Neil Tortorella is a graphic designer, writer and marketing consultant with over thirty years experience. He is the author of Starting Your Career As A Freelance Web Designer and a frequent speaker at conferences and business organizations. His site can be found at www.neiltortorella.com.
Niche noun, adjective, verb, niched, nich•ing noun 1. an ornamental recess in a wall or the like, usually semicircular in plan and arched, as for a statue or other decorative object. 2. a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing: to find one’s niche in the business world. 3. a distinct segment of a market. 4. Ecology – the position or function of an organism in a community of plants and animals. adjective 5. pertaining... CONTINUE READING
The sales cycle for service businesses, such as graphic design, takes a long time. “Long time” means six months to a year or more from first contact to closing the deal. Yikes! Here’s more not-so-good news to consider. Many freelancers and small studios only have a handful of clients. Typically, one in that handful is the cash cow, representing the majority of revenue for the designer. Picture this. You’re happily designing away for Cash Cow, Inc., minding your own... CONTINUE READING
As a 21st Century graphic designer, you’re still expected to do all the print-related stuff as well as provide site designs services and other online eye candy for clients. Many client types don’t see a distinction between print and Web work. This is particularly true for small businesses, which are the revenue bread and butter for most independent graphic designers and many smaller firms. Let’s say you’ve landed a client. They need a site. The conversation usually goes something... CONTINUE READING
The truth be told, there are loads of very talented designers out there competing against one another. But, it takes more than graphic design talent to be successful. It also requires the core business and managerial skills all small businesses need to master to be successful. That means a balancing act of wearing many hats including office manager; sales person; bookkeeper; human resources manager; janitor; chief cook and bottle washer, as well as graphic design. It tends to be... CONTINUE READING
Adobe offers a variety of subscription levels for Creative Cloud. The 30-day free trial provides 2GB of storage, but allows for only limited access to the array of applications. Its standard $49.99 US/month “Complete Individual” subscription provides full versions of Adobe® Photoshop®, Illustrator®, Acrobat®, and more, along with full access to services to help subscribers create mobile-ready content and apps; 20GB of cloud storage for file sharing and collaboration. It does, however, require an annual commitment that is billed... CONTINUE READING
Beyond that, having the ability to back up your designs with solid research enables you to offer authentic solutions that are truly strategic. Clients tend to like that. It moves your work from the “pretty pictures” arena into the world of sound, effective business tools. It helps to position you as a valuable partner rather than simply a rented pair of hands and a keyboard. The information you gather will allow you to much more accurately make sound design... CONTINUE READING
For the uninformed, an ambigram is a word, art form or other symbolic representation, whose elements retain meaning when viewed or interpreted from a different direction, perspective, or orientation. There are various forms of ambigrams including rotational, mirror-image, chain, symbiotograms, 3-D and perceptual shift among others. The earliest known non-natural ambigram dates back to 1893 in works created by artist Peter Newell. Newell published two books of invertible illustrations, in which the picture turns into a different image entirely... CONTINUE READING
Business Cards The days of being locked into the typical 3.5” x 2” horizontal business card are pretty much over. Sure, there’s still a bunch of them out there, but graphic designers have learned to spread their wings and take a few risks when it comes to card design. Vertical designs, die-cuts and embossing are often used to separate a company, independent professional or freelancer from the rest of the pack. Others opt for unique materials, CD business cards... CONTINUE READING
Have you ever noticed how the older one gets, the faster the years seem to blow by? It’s one of those time-relativity things. When you’re five, a year represents 1/5 of your life. When you’re 50, it represents 1/50. Each year, our perception of time compresses, so the years roll by, seemingly faster and faster, until the next thing you know, AARP is filling up your mailbox with membership invitations and you find yourself considering which Medicare plan is... CONTINUE READING
As we move from 2012 into 2013, it seems to be an appropriate time for reflection. What were the top design books and trends for the year? Let’s have a peek. Each year, logo design trends abound and 2012 was no different. LogoLounge.com provided some insights as to what designers were up to this past year. Report author and LogoLounge frontman, Bill Gardner, had this to say. “There’s plenty to be learned here, but you need to be looking... CONTINUE READING
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These less-than logosmiths tend to make the same mistakes over and over. At least they’re consistent. When it comes to art and science of logo design, there are cardinal rules that should be followed...
It is hardly surprising that many people think there is a big difference difference between graffiti and tagging. Some are of the opinion that people who do tags and call themselves graffiti artists should...
First up we have Gabriel Picolo’s doodle project. Every day for the 365 days he will draw a doodle. It is an attempt to stop procrastinating and so everyday in his notebook he will...