Market your graphic designs

Items you will need

  • Business card
  • Online portfolio
  • Website
Step 1Determine your target market so you can tailor marketing efforts to client needs. Providing wedding graphic designs is different from providing design solutions for small businesses. Tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.

Step 2Gather your best designs and create a professional portfolio to show during client meetings. Create sample designs as spec pieces if you don’t have previous work to show. Keep your target market in mind as you do so. Include invitations, save-the-date cards and wedding programs to brides-to-be. Include logos, business cards, brochures and letterhead designs for business owners.

Step 3Create a website or online portfolio to market your graphic designs locally and outside of your area. Use websites such as Coroflot, DeviantArt or Wobook to host an online portfolio or purchase a web domain and hosting through sites such as GoDaddy, Yahoo Small Business or BlueHost.

Step 4Design a logo to represent your graphic design business. Create business cards to promote your services. Include a brief listing of services provided, contact information and the web address of your online portfolio.

Step 5Join local business associations to introduce your designs to your community. Partner with local businesses who do not compete with your brand but whose clientele is a part of your target market.

Step 6Create a direct-mail campaign using postcards you can design yourself. Provide in these an introduction of yourself and your services, and advise recipients on how to contact you. Send these cards to members of the local business community or purchase direct-mail lists online.

Step 7Attend community events and offer to donate your graphic services. You can create a brochure, event program or logo.

Back to the basics

20130713-193755.jpgIt’s always a good idea to go back to the basics. That’s exactly what I need during my designers block frustrations. I contemplated whether I needed a graphic design book because the Internet has so much information! But, I’m a little over reading on web all day and I wanted to flip pages. I may not be able to zoom into the pictures like I do on the iPad, but the texture and smell of a textbook I kinda miss. =P I also miss the basics of graphic design. So, I browsed through the pages of “Design Basics Index” by Jim Krause at my local Books-A-Million. I actually judged this book from it’s copyright date, 2004, and I wondered if a 2004 graphic design could be outdated by 2013. Another book I looked at that was published in 2010 was very eye catchy and maybe double the size of Design Basics. I guess that’s sort of like judging book by it’s looks, so I really read into these books; a little here and there per section, per chapter, per cover. Design Basics was the perfect fit because is has exercises scattered through the book and it was just the whole package with good and bad examples. It was about making conscious decisions and not just placing that logo in the corner just because it looks good. I needed more reason in my designs because I was kind of designing to things that looked cool. Then, I couldn’t get myself out of that initial design. That means I ran out of ideas. So, the basics will definitely refresh my brain on my community college practice. The university doesn’t let you practice all that much, which I hope changes for the better. I’m looking forward to evolving.


Reflect designs after feedback

How long must you take you actually reflect on your designs? I reflect by getting into Photoshop and playing with everything. Tweaking here there. Changing the colors, the text, anything to get a different look. But it goes deeper than just tweaking.
I have an idea of what looks great and what doesn’t, but it’s difficult to reject your own design you’re initially proud of. It’s until your design gets feedback that you have to stare long and hard at what the heck is wrong with the design. My design below was eliminated from the contest ultimately because it wasn’t what the client was looking for, but the feedback that struck a cord was “generic.” I looked at my design and asked… Why are you generic? What is generic? Well, there are simple shapes and colors that could work for any business. It’s not a real branding logo. There’s so much I need to study when it comes to giving clients what they want and need at that. I read a couple of articles on the importance of graphic design, that’s what I binged, and it was consistent that companies want a branding image that will effect the community in a positive manner. Makes sense enough. I’d want that for my business as well. Being a graphic designer is really tough. I’ll need to study and research how to communicate effectively with every design.
Anyone have a good blog to follow? Or a good book to guide me through graphic design?

Yoga healing design woes

It’s been a couple of days since I took on other “contests” from DesignCrowd. I was immersed in my wave designs. I’d like to thank that business, Kainalu Designs, for that challenge. It always feels great for your creativity to flourish and you fully accept your designs. I’ll still be bummed if my designs do not win, but it will be in my resume and up for sale.
kainalucollage copyI’ve been facing disappointment lately as other contests close and eliminate my designs. It’s a learning experience, I remind myself. Yoga has been a great way to foster that mindset too. There are numerous occasion as soon as I open Photoshop designer’s block hits. I have to remind myself that I took the challenge, might’ve failed, but that’s ok because it’s all about practice. Yoga is about practice too. All you have to be proud of is that you tried. Now, yoga is not for everyone, but if you’re interested I’ve attached a video I stuck with for about a month.

Here are a couple of designs I dished out for today. It’s for a law firm. The fonts are not designed by me, but the logo is. I feel that they are welcoming designs that tells clients they can count on this law firm.

Typography Frustrations!

Ever since I can remember I have been collecting free fonts from different websites. Only now I realize that I have the tools to design it, but not so much the knowledge. I’m not so crystal about the different between “typeface” and “font.” Then again that could be the frustration talking. I’ve been sifting through amazon for typography design or guides or workbooks, anything really. Most of them are on the expensive side, so thank goodness for the used books. Then again I have no clue how valuable any of those books would be for me. The Internet could have just as valuable information. Heck, the real world would probably be a very good way to get inspiration. My only dilemma: creating it. Is Illustrator the correct tool? I’ll have to dust off that textbook.
Rewinding a bit, while browsing through the books on Amazon I noticed majority of them suggested to get the good ole pencil and paper and just start doodling letters. That should be a good idea.

If you have any other advice on how to create your own typeface or fonts (I need to research that) please pay it forward. =) I’m yearnin’ for some learnin’ – Goofy Movie