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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.
The design world lost a champion on September 8 with the passing of Bill Moggridge, director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. The designer of the first laptop computer and co-founder of IDEO was 69 years old. Moggridge was director of the museum for only two years, but in that short time he guided the museum through a critical juncture, enhancing its visitor and exhibition facilities and oversaw a $54 million program to increase exhibition space by 60... CONTINUE READING
Logo design is a staple for many graphic designers. But figuring out how much to charge for them can be a lesson in angst and anxiety. Thoughts spin around in many a designer’s brain. “Is my fee too low? Too high? What happens if this client grows up to become a mega-brand? Am I slitting my throat? Will I regret things down the road?” The questions go on and on. By comparison, brochures and other printed material are pretty... CONTINUE READING
Over the past (Ahem) 35 years, I’ve written enough proposals to fill a tractor-trailer. In the beginning, I was pretty clueless and writing a proposal took a fair amount of time. Back then my close rate wasn’t too hot, either. But, with time and experience, they became easier to research and write. My close rate started to climb, as well. Proposals are one of those necessary business evils many designers wrestle with, newbies and vets, alike. What should be... CONTINUE READING
My article, The Sad State of Design, 2012, garnered some excellent comments from readers and the poll showed an overwhelming number who agreed that the design industry is in something of a sad state (Results: 93%, yes 7%, no). So, does that mean that graphic design is going to the dogs and there’s no hope? Hardly. All it needs is a slight change in the way we approach things. Fellow Advisory Board member, Dave Bricker, summed it up pretty... CONTINUE READING
Okay … this is something of a rant. Bear with me or indulge me. I might be spot on, totally off, or just in a lousy mood. A friend called this morning to tell me that his grandson was considering a career in graphic design. He asked for my thoughts and opinion. I couldn’t come up with a single encouraging idea. I told him to have his grandson look into another career option. I’ve been at this design stuff... CONTINUE READING
The short answer is both. While the front-end graphic designer is busy with design, layout, typography, image research and such, the back-end web designer (let’s call them a coder) is busy setting up the server, databases, installing software, writing various custom code and the likes. The trick is to keep the communications open so the left hand knows what the right is doing and vice versa. When the communication fails, problems rear their ugly heads and they do it... CONTINUE READING
A website project can be a lesson in conflict and compromise. A delicate dance between the designer and the developer. Their goals are the same – to please the client and the audience. Yet they often approach these goals from very different mindsets, which can easily result in a collision. Graphic designers tend to focus on aesthetics. Balance. Elegant typography. Beautiful color palettes. Dynamic images. Developers, on the other hand, tend to think about function, usability and concise code... CONTINUE READING
Developing a website, even a small one, can easily turn into a daunting task without some sort of documented process in place. There are those sites that require little more than a designer sitting in front of their monitor tapping out some html and css. Other sites can involve an army of team members from graphic designers to coders, photographers to writers and a host of others in between. What they share, or at least should, is a process... CONTINUE READING