of residual income for designers who use the CMS with a number of clients.

Here is a look at some of the best and most popular hosted content management systems…

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Best WordPress Hotel Themes of 2014 (so far)

Best Wordpress Themes for Hotels

If you’re looking for a solution for a quality hotel website the options can sometimes be underwhelming. Whether you are looking for a website for your own business or working on a client project for a hotel, inn, or bed and breakfast, WordPress presents some attractive options. There are an increasing number of quality WordPress themes that are created specifically for hotels. Most of these themes have attractive designs, custom features, and can be purchased at a reasonable price…

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Exclusive iStock Promo Code for Our Readers

unnamed

A few years back I launched what was called “Vandelay Premier” to test my ability to sell “premium” stock graphics. While I would only consider it a moderate success, one main thing I quickly realized was that it was nearly impossible for a blogger like myself to provide enough specific content to make everyone happy. I still get emails every week from our members requesting specific items that I just don’t have the time or resources to provide.

My goal with this website has always been to create enough quality content to keep my readers engaged, happy, and coming back for more. Since it is impossible for me to provide millions of stock photos and graphics in our shop, I might as well send you off to a place where you have a much higher chance of finding what you need…

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5 Successful Freelancers Share the Secrets to their Success

Successful Freelancer Matt Willey

What defines success and “making it”? Not everyone has the same definition for successful freelancers. For some, it could be to become wildly famous in the industry. For others success may come when they can pay their bills as their own boss. For still more, a successful freelancer may be one who works with lucrative or infamous clients.

The freelance graphic and web designers and developers below fall into at least one of these above categories for freelance success. Some of them were formally trained and some self-taught. A few of them worked for agencies before going freelance. Others have been freelancing from the beginning. They all seem to specialize in more than one skill set, even if they have one niche that seems to draw them most of the time. One thing is for sure, though: each of the following stories are quite inspiring…

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The Ultimate Guide to Parallax Scrolling: Best Practices, Examples and Tutorials

The Ultimate Guilde to Parallax Scrolling

The idea of parallax design is simply an awareness of movement. More specifically, the word ‘parallax’ is used to describe the perception of distance between objects while moving along a line of sight. For example the objects nearest to you in space will seem to move quicker and more dynamically than “background” objects. So parallax is just a measurement of the difference in position between 2 points from the viewer’s perspective. Since the objects aren’t really moving it’s just a type of illusion like 2D animation.

One of the simplest ways to understand design is through example. Let’s take a glimpse into specific trends used to create parallax design features in website layouts.

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6 Efficient Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Work Smarter, Not Harder!

One of the most common fights my husband and I had in the beginning of our marriage involved getting tasks done. Whether it was as small as carrying in groceries or as big a task as moving, he always wanted to take time to figure out the most efficient way to get the job done, while I just wanted to hit it head on and get it done without wasting any more time. After all, on smaller tasks, I often had it done by the time he had come up with a plan. On the other hand, he ended up saving us a lot of time and energy with the methods he’d develop for the bigger tasks.

We both finally came to see that one-time, small tasks were easier to do my way – just get ‘em done. But for large tasks, I now wait for him to come up with a plan-of-action before getting started. And I’ve also realized that these principles apply to freelance work – for writers, graphic designers, web developers, or really anyone who works for him or herself. Some one-time tasks are simply easier to just get done. But those tasks that you will do over and over again, you can definitely come up with a plan and use the right resources for Designers to work smarter, not harder…

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