coco, string, banana and drinks

okay yes it is a weird description for my latest blog post but I couldn’t really think of anything else to describe the week that I’ve had this week. It’s been a little crazy I will give you that. I’m kind of flitting between different concepts and ideas and target audiences to try and help my clients which is never easy but its something I love. Why may you ask well idea’s seem to follow better when I working on a multitude of different projects. I think it’s because when you work on just one project your one focus is there, you almost over look the best Idea you had. Where as when you are short of time the idea comes you execute it and its done it there and you either love the idea hate the idea and then just move on. I’m really surprised how this week has worked out I’ve had about 20 replies to my advert if not more! it’s crazy its a good job I love all this designing malarkey. My life at the moment is all about design even in my spare time I’m design crazy I think my partner is going to go insane. I think sometimes he thinks I have a better relationship with photo shop than him! haha no I’m only joking!

At the moment when It comes to advertising and how I’m getting so much work its all down to marketing. which I once had the pleasure to work in so needless to say I picked up a few tips even if it was only a design internship. so here are a few tips from me being pro active really helps:

1) gumtree- reply and post adverts

I really can’t stress how amazing this website is you’ve put me in connection with so many lovely local people most of which live right on my door step. which means we can have Starbucks meetings! love it!

2) twitter – #graphicdesign #freelance #seeksdesigner I’ve found so many people just by searching through hash tags on twitter you would be surprised how many search results come up you also have to hash tag your area too. I hashtag london

3) linked in – my linked in profile is filled to the max. which means you get picked up very easily in search results very helpful recruiters find you for positions.

4) Behance profile – max it out keep adding and changing things like other peoples work and follow other peoples work

5) WordPress – use tag search to find people who are looking for designs searching graphic design is a good way to do this plus you get to see lots of beautiful work and comment and talk to people in the wordpress community (which I’m sure you all do) and don’t forget to tag all of your posts I tag like a crazy person!

6) creative pool – I’ve had lots of people view my work on creative pool and I’ve even recently had my work featured on the homepage! people and recruiters can find you easily too.

7) fill out a profile on top website such as total jobs and monster and reed.

8) always ask for more work the worst that they can say is no and you can still feed that positive connection between you and your client.

and finally sit back and watch the work roll in and if it doesn’t be proactive call a couple of add check all the jobs board and if all else fails go sip a cocktail in your back garden! any one got any other tips please feel free to share!

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Places to go people to see!

Okay so this week has been a little bit of a weird week as I’ve been away back to Nottingham to see my parent only just got back. To which was pretty non stop the entire time which made things a little crazy on the freelance front. although I did see some good art at Nottingham castle which was fun.

So naturally here I am sat on a train with my handy mac computer and my latest copy of computer arts (The innovations issue!) getting things together for my clients because they need me and plus I pretty much give a dependable service. Last week I did a poster for a new girl band coming and the speed and quality of the work has (hopefully) ensured my long term freelancing with that client finger crossed the guy seemed really happy and did say and I quote ” I will have lots of work for you over the summer” so that seems promising.

I’m also designing a new logo for a smoothie company which is mainly linked with tropical fruit my main focus of that project is for the coconut to look less like an egg… and then we are laughing! but other than that its going well.

I’m also working in conjunction with a eCommerce clothing brand based in Glasgow who want me to design some t-shirts for them for there latest range of t-shirts and there is regular work in that for me which sounds good. so yes I’ve been very busy.

I would add some image to show you some of the work I’ve been up to but for some reason my images keep uploading strange they all look like tiny little ants in size : ( must get that fixed anyone know why this is happening please contact me?!

What do our clients really want?

I’ve been freelancing for awhile now and as part of this I’ve been reading a few books. mainly “know your onions” graphic design and I’ve come to realize that some of the simplest of things that a client would need tend to be over looked by us. So I’d just like to highlight some of the things I’ve put in place with my own clients that keeps them happy and ultimately leads to more work.

1) Contact In my experience working with someone local to you can be way better than working with someone on the other side of the world the key reason for this is communication. (unless you can travel and work on the project in there country) or vice verse contact can be difficult. Skyping can be a great way to make things work although you also have to consider time difference. but the best client relationships that I have are the ones that I live on there door step. They know that they can phone me when I need to and that I will respond or we can meet in person, which gives them peace of mind. It makes sense they are investing there time in you and they need the confidence that you can do your job ect.

2) Pixel Perfection essentially this one is probably the most obvious but the way they see it is the better the perfection the better it looks on them. For example if you are designing a poster for them and there is a tiny bit out of place and there customer, client or whoever notices this. This can look bad on the company and instantly look unprofessional the same thing goes for a website. You have to think carefully one little thing out of place can send your customer on to another site, because imperfections can make you look sloppy and what customer would put money in your hands to do something, when you website flyer or whatever isn’t up to scratch.

3) Time Management  They say time is money for a reason I believe that this is true especially from a freelance perspective from the clients perspective the work should be done quickly and efficiently thus saving him or her money and getting just as much work done. This isn’t all ways easy when a client wants a lot of changes and lets face it we’ve all been there. working until the early hours of the morning is normal for the freelancer (yes I am referring to a freelancer as a hunter gather someone has to put food on the table!) but the main thing is the longer the project takes the more money we receive from the project (hopefully or not in some cases) but the more agitated the client would be that you didn’t just finish the project in the first 20 logo examples you gave them.

anyway I hope my little life experiences are of us to someone and if anyone has anything more to add on this please do so in the comments.

My Latest Branding Project

This week I’ve been working on a branding project. Logo design, Business card and brochure just wanted a little bit of feed back from you guys if you can help I really like it, but an unbiased second opinion is always good!.

The client is a 1 on 1 high end teaching and project management specialist.  which looks better out of these two?  after looking at it for awhile my mind just boggles.

 

moving forward-2-02

deer followers take a look at my Tee’s

This week I’m taking part in oh deers T-shirt competition I’ve decided to come up with fairly basic illustrative designs as I feel this is more a reflection of me! of course they are bright and funky and great for the summer time I’ve actually based them on several things I already have or influences *ahem* if you will.

Most of you will know this is my fabulous YCN competition entry which features quite heavily in my portfolio (salad cream).

I love food. I’m not going to lie its one of my passions and really I need to go on a diet but that’s another story! but in other news I mean people do prefer tomato ketchup over salad cream. At least they do in England anyway bloggers.

Buy my Ketchup T-shirt here!

do you dream in salad cream  ketchup-bottle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

as you can see there are definite influences there. I just Love this advert and if it wasn’t for copyright infringement with Heinz I would so put this on a t-shirt but unfortunately I can’t so here my illustrated version its cool its quirky its a little bit different and it gives that surrealist edge which I just love hooray for surrealism!  so competition meet competition and this means war!

Here is my second entry for the ohh deer competition.

One day I was at the pub minding my own business well playing the pub quiz (I don’t even drink!) having a humble coke and there I saw a smiling face staring back at me and I just thought i need to take a picture of this maybe it was just my artist way of thinking seeing things that clearly aren’t there (I repeat I do not drink!) but I saw something that summer day which lead me to produce this t-shirt and I like it. It’s cool it’s summery its a bit fun you can wear and the beach or just chillax at home in it.

I now have one more design to think of to add to this collection I think I’m going to have to go back to the drawing board with this one!

Anyway all that’s left to say is ….. Please please please re blog this post! share it on pinterest share it on twitter… or better still buy my T-shirt and help me out!! I would be so so happy if you did and further more if you do I will be more than happy to let you host blog on this page or give you free advertising on my posts of whatever just please….. share show friends.. be cool!

Buy my Ice summer T-shirt here!

securedownload-1sunshine T-shirt

I love swiss #graphic design

As you all know I love Swiss Graphic design and this week I’ve been doing a bit of fun designing for this great little website called swiss style design.

You design a film of your choices and submit it to the website they will then show you design in a gallery with a host of all the other cool people who decided to join in. It’s a great idea and great for inspiration when you need some. particularly if you love this style any way, I’m sure you will love it!

…..anyway I did my poster based on Harry Potter and the philosopher’s (or sorcerers to my American friends!) it’s simple but that’s kind of what I like about it I choose blue because for me it just conjures up (pardon the pun) old fashioned idea’s about wizards robes and for me I guess I still have an in grained animation of Disney the sorcerers apprentice in my mind I mean who in there right mind doesn’t know that one! mickey mouse is more of less a world wide sensation.. any who take a look at this website its cool and who Knows I might see your poster sometime soon!

SWISS STYLE DESIGN

Harry-potter-and-the-philosophers-stone

 

how do you feel about doing a test piece of work? (freelance)

(how do you reply) This is a difficult subject one of which I’m not sure how to answer but I’m looking at it from  both perspectives.

A client come to you asked you to do a piece of work as a test to see if he likes what you can do. in a job based interview this is ok. but is it acceptable for someone who earns money on there pieces of work alone to do on a freelance basis? should a client take into consideration portfolio before he or she takes the plunge or does the client have a right to give you a test run.

I’ve done these test runs before and while for me it has been sucessful I’m wondering are there freelancers out there who will only give the ok when they have there deposit and no test for cash flow reasons can simply not afford to give away there work (if brief) for free?

I sometimes feel that the designer feels cheated they worked hard to get qualifications a portfolio and to ask for more… well to be honest I’m just not sure on this one.

I think sometimes its good to test the water it also gives the designer a chance to understand if they will get on with the client or if it will be doomed from the start by which time you aren’t at a point of no return.

If any of you freelancers out there see this post (and my lovely followers) please do share your experiences with me i’m interested to know how you have dealt with this situation and if this is something you have come across. Have you gone along with it or point blank just refused?

 

Logo design

Creativity vs Cash: A graphic designers work flow..

It’s come to my attention recently that I haven’t really discussed what is going in terms of my work and freelancing for a while at current I have 2 clients. which they are both going pretty smoothly one only initial wanted me to do a logo and business card design and now I am doing there website as they are so happy with the results which is good. The other is a packaging based project which I am very excited to be part of.

It is great to have a clients that lets your creativity flow.

I mean some client already have an idea and a vision in there head which they want you to materialize other have absolutely no idea what they want and are happy to let you as a professional in your industry lead the way, as to what is appropriate for their target market.

Most graphic designer prefer the latter (at least you would think) although sometimes the one that know what they want can give you an idea if you can execute it correctly. So if this is the case then in theory in terms of money and turn over which one would you decide option A or option B

A. The client know what they want you can execute it much more quickly meaning that  your quote for the project would be better off because your shooting above your time scale.

B. The client doesn’t know what they want. You get the creative control but It may take you longer the client could be indecisive and therefore your turn over would be less if you gave a quote that didn’t take this into consideration

It’s a difficult option basically creative vs cash but this is the kind of world we live in and as a freelancer who’s constantly learning about new things every day. It makes me stop and think about projects option A or option B which is best for me as a designer one feels like the easy route and the other creative but maybe financial less.

Basically and this is the “deep” part everything boils down to our decisions and risks sounds psychological but maybe its true. are you a risk taker or are you safe and now from analyzing my client base I guess I’m the risk taker in option B. but the question is who has the better portfolio? and at junior level anyway surely its quality not quantity … maybe I will get to option A In the future… perhaps design and experience will change the way I design in the future who knows.

logo design

Graphic design internships… what are they for?

It dawned on me the other day whilst searching through jobs through gumtree.com to see if I could find a captivating piece of work that I would like to put my name to. The sheer amount of times the word “intern” comes up with the words “unpaid” and don’t get me wrong I guess I’m looking in the wrong place If I want paid freelance work especially seeing as most of these company’s don’t pay to put there adverts on gumtree. It clearly doesn’t give us hope and whilst there is paid work on gumtree which I am able to tap into due to my expertise and knowledge .I feel bad for the fresh faced graduates looking to make there mark in the world when jobs are vastly being replaced by people who are able (not sure who they are) to work for free. personally I think graduates everywhere should boy-cock the term “un-paid intern” in order to produce paid work for someone else?! is this even logical? surely this would benefit everyone but it seems to me that if you are rich and privileged enough to work for free than some guy (or girl) somewhere will lose his job…. maybe not in the big firms or the ones who have proper vetted graduate schemes but the small start ups with no intention of making that persons jobs permanent and stringing them on in the hope things will get better…. I doubt it..

But I’m talking to you the people who contact someone like me with the clear intention to rip me off and demean my work by asking for it for free…. your work doesn’t benefit me in any way. I already have a portfolio and I’m not looking to add to it just because you say I need to. I don’t need a reference as  I have respectable clients who pay me enough that I value there opinion on the way I conduct my work. So what more do you really have to offer me?

 

what I’ve been up to (freelancing mostly)

Well I’ve been freelancing awhile now and to be honest It’s now to the point where I get very little time to do my blog which I now decided needed a long over due update.

I’ve been working with a lot of food based clients over the few months some have been local and some have been not so local I’m enjoying this type of work and I think it is something that I am definitely going to continue with (provided I can find more food based clients who are willing to take me on!)

I’ve realized more and more that I am developing my own style its got to the point where I can look at my work and compare the similarities between each project (big or small)

The way I work is becoming more and more structured and even the everyday admin parts are becoming easier simple things like invoices ect are becoming second nature to me.

At the moment I am working on the development of my site at the moment as you can see my theme is not designed me. which as you can imagine as a designer frustrates me a little bit so my aim now is to customize my theme or create my own custom template which considering this. I’ve only ever predominately created websites using my own HTML/CSS I now understand why SEO is important and what It can do for me to be searchable to people.

Hopefully this will help me gain more exposure as a result.

I’m continuing to gain work from companies some I have consistent work with which helps me no end. I feel like I’m getting closer everyday but I know things take time and I’m to the point where I want things to be just right.