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 Internet is a wonderful thing. I pretty much live on it. It puts the collective knowledge of mankind at your fingertips. It also makes it very tempting and easy to lift a logo, art, image or some prose. It happens all the time. There’s a myth floating around that if something is on the Net, it’s in the public domain. Not so. Even if it doesn’t carry a ©, it’s probably still protected by copyright. But, stuff still... CONTINUE READING
As graphic designers, we deal in concepts and ideas. But, we also deal in intellectual property. Intellectual property (IP) is the area of law that addresses intangibles such as copyrights, trademarks and patents. For designers and other visual artists it concerns protecting the work we do, for both ourselves and, often, our clients. And herein lies the problem. Most designers don’t think about rights, unless they’re a Landor or some other huge design firm. That is to say, they... CONTINUE READING
For many graphic designers, “sales” is a four-letter word. Okay, it’s five, but you get the idea. It gives them the heebie-jeebies and they often feel as though they need to take a shower after a sales-e encounter. That’s if the encounter ever takes place. Designers are notorious for avoiding sales like the plague. It conjures up visions of the stereotypical, checkered jacket with plaid pants, cigar-smoking car salesman. Nonetheless, sales is a necessary function, just like designing, marketing,... CONTINUE READING
September 27 marked the start of the 2012 HOW Interactive Design Conference in Washington, D.C. On that day several hundred designers, programmers, SEO specialists and other Web workers descended upon the U.S. Capitol, eager to learn emerging Web technologies and techniques from each other and also leading industry experts. This year, the conference was divided into two tracks – one for designers just moving into web design, with sessions on transitioning print design skills to the Web and getting... CONTINUE READING
Art school was a wacky, wild and totally weird time for me. That was back in the 70s when we still used press type, rapidographs, markers and 360 layout pads. Another thing I never quite understood was who had the brilliant idea to put an art school in the back of a Holiday Inn, on the beach in Fort Lauderdale, with a bar in the front and another one across the street. It was the notorious Elbow Room. I... CONTINUE READING
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
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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...