Contest Fail – Hire a Real Designer

I had phone conversation last night with a potential client that wanted me to design a logo for him. He said that he had run a contest for $50 earlier and got a bunch of logos, but they were all sub-par amateur work. He liked what I had in my portfolio and wanted something of that caliber. I told him my rates – over 10 times what he had originally paid and he was all right with that.

You know why? Because you brand is the most important graphic representation of your business. If you were the book, it’s your cover. The more interesting the cover looks, the more likely someone will open the book.

While you want to sell your product, service, etc. you have to get the audience to want to find out more. A good image will help you get them through the door.

Green Billing

Any of my clients will notice that I hardly ever mail anything.  It is not intentionally “green”, I just see it as a waste with all the technology we have at our disposal and especially since most of my freelance business projects are web/identity where the client doesn’t need a hard copy proof.

I especially like web-based billing. I had started out with PDF emails in 2004, giving clients the ability to pay with Paypal. I never liked checks to be mailed, especially with clients mailing over long distances. Oftentimes I had checks get lost in the mail, which was never good.

Now I’ve streamlined even more with Curdbee. Not only can I still make PDF emails, but I can also accept Paypal and Google Checkout right from the invoice. It allows me to export and import data which makes tax time a breeze (export the invoices to excel, weed out the ones not paid or paid in another year, and add together). Clients can easily view the invoices from the web and if I update invoice details, it’s automatically updated so I don’t need to resend it.

That’s why

I love invoicing with CurdBee

New work and adventures in proofing

Their old site left so much to be desired from. It was outdated and the church staff has issues with updating.

The new site is HTML/CSS and in the CMSMS Content Management System. The news and event listings are the same editable listing with two different CSS-styled views. The slideshow on the front has been done using jQuery and an HTML list with CSS styling. The site has browser fixes for optimum display in IE7.

Christ the King Lutheran Church

Adventures in Proofing

It’s pretty sad when you read a magazine for the ads. It’s worse when you catch an ad with a spelling error. Can you catch the one below (no, I didn’t design this)?

Why do they hire me?

Recently I’ve been working with some clients that have several revisions. They give me mockups of changes they would like to see, things thing would like added to the design. It is turning into a mess. Chances are they will not read this because I don’t think they have ever been to my website. At times I wonder, why do they hire me? I’ve got nearly 7 years of experience, a degree, design awards…yet they think they know what will look the best.

If you are one of those clients (or think you are) please consider what I’ve said. I get frustrated with you. I am trying to make you look good. I’m even giving you discounts! I don’t want my name on something I am not 100% satisfied with. If I tell you it would look better implemented in another way, PLEASE take my advice (thank you to those that do)! I use your mockups as a guide, not for copying.I have to rant somewhere and I’d rather it be indirect.

I thank you to those clients who understand me. Most of those actually looked at my work, read my FAQ, etc. Those clients hired me because they saw something unique in me and my designs and knew I could do the job. They didn’t hire me solely because someone they knew said I did design.

I hope they realize that I charge hourly and the more revisions they ask of me, the more expensive it’s going to get for them.

That’s so 2001!

cell phone if you have one? 10 years maybe? Remember when Nokia was all the rage? It’s old isn’t it? It doesn’t work as well as the newer phones. It doesn’t have as much functionality as the newer phones.

What about your computer ten years ago? Do you still have it now? Doesn’t work as good as today’s computers and probably with less functionality. Do you still have a floppy drive?

What is my point?

Internet Explorer 6 was released in August, 2001. This year would be its 10th year anniversary. It is time to put it to rest. It’s old. It doesn’t work as well as newer browsers and it doesn’t offer as much functionality, especially with CSS. There are hundreds of security flaws. Internet Explorer 8 is available now. It’s time to keep up with the times, especially when it’s free. That’s why I don’t support IE 6 when coding. If you want it, be prepared for additional costs because yes it will cost you. If you don’t want to support IE 6 and want others to get on the wagon for a better usability and viewing experience, I can add a conditional comment for those viewing on IE 6 and earlier to update.