Design

Podcasts – The Deep End Design

graphic designers Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison & Nick Longo

Episodes

What’s Coming to Creative Cloud?
1:03:32
2017-09-22 13:40:28 UTC 1:03:32
What’s Coming to Creative Cloud?

Every designer basically lives, works and breathes in the Adobe Creative Cloud. So this week, we have Adobe’s Michaël Chaize on with us to discuss upcoming additions, as well as a few cool things you can currently use that you may not have known about. (We were all surprised by a few things that we can’t wait to try!)

We also talk about the cool things we can expect to do/see/learn at the upcoming AdobeMax conference in Vegas. And of course, we answer a new listener question about social media kits for clients.

Show Links:

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DesignCast 140: Listener Question Show!
44:47
2017-09-22 13:40:28 UTC 44:47
DesignCast 140: Listener Question Show!

We made it to 140 fun-filled episodes, and to celebrate, we’re digging deep into our mailbag to answer six new burning questions from listeners like you.

Whether you’re a print or web designer, seasoned vet or newbie, there’s something here for everyone!

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 140: Listener Question Show! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Recurring Revenue Packages
51:57
2017-09-22 13:40:28 UTC 51:57
Recurring Revenue Packages

Did you know it costs about five times as much to acquire a new client than it takes to maintain an existing one? Knowing that, why do so many designers “one and done” it with their clients?

In this episode, the gang talks about some great ways to keep your existing customers by offering ongoing services that benefit you both. For example, if you design websites, why not offer a monthly SEO service that helps them attract visitors? We’ll talk about how to structure and price your packages, as well as how to pitch them to your new and existing clients.

We also answer a new listener question about what to post on social media to attract, educate and entertain prospective clients, rather than just other designers.

Show Links:

The post Recurring Revenue Packages appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Proposals: Put in the Work!
1:07:21
2017-09-22 13:40:28 UTC 1:07:21
Proposals: Put in the Work!

One of our very first shows was about proposals, but we’ve gained a lot of knowledge since those early days, and we have a lot of new proposal tips to share with you. Listen as the gang talks about all aspects of the proposal process, including the writing process, things to include, and how to properly deliver a proposal to a prospect.

Yes, a proposal done right can mean a lot of upfront (sometimes unpaid for) work. But if you do it right, it will pay off, big time.

We also answer a new listener question about niching while still advertising that you have generalist capabilities.

Show Links:

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An Ad-ucation in Advertising Your Design Business
1:00:56
2017-09-22 13:40:28 UTC 1:00:56
An Ad-ucation in Advertising Your Design Business

Unless you have all the business you can handle, AND you are making the kind of money you deserve, you should probably consider advertising in one way or another. In this episode, the gang discusses the various platforms available that work in 2017. We talk about paid options, but Mikelle has another method that she has had great success with that won’t cost you a dime.

We also have a big announcement in this episode that you won’t want to miss!

And we of course answer a new listener question regarding how to handle case studies when your clients don’t provide you enough hard data.

Show Links:

The post An Ad-ucation in Advertising Your Design Business appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Talkin’ 2017 Logo Trends in the LogoLounge
1:10:40
2017-09-22 13:40:28 UTC 1:10:40
Talkin’ 2017 Logo Trends in the LogoLounge

It’s that time of year again. The smell of freshly cut grass in your nose, the taste of vodka with just a splash of lemonade on your tongue, and the sweet sounds of Bill Gardner talking about this year’s logo design trends all up in your earbuds! That’s right kiddies, it’s time for the 2017 LogoLounge Trend Report, and we’ve got it all right from the source.

Listen as we talk about all the latest logo design trends, and how we got here. It’s a fascinating conversation, and we highly recommend following along with the report, which you can find here: https://www.logolounge.com/articles/2017-logo-trends

Our conversation was so engrossing, we actually ran out of time for a listener question — a first for our show. But don’t worry, we’ll get back on track next time.

Show Links:

The post Talkin’ 2017 Logo Trends in the LogoLounge appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Mobile Optimization Checklist
1:03:16
2017-09-22 13:40:28 UTC 1:03:16
The Mobile Optimization Checklist

I’ll bet most of you either specialize in web design, or at least offer it as a client service. Like it or not, in 2017 (and beyond,) this means you need to know how to design for mobile devices. With over half of Internet browsing taking place on mobile, we as designers can no longer afford to ignore it.

In this episode, we go through a checklist of everything you need to think about in order to satisfy mobile users, as well as search engines in regard to mobile web design. We cover two major areas:

  1. Site speed
  2. User experience

We also tackle a new audio question about whether turning to UX/UI design can result in fewer client objections.

Show Links:

The post The Mobile Optimization Checklist appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Designing with SEO in Mind
59:19
2017-09-22 13:40:28 UTC 59:19
Designing with SEO in Mind

If you offer web design services, how well do you know the mysterious art of SEO? For any noobs out there, that stands for “search engine optimization,” and is usually a very important aspect to almost any website. Any SEO expert will tell you that it’s always better to plan your search strategy from the beginning, but all too often, it is added in at the last minute as an afterthought.

In this episode, Wes offers some basic training in planning SEO from the start, and how that will impact the rest of the project. if you can nail the basics, any site you design will be in a much better position when the real work of link-building begins.

We also answer a new listener question about making your phone number public, and the types of clients you might attract that way (and how to better qualify them.)

Show Links:

The post Designing with SEO in Mind appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Charging for Your Value
55:35
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 55:35
Charging for Your Value

In the world of graphic design, most people charge one of two ways: based on time or per project. But let’s face it, both are usually based on some type of time-based calculation. The problem with this method is that nobody really benefits from it.

Your client is ends up paying for the time you spend, not a tangible result. And you are essentially just trading time for money. Why not charge your clients based on the value you bring to them instead?

In this episode, the gang talks all about the ins and outs of this method of pricing, as well as our own experiences with it. If you aren’t using this pricing model yet, you should really consider it. It will only benefit you and your clients, as you now have a vested stake in their success.

We also answer a listener question about a possibly tacky method of advertising.

Show Links:

 

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Supplementing with Subcontractors
1:08:28
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:08:28
Supplementing with Subcontractors

We love getting topic suggestions from our listeners, and today’s episode is one of those. We’ve talked a lot over the year about subcontracting work out to others. It’s a great way to fill in your skill gaps, or just have extra hands in order to focus on more important business-building tasks. In today’s episode, you’ll hear how we started getting our feet wet hiring subcontractors, what duties we give them, as well as a whole lot of advice we wish we’d known from the beginning.

We also answer an audio question about where we turn to keep learning in a very crowded Internet.

Show Links:

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Advice for the Graduating Design Student
1:07:04
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:07:04
Advice for the Graduating Design Student

With spring break well behind us, thoughts turn to summer, and maybe even graduation. Good thing we have our resident design professor Nick to dole out some awesome advice to all you grads out there. And in the spirit of not leaving the rest of you out, this advice is pretty great for any designer when it comes to job interviewing, and portfolio sprucing.

We also answer a listener question about the best way to become known as an authority in the design realm.

Also, if you happen to get the awesome reference in our featured image above, go ahead and leave a comment. You’ll definitely earn our respect.

Show Links:

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DesignCast 130: A Good, Old Fashioned Listener Question Show
58:36
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 58:36
DesignCast 130: A Good, Old Fashioned Listener Question Show

We’ve reached another milestone, (assuming 130 is indeed a milestone?) So we’re back to clear out the ol’ inbox and answer your burning questions. We have seven different ones, so there is really something for everyone in this episode.

We know we’ve been doing live episodes for this lately, but we just forgot to tease it on the last episode, so we went back to “the old way” just this once. #sorrynotsorry

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 130: A Good, Old Fashioned Listener Question Show appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Qualifying Your Clients
52:50
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 52:50
Qualifying Your Clients

Whenever you first meet with a new prospective client, they are sizing you up. And if you’re smart, you’re sizing them up right back. After all, you probably don’t want to work with everyone who comes your way. There are many things to consider: their budget versus your rates, their niche, their project, and their overall attitude. In short, you need to figure out pretty quickly whether or not you want to work with this person.

In today’s episode, the gang dissects the qualification process. Why we do it, and how. Because if you’re serious about your design business, you need to be selective with your clients. Some will make your job incredibly fulfilling, and some will make you hate getting up in the morning. Even worse, pick the wrong clients consistently enough, and you’ll be out of business altogether.

We also answer a listener question about sending out physical work samples to get new business, and how to do that with nothing but “concept” portfolio work.

Show Links:

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Getting Our Mood Board On
56:37
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 56:37
Getting Our Mood Board On

If you’ve ever felt like your first client comps aren’t nailing it, you really need to give mood boards a try. Mood boards are a way to save time by quickly communicating an overall design direction to your client for approval. This can involve just one that they need to approve, or multiple variations from which they can choose a direction. Either way, by getting this visual feedback up front, your first comps will come much closer to hitting the bulls-eye.

The gang talks about their own experiences with mood boards, as well as tips and tricks to make sure you’re getting everything you can out of this exercise, (and have a little moment of creative zen along the way.)

We also answer a listener question about landing an agency job with no prior agency experience, (as well as little to no digital experience.)

Show Links:

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Project Minimums to Maximize Business
1:05:31
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:05:31
Project Minimums to Maximize Business

Nothing can kill the productivity of a designer faster than a neverending barrage of small jobs. You have to wrap your head around a new brand, create invoices, and client interactions for a micro-payout. This is why it is so crucial to have a project minimum — the absolute minimum amount you’re willing to take on a new job for.

This can be applied to either money, time or scope. Whatever makes the most sense for you and your design business. In this episode, the gang talks all about why having a minimum is important, and what can be wasted without one. And of course, we all have stories to tell on the subject.

We also answer a new listener question about the specific marketing/messaging that got us our first “big fish” clients.

Show Links:

The post Project Minimums to Maximize Business appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Be Your Own Trendsetter
1:02:18
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:02:18
Be Your Own Trendsetter

We talk a lot about design trends, but when is it time to break away from the pack and try something totally different? And with a never ending supply of design inspiration out there, how do you turn down the noise enough to explore your own creativity?

In this episode, the gang explores this idea, and how it can apply to print, branding and web design. We’ve got some great examples from our own projects, and we also talk about how to push the envelope creatively within the real-life constraints that we often find ourselves in.

We also answer a new listener question about how to make potential clients see your work as superior, when they lack the “designer’s eye.”

And special shout-out to Aleisther Guido for this awesome piece of fan art!

pink fan art

Show Links:

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Diving Deep into Discovery
57:10
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 57:10
Diving Deep into Discovery

Do you know the best way to deliver real value to your clients? Coincidentally, it’s the same thing that will allow you to charge much more than you’re charging now—Discovery.

Discovery is the secret sauce to solving real problems in your clients’ business. When you stop simply taking orders based on your clients’ stated needs, and digging deeper, you can provide web design, branding, or just about any other type of design that actually connects with their audience, contributing to their bottom line.

In this episode, listen as the gang goes over their discovery processes, and how they use discovery to unlock unexpected gold nuggets of info that they can build a thoughtful project around.

We also answer a new listener question about how to tell a potential client why not to use a DIY web builder for their website.

Show Links:

The post Diving Deep into Discovery appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Web Design Trends We Can Expect in 2017
53:57
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 53:57
Web Design Trends We Can Expect in 2017

On our last episode, we covered all the biggest graphic design trends we predict for next 2017, and we wanted to follow it up with trends we can expect to see specifically in the world of web design.

Listen as the gang goes over their favorite (and most promising) trends for 2017. Some are purely aesthetic, while some actually have a higher purpose—to increase conversions.

If you’d like to add the infographic Wes talked about to your own blog, feel free to check it out and grab the embed code here.

And for our last show of the year, we of course answer a new listener question about how to measure the success of a design project when there isn’t any hard data to back it up.

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep2016 — Click here to get your yearly subscription to Videoblocks and Audioblocks for just $149… That’s $100 off
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

The post Web Design Trends We Can Expect in 2017 appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Graphic Design Trends of 2017 Predicted!
1:02:06
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:02:06
Graphic Design Trends of 2017 Predicted!

With 2016 quickly approaching, let’s turn to what 2017 will likely have in store for us as graphic designers. In this episode, the gang talks about the trends we have all been noticing and are likely to spike in the new year. We talk creative trends, as well as a few trends in the creative freelancing arena.

We also answer a new listener question about how to rise above all those free tools just about anyone can use to simulate a graphic designer’s job.

Show Links:

Photo credit: Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

The post Graphic Design Trends of 2017 Predicted! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide ’16
1:00:47
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:00:47
The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide ’16

The holidays are upon us, and that means three things — some really bad Christmas movies on The Hallmark Channel, getting drunk to avoid family, and the Deeply Graphic annual designer gift guide episode. Seriously, it’s one of our favorite yearly traditions, and this one truly has something for everybody.

So strap in, spice up your eggnog, (nobody’s lookin’) and listen for all the coolest stuff you should be asking your loved ones for this holiday season.

We also answer a new question about clueless employers asking you to design stuff in (gasp) Microsoft Word. Seriously though, where’s my eggnog?

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep2016 — Click here to get your yearly subscription to Videoblocks and Audioblocks for just $149… That’s $100 off
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

Gift Links (No peeking until after you’ve listened):

 

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Tips & Tricks for Designing Facebook Ads That Crush It
57:05
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 57:05
Tips & Tricks for Designing Facebook Ads That Crush It

Facebook ads are one of the most cost-effective — and overall effective — forms of online marketing available today. This is because you can easily tailor them to the target audience. In today’s episode, listen as the gang schools you on the best ways to design killer Facebook ads, as well as some behind the scenes marketing tactics you can use to make them as effective as they can be.

You can use this to design Facebook ads for your own design business, or take what you learn and apply it to your clients Facebook ads. By not only understanding what makes a great looking ad, but how to make it as effective as possible, you can bring a tremendous value to your clients — and charge a premium for your expertise.

We also answer a listener question about how we have personally used social media for our businesses.

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep2016 — Click here to get your yearly subscription to Videoblocks and Audioblocks for just $149… That’s $100 off
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section
  • Unstock.io — for stock images you can use in Facebook ads that feel more authentic
  • Richard Garcia’s cinemagraph tutorial video

The post Tips & Tricks for Designing Facebook Ads That Crush It appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Live Halloween Spooktacular! Ask Us Anything
1:16:17
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:16:17
Live Halloween Spooktacular! Ask Us Anything

To celebrate our 120th episode, we decided to join forces with the darkest of holidays to bring you our first ever live Halloween Spooktacular! While the live event has come and gone, you can still listen to all the spookiness and listener questions we took during our live broadcast.

We got to answer a bunch of questions from a lot of you, so there is more than enough here to fill up your trick or treat bag!

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep50 — Click here to get your yearly subscription for $50 off. That’s just $99/year for a HUGE library of video clips
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

The post Live Halloween Spooktacular! Ask Us Anything appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Cinemagraphs* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)
45:43
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 45:43
Everything You Wanted to Know About Cinemagraphs* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)

One of the big forecasted web design trends for 2016 was the widespread use of cinemagraphs. So where are they?

Listen in as the gang dissects the benefits or incorporating cinemagraphs into your web designs, email marketing campaigns and social campaigns. We also go over your basic options for making/purchasing one, and what you would need to make one from scratch.

Listen to learn how to make a cinemagraph

Since this is such an untapped trend, you can be one of the first to use cinemagraphs in your designs, which is a great way to keep the attention of users and increase conversions.

Be sure to join us for our Halloween Live-Stream Spooktacular! Monday, Oct. 24 at 6pm Pacific, 9 Eastern. Go to thedeependdesign.com/live

We also answer a new listener question about freelancing vs. fulltime when you have young ones at home.

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep50 — Click here to get your yearly subscription for $50 off. That’s just $99/year for a HUGE library of video clips
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section
  • Clipchamp.com

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Hot Print Talk! The Latest Trends in the Print World
52:04
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 52:04
Hot Print Talk! The Latest Trends in the Print World

While we can sometimes get focused on web design, this one’s for all you die-hard print designers out there.

Join us as we chat with Nicole and Katie from Tri City Printing about all the latest trends in the print world. We cover all the hottest new print promotional items you can use with your own branding as client gifts, or to suggest to your clients for their own purposes. We also talk about the newest trends in inks and finishes that will make your business cards, brochures and other printed materials pop.

We also answer a new listener question about avoiding bad design habits when you’re starting out.

Show Links:

The post Hot Print Talk! The Latest Trends in the Print World appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Why Should Clients Choose You?
1:06:08
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:06:08
Why Should Clients Choose You?

All designers want to get to the point in their career where they can call the shots and work with the clients they want to work with. But how do you get there? By being the kind of designer (and businessperson) that clients consistently want to work with.

In this episode, we’re joined for a second time by branding expert Terri Trespicio. Terri dishes out some pretty amazing advice on how to figure out exactly what you do, how to communicate that with your clients, and how to make them care.

Only by conveying a unique value to your prospects can you expect to stand out and generate enough interest to propel you to where you can call the shots.

We also answer a new listener question about the ethics and logistics of adding projects (where you had a limited revisionist role) to your portfolio.

Show Links:

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Finding Design Clients Through Social Media
1:02:58
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:02:58
Finding Design Clients Through Social Media

As creative solopreneurs or agency owners, there are no shortage of ways to find great clients. We can attend networking mixers, send out emails, or rely on good old-fashioned word of mouth. But one we keep getting one particular question time and time again — how do you use the power of social media to find new business?

This week, we are joined by social media expert, (don’t call him a guru!) Josh Hoffman. Josh teaches us the importance of establishing your brand on social media, how to put yourself in front of the right people, and what to say and do once you have their attention.

Josh also talks about the importance of the principle of playing “the long game” with potential clients, and the concept of “killing them with content.” There are a million great tips in this episode, so you won’t want to miss a second.

We also answer a new listener question about how to make your design resumé stand out to potential employers.

Show Links:

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When Your Clients Aren’t Feeling It
45:39
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 45:39
When Your Clients Aren’t Feeling It

Have you ever had an unsatisfied client? At some point, I think every designer has run into this problem. It’s how you deal with it that matters.

This episode was spurred on by a listener question we got from a designer who’s client went completely off-the-grid after things went south. Not knowing what to do next, naturally she wrote to us!

Join us as we talk about how we have found ourselves in similar situations over the years, and what we did about it. More importantly, listen for our tips you can use from the beginning of a project to help minimize the risk of this happening to you.

We also answer another listener question about how to outsource those pesky “small jobs” for your web design clients.

Show Links:

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Apple Workflow Tips
1:07:31
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:07:31
Apple Workflow Tips

If you’re like most designers out there, your work machine of choice is a Mac. And if you’re like most Mac users, you have a pretty good handle on your workflow, but there is always room for improvement.

On today’s episode, we are joined by Apple consultant (and Mikelle’s new bff) Brett Nord. Brett is here to teach us all about how to make the most of our Macs, from how to maximize their longevity, to how to automate mindless tasks. All you have to worry about is what you’re going to do with all your newfound free time!

As always, we also answer a new listener question about how much to reveal when a client asks you to participate in the “debrief” process after a project.

Show Links:

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Reality Checking Your Freelance Design Work
58:32
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 58:32
Reality Checking Your Freelance Design Work

The life of a freelance graphic/web designer can be incredibly rewarding. The independence of working for yourself is alluring, but working by yourself comes with more than a few drawbacks. With nobody to bounce ideas off of, or show your works in progress to, how do you ever really know if you’re on the right track?

In this episode, the gang talks about all the ways we can make sure our projects never lose sight of the original objectives and goals. We talk about ways to keep things on track, as well as how to get extra eyeballs on your work to make sure you’re actually connecting to the intended audience.

We also riff a bit about MasterCard’s new logo (ay-yay-yay…) and we tackle a new listener question about leaving the 9-5 world to strike out on your own — with a partner.

Show Links:

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Our Newest Secret Weapons
1:03:50
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:03:50
Our Newest Secret Weapons

One of the greatest joys of being a designer is when you discover something new that changes your life for the better. While change can be scary, it can also open you up to a whole new world of possibilities.

In this episode, the gang each talks about one such discovery that they use to increase productivity and creativity in their day-to-day. Whether you work primarily in web, or print, you will find something interesting here.

We also answer a new listener question from a non-web-designer, and whether she should learn it, or simply partner with a web pro in order to offer it as a service to clients.

2016 Logo Design Trends Show Links:

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2016 Logo Design Trends Report
1:13:54
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:13:54
2016 Logo Design Trends Report

What designer doesn’t love discovering the latest trends? And who doesn’t love a good tradition? Well hold onto your hats, kids, this episode has BOTH! Yep, sitting down with LogoLounge‘s Bill Gardner to discuss the latest trends in logo design has become one of Deeply Graphic’s most time-honored traditions. And this one doesn’t disappoint.

Follow along with the trend report, which can be found here

In this episode, we go over all the top trends Bill has discovered while poring over countless logo entries. There are quite a few interesting logo design trends, as well as some natural evolutions of trends we have seen in the past. Whether you like them all or not, you’ll definitely learn something here.

And as always, we answer a new listener question about some of the best ways to pick up extra, small design projects.

2016 Logo Design Trends Show Links:

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DesignCast 110: The LIVE Show!
1:22:51
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:22:51
DesignCast 110: The LIVE Show!

Our last live show was so much fun that we’re continuing the tradition, answering your questions live! But if you missed the show, no worries, you can catch up with it now.

In this jam-packed episode, the gang answers an insane number of listener questions — some personal, some professional — all while saying goodbye to sobriety.

Remember, we’re going to try to do live shows like this every ten episodes, so if you missed our last two, no excuses next time!

You can either listen to the audio-only feed as usual, or watch the video below for the closest thing to the real live experience.

 

Show Links:

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The Slow Times
54:24
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 54:24
The Slow Times

All creative professionals have ups and downs — it’s just a part of the life. It’s how we choose to use that time that will make or break your business.

In this episode, the gang talks about nine things you can do with your time between clients that will actually help you get more of them, and streamline your workflow for maximum efficiency.  There is a lot of ground covered here, so you won’t want to miss this one.

We also answer a listener question about how you can best spend 10-15 hours per week on setting your freelance business up for success.

Be sure to join us for our next LIVE listener question show on May 31 @ 6pm Pacific, 9 Eastern.

Come with all of your questions and we will do our best to get through all of them! Just go to thedeependdesign.com/live

Show Links:

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Design Consulting as a Service
51:53
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 51:53
Design Consulting as a Service

As graphic and web designers, we do a lot of behind-the-scenes work that we don’t always charge for. But what if we did?

In this episode, we expand upon a listener question to talk about the topic of charging clients for all those little things we do that don’t count as “design” work. Things like reading and responding to emails, meetings, and even upfront discovery. We also talk about the idea of breaking consulting off as a separate stand-alone service you can offer to clients. It’s a great way to demonstrate your value, and get away from being a commodity-driven business.

We also answer a listener question about transitioning from a 9-5job that offers a tiny bit of design responsibility to a full-fledged design role/ solopreneur.

Show Links:

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The Ultimate Project Organization Method
59:15
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 59:15
The Ultimate Project Organization Method

One of the biggest game-changers for your design business is when you figure out how to get your projects organized.

In this episode, the gang is joined by Word Revolution‘s Barbara Carneiro. She has an amazing method of pre-organizing her website and branding projects within her online project management software program that allows her to simply add a new client project, duplicate the pre-existing tasks, and voila — her and her team have a bullet-proof list of every single task that lays ahead of them.

Not only does this keep her business organized, but it gives her clients a way to keep up with the progress, and it keep them on track with anything assigned to them as well. Win-win.

You can use this method with just about any project management program, including Basecamp, Teamwork, even the free Trello. While we mostly talk about how to organize web design projects, this method can absolutely be used to organize any type of project.

Download Barbara’s checklist here

We also answer a listener question about how to build a relationship with the ultimate decision-maker on your client’s team.

Show Links:

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Help! My Client Thinks He’s a Designer!
50:52
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 50:52
Help! My Client Thinks He’s a Designer!

As designers, it’s completely normal to get feedback from your clients. When it can become frustrating, however, is when that feedback turns into a full-on concept with instructions to “just make this.”

It can be confusing. After all, they are supposedly paying us for our expertise, not just our ability to trace and digitize. While this can sometimes be a teachable moment for our clients, there are those that cannot be talked out of their own ideas, even if ours are more considered.

This episode was inspired by a listener question from Darren Doyle of Studio93. He recently went through this situation and wanted our advice on how to handle it. We thought the question needed some clarification, and so we decided to go long-form with it.

You can hear Darren’s whole story, see how things got to this point, what he could have done to prevent it, and ultimately what happens next.

We also answer a listener question about how to save for retirement as a creative solopreneur.

Show Links:

The post Help! My Client Thinks He’s a Designer! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Real-Life Rebrands: The Good, the Bad & the Fugly
1:03:38
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:03:38
Real-Life Rebrands: The Good, the Bad & the Fugly

We’ve talked about rebranding ourselves as creative pros, but this time around we wanted to talk about some recent real-life corporate rebrands to see who got it right, and who didn’t.

Want to follow along with us? Download this pdf of all the logos we discuss in this episode.

In this episode, the gang goes over ten such rebranding efforts, discussing each at length to determine if they were actually successful from not only a visual perspective, but from a goal perspective as well. How well does each hit its mark? Will they resonate with their audience? Listen and find out our thoughts!

We also answer a new listener question about what additional knowledge is needed to design for the web as opposed to other design disciplines.

Show Links:

The post Real-Life Rebrands: The Good, the Bad & the Fugly appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Packaging Design Tips & Trends
57:13
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 57:13
Packaging Design Tips & Trends

They say not to judge a book by it’s cover, but we’re all guilty of choosing products based purely on their packaging. In this episode, our resident packaging guru, Nick walks us through the latest packaging design tips & trends that you can use to add value to your next packaging design project.

We also briefly discuss our thoughts on the new uber rebrand, and how to handle client work while you’re sick.

We answer a brand new listener question about what to do if 90% of your project experience comes from a single brand. How do you showcase that in a portfolio to show that you can actually handle a variety of projects?

Show Links:

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Client-Focused Portfolio Websites
58:44
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 58:44
Client-Focused Portfolio Websites

We’ve discussed it before, but it’s a new year, and we have some brand new perspectives on our biggest marketing asset as designers — our portfolio websites. Wes just went through a major redesign, and Nick is currently planning one as well, so listen for our tips on how to make the most of yours.

One of the biggest takeaways from this episode is to keep your prospective clients in mind. They don’t care about you, or what you DO. They care about how you will help THEM. That means conveying benefits, not just how amazing a designer you are.

We also answer a new listener question about what we use for project management and communications throughout a project.

*NOTE: Apologies in advance for some sound issues on this episode. There is static here and there, but this is a valuable conversation that we still wanted to share.

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP216 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

 

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New Year, New Design Processes
1:12:40
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:12:40
New Year, New Design Processes

Every now and then its a good idea to step back, and ask yourself what’s working in your design business, and what isn’t. In this episode, the gang reflects on what new processes they want to start implementing in 2016 in order to grow their businesses.

We talk about many goals, including raising our rates, focusing on how to truly help our clients’ businesses through our design work, and much, much more.

We also answer a twitter question about video projects. And stick around for a few bonus interviews Nick did with some other design solopreneurs about their 2016 goals!

Show Links:

 

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Secrets to Winning $10K+ Web Projects
46:07
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 46:07
Secrets to Winning $10K+ Web Projects

In the new year, what better resolution can we have than to do higher value work for higher value pay? In this episode, Wes interviews Brent Weaver, founder of ugurus.com about this very subject.

Brent talks about how you can find those big fish clients, as well as how to qualify them to make sure they can afford high value web projects. Then we talk about the discovery process which will allow you to deep dive into your client’s business to uncover ways you can actually help them achieve their business goals through their new website. This is the key to delivering high value web projects, and it’s what will allow you to start charging much more than you currently do.

We also talk about how to add some recurring revenue streams into the mix, so that you don’t just end a project abruptly. You can continue to provide value to them in the long-term, which is good for your business as well.

After the interview, the gang answers a new listener question about design “tests.” Should you have to put up with them or not?

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP116 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section
  • Ugurus.com – Go here to learn more about the 10K Bootcamp we talked about in today’s show!

The post Secrets to Winning $10K+ Web Projects appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 100: Ask Us Anything LIVE!
2:14:47
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 2:14:47
DesignCast 100: Ask Us Anything LIVE!

Well we finally made it to 100 episodes, and we could think of no better way to celebrate the milestone than by spending it with you. In this very special episode, the gang broadcasts live for the very first time, answering your questions in real time.

In case you weren’t able to make the live broadcast, please enjoy the show in its entirety below:

The questions are too numerous to list here, but quite a bit of ground was covered. And once again, we want to thank you guys, our loyal listeners for your continued support and for allowing us to make it this far. Happy New Year!

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP1215 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post DesignCast 100: Ask Us Anything LIVE! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The 2015 Graphic Designers’ Gift Guide!
54:22
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 54:22
The 2015 Graphic Designers’ Gift Guide!

Mariah Carey may only have a single wish this Christmas, but then again, she’s not a graphic designer. This holiday season, curl up with a cozy sweater, a mug of “coffee” and this episode of Deeply Graphic so you know exactly what to ask for this year.

The gang each brings 3 gift ideas to the party, ranging from the inexpensive to the pretty expensive, so there is truly something for everyone and every budget.

We also answer a listener question about whether or not we should get a final client sign-off after the completion of a project.

Don’t forget to mark down Monday December 28th 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern for our LIVE 100th episode “Ask Us Anything” show! Just go to thedeependdesign.com/live and join in on the fun.

Show Links:

Gift Links:

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99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One
53:36
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 53:36
99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One

As creatives, one of the most challenging aspects of our work is winning business from good clients. The thing that separates the successful designers from the rest is that they aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and show their potential clients exactly why they are the best for the job. And I don’t mean over email. That’s right, I’m talking about pitching, baby.

Graphic Design Pitch Tips

In this episode the gang (ok, mostly Nick,) talks about his pitching process, giving you all of his strategies, and tells you exactly what you need to include in your pitch deck to impress those big clients and win the job.

We also answer a listener question about how to best reschedule a client interaction, and whether or not it’s ever okay to be sick.

Don’t forget to mark down Monday December 28th 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern for our LIVE 100th episode “Ask Us Anything” show! Just go to thedeependdesign.com/live and join in on the fun.

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP1115 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post 99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Unique Client Gift Ideas
52:44
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 52:44
Unique Client Gift Ideas

With the holiday season underway, let’s not forget about those that make our business possible: our clients. In this episode, the gang each brings their own unique ideas about what you can do for your clients this year, no matter what your budget. Whether it’s snacks customized with your own branding, or a complimentary add-on service, these ideas are sure to send the right message of thanks to your clients, as well as keep you top-of-mind for them when it comes time for more work to be thrown your way.

There are so many great options, whether you buy something as-is, or use your design skills to customize it to the hilt.

Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars for our LIVE 100th episode on December 28 at 6pm Pacific, 9 Eastern! We will announce the url soon, but plan on joining us, where we will answer your questions on the fly.

In addition to our gift guide, we answer a listener question about how to keep track of all those fonts you have installed.

Show Links:

The post Unique Client Gift Ideas appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Running an Agency Remotely
50:12
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 50:12
Running an Agency Remotely

Most of us creative freelancers and solopreneurs have never thought about working out of an actual office space. High overheads, leases and actual employees are definite roadblocks, but there is good news: Running your business remotely can work quite well for most of us. But, are you doing it right?

In this episode, Wes interviews Matt Inglot, founder of Tilted Pixel, and host of Freelance Transformation Podcast about how he runs his successful agency thousands of miles away from most of his client base. We talk about why he decided to do this, the planning that went into it, and how he works with both clients and contractors all 100% remote.

We also have a discussion about how running your business remotely can allow for plenty of travel.

Matt has a well thought out process for practically every aspect of his business, so listen close for ways to streamline your remote agency for maximum efficiency. Because as Matt says, your clients should never feel that you aren’t physically there.

We also answer a listener question about how to get bigger clients with better budgets.

Show Links:

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Web Design Trends Going into 2016
56:45
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 56:45
Web Design Trends Going into 2016

With 2015 almost turning to 2016, the gang takes a look at some of the more popular, innovative and controversial web design trends going on right now, as well as what 2016 web design trends will look like.

As with all trend shows, we want to reiterate that just because a trend exists, doesn’t mean you have to or should be using them. Some trends work great for a very specific type of site, not so well for others. Having said that, Wes seems to be using all of them for his website refresh that is currently under way.

Trend setter or slave to the trends? Only time will tell!

Show Links:

 

Featured image courtesy of eightandfour

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Personal Branding Revisited
49:59
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 49:59
Personal Branding Revisited

Branding is one of the most important considerations for any business, especially for freelancers. With as much competition we creative freelancers face, ya gotta be memorable to survive. In this episode, the gang discusses the steps you should be taking to find the inner personality of your company or solopreneurship, and then how to carry that through all the different aspects of a successful branding effort.

We also answer a very apropos listener question about naming your business – Your name or company name, and how to brainstorm a great one.

Show Links:

The post Personal Branding Revisited appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Ten Kickoff Commandments
48:18
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 48:18
Ten Kickoff Commandments

Every design project should start with the client kickoff meeting, and in this episode, Nick walks us through his version of the “10 Commandments” of a perfect kickoff.

Kickoff meetings are important for several reasons: you get to dig deep with your client and find out everything you need to know to get the job done, AND it is your first opportunity to place yourself firmly in the driver’s seat. Mess it up, and you risk making a poor first impression, resulting in less trust from your client. If that happens, you will unfortunately have an uphill battle ahead of you every step of the way.

We also answer a new listener question about how and what a web designer needs to hand off to a web developer as the development phase begins.

Show Links:

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Moonlighting by Design
46:55
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 46:55
Moonlighting by Design

The life of a designer is a widely varied one. Some of us 9-5 it, some freelance, some do both, with going full-time freelance as the goal. But in this episode, our guest David Lesué shows us that doing both in the long-term can be its own reward.

David has a full-time job as a creative director, and is able to feed his creativity with his after-hours passion gig, Stately Type. We talk all about what goes into his time management, staying inspired, and his rules for moonlighting successfully.

Since Stately Type happens to be a social media based apparel business, we also talk a lot about the specifics of t-shirt design, and how his “tribe” votes on what he ends up designing.

Show Links:

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Design by Committee
51:27
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 51:27
Design by Committee

All designers have been the victim of having too many cooks in the kitchen at one point or another. Unfortunately, pleasing multiple people (and having to incorporate their input) is just a reality for any working designer. BUT, there are things you can do to sidestep, or at least minimize this scourge.

In this episode, the gang discusses the many reasons design by committee is so common, and we offer tips and practical, hard-learned advice that we use to stop pleasing “Peggy from accounting,” and focus on designing and building the best possible product.

We also answer an audio question about whether or not you can call yourself a web designer in the very beginning stages, when you may not have ACTUALLY designed any websites yet.

Show Links:

The post Design by Committee appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 90: Revenge of the Listener Questions
51:50
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 51:50
DesignCast 90: Revenge of the Listener Questions

With another milestone (90 episodes) comes another listener question show! We can’t get to all your amazing questions in our regular shows, but we certainly try our best to get through as many as we can every tenth episode. This time around, we answer your questions about:

  • Color matching and file prep between your monitor and print
  • Politely saying no to design “favors”
  • The idea of a base hourly price that all designers can agree on
  • Clients getting sidetracked by other designers when checking you out on Behance
  • How much to charge and what file format to provide when doing visual design for a web developer client
  • Cheaper alternatives to high-priced fonts
  • Pricing jobs for smaller vs. large clients

Keep the questions coming, guys! We hope yo answer yours next time around!

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP715 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post DesignCast 90: Revenge of the Listener Questions appeared first on The Deep End Design.

2015 Logo Design Trends
52:54
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 52:54
2015 Logo Design Trends

The LogoLounge 2105 Trend Report just dropped, chronicling all the newest trends in the wild world of logo design. In honor of that, we were lucky enough to have Bill Gardner, the trend-master himself (and founder of LogoLounge) return to the show to go over the list, and share his unique insights with the gang and all of you.

While the annual trend report is always interesting, this year sees a few particularly unique trends that you probably never saw coming, so you will definitely want to listen!

We also weigh in on a new listener question regarding full legal business names in logos.

Show Links:

The post 2015 Logo Design Trends appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Take the WORK out of Networking
50:39
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 50:39
Take the WORK out of Networking

As creative professionals, there may be no single more important thing to our business than to properly network. It’s how we find clients, collaborators as well as fellow designers we can look to as friends.

This week we were lucky enough to be joined by top rated HOW Design Live speaker Terri Trespicio, who gives us the rundown on how we can most effectively network. She offers some truly amazing tips and mindsets that will help you let your guard down and get the most out of every single interaction.

We also tackle a new listener question about transitioning casual clients into more formal business relationships.

Show Links:

The post Take the WORK out of Networking appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Artisan Business Cards
47:57
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 47:57
Artisan Business Cards

While it sounds like the premise of a Portlandia sketch, the art of handmade (or letterpress) business cards is back in a big way. In this episode the gang discusses the topic of artisan business cards – whether you make them by hand in small batches, or pay more for that handmade (yet professional) look. We talk about some of our ideas for cool handmade cards, as well as when it might make sense to use them.

We do not, however, discuss if you should or should not put a bird on it. That’s something only YOU can decide.

We also answer a listener question about how to land a killer internship.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP615 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

Featured image courtesy of: maud.com.au

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A Farewell to Mad Men
59:00
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 59:00
A Farewell to Mad Men

Very few shows have held such niche appeal to career creatives as AMC’s Mad Men. Its visual style, creative subject matter and unforgettable characters have left an undeniable impression on the world, especially us designers. Now that it has concluded, the gang sits down to discuss all things Mad Men: from Saul Bass’ iconic credits sequence, to the decor, fashion, drinking at work, the characters, and real-world branding and design featured in the show.

But be warned, this episode does contain plot spoilers. So if you aren’t caught up, you might want to make a date with Netflix, and save it for a future date.

After that, we answer a new listener question about resumes… specifically, how long is too long?

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP515 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

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Takeaways from HOW Design Live
1:08:53
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:08:53
Takeaways from HOW Design Live

This past week, the gang all got together at the HOW Design Live Conference in Chicago, one of the most prestigious design conferences in the world. We know most of you didn’t make it, so in this episode, we will go over our experience, what we learned, and our recommendations for future conferences.

In addition to our thoughts, Nick was able to gather some great short interviews with some of the speakers and exhibitors at the show which we will share with you in this episode. Lots of cool stuff to share here, you won’t want to miss a minute!

We also answer a listener question about how to market your design services on a limited (or zero) budget.

Show Links

The post Takeaways from HOW Design Live appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Is the Apple Watch for You?
1:00:51
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:00:51
Is the Apple Watch for You?

Designers worldwide have a natural affinity for all things Apple, but their latest innovation, the Apple Watch has people divided. In this episode, the gang breaks down the pros and cons of the new device, revealing what it can do, as well as its lengthy list of limitations. So where do we come down on it, and will any of us actually buy it? Listen and find out!

Keeping in the spirit of Apple, we answer a new listener question about whether or not designers actually need to use Apple computers over PCs.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP415 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Is the Apple Watch for You? appeared first on The Deep End Design.

What Inspires Us
49:54
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 49:54
What Inspires Us

Thomas Edison once said something about inspiration and perspiration, but we don’t really remember what it was. Instead, we’re going to take this episode to talk about where we find creative inspiration on a daily basis, and how we turn those inspiration points into something unique for our clients.

We also answer a new listener question about how to handle client contracts when your clients aren’t local.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP415 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post What Inspires Us appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Designer’s Spring Cleaning Checklist
58:55
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 58:55
The Designer’s Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring has officially sprung, which is a great time for us as graphic and web designers to take a little time to spruce up all aspects of our work lives. In this episode, the gang talks about ways you can keep organized and clean up what has been piling over the year. Also, we address a negative itunes revew where we were called out for excessive swearing, and make a solemn vow (for now) to keep it clean!

We also answer a listener question about how to approach your early design career: make lots of money/benefits, versus making less but learning more.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP315 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post The Designer’s Spring Cleaning Checklist appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Nomadic Designer
59:48
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 59:48
The Nomadic Designer

Just like the heros of many songs from the ’70s, some of us just gotta ramble. Wes and Mikelle have both recently relocated to different cities, so how does that impact their design business? In this episode, the gang talks about the prospect of picking up and moving, how to keep your current clients through the move, and how to start finding new ones once you’ve reached your destination.

Moving is never easy, particularly when you’re moving a business as well. But the advice offered in this episode should help calm your fears, and give you hope that moving can actually help your business by serving multiple locations rather than just one. We also answer a new listener question about when your portfolio work doesn’t exactly match up with what’s on your clients’ website.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP315 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post The Nomadic Designer appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 80: Any Questions??
50:09
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 50:09
DesignCast 80: Any Questions??

80 episodes have really flown by, and we celebrate this milestone with another listener question show! This time around, we answer all types of design-related questions sent in by you, our loyal listeners, via email, audio and twitter. So listen closely, we might have answered yours!

Topics we tackle include:

  • What were the catalysts that made us want to go out on our own? (as opposed to working for another company)
  • Are there any tax incentives for doing pro-bono design work?
  • How do you make sure the WordPress sites you design for clients are safe from hackers?
  • What are the negative implications for a less-than-ideal business name?
  • Are free Adobe competitor programs “good enough” to use?
  • When hiring a subcontractor through Elance or Odesk, do you eventually move away from that environment and pay them directly?
  • Do you ever doubt your design work is good enough when handing off a clomp to a client?

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP215 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post DesignCast 80: Any Questions?? appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Turning Down Work
58:20
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 58:20
Turning Down Work

Turning down work? Why would you ever do such a thing? Well, there are a multitude of legitimate reasons for not taking on a new client, project or fulltime job. Maybe you get a bad feeling from the client, don’t agree with the project goals, or maybe it just isn’t a good fit for whatever reason.

On this episode, the gang waxes philosophical on such reasons, pulling from their own varied experiences. We also tackle a new listener question about whether using WordPress is “cheating.”

Do you have any good stories of a time when you chose to turn down a job? What were the circumstances and how did you handle it? Tell your story in the comments section below!

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP215 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Turning Down Work appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Responsive Logo Design is a Thing!
52:11
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 52:11
Responsive Logo Design is a Thing!

When you hear the word responsive, you probably think of scalable websites. Well it turns out that the same principle can apply to logos as well. Instead of just designing and delivering a single all-purpose logo for a client, you can now choose to go the responsive route and deliver several variations on the same logo. Variations which are meant to be displayed at different resolutions.

In this episode, the gang has an in-depth discussion about this emerging trend in logo design, and what it means for your design business, as well as branding in general. Are responsive logos the wave of the future, or just the fad of the month? Do they help build a brand or do they end up fragmenting it? How would the logo design process change when designing a responsive logo? How do you charge for it?

We answer all these questions in addition to one submitted by a listener regarding paying for fonts versus just using free ones.

Show Links

  • Responsivelogos.co.uk – Cool site showing examples of big brand responsive logos
  • The house example we referenced in the show
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP115 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Responsive Logo Design is a Thing! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 5: Selling SEO
40:07
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 40:07
Growing Your Design Business Part 5: Selling SEO

If you design and develop websites for clients, it only makes sense to offer SEO (search engine optimization) services as well. In this, our last segment in the “Growing your design business” series, we sit down with outreach consultant Kai Davis and talk about the benefits of offering SEO to your clients.

More specifically, we talk about partnering with a trusted SEO expert that you can fold into your current design business. You can then offer your clients the services and expertise of someone who knows SEO inside and out while earning some extra money in the process. Win-win!

We also answer a new listener question about the importance of having a go-to copywriter, as well as the overall importance of good copy in your portfolio website.

Check out Wes’ new custom logo sign:

photo(7)

Show Links

  • Kai Davis’ Website :He’s an excellent SEO consultant with a great track record!
  • American Vintage Inc : Etsy shop that made Wes’ AMAZING lighted logo sign
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP115 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

 

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 5: Selling SEO appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 4: Pairing with a Printer
57:06
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 57:06
Growing Your Design Business Part 4: Pairing with a Printer

If any part of your design business involves print, then it might be beneficial for you to have a go-to printer for your clients. In this episode, the gang chats with Jerrold Omens and Nicole Nicolette from Tri City Printing about how to find, and work with a trusted print partner.

We discuss the pros and cons of working directly with your printer, versus simply handing off design files to your clients, mistakes designers typically make, and everything else you need to know about printers and print brokers.

We also answer a new listener question about how to accurately price quote a logo project.

Happy Holidays, we will be back with more episodes in the new year!

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1214 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 4: Pairing with a Printer appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 75: The Graphic Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014
1:00:41
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:00:41
DesignCast 75: The Graphic Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014

It’s that holly-jolly time of year again to drink eggnog, wear festive sweaters and make out our wish lists. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or Festivus, any of the gifts we cover here will make the inner designer in you very happy.

The gang each covers what they are wishing for this year, and a few trends emerge along the way. But worry not, there is a wide range of gift ideas here, so there is definitely something for everyone.

We also answer a new listener question about how Mikelle manages to get any work done with that new baby of hers lurking around.

Do you have anything you’re asking for this year that should be included on our list? Let us know in the comments section below!

Show Links (No peeking until after you’ve listened):

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1214 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

 

 

The post DesignCast 75: The Graphic Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014 appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 3: Teaming with a Copywriter
55:37
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 55:37
Growing Your Design Business Part 3: Teaming with a Copywriter

One of the biggest assets for your design business, (no matter what your medium,) is a talented copywriter. Whether you work primarily in web or print, a good copywriter can add the kinds of marketing messages to your client work that will contribute a LOT to their bottom line, making YOU look like a rockstar.

In this, the 3rd part of our “Growing Your Design Business” mini-series, we chat with copywriter Kristen Fischer about tips and tricks you can use to find and manage the copywriter that will take your design business to the next level. We also talk about the benefits of having one at all, and specifically, what a good copywriter can do to keep projects moving along, and end on-time and on-budget.

We also answer a listener question about billable vs. non-billable hours.

Show Links

  • Kristen Fischer’s website – Check out her work, or buy one of her awesome books for freelancers!
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1114 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 3: Teaming with a Copywriter appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 2: Dealing with Developers
51:26
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 51:26
Growing Your Design Business Part 2: Dealing with Developers

Rolling right along in our mini-series on growing your design business, the gang has a candid discussion about the often challenging topic of finding and managing web developers. Just like in any profession, there are varying degrees of quality when looking for web developers, so you’ll want to do everything you can to find one of the best!

Wes talks about the troubles he has had in this department, and offers some solid advice on how to navigate around them. Should you pay premium prices for domestic developers, or save some money by going the off-shore route? Would you prefer the flexibility of working with a freelancer, or the stability of working with a development company? We explore all scenarios so you can make up your own mind as to what is important to you.

We also talk about what you’re going to need to provide your developer to get things rolling, as well as how to keep the process running smoothly all the way through the QA phase and finally, website deployment.

We also answer a new listener question about the fine line between inspiration and flat-out stealing.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1114 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 2: Dealing with Developers appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 1: Managing Design Subcontractors
1:03:00
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:03:00
Growing Your Design Business Part 1: Managing Design Subcontractors

Welcome to the first episode in our series-within-a-series we like to call “Growing Your Design Business.” In this and future episodes, we will focus on growing your network of talent, allowing your design business to flourish and go places you never knew possible.

In this episode, we focus on the process of finding and managing design subcontractors. Why would you want to take this step? Many reasons: maybe you have an influx of work you can’t handle on your own. Maybe your skill set is limited, and hiring someone who can do what you can’t (or don’t want to) will allow your business to be more versatile.

We go over how to find the best talent, how to pay them, and how to oversee their work. When done right, the work done by another designer can really extend the reach of your design business, allowing you to take on more clients and do a broader scope of work.

We hope you enjoy this episode, and look out for future episodes within this mini-series!

Listener Question

This week, we take an audio question about how we as designers can best take care of our eyes. Since we rely on them so heavily for our work, we should all do what we can to make sure they work their best!

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1014 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 7 day free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 1: Managing Design Subcontractors appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Passionate About Passion Projects
1:01:00
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:01:00
Passionate About Passion Projects

Passion projects!

You may have a design business, or be trying to start one. Or maybe you are knee deep in advertising design at your firm, or sketching icons for your companies next big operating system.

But all work and no play makes Jill/Jack a dull girl/boy! Creative people need to create — it’s likely that very drive got you into the field you work in now — but sometimes you need to stretch your creative muscles and do something for yourself.

Forget what clients want, or what is “proper” design, or all the best practices for creating something for someone else.

That’s what passion projects are — doing something you want for the joy and pleasure of it, with the prospect of making money from it a distant second in priority to simply enjoying it.

Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo talk about the benefits of graphic design passion projects, and let us know some of the things they do to flex those creative muscles for their own benefit.

Mikelle covers how she disconnects from the digital and makes spending quality time in the real world with her real child a passion project. It’s never easy to tune out all the noise and switch gears from modern communication to just being present for those that need you, and can be a worthy project all its own.

Nick talks about a project for his graphic design class involving creating social media accounts, not for personal use, but to talk about what they are passionate about.

Your down-time is important, not to mention hard to come by. How do you want to spend it? You can check Facebook again, sure. Who knows, maybe some friend did something fun in the last half-hour! Or, maybe better, do you want to keep your creative juices flowing on a project just for you?

There could be something you want to get better at, to learn more about — a passion project is exactly the ticket.

Do you need too beef up your portfolio a bit? Setting yourself on a client-free passion project can fill up your collection of logos or website mock-ups in a hurry.

And a good passion project doesn’t even have to be in your field. How many of those interesting inventions you use daily were put together by someone with a passion for solving some everyday problem?

Nick brings us up to speed about something exactly like this — a healthy candy company he hopes may pick up into something big, but for now is a passion project where his drive and the joy of doing it is what is moving it forward.

Listener Question:

Wes is asked what his favorite design podcasts are (besides his own, of course!)

Show Links

  • Just The Case — Laser engraved, real wood cases for your iPhone. A passion project turned successful venture!
  • Print It Forward — Buy shirts to benefit Daniel E. Johnson Memorial Scholarship fund at saa! A passion project that benefits education!
  • Lead and Light — Minimalist, design focused tee shirts!
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP914 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 7 day free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post Passionate About Passion Projects appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 70: Listener Question Show, Extreme Student Edition!
1:05:07
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:05:07
DesignCast 70: Listener Question Show, Extreme Student Edition!

Its time for another listener question show! Thanks to Nick Longo, our resident design professor, we have a whole crop of questions submitted by design students. So if you’re in school, listen up. And if you’re not, don’t worry, the questions are still very applicable to designers at any level.

As always, send in your listener questions to: questions@50.87.248.227/~thedeeq2. We especially love to get audio questions, so just record yourself asking a brief design-related question and email us the mp3 (or other audio file,) and we will try our best to answer it on an upcoming episode.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP914 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 7 day free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post DesignCast 70: Listener Question Show, Extreme Student Edition! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Balancing Your Freelance Work & Life
52:40
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 52:40
Balancing Your Freelance Work & Life

Something any creative person understands is the need for, and the constant struggle with, striking a balance between your work and your life.

History is replete with creative types that worked their magic like none before them, but burned out from a lack of balance.

But just how is it done? How do you keep up with the rapidly changing world, get all the work done you need to, and yet keep sane and balanced?

Join Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo as they hash out some of their own experiences for us.

Mikelle talks about the changes marriage and children brought about in her work. Have the changes affected her ability to enjoy her work, or has she found ways to balance the load?

Children bring a whole new dimension to working from home, especially infants. How should you handle the unavoidable interruptions little bundle of joy will bring to your conversations with clients?

Freelancing is full time work and then some. Anyone who does it knows you can’t always shut down at 5 PM and call it a day. And not having a hard schedule where you can “clock out” and wash your hands of it for the day means you need to strike a balance between your working hours and not working hours.

Nick outlines the difficulty self employed people and freelancers in general face when trying to be the best and most successful. It’s very easy to fall into the spiral of working yourself to exhaustion trying to be as successful as you think those around you are, which may only make you less likely to succeed. Sometimes it is better to track your time, see what is nibbling away at your productivity, and work less rather than more — something that could be that missing step between pulling your hair out and being successful.

Wes talks about unplugging during your work day. As graphic designers, the internet is one of the tools of the trade. You can’t get away from it even if you wanted to at this point. But things like Facebook, Twitter, and email break your work time into little chunks, and every time you stop and start again after a distraction, a little lost time is added to your work day.

Unplugging yourself, answering emails later rather than right now, taking the Facebook app off your phone, these things can help make an 8 hour workday more like a 4 hour workday.

Weekends are another thing freelancers have to worry about. It is all too attractive to work every day and answer that phone no matter when it rings, but is that healthy? Being self employed, you need to set boundaries, keeping a day or two to yourself. Wes and Nick explain how they handle working and not working on the weekends.

And then there are vacations. Freelancing means working on your own, for your own goals, but you can easily lose track of your own time off. In the corporate world, you are often forced to take vacation time, but freelancers have to be mindful and allow themselves some “me time”. How does Wes, Nick, and Mikelle handle the “loss” of time and how important is the vacation to keeping them all on their game?

Today’s Listener Question

Often when building your portfolio, especially in the beginning, much of your work will have been done while working for someone other than yourself. Few of us can fill a portfolio without doing some of the work in a “day job”!
But what are your rights when using some of this work in your own portfolio. Can you show it in your portfolio at all? Are there any conflicts of interest? How useful is it, really?

Show Links

  • Anti-Social – A program that allows you to temporarily block access to social media sites, stopping the temptation for that “one quick look.”
  • Toggl – A fast, free, and easy time tracker for web, Windows, OS X, Android and iOS. See what you are spending all that time doing!
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP914 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post Balancing Your Freelance Work & Life appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Creative Process Decoded
1:00:56
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:00:56
The Creative Process Decoded

In the 68th episode of the DesignCast, Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo take us through their individual creative processes!
 
Everybody has their own approach to creative endeavors — and this is never more true than when it comes to graphic design work, since the creative process is long and winding. Not only do you have to create the projects, but you have to complete a dozen steps before and after the graphic work is finished, and having a strong and economical process to get things done can really help keep things from getting out of control.
 
The first crucial step is getting the information you need to do the job right from the client — and then help guide them to the best possible place. This means you have to have a firm grasp on what works and what doesn’t, what will excite their intended audience and what will fall flat. Not every idea a customer has for their own design will work, and often the client won’t know why they like what they like.
 
Mikelle explains what works for her at this stage and the importance of talking to the client in person and on the phone, rather than only through email. Hearing their voice and seeing their expressions could give you cues that can make this so much easier for you and them.
 
Wes and Nick cover the importance of inserting the legal aspects of the business into the creative process by getting signatures and documentation for every major step you take. You don’t want to spend hours completing a difficult project only to have the client tell you that’s not what they wanted, and worse, not have proof that is what they asked for to begin with!
 
The next step is always brainstorming. Nick recommends some tactics to help get the best out of your brainstorming sessions and Mikelle talks about how she uses the internet and customer ideas to help hone in on a quality concepts.
 
And, how important is quality quiet time when it comes to thinking up new ideas for your next project? Wes talks about how he needs to sometimes unplug from podcasts and other noise to let his mind work – sometimes boredom is that helpful, missing aspect in our creative lives. Most of us can’t think creatively and listen to conversation at the same time.
 
Next up in the process: Comp time! Sooner or later, we need to produce something for the customer to see, floating a handful of concepts and seeing what works. There a lot of ways to approach this and finding the one that works best for you is important. This is the time when your skill at design and your creative process needs to be at its best.
 
The DesignCast crew talks about what they consider the most important steps in their process when it comes to comps — how many concepts they deliver and how they handle the changes, as well as how many concepts they show to the client at once.
 
How many different designs does Wes bring to the client at this time? What does Nick think the single most important thing to show the client at this time is? Hint: Just how well have you listened to your clients needs?
 
In the end of it all, the most important thing is to judge your creative process honestly and make it work best for you. Everyone does things differently and has strengths and weaknesses all their own.
 
But by listening to the DesignCast, maybe some of our experiences can help you iron out your own best process!

Today’s Listener Question:

Advertising your freelance business is important. You can’t forget to get yourself out there in front of prospective clients.
But what kind of advertising is worth the money in this day and age? Print media like magazines have large readerships, but cost a lot to get an ad into — money that may be better spent elsewhere.
The gang lets us know their thoughts.

Show Links:

Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code deep814 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus – A great way to brainstorm, the visual thesaurus draws the links between words and ideas in a visual map.
lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial! There is no place out there quite like linda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post The Creative Process Decoded appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Where’s My Money?!
49:02
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 49:02
Where’s My Money?!

Join the DesignCast crew as Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo dip into the  headlines of their lives!

Once in a while we like to dip into our personal experiences, peeling back the curtain and talking about events that have affected us in recent months – customer issues, invoicing problems, and the general craziness of being in the wild world of design.

Why make the mistakes when you can learn about them from us?

Invoicing

Unless you are an accountant moonlighting as a designer, invoicing is probably one of the scarier parts of the business.

How do you bypass all the possible pitfalls? How can you be sure you can get the money you’ve earned when, sometimes, a client might not want to pay?

How do you cover yourself?

It’s rarely a black and white situation. A client might have the wrong idea of what finished means when it comes to a website, for example, not realizing that your part of the job is completed. Or a family emergency may pop up and divert their attention, leaving you in the lurch even as you send follow up emails for weeks. Or, maybe, they just weren’t very serious to begin with.

Wes outlines a recent situation where a client, having not yet fulfilled their end of the process by providing the copy for the site, refused to pay the remainder for the completed project. He outlines step by step how he handled the problem, and what you can do to head off such an issue yourself.

Other times there is little you can do about the more serious situations except count it as a loss and attempt to soften the blow to your finances. Mikelle talks us through a few situations where, in the end, she let her accountant deal with the losses at tax time.

And don’t think it is just the smaller clients that play with your payments! Nick spends some time filling us in on a large corporate client that loved his work, and yet still decided not to pay him because they weren’t successful in using the completed project to its fullest. Complicating matters was the fact the company in question was in Florida, while Nick is in California, meaning he would need to travel across country to press for the money.

Let us know your experiences!

Tell us your experiences! Have you had an issue collecting the money you earned? Did it change how you approach the business as a whole? What did you take away from the experience?

Tell us all about it in the comments below!

 Todays Listener Question:

As designers, we are asked to create things that our clients will use to improve their business, or sell a product, or maybe show support for a cause.

What do you do if a client wants to hire you to create something you aren’t comfortable with? Flyers for a political party you dislike, posters for or against a particular social issue, or an ad designed to sell something you have serious doubts about…

Do you do it because it’s a job? Or do you step back from the situation and decline?

Show Links:

  • Shake – A web and mobile app designed to make creating small, simple contracts as easy as a handshake.
  • FreshBooks– Cloud based accounting and invoicing software.
  • LegalZoom – LegalZoom is the nation’s leading provider of personalized, online legal solutions for small business owners and families.
  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP814 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial

The post Where’s My Money?! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

2014 Logo Design Trends
1:12:07
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:12:07
2014 Logo Design Trends

Bill Gardner, founder of LogoLounge, returns to the DesignCast to talk with Wes McDowell and Nick Longo about logo design trends in 2014.

LogoLounge is the best place to find logo reference materials on the web with a huge database of expertly crafted logos (200,000 and counting).

Bill Gardner has been collecting and examining trends in logo design for years and you can see the trend reports all the way from 2003 at LogoLounge. Each report is a multi-page in-depth look into the logo trends for that year including example logo designs – a real boon for designers everywhere.

In fact, while listening to this episode, please feel free to head to LogoLounge and look for the “2014 Logo Trend Report” link on the right hand side, or the ‘Trends Reports’ link in the footer – this way you can follow along!

2013 was a tipping point in web design: Mobile devices are overtaking the larger, more traditional devices for surfing the web, and we need to take this into account when creating logos and designs. It is no longer good enough to have a logo look good in inches when it may be shrunk to a quarter inch on a mobile device, or used as a favicon for the client’s website.

How will your logo look squeezed onto a screen as small as a business card? Will it hold up to the rigors of the small screens of smart-phones and tablets?

And how are others taking on this challenge?

Bill Gardner lets us in on what he sees as the 2014 logo design trends we can expect. Designers everywhere are reacting to the changing trends and user expectations, trying different techniques to develop logos both eye-catching and workable at any size and on any device.

Will the sharp, clean mono-line become the predominate style of the year? Is the hyper-flat logo design trend backing off and making room for the glassy, more ‘realistic’ look and feel like the newest iteration of the NBC peacock?

Bill finds digital waves reminiscent of Wi-Fi symbols bubbling to the top, hexagon shaped logos popping up more often than even he expects, and birds and woodland creatures – created with stacks of geometric shapes – dancing onto the design stage everywhere.

Bill also talks about a few logo trends not in the 2014 Logo Trends report – including the rise of responsive, digital only logos like you can find at Bureau347 – just for us at the DesignCast, so don’t miss it!

You can always reach out to Bill via the contact page of LogoLounge or via email at bill@logolounge.com, and let him know of any trends you are seeing in logo design today!

You can find more of Bill Gardner’s wisdom at lynda.com where you can start a free trial just for our listeners at lynda.com/deepend, along with hundreds of other professional videos and classes on design, photography, software and more.

Last, but not least, we answer a new listener question on how necessary classical art education is for graphic designers. Does an art education help, or hinder, design work? Or is it important to be as diverse as possible in your knowledge and education?

Show Links:

The post 2014 Logo Design Trends appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Freelance Design or Fulltime Gig?
52:42
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 52:42
Freelance Design or Fulltime Gig?

While there are many different types of graphic and web design gigs out there, they generally fall into two separate categories: freelancing on your own, or going to work for a company. We’ve all done both, and know that each scenario comes with its own set of pros and pitfalls. In this episode, the gang discusses what we prefer personally, as well as what you should consider when weighing out your options.

We also answer a new audio listener question about delivering logo files to a client.

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP714 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial

The post Freelance Design or Fulltime Gig? appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Social Media Tips for Designers
58:24
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 58:24
Social Media Tips for Designers

Social media is here to stay, fellow designers. While the platforms may change and shift over time, twitter, facebook, linkedin, instagram and pinterest remain solid ways of connecting with clients, as well as other creatives. In this episode, we have special guest Chuck Anderson, from No Pattern talking with us about all things social media. We go over the big ones, and how we use them to our ultimate advantage in our own design businesses. As always, the conversation takes a few random twists and turns, but its all a part of the journey.

Speaking of social media, this week we got a great listener question via twitter about how to prioritize projects when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Show Links:

 

Image credit: Quka / Shutterstock.com

The post Social Media Tips for Designers appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Building & Using Your Network
49:55
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 49:55
Building & Using Your Network

No designer is an island. To one degree or another, we all rely on a network of others to keep our business afloat. Maybe you subcontract out some work that you can’t handle on your own. Maybe you have created valuable relationships with print vendors, hosting providers, etc. And lets not forget how valuable networking can be to find clients that we want to work with over and over again.

In short, building a network of both creative support and prospective clients is too important to ignore. In this episode, we talk all about how we have managed to build up our networks, and how we utilize then to benefit both our businesses and theirs. After all, all relationships should be give-and-take in order for everybody to benefit.

We also answer a listener question from a very young listener who wants to find clients locally without relying on emails/online methods.

Show Links:

The post Building & Using Your Network appeared first on The Deep End Design.

How to Handle & Price Rush Jobs
41:50
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 41:50
How to Handle & Price Rush Jobs

What’s the rush? Your client needs a brochure design yesterday, and its up to you to make it happen. Before accepting a rush job, you have to understand how it will affect the other aspects of your business. Who do you push aside to make time to turn around this new job so quickly? Will other deadlines be missed to accommodate it? And what should you charge your client for the inconvenience? In this episode, the gang tackles this tricky topic, so you might be better prepared to deal with it when it happens.

Also, we answer a listener question about how to get a project kicked off on the right foot.

Show Links:

The post How to Handle & Price Rush Jobs appeared first on The Deep End Design.

What We Wish We’d Learned in Design School
57:28
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 57:28
What We Wish We’d Learned in Design School

As great a tool as design school can be, they can only prepare you for so much in four years. As any designer who has been working for a while knows, there is a ton of knowledge that doesn’t drop on you until after you’ve started working in “the real world.” In this episode, listen in as the gang goes over the things they know now, that they wish they knew then.

We also answer a new listener question regarding the different business types you can choose from when setting up your own design studio.

Show Links:

The post What We Wish We’d Learned in Design School appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 60: Two Men & A Listener Question Show
52:05
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 52:05
DesignCast 60: Two Men & A Listener Question Show

In this, our 60th episode, we mourn the temporary absence of Mikelle by reaching deep into our mailbag to answer more of your listener submitted questions! Without Mikelle’s usual sweetness,  this episode is our manliest yet. Wes and Nick tackle a wide variety of topics, including:

 

 

  • How to improve the overall quality of your work
  • How to be a healthy freelancer
  • How to make a comprehensive WordPress training manual for your web design clients
  • How you should approach taking over for another designer mid-project
  • How to approach a WordPress website project… where do you start, and how do you plan it all out?
  • How do you balance being a “pixel pusher” with being the creative genius you want to be?

In other exciting news, right after we recorded this episode, Mikelle finally gave birth to her son Oakly Vedder! With a name like that, he is destined to become a bona fide rock star!

0414Oakly77 0414Oakly39

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 60: Two Men & A Listener Question Show appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Overcoming Price Objection
52:40
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 52:40
Overcoming Price Objection

When speaking with prospective clients, one topic that will invariably come up is price. But what do you do when a potential client thinks your design services are just too expensive?

In this episode, we tackle the topic of how to deal with clients who are obsessed with price. We cover everything from explaining your value, to changing the scope of the project to accommodate their budget, to knowing when you may need to just walk away.

This episode’s listener question deals with how you should display your work in your portfolio: actual photos or Photoshop mockups?

Show Links:

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Saying Nope to Spec Work
41:50
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 41:50
Saying Nope to Spec Work

Do you like working for free? Neither do we. The creative field has always been plagued by the notion that what we do is somehow not “real” work, and should only be paid for upon approval. It has become increasingly common for potential clients to request designs up front, as a test to see who they deem good enough to hire. What’s worse, is they usually do this with multiple designers/firms at once, and only “award” the project to one. This type of thing doesn’t go on in other industries, so why is it so common in the realm of design?

In this episode, we have special guest host Nick Longo joining Wes and Mikelle to talk about the downside of spec work. And there are many… for us as designers, as well as for the very clients that request it. We talk about how to politely decline such situations, as well as how we can educate these clients about how it could adversely affect their business.  We then discuss the fine line between spec work and the art of pitching, and when it actually makes sense to spend time on designing for a pitch.

We also answer a listener question about how much you need to customize a WordPress theme, and if keeping it as-is would be considered a crime against design.

Show Links:

Featured image credit: Glen Quintana Jr

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How to Develop a Branding Guide
35:59
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 35:59
How to Develop a Branding Guide

Everyone knows that the logo is the cornerstone of a company’s branding and identity. But why stop after just designing the logo for a client? Not only is offering a printable set of branding guidelines invaluable to your clients, but it can be a great upsell of your services as well. In other words, if youcan master this, it can result in more money for your client, as well as you. Win-win.

In a nutshell, a branding guide will detail exactly how your client’s new logo should, (and more importantly,) should NOT be used. The main goal of a branding or identity guide is to establish consistency for your client’s brand. This has a lot to do with the logo, but touches on other areas as well, such as typography and brand colors across all mediums.

In this episode, we talk about what you should include in the guide, as well as some formatting tips which will make it even easier.

We also answer a listener follow-up question from episode 54, about how to best label self-initiated projects in your portfolio.

Show Links:

 

Image credit: TNA Brand Manual

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Design Contract Lifesavers
1:01:57
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:01:57
Design Contract Lifesavers

If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you will remember that we did a whole episode covering all the basics of graphic and web design client contracts. But over the past few years, plenty of situations have come up with our own clients that have prompted us to add extra clauses to our contracts. We had to learn the hard way why we needed them, but you can just take it from us!

We cover all kinds of important life-saving clauses such as why its important to have a single point of contact, and how to make sure your clients have their web content ready by the time you’re ready to launch their site.

As always, we take on two new listener questions about how to sell a pre-designed logo to an unwitting client, and how to explain your true worth to a client who may be on the fence.

Show Links:

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When Good Designs Go Bad
50:35
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 50:35
When Good Designs Go Bad

We’ve all been there. You design something awesome for a client, hand over the files, and then you see that it has been changed. Maybe a small tweak, or maybe it has been transformed into something unrecognizable. Something awful. Something, you no longer want your name on. In this episode, Mikelle recounts just this kind of story that happened to her recently. We discuss her options, and what she could, and should do about it.

We also answer two new listener questions that were sent to us via twitter, so they were short, sweet and to the point. If you have a short question that can be phrased in 140 characters or less, tweet it to us! Just use the hashtag #DGDC.

Has thins kind of thing happened to you? If so, how did you deal with it? Did you cut your losses and walk away, or do what you could to salvage the project even if it meant ruffling some feathers? Leave your experience in the comments section below!

Show Links:

Featured image credit: Cristiano Jackie

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What’s in it For Me?
48:06
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 48:06
What’s in it For Me?

When marketing our design services to clients, it is common to spend a lot of time talking about what we do, and how good we are at it. Unfortunately, focusing on that alone is not enough to entice the discerning client. You have to clearly lay out your unique value proposition, in other words, you have to tell your potential clients what’s in it for them to hire you.

To talk all about the “wiifm” (what’s in it for me) principle, we have Matthew and Ben Newton, two Australian brothers who happen to co-host The Web Agency Podcast. We talk about a recent study they have conducted about design agency portfolio sites in several major cities, and we get to see what is working for some, what some are lacking, and how well different agencies are utilizing the wiifm principle, and scoring better clients because of it.

We also answer two new listener questions about finding a design mentor, and how to build a compelling portfolio of self-initiated projects.

If you like listening to this show, we highly recommend you check out The Web Agency Podcast as well. It’s an easy, entertaining listen, and each episode is packed with great info for anyone running their own web design biz.

Show Links:

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Designer Deductions
59:48
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 59:48
Designer Deductions

We’ll bet you hate thinking about taxes. We also bet you love saving your hard earned money! While paying taxes is the burden of just about every person on this planet, it can be especially hard on freelance graphic designers. Luckily, we have many expenses that can be deducted from our tax burden, resulting in more money in our pockets.

In this episode, the gang discusses many of the biggest deductions we as designers can take, including a few that you may have not been aware of.

As we say in the show, we are NOT tax professionals, and any advice we give should be run past your accountant first. We want you to keep as much money as you can, but we don’t want you crossing any lines that could get you flagged by the IRS.

We also answer a few new listener questions about how to handle client web hosting, and what the pros/cons of hiring a business manager.

Show Links:

 

Featured image copyright: Angelyn Ong

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The Year End Wrap-Up
53:59
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 53:59
The Year End Wrap-Up

We’re coming right up on 2014, and what better time to stop and look back on what we learned this past year? (We thought about doing it in July, but is just seemed premature.) Wes, Mikelle and Sam each talk briefly about the biggest lesson they learned in their design careers this year, as well as their career goals for 2014. We also share some our favorite listener lesson and goal submissions. There were some great ones, so be sure to stick around for those as well.

We finish out the year with two brand spankin’ new listener questions about educating clients who aren’t used to the creative process, and what to do about the age old problem of the client who takes their sweet time supplying you with content.

Show Links:

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The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013
53:11
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 53:11
The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Our gift guide show last year was such a runaway hit that we had to do it again. Listen as Wes, Mikelle and Sam go over some of their top picks for gifts you should be asking for this year. Some are clearly just for designers, some will help you get through your day, and some are just fun/quirky enough that only a designer could fully appreciate them. (I’m looking right at you, Chinese Lucky Cat.)

After the festivities, we answer two new listener questions about how to get back in the game when you’ve taken a long hiatus from designing, and what you should be charging a client for constant, small revisions to a website.

Gift Links:

 

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DesignCast 50: Giving Thanks & Answering Your Questions
1:06:34
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:06:34
DesignCast 50: Giving Thanks & Answering Your Questions

Is it just a coincidence that we happened to reach 50 episodes just in time for Thanksgiving? Yes it is! But even so, what better way to thank you, our loyal listeners, than another super-fantastic listener question show? In this episode, we tackle a bunch of new questions sent in by you. As usual, we try to vary the topics as much as possible so that there is truly something for everyone. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Show Links:

Dreamhost Use promo code DEEP60 for $60 off web hosting

OvernightPrints Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order

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Mobile Web Design Tips & Trends
1:02:15
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 1:02:15
Mobile Web Design Tips & Trends

In this episode, we were lucky enough to have Patrick McNeil, the author of The Mobile Web Designer’s Idea Book sit down with Wes for a chat about the latest trends in the ever evolving world of mobile web design. We go over the basics of mobile web design methodologies and frameworks, and we discuss the current state of mobile, and why it’s only getting more and more important going forward. We then talk about some of the more popular trends that are emerging in regards to mobile, as well as some important usability concerns that you would want to address in the design process.

Want to win a free signed copy of The Mobile Web Designer’s Idea Book? We are giving away 4 free copies! Just leave a comment below by Monday, Nov. 18th to be entered to win.

This contest is now closed. Congrats to our 4 winners!

 

As always, we answer two new listener questions about client holiday gifts, and how to avoid being asked to do valuable web design work at a minimum wage job.

Here are some screenshots from the book, highlighting a few different styles we address in the interview:

Superclean Style

superclean mobile

Minimal Style

minimal mobile

Flax Pixels Style

flat pixels mobile

Atypical Navigation Style

atypical

Image credits: The above images are from The Mobile Web Designer’s Idea Book by Patrick McNeil. ©2013, HOW Publishing. All rights reserved.

Show Links:

OvernightPrints Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order.

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Jeepers! It’s the Scope Creeper!
45:27
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 45:27
Jeepers! It’s the Scope Creeper!

Wrapping up our “design dilemma” series, this week we focus on a spooky Halloween tale that will strike fear in the hearts of designers everywhere… scope creep! So take a listen… If you dare.

Sam recently faced such a tale of terror in his own studio, and lived long enough to tell us about it. We learn how he got into this mess in the first place, and we talk about ways to deal with it beforehand, as well as after-the-fact. There are many things you can do to combat scope creep in your design business, beginning with your contract.

It may be too late for Sam, but you can all still save yourselves…

We also answer a few new listener questions about teaming up with other freelancers and how to bill your clients for stock images.

Show Links:

Shutterstock: Use promo code: DEEP10 for 30% off any package. Expires Nov. 30, 2013.

OvernightPrints: Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order.

 

The post Jeepers! It’s the Scope Creeper! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Clever Logo Conundrum
37:19
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 37:19
The Clever Logo Conundrum

We recently had an episode dedicated to a design dilemma Mikelle was facing with a client. So we decided to make this into a series all about one big problem each of us is facing in our business. In this episode, it’s Wes’ turn.

We always advocate asking clients for samples of designs they like, so you can properly gauge their taste, and what they will respond to. However, Wes recently began seeing a trend emerge with his logo design clients: they were always picking out “clever,” literal logos for inspiration, even when their company name or industry did not lend itself to that sort of treatment.

Rather than dwelling on the problem, the gang talks about how to better arm yourself against this sort of thing, so that you and your clients can get started on the right track, instead of chasing false leads. You will learn how to properly ask for example logos, and we also discuss the possibility of not asking for examples at all. There are multiple opinions voiced in this episode, so you can listen and see what makes the most sense for you.

After that, we answer two new listener questions about taking days off, and whether or not After Effects is worth learning.

Show Links:

Shutterstock: Use promo code: DEEP10 for 30% off any package. Expires Nov. 30, 2013.

OvernightPrints: Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order.

 

Image credit: Draward.com

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The Graphic Designer’s Home Office
51:20
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 51:20
The Graphic Designer’s Home Office

Working from home can be pretty sweet. You can work in your pajamas, and it’s pretty much the shortest commute ever. But being a freelance designer only works if your home office is in top shape. In this episode, the gang talks about our own home office setups, how we like to work, stay organized, and what we simply cannot live without. We go over everything from our desks, to our hardware, software, decor, and ways to stay inspired. After all, your home office needs to be not only functional, but you need to actually enjoy being there for 8 (or more) hours a day.

We also answer a few new listener questions about how to politely distance yourself from a client-butchered design, and whether or not technology is making our jobs as designers easier or harder.

Show Links:

  • Overnightprints Use promo code DOUBLEDEEP for double-sided printing for the price of single-sided on business cards, postcards, brochures and stationery products

Image Credit: Typography fanatic Nick Keppol‘s creative home office

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The Curious Case of the Copycat Client
44:58
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 44:58
The Curious Case of the Copycat Client

We may know a lot about the ins and outs of running a successful design studio, but we regularly run into dilemmas of our own. Mikelle had a recent client scenario which devolved from looking to an existing site for “inspiration” into the client wanting a very close copy of the original.

When clients want to copy something that’s already out there, how are you supposed to handle it? In this episode, we talk it out, and come up with some great suggestions on how to handle this situation if it ever comes up.

We also answer a few listener questions about how you should represent hobby work on your resume, and what one listener might be doing wrong in his client communications.

Show Links:

  • Overnightprints Use promo code DOUBLEDEEP for double-sided printing for the price of single-sided on business cards, postcards, brochures and stationery products

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The Creative Director Track
50:49
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 50:49
The Creative Director Track

Being a graphic designer is great. But many designers have aspirations of going even further in their creative careers, and for some that means becoming a creative director one day. In this episode, the gang breaks down how to be a creative director; what kind of personality is most attracted to the role, what is often required of the job, and more importantly, what do you need to be doing right now in order to get there someday?

We have Sam Cox back with us (a bona fide creative director himself) to offer his insights and personal experience on the subject. We learn how he got to where he is today, and what he likes and dislikes about his role as a CD.

Also, we take on a few more listener questions about how to start in the wonderful world of WordPress web design (alliteration, anyone?) and whether you should follow your creative carer passions at the risk of losing a steady payday.

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Smarter Ways to Get a Website Credit Link
38:39
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 38:39
Smarter Ways to Get a Website Credit Link

If you design websites for clients, one added perk is being able to get a “site by” credit link pointing back to your portfolio site. It’s good to attract future clients, and good for general SEO benefits. That is until Google rolled out the Penguin update, followed by Penguin 2.0. These algorithm updates started counting these types of links for less, and in some cases, actually penalized some sites.

A lot of web designers stopped using credit links altogether, but the good news is there are still a few ways to get good, quality post penguin credit links from the sites you design. In this episode, the gang talks about some of the problems with traditional credit links, as well as some new solutions to stay in Google’s good graces, and keep your link at the same time.

After that, we answer two new listener questions about what to do about late-paying clients, and how to position yourself in a new city amongst the competition.

The post Smarter Ways to Get a Website Credit Link appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Finding a Graphic Design Job After Graduation
52:00
2017-09-22 13:40:29 UTC 52:00
Finding a Graphic Design Job After Graduation

Well it’s summer, and that means lazy beach days and tropical cocktails consumed from hollowed out fruit shells. Unless of course, if you’re a recent design school graduate, in which case you better be busting your ass trying to find a job! In this episode, we have Dustin Pearce sitting in with us to tell his epic saga of graduation, waiting, disappointment, inspiration and redemption. He has a lot of great firsthand advice to impart, so if you’re working on finding a graphic design job after graduation, are still in school, or on the job hunt in general, you will get a lot out of this conversation.

 

We also answer a few more listener questions about good websites where you can pick up some freelance work, and how (or if) you should tell your boss that their creative talent is sorely lacking.

Watch Dustin’s Video:

Job Search Marathon from Dustin Pearce on Vimeo.

Show Links:

 

The post Finding a Graphic Design Job After Graduation appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Clients From Hell
53:39
2017-10-03 08:27:21 UTC 53:39
Clients From Hell

Working with great design clients is what makes our job so amazing. Then there are the OTHER ones. Clients who don’t value your work. Clients who give vague feedback, or who will “know it when they see it.” Most of the time, this is all on us as the designer — we haven’t properly communicated our process or our value. But what about those times when you just have a “client from Hell?”

This week, we’re joined by former editor-in-chief of Clients From Hell, Bryce Bladon. We talk all about these types of clients: warning signs to look out for, how to bow out gracefully, and how to just get the f*** out when necessary. You’ll learn what to include in your contract, and how to handle yourself in these sticky situations.

We also answer a listener question about “how old is too old” to get started in graphic design. (Spoiler alert, it isn’t 25.)

Show Links:

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What’s Coming to Creative Cloud?
1:03:32
2017-10-03 08:27:21 UTC 1:03:32
What’s Coming to Creative Cloud?

Every designer basically lives, works and breathes in the Adobe Creative Cloud. So this week, we have Adobe’s Michaël Chaize on with us to discuss upcoming additions, as well as a few cool things you can currently use that you may not have known about. (We were all surprised by a few things that we can’t wait to try!)

We also talk about the cool things we can expect to do/see/learn at the upcoming AdobeMax conference in Vegas. And of course, we answer a new listener question about social media kits for clients.

Show Links:

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DesignCast 140: Listener Question Show!
44:47
2017-10-03 08:27:21 UTC 44:47
DesignCast 140: Listener Question Show!

We made it to 140 fun-filled episodes, and to celebrate, we’re digging deep into our mailbag to answer six new burning questions from listeners like you.

Whether you’re a print or web designer, seasoned vet or newbie, there’s something here for everyone!

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 140: Listener Question Show! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Recurring Revenue Packages
51:57
2017-10-03 08:27:21 UTC 51:57
Recurring Revenue Packages

Did you know it costs about five times as much to acquire a new client than it takes to maintain an existing one? Knowing that, why do so many designers “one and done” it with their clients?

In this episode, the gang talks about some great ways to keep your existing customers by offering ongoing services that benefit you both. For example, if you design websites, why not offer a monthly SEO service that helps them attract visitors? We’ll talk about how to structure and price your packages, as well as how to pitch them to your new and existing clients.

We also answer a new listener question about what to post on social media to attract, educate and entertain prospective clients, rather than just other designers.

Show Links:

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Proposals: Put in the Work!
1:07:21
2017-10-03 08:27:21 UTC 1:07:21
Proposals: Put in the Work!

One of our very first shows was about proposals, but we’ve gained a lot of knowledge since those early days, and we have a lot of new proposal tips to share with you. Listen as the gang talks about all aspects of the proposal process, including the writing process, things to include, and how to properly deliver a proposal to a prospect.

Yes, a proposal done right can mean a lot of upfront (sometimes unpaid for) work. But if you do it right, it will pay off, big time.

We also answer a new listener question about niching while still advertising that you have generalist capabilities.

Show Links:

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An Ad-ucation in Advertising Your Design Business
1:00:56
2017-10-03 08:27:21 UTC 1:00:56
An Ad-ucation in Advertising Your Design Business

Unless you have all the business you can handle, AND you are making the kind of money you deserve, you should probably consider advertising in one way or another. In this episode, the gang discusses the various platforms available that work in 2017. We talk about paid options, but Mikelle has another method that she has had great success with that won’t cost you a dime.

We also have a big announcement in this episode that you won’t want to miss!

And we of course answer a new listener question regarding how to handle case studies when your clients don’t provide you enough hard data.

Show Links:

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Talkin’ 2017 Logo Trends in the LogoLounge
1:10:40
2017-10-03 08:27:21 UTC 1:10:40
Talkin’ 2017 Logo Trends in the LogoLounge

It’s that time of year again. The smell of freshly cut grass in your nose, the taste of vodka with just a splash of lemonade on your tongue, and the sweet sounds of Bill Gardner talking about this year’s logo design trends all up in your earbuds! That’s right kiddies, it’s time for the 2017 LogoLounge Trend Report, and we’ve got it all right from the source.

Listen as we talk about all the latest logo design trends, and how we got here. It’s a fascinating conversation, and we highly recommend following along with the report, which you can find here: https://www.logolounge.com/articles/2017-logo-trends

Our conversation was so engrossing, we actually ran out of time for a listener question — a first for our show. But don’t worry, we’ll get back on track next time.

Show Links:

The post Talkin’ 2017 Logo Trends in the LogoLounge appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Mobile Optimization Checklist
1:03:16
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:03:16
The Mobile Optimization Checklist

I’ll bet most of you either specialize in web design, or at least offer it as a client service. Like it or not, in 2017 (and beyond,) this means you need to know how to design for mobile devices. With over half of Internet browsing taking place on mobile, we as designers can no longer afford to ignore it.

In this episode, we go through a checklist of everything you need to think about in order to satisfy mobile users, as well as search engines in regard to mobile web design. We cover two major areas:

  1. Site speed
  2. User experience

We also tackle a new audio question about whether turning to UX/UI design can result in fewer client objections.

Show Links:

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Designing with SEO in Mind
59:19
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 59:19
Designing with SEO in Mind

If you offer web design services, how well do you know the mysterious art of SEO? For any noobs out there, that stands for “search engine optimization,” and is usually a very important aspect to almost any website. Any SEO expert will tell you that it’s always better to plan your search strategy from the beginning, but all too often, it is added in at the last minute as an afterthought.

In this episode, Wes offers some basic training in planning SEO from the start, and how that will impact the rest of the project. if you can nail the basics, any site you design will be in a much better position when the real work of link-building begins.

We also answer a new listener question about making your phone number public, and the types of clients you might attract that way (and how to better qualify them.)

Show Links:

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Charging for Your Value
55:35
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 55:35
Charging for Your Value

In the world of graphic design, most people charge one of two ways: based on time or per project. But let’s face it, both are usually based on some type of time-based calculation. The problem with this method is that nobody really benefits from it.

Your client is ends up paying for the time you spend, not a tangible result. And you are essentially just trading time for money. Why not charge your clients based on the value you bring to them instead?

In this episode, the gang talks all about the ins and outs of this method of pricing, as well as our own experiences with it. If you aren’t using this pricing model yet, you should really consider it. It will only benefit you and your clients, as you now have a vested stake in their success.

We also answer a listener question about a possibly tacky method of advertising.

Show Links:

 

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Supplementing with Subcontractors
1:08:28
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:08:28
Supplementing with Subcontractors

We love getting topic suggestions from our listeners, and today’s episode is one of those. We’ve talked a lot over the year about subcontracting work out to others. It’s a great way to fill in your skill gaps, or just have extra hands in order to focus on more important business-building tasks. In today’s episode, you’ll hear how we started getting our feet wet hiring subcontractors, what duties we give them, as well as a whole lot of advice we wish we’d known from the beginning.

We also answer an audio question about where we turn to keep learning in a very crowded Internet.

Show Links:

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Advice for the Graduating Design Student
1:07:04
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:07:04
Advice for the Graduating Design Student

With spring break well behind us, thoughts turn to summer, and maybe even graduation. Good thing we have our resident design professor Nick to dole out some awesome advice to all you grads out there. And in the spirit of not leaving the rest of you out, this advice is pretty great for any designer when it comes to job interviewing, and portfolio sprucing.

We also answer a listener question about the best way to become known as an authority in the design realm.

Also, if you happen to get the awesome reference in our featured image above, go ahead and leave a comment. You’ll definitely earn our respect.

Show Links:

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DesignCast 130: A Good, Old Fashioned Listener Question Show
58:36
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 58:36
DesignCast 130: A Good, Old Fashioned Listener Question Show

We’ve reached another milestone, (assuming 130 is indeed a milestone?) So we’re back to clear out the ol’ inbox and answer your burning questions. We have seven different ones, so there is really something for everyone in this episode.

We know we’ve been doing live episodes for this lately, but we just forgot to tease it on the last episode, so we went back to “the old way” just this once. #sorrynotsorry

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 130: A Good, Old Fashioned Listener Question Show appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Qualifying Your Clients
52:50
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 52:50
Qualifying Your Clients

Whenever you first meet with a new prospective client, they are sizing you up. And if you’re smart, you’re sizing them up right back. After all, you probably don’t want to work with everyone who comes your way. There are many things to consider: their budget versus your rates, their niche, their project, and their overall attitude. In short, you need to figure out pretty quickly whether or not you want to work with this person.

In today’s episode, the gang dissects the qualification process. Why we do it, and how. Because if you’re serious about your design business, you need to be selective with your clients. Some will make your job incredibly fulfilling, and some will make you hate getting up in the morning. Even worse, pick the wrong clients consistently enough, and you’ll be out of business altogether.

We also answer a listener question about sending out physical work samples to get new business, and how to do that with nothing but “concept” portfolio work.

Show Links:

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Getting Our Mood Board On
56:37
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 56:37
Getting Our Mood Board On

If you’ve ever felt like your first client comps aren’t nailing it, you really need to give mood boards a try. Mood boards are a way to save time by quickly communicating an overall design direction to your client for approval. This can involve just one that they need to approve, or multiple variations from which they can choose a direction. Either way, by getting this visual feedback up front, your first comps will come much closer to hitting the bulls-eye.

The gang talks about their own experiences with mood boards, as well as tips and tricks to make sure you’re getting everything you can out of this exercise, (and have a little moment of creative zen along the way.)

We also answer a listener question about landing an agency job with no prior agency experience, (as well as little to no digital experience.)

Show Links:

The post Getting Our Mood Board On appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Project Minimums to Maximize Business
1:05:31
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:05:31
Project Minimums to Maximize Business

Nothing can kill the productivity of a designer faster than a neverending barrage of small jobs. You have to wrap your head around a new brand, create invoices, and client interactions for a micro-payout. This is why it is so crucial to have a project minimum — the absolute minimum amount you’re willing to take on a new job for.

This can be applied to either money, time or scope. Whatever makes the most sense for you and your design business. In this episode, the gang talks all about why having a minimum is important, and what can be wasted without one. And of course, we all have stories to tell on the subject.

We also answer a new listener question about the specific marketing/messaging that got us our first “big fish” clients.

Show Links:

The post Project Minimums to Maximize Business appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Be Your Own Trendsetter
1:02:18
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:02:18
Be Your Own Trendsetter

We talk a lot about design trends, but when is it time to break away from the pack and try something totally different? And with a never ending supply of design inspiration out there, how do you turn down the noise enough to explore your own creativity?

In this episode, the gang explores this idea, and how it can apply to print, branding and web design. We’ve got some great examples from our own projects, and we also talk about how to push the envelope creatively within the real-life constraints that we often find ourselves in.

We also answer a new listener question about how to make potential clients see your work as superior, when they lack the “designer’s eye.”

And special shout-out to Aleisther Guido for this awesome piece of fan art!

pink fan art

Show Links:

The post Be Your Own Trendsetter appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Diving Deep into Discovery
57:10
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 57:10
Diving Deep into Discovery

Do you know the best way to deliver real value to your clients? Coincidentally, it’s the same thing that will allow you to charge much more than you’re charging now—Discovery.

Discovery is the secret sauce to solving real problems in your clients’ business. When you stop simply taking orders based on your clients’ stated needs, and digging deeper, you can provide web design, branding, or just about any other type of design that actually connects with their audience, contributing to their bottom line.

In this episode, listen as the gang goes over their discovery processes, and how they use discovery to unlock unexpected gold nuggets of info that they can build a thoughtful project around.

We also answer a new listener question about how to tell a potential client why not to use a DIY web builder for their website.

Show Links:

The post Diving Deep into Discovery appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Web Design Trends We Can Expect in 2017
53:57
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 53:57
Web Design Trends We Can Expect in 2017

On our last episode, we covered all the biggest graphic design trends we predict for next 2017, and we wanted to follow it up with trends we can expect to see specifically in the world of web design.

Listen as the gang goes over their favorite (and most promising) trends for 2017. Some are purely aesthetic, while some actually have a higher purpose—to increase conversions.

If you’d like to add the infographic Wes talked about to your own blog, feel free to check it out and grab the embed code here.

And for our last show of the year, we of course answer a new listener question about how to measure the success of a design project when there isn’t any hard data to back it up.

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep2016 — Click here to get your yearly subscription to Videoblocks and Audioblocks for just $149… That’s $100 off
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

The post Web Design Trends We Can Expect in 2017 appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Graphic Design Trends of 2017 Predicted!
1:02:06
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:02:06
Graphic Design Trends of 2017 Predicted!

With 2016 quickly approaching, let’s turn to what 2017 will likely have in store for us as graphic designers. In this episode, the gang talks about the trends we have all been noticing and are likely to spike in the new year. We talk creative trends, as well as a few trends in the creative freelancing arena.

We also answer a new listener question about how to rise above all those free tools just about anyone can use to simulate a graphic designer’s job.

Show Links:

Photo credit: Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

The post Graphic Design Trends of 2017 Predicted! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide ’16
1:00:47
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:00:47
The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide ’16

The holidays are upon us, and that means three things — some really bad Christmas movies on The Hallmark Channel, getting drunk to avoid family, and the Deeply Graphic annual designer gift guide episode. Seriously, it’s one of our favorite yearly traditions, and this one truly has something for everybody.

So strap in, spice up your eggnog, (nobody’s lookin’) and listen for all the coolest stuff you should be asking your loved ones for this holiday season.

We also answer a new question about clueless employers asking you to design stuff in (gasp) Microsoft Word. Seriously though, where’s my eggnog?

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep2016 — Click here to get your yearly subscription to Videoblocks and Audioblocks for just $149… That’s $100 off
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

Gift Links (No peeking until after you’ve listened):

 

The post The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide ’16 appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Tips & Tricks for Designing Facebook Ads That Crush It
57:05
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 57:05
Tips & Tricks for Designing Facebook Ads That Crush It

Facebook ads are one of the most cost-effective — and overall effective — forms of online marketing available today. This is because you can easily tailor them to the target audience. In today’s episode, listen as the gang schools you on the best ways to design killer Facebook ads, as well as some behind the scenes marketing tactics you can use to make them as effective as they can be.

You can use this to design Facebook ads for your own design business, or take what you learn and apply it to your clients Facebook ads. By not only understanding what makes a great looking ad, but how to make it as effective as possible, you can bring a tremendous value to your clients — and charge a premium for your expertise.

We also answer a listener question about how we have personally used social media for our businesses.

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep2016 — Click here to get your yearly subscription to Videoblocks and Audioblocks for just $149… That’s $100 off
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section
  • Unstock.io — for stock images you can use in Facebook ads that feel more authentic
  • Richard Garcia’s cinemagraph tutorial video

The post Tips & Tricks for Designing Facebook Ads That Crush It appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Live Halloween Spooktacular! Ask Us Anything
1:16:17
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:16:17
Live Halloween Spooktacular! Ask Us Anything

To celebrate our 120th episode, we decided to join forces with the darkest of holidays to bring you our first ever live Halloween Spooktacular! While the live event has come and gone, you can still listen to all the spookiness and listener questions we took during our live broadcast.

We got to answer a bunch of questions from a lot of you, so there is more than enough here to fill up your trick or treat bag!

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep50 — Click here to get your yearly subscription for $50 off. That’s just $99/year for a HUGE library of video clips
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

The post Live Halloween Spooktacular! Ask Us Anything appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Cinemagraphs* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)
45:43
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 45:43
Everything You Wanted to Know About Cinemagraphs* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)

One of the big forecasted web design trends for 2016 was the widespread use of cinemagraphs. So where are they?

Listen in as the gang dissects the benefits or incorporating cinemagraphs into your web designs, email marketing campaigns and social campaigns. We also go over your basic options for making/purchasing one, and what you would need to make one from scratch.

Listen to learn how to make a cinemagraph

Since this is such an untapped trend, you can be one of the first to use cinemagraphs in your designs, which is a great way to keep the attention of users and increase conversions.

Be sure to join us for our Halloween Live-Stream Spooktacular! Monday, Oct. 24 at 6pm Pacific, 9 Eastern. Go to thedeependdesign.com/live

We also answer a new listener question about freelancing vs. fulltime when you have young ones at home.

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep50 — Click here to get your yearly subscription for $50 off. That’s just $99/year for a HUGE library of video clips
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section
  • Clipchamp.com

The post Everything You Wanted to Know About Cinemagraphs* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Hot Print Talk! The Latest Trends in the Print World
52:04
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 52:04
Hot Print Talk! The Latest Trends in the Print World

While we can sometimes get focused on web design, this one’s for all you die-hard print designers out there.

Join us as we chat with Nicole and Katie from Tri City Printing about all the latest trends in the print world. We cover all the hottest new print promotional items you can use with your own branding as client gifts, or to suggest to your clients for their own purposes. We also talk about the newest trends in inks and finishes that will make your business cards, brochures and other printed materials pop.

We also answer a new listener question about avoiding bad design habits when you’re starting out.

Show Links:

The post Hot Print Talk! The Latest Trends in the Print World appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Why Should Clients Choose You?
1:06:08
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:06:08
Why Should Clients Choose You?

All designers want to get to the point in their career where they can call the shots and work with the clients they want to work with. But how do you get there? By being the kind of designer (and businessperson) that clients consistently want to work with.

In this episode, we’re joined for a second time by branding expert Terri Trespicio. Terri dishes out some pretty amazing advice on how to figure out exactly what you do, how to communicate that with your clients, and how to make them care.

Only by conveying a unique value to your prospects can you expect to stand out and generate enough interest to propel you to where you can call the shots.

We also answer a new listener question about the ethics and logistics of adding projects (where you had a limited revisionist role) to your portfolio.

Show Links:

The post Why Should Clients Choose You? appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Finding Design Clients Through Social Media
1:02:58
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:02:58
Finding Design Clients Through Social Media

As creative solopreneurs or agency owners, there are no shortage of ways to find great clients. We can attend networking mixers, send out emails, or rely on good old-fashioned word of mouth. But one we keep getting one particular question time and time again — how do you use the power of social media to find new business?

This week, we are joined by social media expert, (don’t call him a guru!) Josh Hoffman. Josh teaches us the importance of establishing your brand on social media, how to put yourself in front of the right people, and what to say and do once you have their attention.

Josh also talks about the importance of the principle of playing “the long game” with potential clients, and the concept of “killing them with content.” There are a million great tips in this episode, so you won’t want to miss a second.

We also answer a new listener question about how to make your design resumé stand out to potential employers.

Show Links:

The post Finding Design Clients Through Social Media appeared first on The Deep End Design.

When Your Clients Aren’t Feeling It
45:39
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 45:39
When Your Clients Aren’t Feeling It

Have you ever had an unsatisfied client? At some point, I think every designer has run into this problem. It’s how you deal with it that matters.

This episode was spurred on by a listener question we got from a designer who’s client went completely off-the-grid after things went south. Not knowing what to do next, naturally she wrote to us!

Join us as we talk about how we have found ourselves in similar situations over the years, and what we did about it. More importantly, listen for our tips you can use from the beginning of a project to help minimize the risk of this happening to you.

We also answer another listener question about how to outsource those pesky “small jobs” for your web design clients.

Show Links:

The post When Your Clients Aren’t Feeling It appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Apple Workflow Tips
1:07:31
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:07:31
Apple Workflow Tips

If you’re like most designers out there, your work machine of choice is a Mac. And if you’re like most Mac users, you have a pretty good handle on your workflow, but there is always room for improvement.

On today’s episode, we are joined by Apple consultant (and Mikelle’s new bff) Brett Nord. Brett is here to teach us all about how to make the most of our Macs, from how to maximize their longevity, to how to automate mindless tasks. All you have to worry about is what you’re going to do with all your newfound free time!

As always, we also answer a new listener question about how much to reveal when a client asks you to participate in the “debrief” process after a project.

Show Links:

The post Apple Workflow Tips appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Reality Checking Your Freelance Design Work
58:32
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 58:32
Reality Checking Your Freelance Design Work

The life of a freelance graphic/web designer can be incredibly rewarding. The independence of working for yourself is alluring, but working by yourself comes with more than a few drawbacks. With nobody to bounce ideas off of, or show your works in progress to, how do you ever really know if you’re on the right track?

In this episode, the gang talks about all the ways we can make sure our projects never lose sight of the original objectives and goals. We talk about ways to keep things on track, as well as how to get extra eyeballs on your work to make sure you’re actually connecting to the intended audience.

We also riff a bit about MasterCard’s new logo (ay-yay-yay…) and we tackle a new listener question about leaving the 9-5 world to strike out on your own — with a partner.

Show Links:

The post Reality Checking Your Freelance Design Work appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Our Newest Secret Weapons
1:03:50
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:03:50
Our Newest Secret Weapons

One of the greatest joys of being a designer is when you discover something new that changes your life for the better. While change can be scary, it can also open you up to a whole new world of possibilities.

In this episode, the gang each talks about one such discovery that they use to increase productivity and creativity in their day-to-day. Whether you work primarily in web, or print, you will find something interesting here.

We also answer a new listener question from a non-web-designer, and whether she should learn it, or simply partner with a web pro in order to offer it as a service to clients.

2016 Logo Design Trends Show Links:

The post Our Newest Secret Weapons appeared first on The Deep End Design.

2016 Logo Design Trends Report
1:13:54
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:13:54
2016 Logo Design Trends Report

What designer doesn’t love discovering the latest trends? And who doesn’t love a good tradition? Well hold onto your hats, kids, this episode has BOTH! Yep, sitting down with LogoLounge‘s Bill Gardner to discuss the latest trends in logo design has become one of Deeply Graphic’s most time-honored traditions. And this one doesn’t disappoint.

Follow along with the trend report, which can be found here

In this episode, we go over all the top trends Bill has discovered while poring over countless logo entries. There are quite a few interesting logo design trends, as well as some natural evolutions of trends we have seen in the past. Whether you like them all or not, you’ll definitely learn something here.

And as always, we answer a new listener question about some of the best ways to pick up extra, small design projects.

2016 Logo Design Trends Show Links:

The post 2016 Logo Design Trends Report appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 110: The LIVE Show!
1:22:51
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:22:51
DesignCast 110: The LIVE Show!

Our last live show was so much fun that we’re continuing the tradition, answering your questions live! But if you missed the show, no worries, you can catch up with it now.

In this jam-packed episode, the gang answers an insane number of listener questions — some personal, some professional — all while saying goodbye to sobriety.

Remember, we’re going to try to do live shows like this every ten episodes, so if you missed our last two, no excuses next time!

You can either listen to the audio-only feed as usual, or watch the video below for the closest thing to the real live experience.

 

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 110: The LIVE Show! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Slow Times
54:24
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 54:24
The Slow Times

All creative professionals have ups and downs — it’s just a part of the life. It’s how we choose to use that time that will make or break your business.

In this episode, the gang talks about nine things you can do with your time between clients that will actually help you get more of them, and streamline your workflow for maximum efficiency.  There is a lot of ground covered here, so you won’t want to miss this one.

We also answer a listener question about how you can best spend 10-15 hours per week on setting your freelance business up for success.

Be sure to join us for our next LIVE listener question show on May 31 @ 6pm Pacific, 9 Eastern.

Come with all of your questions and we will do our best to get through all of them! Just go to thedeependdesign.com/live

Show Links:

The post The Slow Times appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Design Consulting as a Service
51:53
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 51:53
Design Consulting as a Service

As graphic and web designers, we do a lot of behind-the-scenes work that we don’t always charge for. But what if we did?

In this episode, we expand upon a listener question to talk about the topic of charging clients for all those little things we do that don’t count as “design” work. Things like reading and responding to emails, meetings, and even upfront discovery. We also talk about the idea of breaking consulting off as a separate stand-alone service you can offer to clients. It’s a great way to demonstrate your value, and get away from being a commodity-driven business.

We also answer a listener question about transitioning from a 9-5job that offers a tiny bit of design responsibility to a full-fledged design role/ solopreneur.

Show Links:

The post Design Consulting as a Service appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Ultimate Project Organization Method
59:15
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 59:15
The Ultimate Project Organization Method

One of the biggest game-changers for your design business is when you figure out how to get your projects organized.

In this episode, the gang is joined by Word Revolution‘s Barbara Carneiro. She has an amazing method of pre-organizing her website and branding projects within her online project management software program that allows her to simply add a new client project, duplicate the pre-existing tasks, and voila — her and her team have a bullet-proof list of every single task that lays ahead of them.

Not only does this keep her business organized, but it gives her clients a way to keep up with the progress, and it keep them on track with anything assigned to them as well. Win-win.

You can use this method with just about any project management program, including Basecamp, Teamwork, even the free Trello. While we mostly talk about how to organize web design projects, this method can absolutely be used to organize any type of project.

Download Barbara’s checklist here

We also answer a listener question about how to build a relationship with the ultimate decision-maker on your client’s team.

Show Links:

The post The Ultimate Project Organization Method appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Help! My Client Thinks He’s a Designer!
50:52
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 50:52
Help! My Client Thinks He’s a Designer!

As designers, it’s completely normal to get feedback from your clients. When it can become frustrating, however, is when that feedback turns into a full-on concept with instructions to “just make this.”

It can be confusing. After all, they are supposedly paying us for our expertise, not just our ability to trace and digitize. While this can sometimes be a teachable moment for our clients, there are those that cannot be talked out of their own ideas, even if ours are more considered.

This episode was inspired by a listener question from Darren Doyle of Studio93. He recently went through this situation and wanted our advice on how to handle it. We thought the question needed some clarification, and so we decided to go long-form with it.

You can hear Darren’s whole story, see how things got to this point, what he could have done to prevent it, and ultimately what happens next.

We also answer a listener question about how to save for retirement as a creative solopreneur.

Show Links:

The post Help! My Client Thinks He’s a Designer! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Real-Life Rebrands: The Good, the Bad & the Fugly
1:03:38
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:03:38
Real-Life Rebrands: The Good, the Bad & the Fugly

We’ve talked about rebranding ourselves as creative pros, but this time around we wanted to talk about some recent real-life corporate rebrands to see who got it right, and who didn’t.

Want to follow along with us? Download this pdf of all the logos we discuss in this episode.

In this episode, the gang goes over ten such rebranding efforts, discussing each at length to determine if they were actually successful from not only a visual perspective, but from a goal perspective as well. How well does each hit its mark? Will they resonate with their audience? Listen and find out our thoughts!

We also answer a new listener question about what additional knowledge is needed to design for the web as opposed to other design disciplines.

Show Links:

The post Real-Life Rebrands: The Good, the Bad & the Fugly appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Packaging Design Tips & Trends
57:13
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 57:13
Packaging Design Tips & Trends

They say not to judge a book by it’s cover, but we’re all guilty of choosing products based purely on their packaging. In this episode, our resident packaging guru, Nick walks us through the latest packaging design tips & trends that you can use to add value to your next packaging design project.

We also briefly discuss our thoughts on the new uber rebrand, and how to handle client work while you’re sick.

We answer a brand new listener question about what to do if 90% of your project experience comes from a single brand. How do you showcase that in a portfolio to show that you can actually handle a variety of projects?

Show Links:

The post Packaging Design Tips & Trends appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Client-Focused Portfolio Websites
58:44
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 58:44
Client-Focused Portfolio Websites

We’ve discussed it before, but it’s a new year, and we have some brand new perspectives on our biggest marketing asset as designers — our portfolio websites. Wes just went through a major redesign, and Nick is currently planning one as well, so listen for our tips on how to make the most of yours.

One of the biggest takeaways from this episode is to keep your prospective clients in mind. They don’t care about you, or what you DO. They care about how you will help THEM. That means conveying benefits, not just how amazing a designer you are.

We also answer a new listener question about what we use for project management and communications throughout a project.

*NOTE: Apologies in advance for some sound issues on this episode. There is static here and there, but this is a valuable conversation that we still wanted to share.

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP216 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

 

The post Client-Focused Portfolio Websites appeared first on The Deep End Design.

New Year, New Design Processes
1:12:40
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:12:40
New Year, New Design Processes

Every now and then its a good idea to step back, and ask yourself what’s working in your design business, and what isn’t. In this episode, the gang reflects on what new processes they want to start implementing in 2016 in order to grow their businesses.

We talk about many goals, including raising our rates, focusing on how to truly help our clients’ businesses through our design work, and much, much more.

We also answer a twitter question about video projects. And stick around for a few bonus interviews Nick did with some other design solopreneurs about their 2016 goals!

Show Links:

 

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Secrets to Winning $10K+ Web Projects
46:07
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 46:07
Secrets to Winning $10K+ Web Projects

In the new year, what better resolution can we have than to do higher value work for higher value pay? In this episode, Wes interviews Brent Weaver, founder of ugurus.com about this very subject.

Brent talks about how you can find those big fish clients, as well as how to qualify them to make sure they can afford high value web projects. Then we talk about the discovery process which will allow you to deep dive into your client’s business to uncover ways you can actually help them achieve their business goals through their new website. This is the key to delivering high value web projects, and it’s what will allow you to start charging much more than you currently do.

We also talk about how to add some recurring revenue streams into the mix, so that you don’t just end a project abruptly. You can continue to provide value to them in the long-term, which is good for your business as well.

After the interview, the gang answers a new listener question about design “tests.” Should you have to put up with them or not?

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP116 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section
  • Ugurus.com – Go here to learn more about the 10K Bootcamp we talked about in today’s show!

The post Secrets to Winning $10K+ Web Projects appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 100: Ask Us Anything LIVE!
2:14:47
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 2:14:47
DesignCast 100: Ask Us Anything LIVE!

Well we finally made it to 100 episodes, and we could think of no better way to celebrate the milestone than by spending it with you. In this very special episode, the gang broadcasts live for the very first time, answering your questions in real time.

In case you weren’t able to make the live broadcast, please enjoy the show in its entirety below:

The questions are too numerous to list here, but quite a bit of ground was covered. And once again, we want to thank you guys, our loyal listeners for your continued support and for allowing us to make it this far. Happy New Year!

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP1215 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post DesignCast 100: Ask Us Anything LIVE! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The 2015 Graphic Designers’ Gift Guide!
54:22
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 54:22
The 2015 Graphic Designers’ Gift Guide!

Mariah Carey may only have a single wish this Christmas, but then again, she’s not a graphic designer. This holiday season, curl up with a cozy sweater, a mug of “coffee” and this episode of Deeply Graphic so you know exactly what to ask for this year.

The gang each brings 3 gift ideas to the party, ranging from the inexpensive to the pretty expensive, so there is truly something for everyone and every budget.

We also answer a listener question about whether or not we should get a final client sign-off after the completion of a project.

Don’t forget to mark down Monday December 28th 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern for our LIVE 100th episode “Ask Us Anything” show! Just go to thedeependdesign.com/live and join in on the fun.

Show Links:

Gift Links:

The post The 2015 Graphic Designers’ Gift Guide! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One
53:36
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 53:36
99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One

As creatives, one of the most challenging aspects of our work is winning business from good clients. The thing that separates the successful designers from the rest is that they aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and show their potential clients exactly why they are the best for the job. And I don’t mean over email. That’s right, I’m talking about pitching, baby.

Graphic Design Pitch Tips

In this episode the gang (ok, mostly Nick,) talks about his pitching process, giving you all of his strategies, and tells you exactly what you need to include in your pitch deck to impress those big clients and win the job.

We also answer a listener question about how to best reschedule a client interaction, and whether or not it’s ever okay to be sick.

Don’t forget to mark down Monday December 28th 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern for our LIVE 100th episode “Ask Us Anything” show! Just go to thedeependdesign.com/live and join in on the fun.

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP1115 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post 99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Unique Client Gift Ideas
52:44
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 52:44
Unique Client Gift Ideas

With the holiday season underway, let’s not forget about those that make our business possible: our clients. In this episode, the gang each brings their own unique ideas about what you can do for your clients this year, no matter what your budget. Whether it’s snacks customized with your own branding, or a complimentary add-on service, these ideas are sure to send the right message of thanks to your clients, as well as keep you top-of-mind for them when it comes time for more work to be thrown your way.

There are so many great options, whether you buy something as-is, or use your design skills to customize it to the hilt.

Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars for our LIVE 100th episode on December 28 at 6pm Pacific, 9 Eastern! We will announce the url soon, but plan on joining us, where we will answer your questions on the fly.

In addition to our gift guide, we answer a listener question about how to keep track of all those fonts you have installed.

Show Links:

The post Unique Client Gift Ideas appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Running an Agency Remotely
50:12
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 50:12
Running an Agency Remotely

Most of us creative freelancers and solopreneurs have never thought about working out of an actual office space. High overheads, leases and actual employees are definite roadblocks, but there is good news: Running your business remotely can work quite well for most of us. But, are you doing it right?

In this episode, Wes interviews Matt Inglot, founder of Tilted Pixel, and host of Freelance Transformation Podcast about how he runs his successful agency thousands of miles away from most of his client base. We talk about why he decided to do this, the planning that went into it, and how he works with both clients and contractors all 100% remote.

We also have a discussion about how running your business remotely can allow for plenty of travel.

Matt has a well thought out process for practically every aspect of his business, so listen close for ways to streamline your remote agency for maximum efficiency. Because as Matt says, your clients should never feel that you aren’t physically there.

We also answer a listener question about how to get bigger clients with better budgets.

Show Links:

The post Running an Agency Remotely appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Web Design Trends Going into 2016
56:45
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 56:45
Web Design Trends Going into 2016

With 2015 almost turning to 2016, the gang takes a look at some of the more popular, innovative and controversial web design trends going on right now, as well as what 2016 web design trends will look like.

As with all trend shows, we want to reiterate that just because a trend exists, doesn’t mean you have to or should be using them. Some trends work great for a very specific type of site, not so well for others. Having said that, Wes seems to be using all of them for his website refresh that is currently under way.

Trend setter or slave to the trends? Only time will tell!

Show Links:

 

Featured image courtesy of eightandfour

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Personal Branding Revisited
49:59
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 49:59
Personal Branding Revisited

Branding is one of the most important considerations for any business, especially for freelancers. With as much competition we creative freelancers face, ya gotta be memorable to survive. In this episode, the gang discusses the steps you should be taking to find the inner personality of your company or solopreneurship, and then how to carry that through all the different aspects of a successful branding effort.

We also answer a very apropos listener question about naming your business – Your name or company name, and how to brainstorm a great one.

Show Links:

The post Personal Branding Revisited appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Ten Kickoff Commandments
48:18
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 48:18
Ten Kickoff Commandments

Every design project should start with the client kickoff meeting, and in this episode, Nick walks us through his version of the “10 Commandments” of a perfect kickoff.

Kickoff meetings are important for several reasons: you get to dig deep with your client and find out everything you need to know to get the job done, AND it is your first opportunity to place yourself firmly in the driver’s seat. Mess it up, and you risk making a poor first impression, resulting in less trust from your client. If that happens, you will unfortunately have an uphill battle ahead of you every step of the way.

We also answer a new listener question about how and what a web designer needs to hand off to a web developer as the development phase begins.

Show Links:

The post Ten Kickoff Commandments appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Moonlighting by Design
46:55
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 46:55
Moonlighting by Design

The life of a designer is a widely varied one. Some of us 9-5 it, some freelance, some do both, with going full-time freelance as the goal. But in this episode, our guest David Lesué shows us that doing both in the long-term can be its own reward.

David has a full-time job as a creative director, and is able to feed his creativity with his after-hours passion gig, Stately Type. We talk all about what goes into his time management, staying inspired, and his rules for moonlighting successfully.

Since Stately Type happens to be a social media based apparel business, we also talk a lot about the specifics of t-shirt design, and how his “tribe” votes on what he ends up designing.

Show Links:

The post Moonlighting by Design appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Design by Committee
51:27
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 51:27
Design by Committee

All designers have been the victim of having too many cooks in the kitchen at one point or another. Unfortunately, pleasing multiple people (and having to incorporate their input) is just a reality for any working designer. BUT, there are things you can do to sidestep, or at least minimize this scourge.

In this episode, the gang discusses the many reasons design by committee is so common, and we offer tips and practical, hard-learned advice that we use to stop pleasing “Peggy from accounting,” and focus on designing and building the best possible product.

We also answer an audio question about whether or not you can call yourself a web designer in the very beginning stages, when you may not have ACTUALLY designed any websites yet.

Show Links:

The post Design by Committee appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 90: Revenge of the Listener Questions
51:50
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 51:50
DesignCast 90: Revenge of the Listener Questions

With another milestone (90 episodes) comes another listener question show! We can’t get to all your amazing questions in our regular shows, but we certainly try our best to get through as many as we can every tenth episode. This time around, we answer your questions about:

  • Color matching and file prep between your monitor and print
  • Politely saying no to design “favors”
  • The idea of a base hourly price that all designers can agree on
  • Clients getting sidetracked by other designers when checking you out on Behance
  • How much to charge and what file format to provide when doing visual design for a web developer client
  • Cheaper alternatives to high-priced fonts
  • Pricing jobs for smaller vs. large clients

Keep the questions coming, guys! We hope yo answer yours next time around!

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP715 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post DesignCast 90: Revenge of the Listener Questions appeared first on The Deep End Design.

2015 Logo Design Trends
52:54
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 52:54
2015 Logo Design Trends

The LogoLounge 2105 Trend Report just dropped, chronicling all the newest trends in the wild world of logo design. In honor of that, we were lucky enough to have Bill Gardner, the trend-master himself (and founder of LogoLounge) return to the show to go over the list, and share his unique insights with the gang and all of you.

While the annual trend report is always interesting, this year sees a few particularly unique trends that you probably never saw coming, so you will definitely want to listen!

We also weigh in on a new listener question regarding full legal business names in logos.

Show Links:

The post 2015 Logo Design Trends appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Take the WORK out of Networking
50:39
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 50:39
Take the WORK out of Networking

As creative professionals, there may be no single more important thing to our business than to properly network. It’s how we find clients, collaborators as well as fellow designers we can look to as friends.

This week we were lucky enough to be joined by top rated HOW Design Live speaker Terri Trespicio, who gives us the rundown on how we can most effectively network. She offers some truly amazing tips and mindsets that will help you let your guard down and get the most out of every single interaction.

We also tackle a new listener question about transitioning casual clients into more formal business relationships.

Show Links:

The post Take the WORK out of Networking appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Artisan Business Cards
47:57
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 47:57
Artisan Business Cards

While it sounds like the premise of a Portlandia sketch, the art of handmade (or letterpress) business cards is back in a big way. In this episode the gang discusses the topic of artisan business cards – whether you make them by hand in small batches, or pay more for that handmade (yet professional) look. We talk about some of our ideas for cool handmade cards, as well as when it might make sense to use them.

We do not, however, discuss if you should or should not put a bird on it. That’s something only YOU can decide.

We also answer a listener question about how to land a killer internship.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP615 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

Featured image courtesy of: maud.com.au

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A Farewell to Mad Men
59:00
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 59:00
A Farewell to Mad Men

Very few shows have held such niche appeal to career creatives as AMC’s Mad Men. Its visual style, creative subject matter and unforgettable characters have left an undeniable impression on the world, especially us designers. Now that it has concluded, the gang sits down to discuss all things Mad Men: from Saul Bass’ iconic credits sequence, to the decor, fashion, drinking at work, the characters, and real-world branding and design featured in the show.

But be warned, this episode does contain plot spoilers. So if you aren’t caught up, you might want to make a date with Netflix, and save it for a future date.

After that, we answer a new listener question about resumes… specifically, how long is too long?

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP515 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

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Takeaways from HOW Design Live
1:08:53
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:08:53
Takeaways from HOW Design Live

This past week, the gang all got together at the HOW Design Live Conference in Chicago, one of the most prestigious design conferences in the world. We know most of you didn’t make it, so in this episode, we will go over our experience, what we learned, and our recommendations for future conferences.

In addition to our thoughts, Nick was able to gather some great short interviews with some of the speakers and exhibitors at the show which we will share with you in this episode. Lots of cool stuff to share here, you won’t want to miss a minute!

We also answer a listener question about how to market your design services on a limited (or zero) budget.

Show Links

The post Takeaways from HOW Design Live appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Is the Apple Watch for You?
1:00:51
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:00:51
Is the Apple Watch for You?

Designers worldwide have a natural affinity for all things Apple, but their latest innovation, the Apple Watch has people divided. In this episode, the gang breaks down the pros and cons of the new device, revealing what it can do, as well as its lengthy list of limitations. So where do we come down on it, and will any of us actually buy it? Listen and find out!

Keeping in the spirit of Apple, we answer a new listener question about whether or not designers actually need to use Apple computers over PCs.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP415 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Is the Apple Watch for You? appeared first on The Deep End Design.

What Inspires Us
49:54
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 49:54
What Inspires Us

Thomas Edison once said something about inspiration and perspiration, but we don’t really remember what it was. Instead, we’re going to take this episode to talk about where we find creative inspiration on a daily basis, and how we turn those inspiration points into something unique for our clients.

We also answer a new listener question about how to handle client contracts when your clients aren’t local.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP415 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post What Inspires Us appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Designer’s Spring Cleaning Checklist
58:55
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 58:55
The Designer’s Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring has officially sprung, which is a great time for us as graphic and web designers to take a little time to spruce up all aspects of our work lives. In this episode, the gang talks about ways you can keep organized and clean up what has been piling over the year. Also, we address a negative itunes revew where we were called out for excessive swearing, and make a solemn vow (for now) to keep it clean!

We also answer a listener question about how to approach your early design career: make lots of money/benefits, versus making less but learning more.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP315 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post The Designer’s Spring Cleaning Checklist appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Nomadic Designer
59:48
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 59:48
The Nomadic Designer

Just like the heros of many songs from the ’70s, some of us just gotta ramble. Wes and Mikelle have both recently relocated to different cities, so how does that impact their design business? In this episode, the gang talks about the prospect of picking up and moving, how to keep your current clients through the move, and how to start finding new ones once you’ve reached your destination.

Moving is never easy, particularly when you’re moving a business as well. But the advice offered in this episode should help calm your fears, and give you hope that moving can actually help your business by serving multiple locations rather than just one. We also answer a new listener question about when your portfolio work doesn’t exactly match up with what’s on your clients’ website.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP315 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post The Nomadic Designer appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 80: Any Questions??
50:09
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 50:09
DesignCast 80: Any Questions??

80 episodes have really flown by, and we celebrate this milestone with another listener question show! This time around, we answer all types of design-related questions sent in by you, our loyal listeners, via email, audio and twitter. So listen closely, we might have answered yours!

Topics we tackle include:

  • What were the catalysts that made us want to go out on our own? (as opposed to working for another company)
  • Are there any tax incentives for doing pro-bono design work?
  • How do you make sure the WordPress sites you design for clients are safe from hackers?
  • What are the negative implications for a less-than-ideal business name?
  • Are free Adobe competitor programs “good enough” to use?
  • When hiring a subcontractor through Elance or Odesk, do you eventually move away from that environment and pay them directly?
  • Do you ever doubt your design work is good enough when handing off a clomp to a client?

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP215 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post DesignCast 80: Any Questions?? appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Turning Down Work
58:20
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 58:20
Turning Down Work

Turning down work? Why would you ever do such a thing? Well, there are a multitude of legitimate reasons for not taking on a new client, project or fulltime job. Maybe you get a bad feeling from the client, don’t agree with the project goals, or maybe it just isn’t a good fit for whatever reason.

On this episode, the gang waxes philosophical on such reasons, pulling from their own varied experiences. We also tackle a new listener question about whether using WordPress is “cheating.”

Do you have any good stories of a time when you chose to turn down a job? What were the circumstances and how did you handle it? Tell your story in the comments section below!

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP215 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Turning Down Work appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Responsive Logo Design is a Thing!
52:11
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 52:11
Responsive Logo Design is a Thing!

When you hear the word responsive, you probably think of scalable websites. Well it turns out that the same principle can apply to logos as well. Instead of just designing and delivering a single all-purpose logo for a client, you can now choose to go the responsive route and deliver several variations on the same logo. Variations which are meant to be displayed at different resolutions.

In this episode, the gang has an in-depth discussion about this emerging trend in logo design, and what it means for your design business, as well as branding in general. Are responsive logos the wave of the future, or just the fad of the month? Do they help build a brand or do they end up fragmenting it? How would the logo design process change when designing a responsive logo? How do you charge for it?

We answer all these questions in addition to one submitted by a listener regarding paying for fonts versus just using free ones.

Show Links

  • Responsivelogos.co.uk – Cool site showing examples of big brand responsive logos
  • The house example we referenced in the show
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP115 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Responsive Logo Design is a Thing! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 5: Selling SEO
40:07
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 40:07
Growing Your Design Business Part 5: Selling SEO

If you design and develop websites for clients, it only makes sense to offer SEO (search engine optimization) services as well. In this, our last segment in the “Growing your design business” series, we sit down with outreach consultant Kai Davis and talk about the benefits of offering SEO to your clients.

More specifically, we talk about partnering with a trusted SEO expert that you can fold into your current design business. You can then offer your clients the services and expertise of someone who knows SEO inside and out while earning some extra money in the process. Win-win!

We also answer a new listener question about the importance of having a go-to copywriter, as well as the overall importance of good copy in your portfolio website.

Check out Wes’ new custom logo sign:

photo(7)

Show Links

  • Kai Davis’ Website :He’s an excellent SEO consultant with a great track record!
  • American Vintage Inc : Etsy shop that made Wes’ AMAZING lighted logo sign
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP115 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

 

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 5: Selling SEO appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 4: Pairing with a Printer
57:06
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 57:06
Growing Your Design Business Part 4: Pairing with a Printer

If any part of your design business involves print, then it might be beneficial for you to have a go-to printer for your clients. In this episode, the gang chats with Jerrold Omens and Nicole Nicolette from Tri City Printing about how to find, and work with a trusted print partner.

We discuss the pros and cons of working directly with your printer, versus simply handing off design files to your clients, mistakes designers typically make, and everything else you need to know about printers and print brokers.

We also answer a new listener question about how to accurately price quote a logo project.

Happy Holidays, we will be back with more episodes in the new year!

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1214 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 4: Pairing with a Printer appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 75: The Graphic Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014
1:00:41
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:00:41
DesignCast 75: The Graphic Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014

It’s that holly-jolly time of year again to drink eggnog, wear festive sweaters and make out our wish lists. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or Festivus, any of the gifts we cover here will make the inner designer in you very happy.

The gang each covers what they are wishing for this year, and a few trends emerge along the way. But worry not, there is a wide range of gift ideas here, so there is definitely something for everyone.

We also answer a new listener question about how Mikelle manages to get any work done with that new baby of hers lurking around.

Do you have anything you’re asking for this year that should be included on our list? Let us know in the comments section below!

Show Links (No peeking until after you’ve listened):

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1214 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

 

 

The post DesignCast 75: The Graphic Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014 appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 3: Teaming with a Copywriter
55:37
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 55:37
Growing Your Design Business Part 3: Teaming with a Copywriter

One of the biggest assets for your design business, (no matter what your medium,) is a talented copywriter. Whether you work primarily in web or print, a good copywriter can add the kinds of marketing messages to your client work that will contribute a LOT to their bottom line, making YOU look like a rockstar.

In this, the 3rd part of our “Growing Your Design Business” mini-series, we chat with copywriter Kristen Fischer about tips and tricks you can use to find and manage the copywriter that will take your design business to the next level. We also talk about the benefits of having one at all, and specifically, what a good copywriter can do to keep projects moving along, and end on-time and on-budget.

We also answer a listener question about billable vs. non-billable hours.

Show Links

  • Kristen Fischer’s website – Check out her work, or buy one of her awesome books for freelancers!
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1114 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 3: Teaming with a Copywriter appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 2: Dealing with Developers
51:26
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 51:26
Growing Your Design Business Part 2: Dealing with Developers

Rolling right along in our mini-series on growing your design business, the gang has a candid discussion about the often challenging topic of finding and managing web developers. Just like in any profession, there are varying degrees of quality when looking for web developers, so you’ll want to do everything you can to find one of the best!

Wes talks about the troubles he has had in this department, and offers some solid advice on how to navigate around them. Should you pay premium prices for domestic developers, or save some money by going the off-shore route? Would you prefer the flexibility of working with a freelancer, or the stability of working with a development company? We explore all scenarios so you can make up your own mind as to what is important to you.

We also talk about what you’re going to need to provide your developer to get things rolling, as well as how to keep the process running smoothly all the way through the QA phase and finally, website deployment.

We also answer a new listener question about the fine line between inspiration and flat-out stealing.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1114 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 2: Dealing with Developers appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 1: Managing Design Subcontractors
1:03:00
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:03:00
Growing Your Design Business Part 1: Managing Design Subcontractors

Welcome to the first episode in our series-within-a-series we like to call “Growing Your Design Business.” In this and future episodes, we will focus on growing your network of talent, allowing your design business to flourish and go places you never knew possible.

In this episode, we focus on the process of finding and managing design subcontractors. Why would you want to take this step? Many reasons: maybe you have an influx of work you can’t handle on your own. Maybe your skill set is limited, and hiring someone who can do what you can’t (or don’t want to) will allow your business to be more versatile.

We go over how to find the best talent, how to pay them, and how to oversee their work. When done right, the work done by another designer can really extend the reach of your design business, allowing you to take on more clients and do a broader scope of work.

We hope you enjoy this episode, and look out for future episodes within this mini-series!

Listener Question

This week, we take an audio question about how we as designers can best take care of our eyes. Since we rely on them so heavily for our work, we should all do what we can to make sure they work their best!

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1014 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 7 day free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 1: Managing Design Subcontractors appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Passionate About Passion Projects
1:01:00
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:01:00
Passionate About Passion Projects

Passion projects!

You may have a design business, or be trying to start one. Or maybe you are knee deep in advertising design at your firm, or sketching icons for your companies next big operating system.

But all work and no play makes Jill/Jack a dull girl/boy! Creative people need to create — it’s likely that very drive got you into the field you work in now — but sometimes you need to stretch your creative muscles and do something for yourself.

Forget what clients want, or what is “proper” design, or all the best practices for creating something for someone else.

That’s what passion projects are — doing something you want for the joy and pleasure of it, with the prospect of making money from it a distant second in priority to simply enjoying it.

Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo talk about the benefits of graphic design passion projects, and let us know some of the things they do to flex those creative muscles for their own benefit.

Mikelle covers how she disconnects from the digital and makes spending quality time in the real world with her real child a passion project. It’s never easy to tune out all the noise and switch gears from modern communication to just being present for those that need you, and can be a worthy project all its own.

Nick talks about a project for his graphic design class involving creating social media accounts, not for personal use, but to talk about what they are passionate about.

Your down-time is important, not to mention hard to come by. How do you want to spend it? You can check Facebook again, sure. Who knows, maybe some friend did something fun in the last half-hour! Or, maybe better, do you want to keep your creative juices flowing on a project just for you?

There could be something you want to get better at, to learn more about — a passion project is exactly the ticket.

Do you need too beef up your portfolio a bit? Setting yourself on a client-free passion project can fill up your collection of logos or website mock-ups in a hurry.

And a good passion project doesn’t even have to be in your field. How many of those interesting inventions you use daily were put together by someone with a passion for solving some everyday problem?

Nick brings us up to speed about something exactly like this — a healthy candy company he hopes may pick up into something big, but for now is a passion project where his drive and the joy of doing it is what is moving it forward.

Listener Question:

Wes is asked what his favorite design podcasts are (besides his own, of course!)

Show Links

  • Just The Case — Laser engraved, real wood cases for your iPhone. A passion project turned successful venture!
  • Print It Forward — Buy shirts to benefit Daniel E. Johnson Memorial Scholarship fund at saa! A passion project that benefits education!
  • Lead and Light — Minimalist, design focused tee shirts!
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP914 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 7 day free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post Passionate About Passion Projects appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 70: Listener Question Show, Extreme Student Edition!
1:05:07
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:05:07
DesignCast 70: Listener Question Show, Extreme Student Edition!

Its time for another listener question show! Thanks to Nick Longo, our resident design professor, we have a whole crop of questions submitted by design students. So if you’re in school, listen up. And if you’re not, don’t worry, the questions are still very applicable to designers at any level.

As always, send in your listener questions to: questions@50.87.248.227/~thedeeq2. We especially love to get audio questions, so just record yourself asking a brief design-related question and email us the mp3 (or other audio file,) and we will try our best to answer it on an upcoming episode.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP914 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 7 day free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post DesignCast 70: Listener Question Show, Extreme Student Edition! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Balancing Your Freelance Work & Life
52:40
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 52:40
Balancing Your Freelance Work & Life

Something any creative person understands is the need for, and the constant struggle with, striking a balance between your work and your life.

History is replete with creative types that worked their magic like none before them, but burned out from a lack of balance.

But just how is it done? How do you keep up with the rapidly changing world, get all the work done you need to, and yet keep sane and balanced?

Join Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo as they hash out some of their own experiences for us.

Mikelle talks about the changes marriage and children brought about in her work. Have the changes affected her ability to enjoy her work, or has she found ways to balance the load?

Children bring a whole new dimension to working from home, especially infants. How should you handle the unavoidable interruptions little bundle of joy will bring to your conversations with clients?

Freelancing is full time work and then some. Anyone who does it knows you can’t always shut down at 5 PM and call it a day. And not having a hard schedule where you can “clock out” and wash your hands of it for the day means you need to strike a balance between your working hours and not working hours.

Nick outlines the difficulty self employed people and freelancers in general face when trying to be the best and most successful. It’s very easy to fall into the spiral of working yourself to exhaustion trying to be as successful as you think those around you are, which may only make you less likely to succeed. Sometimes it is better to track your time, see what is nibbling away at your productivity, and work less rather than more — something that could be that missing step between pulling your hair out and being successful.

Wes talks about unplugging during your work day. As graphic designers, the internet is one of the tools of the trade. You can’t get away from it even if you wanted to at this point. But things like Facebook, Twitter, and email break your work time into little chunks, and every time you stop and start again after a distraction, a little lost time is added to your work day.

Unplugging yourself, answering emails later rather than right now, taking the Facebook app off your phone, these things can help make an 8 hour workday more like a 4 hour workday.

Weekends are another thing freelancers have to worry about. It is all too attractive to work every day and answer that phone no matter when it rings, but is that healthy? Being self employed, you need to set boundaries, keeping a day or two to yourself. Wes and Nick explain how they handle working and not working on the weekends.

And then there are vacations. Freelancing means working on your own, for your own goals, but you can easily lose track of your own time off. In the corporate world, you are often forced to take vacation time, but freelancers have to be mindful and allow themselves some “me time”. How does Wes, Nick, and Mikelle handle the “loss” of time and how important is the vacation to keeping them all on their game?

Today’s Listener Question

Often when building your portfolio, especially in the beginning, much of your work will have been done while working for someone other than yourself. Few of us can fill a portfolio without doing some of the work in a “day job”!
But what are your rights when using some of this work in your own portfolio. Can you show it in your portfolio at all? Are there any conflicts of interest? How useful is it, really?

Show Links

  • Anti-Social – A program that allows you to temporarily block access to social media sites, stopping the temptation for that “one quick look.”
  • Toggl – A fast, free, and easy time tracker for web, Windows, OS X, Android and iOS. See what you are spending all that time doing!
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP914 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post Balancing Your Freelance Work & Life appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Creative Process Decoded
1:00:56
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:00:56
The Creative Process Decoded

In the 68th episode of the DesignCast, Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo take us through their individual creative processes!
 
Everybody has their own approach to creative endeavors — and this is never more true than when it comes to graphic design work, since the creative process is long and winding. Not only do you have to create the projects, but you have to complete a dozen steps before and after the graphic work is finished, and having a strong and economical process to get things done can really help keep things from getting out of control.
 
The first crucial step is getting the information you need to do the job right from the client — and then help guide them to the best possible place. This means you have to have a firm grasp on what works and what doesn’t, what will excite their intended audience and what will fall flat. Not every idea a customer has for their own design will work, and often the client won’t know why they like what they like.
 
Mikelle explains what works for her at this stage and the importance of talking to the client in person and on the phone, rather than only through email. Hearing their voice and seeing their expressions could give you cues that can make this so much easier for you and them.
 
Wes and Nick cover the importance of inserting the legal aspects of the business into the creative process by getting signatures and documentation for every major step you take. You don’t want to spend hours completing a difficult project only to have the client tell you that’s not what they wanted, and worse, not have proof that is what they asked for to begin with!
 
The next step is always brainstorming. Nick recommends some tactics to help get the best out of your brainstorming sessions and Mikelle talks about how she uses the internet and customer ideas to help hone in on a quality concepts.
 
And, how important is quality quiet time when it comes to thinking up new ideas for your next project? Wes talks about how he needs to sometimes unplug from podcasts and other noise to let his mind work – sometimes boredom is that helpful, missing aspect in our creative lives. Most of us can’t think creatively and listen to conversation at the same time.
 
Next up in the process: Comp time! Sooner or later, we need to produce something for the customer to see, floating a handful of concepts and seeing what works. There a lot of ways to approach this and finding the one that works best for you is important. This is the time when your skill at design and your creative process needs to be at its best.
 
The DesignCast crew talks about what they consider the most important steps in their process when it comes to comps — how many concepts they deliver and how they handle the changes, as well as how many concepts they show to the client at once.
 
How many different designs does Wes bring to the client at this time? What does Nick think the single most important thing to show the client at this time is? Hint: Just how well have you listened to your clients needs?
 
In the end of it all, the most important thing is to judge your creative process honestly and make it work best for you. Everyone does things differently and has strengths and weaknesses all their own.
 
But by listening to the DesignCast, maybe some of our experiences can help you iron out your own best process!

Today’s Listener Question:

Advertising your freelance business is important. You can’t forget to get yourself out there in front of prospective clients.
But what kind of advertising is worth the money in this day and age? Print media like magazines have large readerships, but cost a lot to get an ad into — money that may be better spent elsewhere.
The gang lets us know their thoughts.

Show Links:

Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code deep814 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus – A great way to brainstorm, the visual thesaurus draws the links between words and ideas in a visual map.
lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial! There is no place out there quite like linda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post The Creative Process Decoded appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Where’s My Money?!
49:02
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 49:02
Where’s My Money?!

Join the DesignCast crew as Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo dip into the  headlines of their lives!

Once in a while we like to dip into our personal experiences, peeling back the curtain and talking about events that have affected us in recent months – customer issues, invoicing problems, and the general craziness of being in the wild world of design.

Why make the mistakes when you can learn about them from us?

Invoicing

Unless you are an accountant moonlighting as a designer, invoicing is probably one of the scarier parts of the business.

How do you bypass all the possible pitfalls? How can you be sure you can get the money you’ve earned when, sometimes, a client might not want to pay?

How do you cover yourself?

It’s rarely a black and white situation. A client might have the wrong idea of what finished means when it comes to a website, for example, not realizing that your part of the job is completed. Or a family emergency may pop up and divert their attention, leaving you in the lurch even as you send follow up emails for weeks. Or, maybe, they just weren’t very serious to begin with.

Wes outlines a recent situation where a client, having not yet fulfilled their end of the process by providing the copy for the site, refused to pay the remainder for the completed project. He outlines step by step how he handled the problem, and what you can do to head off such an issue yourself.

Other times there is little you can do about the more serious situations except count it as a loss and attempt to soften the blow to your finances. Mikelle talks us through a few situations where, in the end, she let her accountant deal with the losses at tax time.

And don’t think it is just the smaller clients that play with your payments! Nick spends some time filling us in on a large corporate client that loved his work, and yet still decided not to pay him because they weren’t successful in using the completed project to its fullest. Complicating matters was the fact the company in question was in Florida, while Nick is in California, meaning he would need to travel across country to press for the money.

Let us know your experiences!

Tell us your experiences! Have you had an issue collecting the money you earned? Did it change how you approach the business as a whole? What did you take away from the experience?

Tell us all about it in the comments below!

 Todays Listener Question:

As designers, we are asked to create things that our clients will use to improve their business, or sell a product, or maybe show support for a cause.

What do you do if a client wants to hire you to create something you aren’t comfortable with? Flyers for a political party you dislike, posters for or against a particular social issue, or an ad designed to sell something you have serious doubts about…

Do you do it because it’s a job? Or do you step back from the situation and decline?

Show Links:

  • Shake – A web and mobile app designed to make creating small, simple contracts as easy as a handshake.
  • FreshBooks– Cloud based accounting and invoicing software.
  • LegalZoom – LegalZoom is the nation’s leading provider of personalized, online legal solutions for small business owners and families.
  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP814 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial

The post Where’s My Money?! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

2014 Logo Design Trends
1:12:07
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:12:07
2014 Logo Design Trends

Bill Gardner, founder of LogoLounge, returns to the DesignCast to talk with Wes McDowell and Nick Longo about logo design trends in 2014.

LogoLounge is the best place to find logo reference materials on the web with a huge database of expertly crafted logos (200,000 and counting).

Bill Gardner has been collecting and examining trends in logo design for years and you can see the trend reports all the way from 2003 at LogoLounge. Each report is a multi-page in-depth look into the logo trends for that year including example logo designs – a real boon for designers everywhere.

In fact, while listening to this episode, please feel free to head to LogoLounge and look for the “2014 Logo Trend Report” link on the right hand side, or the ‘Trends Reports’ link in the footer – this way you can follow along!

2013 was a tipping point in web design: Mobile devices are overtaking the larger, more traditional devices for surfing the web, and we need to take this into account when creating logos and designs. It is no longer good enough to have a logo look good in inches when it may be shrunk to a quarter inch on a mobile device, or used as a favicon for the client’s website.

How will your logo look squeezed onto a screen as small as a business card? Will it hold up to the rigors of the small screens of smart-phones and tablets?

And how are others taking on this challenge?

Bill Gardner lets us in on what he sees as the 2014 logo design trends we can expect. Designers everywhere are reacting to the changing trends and user expectations, trying different techniques to develop logos both eye-catching and workable at any size and on any device.

Will the sharp, clean mono-line become the predominate style of the year? Is the hyper-flat logo design trend backing off and making room for the glassy, more ‘realistic’ look and feel like the newest iteration of the NBC peacock?

Bill finds digital waves reminiscent of Wi-Fi symbols bubbling to the top, hexagon shaped logos popping up more often than even he expects, and birds and woodland creatures – created with stacks of geometric shapes – dancing onto the design stage everywhere.

Bill also talks about a few logo trends not in the 2014 Logo Trends report – including the rise of responsive, digital only logos like you can find at Bureau347 – just for us at the DesignCast, so don’t miss it!

You can always reach out to Bill via the contact page of LogoLounge or via email at bill@logolounge.com, and let him know of any trends you are seeing in logo design today!

You can find more of Bill Gardner’s wisdom at lynda.com where you can start a free trial just for our listeners at lynda.com/deepend, along with hundreds of other professional videos and classes on design, photography, software and more.

Last, but not least, we answer a new listener question on how necessary classical art education is for graphic designers. Does an art education help, or hinder, design work? Or is it important to be as diverse as possible in your knowledge and education?

Show Links:

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Freelance Design or Fulltime Gig?
52:42
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 52:42
Freelance Design or Fulltime Gig?

While there are many different types of graphic and web design gigs out there, they generally fall into two separate categories: freelancing on your own, or going to work for a company. We’ve all done both, and know that each scenario comes with its own set of pros and pitfalls. In this episode, the gang discusses what we prefer personally, as well as what you should consider when weighing out your options.

We also answer a new audio listener question about delivering logo files to a client.

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP714 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial

The post Freelance Design or Fulltime Gig? appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Social Media Tips for Designers
58:24
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 58:24
Social Media Tips for Designers

Social media is here to stay, fellow designers. While the platforms may change and shift over time, twitter, facebook, linkedin, instagram and pinterest remain solid ways of connecting with clients, as well as other creatives. In this episode, we have special guest Chuck Anderson, from No Pattern talking with us about all things social media. We go over the big ones, and how we use them to our ultimate advantage in our own design businesses. As always, the conversation takes a few random twists and turns, but its all a part of the journey.

Speaking of social media, this week we got a great listener question via twitter about how to prioritize projects when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Show Links:

 

Image credit: Quka / Shutterstock.com

The post Social Media Tips for Designers appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Building & Using Your Network
49:55
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 49:55
Building & Using Your Network

No designer is an island. To one degree or another, we all rely on a network of others to keep our business afloat. Maybe you subcontract out some work that you can’t handle on your own. Maybe you have created valuable relationships with print vendors, hosting providers, etc. And lets not forget how valuable networking can be to find clients that we want to work with over and over again.

In short, building a network of both creative support and prospective clients is too important to ignore. In this episode, we talk all about how we have managed to build up our networks, and how we utilize then to benefit both our businesses and theirs. After all, all relationships should be give-and-take in order for everybody to benefit.

We also answer a listener question from a very young listener who wants to find clients locally without relying on emails/online methods.

Show Links:

The post Building & Using Your Network appeared first on The Deep End Design.

How to Handle & Price Rush Jobs
41:50
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 41:50
How to Handle & Price Rush Jobs

What’s the rush? Your client needs a brochure design yesterday, and its up to you to make it happen. Before accepting a rush job, you have to understand how it will affect the other aspects of your business. Who do you push aside to make time to turn around this new job so quickly? Will other deadlines be missed to accommodate it? And what should you charge your client for the inconvenience? In this episode, the gang tackles this tricky topic, so you might be better prepared to deal with it when it happens.

Also, we answer a listener question about how to get a project kicked off on the right foot.

Show Links:

The post How to Handle & Price Rush Jobs appeared first on The Deep End Design.

What We Wish We’d Learned in Design School
57:28
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 57:28
What We Wish We’d Learned in Design School

As great a tool as design school can be, they can only prepare you for so much in four years. As any designer who has been working for a while knows, there is a ton of knowledge that doesn’t drop on you until after you’ve started working in “the real world.” In this episode, listen in as the gang goes over the things they know now, that they wish they knew then.

We also answer a new listener question regarding the different business types you can choose from when setting up your own design studio.

Show Links:

The post What We Wish We’d Learned in Design School appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 60: Two Men & A Listener Question Show
52:05
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 52:05
DesignCast 60: Two Men & A Listener Question Show

In this, our 60th episode, we mourn the temporary absence of Mikelle by reaching deep into our mailbag to answer more of your listener submitted questions! Without Mikelle’s usual sweetness,  this episode is our manliest yet. Wes and Nick tackle a wide variety of topics, including:

 

 

  • How to improve the overall quality of your work
  • How to be a healthy freelancer
  • How to make a comprehensive WordPress training manual for your web design clients
  • How you should approach taking over for another designer mid-project
  • How to approach a WordPress website project… where do you start, and how do you plan it all out?
  • How do you balance being a “pixel pusher” with being the creative genius you want to be?

In other exciting news, right after we recorded this episode, Mikelle finally gave birth to her son Oakly Vedder! With a name like that, he is destined to become a bona fide rock star!

0414Oakly77 0414Oakly39

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 60: Two Men & A Listener Question Show appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Overcoming Price Objection
52:40
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 52:40
Overcoming Price Objection

When speaking with prospective clients, one topic that will invariably come up is price. But what do you do when a potential client thinks your design services are just too expensive?

In this episode, we tackle the topic of how to deal with clients who are obsessed with price. We cover everything from explaining your value, to changing the scope of the project to accommodate their budget, to knowing when you may need to just walk away.

This episode’s listener question deals with how you should display your work in your portfolio: actual photos or Photoshop mockups?

Show Links:

The post Overcoming Price Objection appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Saying Nope to Spec Work
41:50
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 41:50
Saying Nope to Spec Work

Do you like working for free? Neither do we. The creative field has always been plagued by the notion that what we do is somehow not “real” work, and should only be paid for upon approval. It has become increasingly common for potential clients to request designs up front, as a test to see who they deem good enough to hire. What’s worse, is they usually do this with multiple designers/firms at once, and only “award” the project to one. This type of thing doesn’t go on in other industries, so why is it so common in the realm of design?

In this episode, we have special guest host Nick Longo joining Wes and Mikelle to talk about the downside of spec work. And there are many… for us as designers, as well as for the very clients that request it. We talk about how to politely decline such situations, as well as how we can educate these clients about how it could adversely affect their business.  We then discuss the fine line between spec work and the art of pitching, and when it actually makes sense to spend time on designing for a pitch.

We also answer a listener question about how much you need to customize a WordPress theme, and if keeping it as-is would be considered a crime against design.

Show Links:

Featured image credit: Glen Quintana Jr

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How to Develop a Branding Guide
35:59
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 35:59
How to Develop a Branding Guide

Everyone knows that the logo is the cornerstone of a company’s branding and identity. But why stop after just designing the logo for a client? Not only is offering a printable set of branding guidelines invaluable to your clients, but it can be a great upsell of your services as well. In other words, if youcan master this, it can result in more money for your client, as well as you. Win-win.

In a nutshell, a branding guide will detail exactly how your client’s new logo should, (and more importantly,) should NOT be used. The main goal of a branding or identity guide is to establish consistency for your client’s brand. This has a lot to do with the logo, but touches on other areas as well, such as typography and brand colors across all mediums.

In this episode, we talk about what you should include in the guide, as well as some formatting tips which will make it even easier.

We also answer a listener follow-up question from episode 54, about how to best label self-initiated projects in your portfolio.

Show Links:

 

Image credit: TNA Brand Manual

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Design Contract Lifesavers
1:01:57
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:01:57
Design Contract Lifesavers

If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you will remember that we did a whole episode covering all the basics of graphic and web design client contracts. But over the past few years, plenty of situations have come up with our own clients that have prompted us to add extra clauses to our contracts. We had to learn the hard way why we needed them, but you can just take it from us!

We cover all kinds of important life-saving clauses such as why its important to have a single point of contact, and how to make sure your clients have their web content ready by the time you’re ready to launch their site.

As always, we take on two new listener questions about how to sell a pre-designed logo to an unwitting client, and how to explain your true worth to a client who may be on the fence.

Show Links:

The post Design Contract Lifesavers appeared first on The Deep End Design.

When Good Designs Go Bad
50:35
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 50:35
When Good Designs Go Bad

We’ve all been there. You design something awesome for a client, hand over the files, and then you see that it has been changed. Maybe a small tweak, or maybe it has been transformed into something unrecognizable. Something awful. Something, you no longer want your name on. In this episode, Mikelle recounts just this kind of story that happened to her recently. We discuss her options, and what she could, and should do about it.

We also answer two new listener questions that were sent to us via twitter, so they were short, sweet and to the point. If you have a short question that can be phrased in 140 characters or less, tweet it to us! Just use the hashtag #DGDC.

Has thins kind of thing happened to you? If so, how did you deal with it? Did you cut your losses and walk away, or do what you could to salvage the project even if it meant ruffling some feathers? Leave your experience in the comments section below!

Show Links:

Featured image credit: Cristiano Jackie

The post When Good Designs Go Bad appeared first on The Deep End Design.

What’s in it For Me?
48:06
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 48:06
What’s in it For Me?

When marketing our design services to clients, it is common to spend a lot of time talking about what we do, and how good we are at it. Unfortunately, focusing on that alone is not enough to entice the discerning client. You have to clearly lay out your unique value proposition, in other words, you have to tell your potential clients what’s in it for them to hire you.

To talk all about the “wiifm” (what’s in it for me) principle, we have Matthew and Ben Newton, two Australian brothers who happen to co-host The Web Agency Podcast. We talk about a recent study they have conducted about design agency portfolio sites in several major cities, and we get to see what is working for some, what some are lacking, and how well different agencies are utilizing the wiifm principle, and scoring better clients because of it.

We also answer two new listener questions about finding a design mentor, and how to build a compelling portfolio of self-initiated projects.

If you like listening to this show, we highly recommend you check out The Web Agency Podcast as well. It’s an easy, entertaining listen, and each episode is packed with great info for anyone running their own web design biz.

Show Links:

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Designer Deductions
59:48
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 59:48
Designer Deductions

We’ll bet you hate thinking about taxes. We also bet you love saving your hard earned money! While paying taxes is the burden of just about every person on this planet, it can be especially hard on freelance graphic designers. Luckily, we have many expenses that can be deducted from our tax burden, resulting in more money in our pockets.

In this episode, the gang discusses many of the biggest deductions we as designers can take, including a few that you may have not been aware of.

As we say in the show, we are NOT tax professionals, and any advice we give should be run past your accountant first. We want you to keep as much money as you can, but we don’t want you crossing any lines that could get you flagged by the IRS.

We also answer a few new listener questions about how to handle client web hosting, and what the pros/cons of hiring a business manager.

Show Links:

 

Featured image copyright: Angelyn Ong

The post Designer Deductions appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Year End Wrap-Up
53:59
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 53:59
The Year End Wrap-Up

We’re coming right up on 2014, and what better time to stop and look back on what we learned this past year? (We thought about doing it in July, but is just seemed premature.) Wes, Mikelle and Sam each talk briefly about the biggest lesson they learned in their design careers this year, as well as their career goals for 2014. We also share some our favorite listener lesson and goal submissions. There were some great ones, so be sure to stick around for those as well.

We finish out the year with two brand spankin’ new listener questions about educating clients who aren’t used to the creative process, and what to do about the age old problem of the client who takes their sweet time supplying you with content.

Show Links:

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The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013
53:11
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 53:11
The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Our gift guide show last year was such a runaway hit that we had to do it again. Listen as Wes, Mikelle and Sam go over some of their top picks for gifts you should be asking for this year. Some are clearly just for designers, some will help you get through your day, and some are just fun/quirky enough that only a designer could fully appreciate them. (I’m looking right at you, Chinese Lucky Cat.)

After the festivities, we answer two new listener questions about how to get back in the game when you’ve taken a long hiatus from designing, and what you should be charging a client for constant, small revisions to a website.

Gift Links:

 

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DesignCast 50: Giving Thanks & Answering Your Questions
1:06:34
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:06:34
DesignCast 50: Giving Thanks & Answering Your Questions

Is it just a coincidence that we happened to reach 50 episodes just in time for Thanksgiving? Yes it is! But even so, what better way to thank you, our loyal listeners, than another super-fantastic listener question show? In this episode, we tackle a bunch of new questions sent in by you. As usual, we try to vary the topics as much as possible so that there is truly something for everyone. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Show Links:

Dreamhost Use promo code DEEP60 for $60 off web hosting

OvernightPrints Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order

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Mobile Web Design Tips & Trends
1:02:15
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 1:02:15
Mobile Web Design Tips & Trends

In this episode, we were lucky enough to have Patrick McNeil, the author of The Mobile Web Designer’s Idea Book sit down with Wes for a chat about the latest trends in the ever evolving world of mobile web design. We go over the basics of mobile web design methodologies and frameworks, and we discuss the current state of mobile, and why it’s only getting more and more important going forward. We then talk about some of the more popular trends that are emerging in regards to mobile, as well as some important usability concerns that you would want to address in the design process.

Want to win a free signed copy of The Mobile Web Designer’s Idea Book? We are giving away 4 free copies! Just leave a comment below by Monday, Nov. 18th to be entered to win.

This contest is now closed. Congrats to our 4 winners!

 

As always, we answer two new listener questions about client holiday gifts, and how to avoid being asked to do valuable web design work at a minimum wage job.

Here are some screenshots from the book, highlighting a few different styles we address in the interview:

Superclean Style

superclean mobile

Minimal Style

minimal mobile

Flax Pixels Style

flat pixels mobile

Atypical Navigation Style

atypical

Image credits: The above images are from The Mobile Web Designer’s Idea Book by Patrick McNeil. ©2013, HOW Publishing. All rights reserved.

Show Links:

OvernightPrints Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order.

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Jeepers! It’s the Scope Creeper!
45:27
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 45:27
Jeepers! It’s the Scope Creeper!

Wrapping up our “design dilemma” series, this week we focus on a spooky Halloween tale that will strike fear in the hearts of designers everywhere… scope creep! So take a listen… If you dare.

Sam recently faced such a tale of terror in his own studio, and lived long enough to tell us about it. We learn how he got into this mess in the first place, and we talk about ways to deal with it beforehand, as well as after-the-fact. There are many things you can do to combat scope creep in your design business, beginning with your contract.

It may be too late for Sam, but you can all still save yourselves…

We also answer a few new listener questions about teaming up with other freelancers and how to bill your clients for stock images.

Show Links:

Shutterstock: Use promo code: DEEP10 for 30% off any package. Expires Nov. 30, 2013.

OvernightPrints: Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order.

 

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The Clever Logo Conundrum
37:19
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 37:19
The Clever Logo Conundrum

We recently had an episode dedicated to a design dilemma Mikelle was facing with a client. So we decided to make this into a series all about one big problem each of us is facing in our business. In this episode, it’s Wes’ turn.

We always advocate asking clients for samples of designs they like, so you can properly gauge their taste, and what they will respond to. However, Wes recently began seeing a trend emerge with his logo design clients: they were always picking out “clever,” literal logos for inspiration, even when their company name or industry did not lend itself to that sort of treatment.

Rather than dwelling on the problem, the gang talks about how to better arm yourself against this sort of thing, so that you and your clients can get started on the right track, instead of chasing false leads. You will learn how to properly ask for example logos, and we also discuss the possibility of not asking for examples at all. There are multiple opinions voiced in this episode, so you can listen and see what makes the most sense for you.

After that, we answer two new listener questions about taking days off, and whether or not After Effects is worth learning.

Show Links:

Shutterstock: Use promo code: DEEP10 for 30% off any package. Expires Nov. 30, 2013.

OvernightPrints: Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order.

 

Image credit: Draward.com

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The Graphic Designer’s Home Office
51:20
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 51:20
The Graphic Designer’s Home Office

Working from home can be pretty sweet. You can work in your pajamas, and it’s pretty much the shortest commute ever. But being a freelance designer only works if your home office is in top shape. In this episode, the gang talks about our own home office setups, how we like to work, stay organized, and what we simply cannot live without. We go over everything from our desks, to our hardware, software, decor, and ways to stay inspired. After all, your home office needs to be not only functional, but you need to actually enjoy being there for 8 (or more) hours a day.

We also answer a few new listener questions about how to politely distance yourself from a client-butchered design, and whether or not technology is making our jobs as designers easier or harder.

Show Links:

  • Overnightprints Use promo code DOUBLEDEEP for double-sided printing for the price of single-sided on business cards, postcards, brochures and stationery products

Image Credit: Typography fanatic Nick Keppol‘s creative home office

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The Curious Case of the Copycat Client
44:58
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 44:58
The Curious Case of the Copycat Client

We may know a lot about the ins and outs of running a successful design studio, but we regularly run into dilemmas of our own. Mikelle had a recent client scenario which devolved from looking to an existing site for “inspiration” into the client wanting a very close copy of the original.

When clients want to copy something that’s already out there, how are you supposed to handle it? In this episode, we talk it out, and come up with some great suggestions on how to handle this situation if it ever comes up.

We also answer a few listener questions about how you should represent hobby work on your resume, and what one listener might be doing wrong in his client communications.

Show Links:

  • Overnightprints Use promo code DOUBLEDEEP for double-sided printing for the price of single-sided on business cards, postcards, brochures and stationery products

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The Creative Director Track
50:49
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 50:49
The Creative Director Track

Being a graphic designer is great. But many designers have aspirations of going even further in their creative careers, and for some that means becoming a creative director one day. In this episode, the gang breaks down how to be a creative director; what kind of personality is most attracted to the role, what is often required of the job, and more importantly, what do you need to be doing right now in order to get there someday?

We have Sam Cox back with us (a bona fide creative director himself) to offer his insights and personal experience on the subject. We learn how he got to where he is today, and what he likes and dislikes about his role as a CD.

Also, we take on a few more listener questions about how to start in the wonderful world of WordPress web design (alliteration, anyone?) and whether you should follow your creative carer passions at the risk of losing a steady payday.

The post The Creative Director Track appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Smarter Ways to Get a Website Credit Link
38:39
2017-10-03 08:27:22 UTC 38:39
Smarter Ways to Get a Website Credit Link

If you design websites for clients, one added perk is being able to get a “site by” credit link pointing back to your portfolio site. It’s good to attract future clients, and good for general SEO benefits. That is until Google rolled out the Penguin update, followed by Penguin 2.0. These algorithm updates started counting these types of links for less, and in some cases, actually penalized some sites.

A lot of web designers stopped using credit links altogether, but the good news is there are still a few ways to get good, quality post penguin credit links from the sites you design. In this episode, the gang talks about some of the problems with traditional credit links, as well as some new solutions to stay in Google’s good graces, and keep your link at the same time.

After that, we answer two new listener questions about what to do about late-paying clients, and how to position yourself in a new city amongst the competition.

The post Smarter Ways to Get a Website Credit Link appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Designer Fails
53:34
2017-10-23 12:58:15 UTC 53:34
Designer Fails

Any designer who’s made it will tell you they failed a LOT on the way up. It’s the best way to learn — at least that’s what we keep telling ourselves. And the Deeply Graphic gang is no different. Listen to our tales of woe, and what we learned from biting it over the years.

And since we got several great fail stories from our listeners, we have those sprinkled throughout the episode as well. Thanks to Ricky, Kyle and Joshua for opening up and sharing what they learned with the rest of us!

As always, we answer a new listener question about whether or not you should hand over those working files, (and what you should charge for them if you do.)

Show Links:

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Clients From Hell
53:39
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 53:39
Clients From Hell

Working with great design clients is what makes our job so amazing. Then there are the OTHER ones. Clients who don’t value your work. Clients who give vague feedback, or who will “know it when they see it.” Most of the time, this is all on us as the designer — we haven’t properly communicated our process or our value. But what about those times when you just have a “client from Hell?”

This week, we’re joined by former editor-in-chief of Clients From Hell, Bryce Bladon. We talk all about these types of clients: warning signs to look out for, how to bow out gracefully, and how to just get the f*** out when necessary. You’ll learn what to include in your contract, and how to handle yourself in these sticky situations.

We also answer a listener question about “how old is too old” to get started in graphic design. (Spoiler alert, it isn’t 25.)

Show Links:

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What’s Coming to Creative Cloud?
1:03:32
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:03:32
What’s Coming to Creative Cloud?

Every designer basically lives, works and breathes in the Adobe Creative Cloud. So this week, we have Adobe’s Michaël Chaize on with us to discuss upcoming additions, as well as a few cool things you can currently use that you may not have known about. (We were all surprised by a few things that we can’t wait to try!)

We also talk about the cool things we can expect to do/see/learn at the upcoming AdobeMax conference in Vegas. And of course, we answer a new listener question about social media kits for clients.

Show Links:

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DesignCast 140: Listener Question Show!
44:47
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 44:47
DesignCast 140: Listener Question Show!

We made it to 140 fun-filled episodes, and to celebrate, we’re digging deep into our mailbag to answer six new burning questions from listeners like you.

Whether you’re a print or web designer, seasoned vet or newbie, there’s something here for everyone!

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 140: Listener Question Show! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Recurring Revenue Packages
51:57
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 51:57
Recurring Revenue Packages

Did you know it costs about five times as much to acquire a new client than it takes to maintain an existing one? Knowing that, why do so many designers “one and done” it with their clients?

In this episode, the gang talks about some great ways to keep your existing customers by offering ongoing services that benefit you both. For example, if you design websites, why not offer a monthly SEO service that helps them attract visitors? We’ll talk about how to structure and price your packages, as well as how to pitch them to your new and existing clients.

We also answer a new listener question about what to post on social media to attract, educate and entertain prospective clients, rather than just other designers.

Show Links:

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Proposals: Put in the Work!
1:07:21
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:07:21
Proposals: Put in the Work!

One of our very first shows was about proposals, but we’ve gained a lot of knowledge since those early days, and we have a lot of new proposal tips to share with you. Listen as the gang talks about all aspects of the proposal process, including the writing process, things to include, and how to properly deliver a proposal to a prospect.

Yes, a proposal done right can mean a lot of upfront (sometimes unpaid for) work. But if you do it right, it will pay off, big time.

We also answer a new listener question about niching while still advertising that you have generalist capabilities.

Show Links:

The post Proposals: Put in the Work! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

An Ad-ucation in Advertising Your Design Business
1:00:56
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:00:56
An Ad-ucation in Advertising Your Design Business

Unless you have all the business you can handle, AND you are making the kind of money you deserve, you should probably consider advertising in one way or another. In this episode, the gang discusses the various platforms available that work in 2017. We talk about paid options, but Mikelle has another method that she has had great success with that won’t cost you a dime.

We also have a big announcement in this episode that you won’t want to miss!

And we of course answer a new listener question regarding how to handle case studies when your clients don’t provide you enough hard data.

Show Links:

The post An Ad-ucation in Advertising Your Design Business appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Talkin’ 2017 Logo Trends in the LogoLounge
1:10:40
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:10:40
Talkin’ 2017 Logo Trends in the LogoLounge

It’s that time of year again. The smell of freshly cut grass in your nose, the taste of vodka with just a splash of lemonade on your tongue, and the sweet sounds of Bill Gardner talking about this year’s logo design trends all up in your earbuds! That’s right kiddies, it’s time for the 2017 LogoLounge Trend Report, and we’ve got it all right from the source.

Listen as we talk about all the latest logo design trends, and how we got here. It’s a fascinating conversation, and we highly recommend following along with the report, which you can find here: https://www.logolounge.com/articles/2017-logo-trends

Our conversation was so engrossing, we actually ran out of time for a listener question — a first for our show. But don’t worry, we’ll get back on track next time.

Show Links:

The post Talkin’ 2017 Logo Trends in the LogoLounge appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Mobile Optimization Checklist
1:03:16
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:03:16
The Mobile Optimization Checklist

I’ll bet most of you either specialize in web design, or at least offer it as a client service. Like it or not, in 2017 (and beyond,) this means you need to know how to design for mobile devices. With over half of Internet browsing taking place on mobile, we as designers can no longer afford to ignore it.

In this episode, we go through a checklist of everything you need to think about in order to satisfy mobile users, as well as search engines in regard to mobile web design. We cover two major areas:

  1. Site speed
  2. User experience

We also tackle a new audio question about whether turning to UX/UI design can result in fewer client objections.

Show Links:

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Designing with SEO in Mind
59:19
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 59:19
Designing with SEO in Mind

If you offer web design services, how well do you know the mysterious art of SEO? For any noobs out there, that stands for “search engine optimization,” and is usually a very important aspect to almost any website. Any SEO expert will tell you that it’s always better to plan your search strategy from the beginning, but all too often, it is added in at the last minute as an afterthought.

In this episode, Wes offers some basic training in planning SEO from the start, and how that will impact the rest of the project. if you can nail the basics, any site you design will be in a much better position when the real work of link-building begins.

We also answer a new listener question about making your phone number public, and the types of clients you might attract that way (and how to better qualify them.)

Show Links:

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Charging for Your Value
55:35
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 55:35
Charging for Your Value

In the world of graphic design, most people charge one of two ways: based on time or per project. But let’s face it, both are usually based on some type of time-based calculation. The problem with this method is that nobody really benefits from it.

Your client is ends up paying for the time you spend, not a tangible result. And you are essentially just trading time for money. Why not charge your clients based on the value you bring to them instead?

In this episode, the gang talks all about the ins and outs of this method of pricing, as well as our own experiences with it. If you aren’t using this pricing model yet, you should really consider it. It will only benefit you and your clients, as you now have a vested stake in their success.

We also answer a listener question about a possibly tacky method of advertising.

Show Links:

 

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Supplementing with Subcontractors
1:08:28
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:08:28
Supplementing with Subcontractors

We love getting topic suggestions from our listeners, and today’s episode is one of those. We’ve talked a lot over the year about subcontracting work out to others. It’s a great way to fill in your skill gaps, or just have extra hands in order to focus on more important business-building tasks. In today’s episode, you’ll hear how we started getting our feet wet hiring subcontractors, what duties we give them, as well as a whole lot of advice we wish we’d known from the beginning.

We also answer an audio question about where we turn to keep learning in a very crowded Internet.

Show Links:

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Advice for the Graduating Design Student
1:07:04
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:07:04
Advice for the Graduating Design Student

With spring break well behind us, thoughts turn to summer, and maybe even graduation. Good thing we have our resident design professor Nick to dole out some awesome advice to all you grads out there. And in the spirit of not leaving the rest of you out, this advice is pretty great for any designer when it comes to job interviewing, and portfolio sprucing.

We also answer a listener question about the best way to become known as an authority in the design realm.

Also, if you happen to get the awesome reference in our featured image above, go ahead and leave a comment. You’ll definitely earn our respect.

Show Links:

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DesignCast 130: A Good, Old Fashioned Listener Question Show
58:36
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 58:36
DesignCast 130: A Good, Old Fashioned Listener Question Show

We’ve reached another milestone, (assuming 130 is indeed a milestone?) So we’re back to clear out the ol’ inbox and answer your burning questions. We have seven different ones, so there is really something for everyone in this episode.

We know we’ve been doing live episodes for this lately, but we just forgot to tease it on the last episode, so we went back to “the old way” just this once. #sorrynotsorry

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 130: A Good, Old Fashioned Listener Question Show appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Qualifying Your Clients
52:50
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 52:50
Qualifying Your Clients

Whenever you first meet with a new prospective client, they are sizing you up. And if you’re smart, you’re sizing them up right back. After all, you probably don’t want to work with everyone who comes your way. There are many things to consider: their budget versus your rates, their niche, their project, and their overall attitude. In short, you need to figure out pretty quickly whether or not you want to work with this person.

In today’s episode, the gang dissects the qualification process. Why we do it, and how. Because if you’re serious about your design business, you need to be selective with your clients. Some will make your job incredibly fulfilling, and some will make you hate getting up in the morning. Even worse, pick the wrong clients consistently enough, and you’ll be out of business altogether.

We also answer a listener question about sending out physical work samples to get new business, and how to do that with nothing but “concept” portfolio work.

Show Links:

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Getting Our Mood Board On
56:37
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 56:37
Getting Our Mood Board On

If you’ve ever felt like your first client comps aren’t nailing it, you really need to give mood boards a try. Mood boards are a way to save time by quickly communicating an overall design direction to your client for approval. This can involve just one that they need to approve, or multiple variations from which they can choose a direction. Either way, by getting this visual feedback up front, your first comps will come much closer to hitting the bulls-eye.

The gang talks about their own experiences with mood boards, as well as tips and tricks to make sure you’re getting everything you can out of this exercise, (and have a little moment of creative zen along the way.)

We also answer a listener question about landing an agency job with no prior agency experience, (as well as little to no digital experience.)

Show Links:

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Project Minimums to Maximize Business
1:05:31
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:05:31
Project Minimums to Maximize Business

Nothing can kill the productivity of a designer faster than a neverending barrage of small jobs. You have to wrap your head around a new brand, create invoices, and client interactions for a micro-payout. This is why it is so crucial to have a project minimum — the absolute minimum amount you’re willing to take on a new job for.

This can be applied to either money, time or scope. Whatever makes the most sense for you and your design business. In this episode, the gang talks all about why having a minimum is important, and what can be wasted without one. And of course, we all have stories to tell on the subject.

We also answer a new listener question about the specific marketing/messaging that got us our first “big fish” clients.

Show Links:

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Be Your Own Trendsetter
1:02:18
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:02:18
Be Your Own Trendsetter

We talk a lot about design trends, but when is it time to break away from the pack and try something totally different? And with a never ending supply of design inspiration out there, how do you turn down the noise enough to explore your own creativity?

In this episode, the gang explores this idea, and how it can apply to print, branding and web design. We’ve got some great examples from our own projects, and we also talk about how to push the envelope creatively within the real-life constraints that we often find ourselves in.

We also answer a new listener question about how to make potential clients see your work as superior, when they lack the “designer’s eye.”

And special shout-out to Aleisther Guido for this awesome piece of fan art!

pink fan art

Show Links:

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Diving Deep into Discovery
57:10
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 57:10
Diving Deep into Discovery

Do you know the best way to deliver real value to your clients? Coincidentally, it’s the same thing that will allow you to charge much more than you’re charging now—Discovery.

Discovery is the secret sauce to solving real problems in your clients’ business. When you stop simply taking orders based on your clients’ stated needs, and digging deeper, you can provide web design, branding, or just about any other type of design that actually connects with their audience, contributing to their bottom line.

In this episode, listen as the gang goes over their discovery processes, and how they use discovery to unlock unexpected gold nuggets of info that they can build a thoughtful project around.

We also answer a new listener question about how to tell a potential client why not to use a DIY web builder for their website.

Show Links:

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Web Design Trends We Can Expect in 2017
53:57
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 53:57
Web Design Trends We Can Expect in 2017

On our last episode, we covered all the biggest graphic design trends we predict for next 2017, and we wanted to follow it up with trends we can expect to see specifically in the world of web design.

Listen as the gang goes over their favorite (and most promising) trends for 2017. Some are purely aesthetic, while some actually have a higher purpose—to increase conversions.

If you’d like to add the infographic Wes talked about to your own blog, feel free to check it out and grab the embed code here.

And for our last show of the year, we of course answer a new listener question about how to measure the success of a design project when there isn’t any hard data to back it up.

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep2016 — Click here to get your yearly subscription to Videoblocks and Audioblocks for just $149… That’s $100 off
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

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Graphic Design Trends of 2017 Predicted!
1:02:06
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:02:06
Graphic Design Trends of 2017 Predicted!

With 2016 quickly approaching, let’s turn to what 2017 will likely have in store for us as graphic designers. In this episode, the gang talks about the trends we have all been noticing and are likely to spike in the new year. We talk creative trends, as well as a few trends in the creative freelancing arena.

We also answer a new listener question about how to rise above all those free tools just about anyone can use to simulate a graphic designer’s job.

Show Links:

Photo credit: Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

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The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide ’16
1:00:47
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:00:47
The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide ’16

The holidays are upon us, and that means three things — some really bad Christmas movies on The Hallmark Channel, getting drunk to avoid family, and the Deeply Graphic annual designer gift guide episode. Seriously, it’s one of our favorite yearly traditions, and this one truly has something for everybody.

So strap in, spice up your eggnog, (nobody’s lookin’) and listen for all the coolest stuff you should be asking your loved ones for this holiday season.

We also answer a new question about clueless employers asking you to design stuff in (gasp) Microsoft Word. Seriously though, where’s my eggnog?

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep2016 — Click here to get your yearly subscription to Videoblocks and Audioblocks for just $149… That’s $100 off
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

Gift Links (No peeking until after you’ve listened):

 

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Tips & Tricks for Designing Facebook Ads That Crush It
57:05
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 57:05
Tips & Tricks for Designing Facebook Ads That Crush It

Facebook ads are one of the most cost-effective — and overall effective — forms of online marketing available today. This is because you can easily tailor them to the target audience. In today’s episode, listen as the gang schools you on the best ways to design killer Facebook ads, as well as some behind the scenes marketing tactics you can use to make them as effective as they can be.

You can use this to design Facebook ads for your own design business, or take what you learn and apply it to your clients Facebook ads. By not only understanding what makes a great looking ad, but how to make it as effective as possible, you can bring a tremendous value to your clients — and charge a premium for your expertise.

We also answer a listener question about how we have personally used social media for our businesses.

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep2016 — Click here to get your yearly subscription to Videoblocks and Audioblocks for just $149… That’s $100 off
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section
  • Unstock.io — for stock images you can use in Facebook ads that feel more authentic
  • Richard Garcia’s cinemagraph tutorial video

The post Tips & Tricks for Designing Facebook Ads That Crush It appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Live Halloween Spooktacular! Ask Us Anything
1:16:17
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:16:17
Live Halloween Spooktacular! Ask Us Anything

To celebrate our 120th episode, we decided to join forces with the darkest of holidays to bring you our first ever live Halloween Spooktacular! While the live event has come and gone, you can still listen to all the spookiness and listener questions we took during our live broadcast.

We got to answer a bunch of questions from a lot of you, so there is more than enough here to fill up your trick or treat bag!

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep50 — Click here to get your yearly subscription for $50 off. That’s just $99/year for a HUGE library of video clips
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

The post Live Halloween Spooktacular! Ask Us Anything appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Cinemagraphs* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)
45:43
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 45:43
Everything You Wanted to Know About Cinemagraphs* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)

One of the big forecasted web design trends for 2016 was the widespread use of cinemagraphs. So where are they?

Listen in as the gang dissects the benefits or incorporating cinemagraphs into your web designs, email marketing campaigns and social campaigns. We also go over your basic options for making/purchasing one, and what you would need to make one from scratch.

Listen to learn how to make a cinemagraph

Since this is such an untapped trend, you can be one of the first to use cinemagraphs in your designs, which is a great way to keep the attention of users and increase conversions.

Be sure to join us for our Halloween Live-Stream Spooktacular! Monday, Oct. 24 at 6pm Pacific, 9 Eastern. Go to thedeependdesign.com/live

We also answer a new listener question about freelancing vs. fulltime when you have young ones at home.

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep50 — Click here to get your yearly subscription for $50 off. That’s just $99/year for a HUGE library of video clips
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section
  • Clipchamp.com

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Hot Print Talk! The Latest Trends in the Print World
52:04
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 52:04
Hot Print Talk! The Latest Trends in the Print World

While we can sometimes get focused on web design, this one’s for all you die-hard print designers out there.

Join us as we chat with Nicole and Katie from Tri City Printing about all the latest trends in the print world. We cover all the hottest new print promotional items you can use with your own branding as client gifts, or to suggest to your clients for their own purposes. We also talk about the newest trends in inks and finishes that will make your business cards, brochures and other printed materials pop.

We also answer a new listener question about avoiding bad design habits when you’re starting out.

Show Links:

The post Hot Print Talk! The Latest Trends in the Print World appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Why Should Clients Choose You?
1:06:08
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:06:08
Why Should Clients Choose You?

All designers want to get to the point in their career where they can call the shots and work with the clients they want to work with. But how do you get there? By being the kind of designer (and businessperson) that clients consistently want to work with.

In this episode, we’re joined for a second time by branding expert Terri Trespicio. Terri dishes out some pretty amazing advice on how to figure out exactly what you do, how to communicate that with your clients, and how to make them care.

Only by conveying a unique value to your prospects can you expect to stand out and generate enough interest to propel you to where you can call the shots.

We also answer a new listener question about the ethics and logistics of adding projects (where you had a limited revisionist role) to your portfolio.

Show Links:

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Finding Design Clients Through Social Media
1:02:58
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:02:58
Finding Design Clients Through Social Media

As creative solopreneurs or agency owners, there are no shortage of ways to find great clients. We can attend networking mixers, send out emails, or rely on good old-fashioned word of mouth. But one we keep getting one particular question time and time again — how do you use the power of social media to find new business?

This week, we are joined by social media expert, (don’t call him a guru!) Josh Hoffman. Josh teaches us the importance of establishing your brand on social media, how to put yourself in front of the right people, and what to say and do once you have their attention.

Josh also talks about the importance of the principle of playing “the long game” with potential clients, and the concept of “killing them with content.” There are a million great tips in this episode, so you won’t want to miss a second.

We also answer a new listener question about how to make your design resumé stand out to potential employers.

Show Links:

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When Your Clients Aren’t Feeling It
45:39
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 45:39
When Your Clients Aren’t Feeling It

Have you ever had an unsatisfied client? At some point, I think every designer has run into this problem. It’s how you deal with it that matters.

This episode was spurred on by a listener question we got from a designer who’s client went completely off-the-grid after things went south. Not knowing what to do next, naturally she wrote to us!

Join us as we talk about how we have found ourselves in similar situations over the years, and what we did about it. More importantly, listen for our tips you can use from the beginning of a project to help minimize the risk of this happening to you.

We also answer another listener question about how to outsource those pesky “small jobs” for your web design clients.

Show Links:

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Apple Workflow Tips
1:07:31
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:07:31
Apple Workflow Tips

If you’re like most designers out there, your work machine of choice is a Mac. And if you’re like most Mac users, you have a pretty good handle on your workflow, but there is always room for improvement.

On today’s episode, we are joined by Apple consultant (and Mikelle’s new bff) Brett Nord. Brett is here to teach us all about how to make the most of our Macs, from how to maximize their longevity, to how to automate mindless tasks. All you have to worry about is what you’re going to do with all your newfound free time!

As always, we also answer a new listener question about how much to reveal when a client asks you to participate in the “debrief” process after a project.

Show Links:

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Reality Checking Your Freelance Design Work
58:32
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 58:32
Reality Checking Your Freelance Design Work

The life of a freelance graphic/web designer can be incredibly rewarding. The independence of working for yourself is alluring, but working by yourself comes with more than a few drawbacks. With nobody to bounce ideas off of, or show your works in progress to, how do you ever really know if you’re on the right track?

In this episode, the gang talks about all the ways we can make sure our projects never lose sight of the original objectives and goals. We talk about ways to keep things on track, as well as how to get extra eyeballs on your work to make sure you’re actually connecting to the intended audience.

We also riff a bit about MasterCard’s new logo (ay-yay-yay…) and we tackle a new listener question about leaving the 9-5 world to strike out on your own — with a partner.

Show Links:

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Our Newest Secret Weapons
1:03:50
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:03:50
Our Newest Secret Weapons

One of the greatest joys of being a designer is when you discover something new that changes your life for the better. While change can be scary, it can also open you up to a whole new world of possibilities.

In this episode, the gang each talks about one such discovery that they use to increase productivity and creativity in their day-to-day. Whether you work primarily in web, or print, you will find something interesting here.

We also answer a new listener question from a non-web-designer, and whether she should learn it, or simply partner with a web pro in order to offer it as a service to clients.

2016 Logo Design Trends Show Links:

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2016 Logo Design Trends Report
1:13:54
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:13:54
2016 Logo Design Trends Report

What designer doesn’t love discovering the latest trends? And who doesn’t love a good tradition? Well hold onto your hats, kids, this episode has BOTH! Yep, sitting down with LogoLounge‘s Bill Gardner to discuss the latest trends in logo design has become one of Deeply Graphic’s most time-honored traditions. And this one doesn’t disappoint.

Follow along with the trend report, which can be found here

In this episode, we go over all the top trends Bill has discovered while poring over countless logo entries. There are quite a few interesting logo design trends, as well as some natural evolutions of trends we have seen in the past. Whether you like them all or not, you’ll definitely learn something here.

And as always, we answer a new listener question about some of the best ways to pick up extra, small design projects.

2016 Logo Design Trends Show Links:

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DesignCast 110: The LIVE Show!
1:22:51
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:22:51
DesignCast 110: The LIVE Show!

Our last live show was so much fun that we’re continuing the tradition, answering your questions live! But if you missed the show, no worries, you can catch up with it now.

In this jam-packed episode, the gang answers an insane number of listener questions — some personal, some professional — all while saying goodbye to sobriety.

Remember, we’re going to try to do live shows like this every ten episodes, so if you missed our last two, no excuses next time!

You can either listen to the audio-only feed as usual, or watch the video below for the closest thing to the real live experience.

 

Show Links:

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The Slow Times
54:24
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 54:24
The Slow Times

All creative professionals have ups and downs — it’s just a part of the life. It’s how we choose to use that time that will make or break your business.

In this episode, the gang talks about nine things you can do with your time between clients that will actually help you get more of them, and streamline your workflow for maximum efficiency.  There is a lot of ground covered here, so you won’t want to miss this one.

We also answer a listener question about how you can best spend 10-15 hours per week on setting your freelance business up for success.

Be sure to join us for our next LIVE listener question show on May 31 @ 6pm Pacific, 9 Eastern.

Come with all of your questions and we will do our best to get through all of them! Just go to thedeependdesign.com/live

Show Links:

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Design Consulting as a Service
51:53
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 51:53
Design Consulting as a Service

As graphic and web designers, we do a lot of behind-the-scenes work that we don’t always charge for. But what if we did?

In this episode, we expand upon a listener question to talk about the topic of charging clients for all those little things we do that don’t count as “design” work. Things like reading and responding to emails, meetings, and even upfront discovery. We also talk about the idea of breaking consulting off as a separate stand-alone service you can offer to clients. It’s a great way to demonstrate your value, and get away from being a commodity-driven business.

We also answer a listener question about transitioning from a 9-5job that offers a tiny bit of design responsibility to a full-fledged design role/ solopreneur.

Show Links:

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The Ultimate Project Organization Method
59:15
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 59:15
The Ultimate Project Organization Method

One of the biggest game-changers for your design business is when you figure out how to get your projects organized.

In this episode, the gang is joined by Word Revolution‘s Barbara Carneiro. She has an amazing method of pre-organizing her website and branding projects within her online project management software program that allows her to simply add a new client project, duplicate the pre-existing tasks, and voila — her and her team have a bullet-proof list of every single task that lays ahead of them.

Not only does this keep her business organized, but it gives her clients a way to keep up with the progress, and it keep them on track with anything assigned to them as well. Win-win.

You can use this method with just about any project management program, including Basecamp, Teamwork, even the free Trello. While we mostly talk about how to organize web design projects, this method can absolutely be used to organize any type of project.

Download Barbara’s checklist here

We also answer a listener question about how to build a relationship with the ultimate decision-maker on your client’s team.

Show Links:

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Help! My Client Thinks He’s a Designer!
50:52
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 50:52
Help! My Client Thinks He’s a Designer!

As designers, it’s completely normal to get feedback from your clients. When it can become frustrating, however, is when that feedback turns into a full-on concept with instructions to “just make this.”

It can be confusing. After all, they are supposedly paying us for our expertise, not just our ability to trace and digitize. While this can sometimes be a teachable moment for our clients, there are those that cannot be talked out of their own ideas, even if ours are more considered.

This episode was inspired by a listener question from Darren Doyle of Studio93. He recently went through this situation and wanted our advice on how to handle it. We thought the question needed some clarification, and so we decided to go long-form with it.

You can hear Darren’s whole story, see how things got to this point, what he could have done to prevent it, and ultimately what happens next.

We also answer a listener question about how to save for retirement as a creative solopreneur.

Show Links:

The post Help! My Client Thinks He’s a Designer! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Real-Life Rebrands: The Good, the Bad & the Fugly
1:03:38
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:03:38
Real-Life Rebrands: The Good, the Bad & the Fugly

We’ve talked about rebranding ourselves as creative pros, but this time around we wanted to talk about some recent real-life corporate rebrands to see who got it right, and who didn’t.

Want to follow along with us? Download this pdf of all the logos we discuss in this episode.

In this episode, the gang goes over ten such rebranding efforts, discussing each at length to determine if they were actually successful from not only a visual perspective, but from a goal perspective as well. How well does each hit its mark? Will they resonate with their audience? Listen and find out our thoughts!

We also answer a new listener question about what additional knowledge is needed to design for the web as opposed to other design disciplines.

Show Links:

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Packaging Design Tips & Trends
57:13
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 57:13
Packaging Design Tips & Trends

They say not to judge a book by it’s cover, but we’re all guilty of choosing products based purely on their packaging. In this episode, our resident packaging guru, Nick walks us through the latest packaging design tips & trends that you can use to add value to your next packaging design project.

We also briefly discuss our thoughts on the new uber rebrand, and how to handle client work while you’re sick.

We answer a brand new listener question about what to do if 90% of your project experience comes from a single brand. How do you showcase that in a portfolio to show that you can actually handle a variety of projects?

Show Links:

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Client-Focused Portfolio Websites
58:44
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 58:44
Client-Focused Portfolio Websites

We’ve discussed it before, but it’s a new year, and we have some brand new perspectives on our biggest marketing asset as designers — our portfolio websites. Wes just went through a major redesign, and Nick is currently planning one as well, so listen for our tips on how to make the most of yours.

One of the biggest takeaways from this episode is to keep your prospective clients in mind. They don’t care about you, or what you DO. They care about how you will help THEM. That means conveying benefits, not just how amazing a designer you are.

We also answer a new listener question about what we use for project management and communications throughout a project.

*NOTE: Apologies in advance for some sound issues on this episode. There is static here and there, but this is a valuable conversation that we still wanted to share.

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP216 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

 

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New Year, New Design Processes
1:12:40
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:12:40
New Year, New Design Processes

Every now and then its a good idea to step back, and ask yourself what’s working in your design business, and what isn’t. In this episode, the gang reflects on what new processes they want to start implementing in 2016 in order to grow their businesses.

We talk about many goals, including raising our rates, focusing on how to truly help our clients’ businesses through our design work, and much, much more.

We also answer a twitter question about video projects. And stick around for a few bonus interviews Nick did with some other design solopreneurs about their 2016 goals!

Show Links:

 

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Secrets to Winning $10K+ Web Projects
46:07
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 46:07
Secrets to Winning $10K+ Web Projects

In the new year, what better resolution can we have than to do higher value work for higher value pay? In this episode, Wes interviews Brent Weaver, founder of ugurus.com about this very subject.

Brent talks about how you can find those big fish clients, as well as how to qualify them to make sure they can afford high value web projects. Then we talk about the discovery process which will allow you to deep dive into your client’s business to uncover ways you can actually help them achieve their business goals through their new website. This is the key to delivering high value web projects, and it’s what will allow you to start charging much more than you currently do.

We also talk about how to add some recurring revenue streams into the mix, so that you don’t just end a project abruptly. You can continue to provide value to them in the long-term, which is good for your business as well.

After the interview, the gang answers a new listener question about design “tests.” Should you have to put up with them or not?

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP116 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section
  • Ugurus.com – Go here to learn more about the 10K Bootcamp we talked about in today’s show!

The post Secrets to Winning $10K+ Web Projects appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 100: Ask Us Anything LIVE!
2:14:47
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 2:14:47
DesignCast 100: Ask Us Anything LIVE!

Well we finally made it to 100 episodes, and we could think of no better way to celebrate the milestone than by spending it with you. In this very special episode, the gang broadcasts live for the very first time, answering your questions in real time.

In case you weren’t able to make the live broadcast, please enjoy the show in its entirety below:

The questions are too numerous to list here, but quite a bit of ground was covered. And once again, we want to thank you guys, our loyal listeners for your continued support and for allowing us to make it this far. Happy New Year!

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP1215 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post DesignCast 100: Ask Us Anything LIVE! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The 2015 Graphic Designers’ Gift Guide!
54:22
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 54:22
The 2015 Graphic Designers’ Gift Guide!

Mariah Carey may only have a single wish this Christmas, but then again, she’s not a graphic designer. This holiday season, curl up with a cozy sweater, a mug of “coffee” and this episode of Deeply Graphic so you know exactly what to ask for this year.

The gang each brings 3 gift ideas to the party, ranging from the inexpensive to the pretty expensive, so there is truly something for everyone and every budget.

We also answer a listener question about whether or not we should get a final client sign-off after the completion of a project.

Don’t forget to mark down Monday December 28th 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern for our LIVE 100th episode “Ask Us Anything” show! Just go to thedeependdesign.com/live and join in on the fun.

Show Links:

Gift Links:

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99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One
53:36
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 53:36
99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One

As creatives, one of the most challenging aspects of our work is winning business from good clients. The thing that separates the successful designers from the rest is that they aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and show their potential clients exactly why they are the best for the job. And I don’t mean over email. That’s right, I’m talking about pitching, baby.

Graphic Design Pitch Tips

In this episode the gang (ok, mostly Nick,) talks about his pitching process, giving you all of his strategies, and tells you exactly what you need to include in your pitch deck to impress those big clients and win the job.

We also answer a listener question about how to best reschedule a client interaction, and whether or not it’s ever okay to be sick.

Don’t forget to mark down Monday December 28th 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern for our LIVE 100th episode “Ask Us Anything” show! Just go to thedeependdesign.com/live and join in on the fun.

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP1115 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post 99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Unique Client Gift Ideas
52:44
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 52:44
Unique Client Gift Ideas

With the holiday season underway, let’s not forget about those that make our business possible: our clients. In this episode, the gang each brings their own unique ideas about what you can do for your clients this year, no matter what your budget. Whether it’s snacks customized with your own branding, or a complimentary add-on service, these ideas are sure to send the right message of thanks to your clients, as well as keep you top-of-mind for them when it comes time for more work to be thrown your way.

There are so many great options, whether you buy something as-is, or use your design skills to customize it to the hilt.

Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars for our LIVE 100th episode on December 28 at 6pm Pacific, 9 Eastern! We will announce the url soon, but plan on joining us, where we will answer your questions on the fly.

In addition to our gift guide, we answer a listener question about how to keep track of all those fonts you have installed.

Show Links:

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Running an Agency Remotely
50:12
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 50:12
Running an Agency Remotely

Most of us creative freelancers and solopreneurs have never thought about working out of an actual office space. High overheads, leases and actual employees are definite roadblocks, but there is good news: Running your business remotely can work quite well for most of us. But, are you doing it right?

In this episode, Wes interviews Matt Inglot, founder of Tilted Pixel, and host of Freelance Transformation Podcast about how he runs his successful agency thousands of miles away from most of his client base. We talk about why he decided to do this, the planning that went into it, and how he works with both clients and contractors all 100% remote.

We also have a discussion about how running your business remotely can allow for plenty of travel.

Matt has a well thought out process for practically every aspect of his business, so listen close for ways to streamline your remote agency for maximum efficiency. Because as Matt says, your clients should never feel that you aren’t physically there.

We also answer a listener question about how to get bigger clients with better budgets.

Show Links:

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Web Design Trends Going into 2016
56:45
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 56:45
Web Design Trends Going into 2016

With 2015 almost turning to 2016, the gang takes a look at some of the more popular, innovative and controversial web design trends going on right now, as well as what 2016 web design trends will look like.

As with all trend shows, we want to reiterate that just because a trend exists, doesn’t mean you have to or should be using them. Some trends work great for a very specific type of site, not so well for others. Having said that, Wes seems to be using all of them for his website refresh that is currently under way.

Trend setter or slave to the trends? Only time will tell!

Show Links:

 

Featured image courtesy of eightandfour

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Personal Branding Revisited
49:59
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 49:59
Personal Branding Revisited

Branding is one of the most important considerations for any business, especially for freelancers. With as much competition we creative freelancers face, ya gotta be memorable to survive. In this episode, the gang discusses the steps you should be taking to find the inner personality of your company or solopreneurship, and then how to carry that through all the different aspects of a successful branding effort.

We also answer a very apropos listener question about naming your business – Your name or company name, and how to brainstorm a great one.

Show Links:

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Ten Kickoff Commandments
48:18
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 48:18
Ten Kickoff Commandments

Every design project should start with the client kickoff meeting, and in this episode, Nick walks us through his version of the “10 Commandments” of a perfect kickoff.

Kickoff meetings are important for several reasons: you get to dig deep with your client and find out everything you need to know to get the job done, AND it is your first opportunity to place yourself firmly in the driver’s seat. Mess it up, and you risk making a poor first impression, resulting in less trust from your client. If that happens, you will unfortunately have an uphill battle ahead of you every step of the way.

We also answer a new listener question about how and what a web designer needs to hand off to a web developer as the development phase begins.

Show Links:

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Moonlighting by Design
46:55
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 46:55
Moonlighting by Design

The life of a designer is a widely varied one. Some of us 9-5 it, some freelance, some do both, with going full-time freelance as the goal. But in this episode, our guest David Lesué shows us that doing both in the long-term can be its own reward.

David has a full-time job as a creative director, and is able to feed his creativity with his after-hours passion gig, Stately Type. We talk all about what goes into his time management, staying inspired, and his rules for moonlighting successfully.

Since Stately Type happens to be a social media based apparel business, we also talk a lot about the specifics of t-shirt design, and how his “tribe” votes on what he ends up designing.

Show Links:

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Design by Committee
51:27
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 51:27
Design by Committee

All designers have been the victim of having too many cooks in the kitchen at one point or another. Unfortunately, pleasing multiple people (and having to incorporate their input) is just a reality for any working designer. BUT, there are things you can do to sidestep, or at least minimize this scourge.

In this episode, the gang discusses the many reasons design by committee is so common, and we offer tips and practical, hard-learned advice that we use to stop pleasing “Peggy from accounting,” and focus on designing and building the best possible product.

We also answer an audio question about whether or not you can call yourself a web designer in the very beginning stages, when you may not have ACTUALLY designed any websites yet.

Show Links:

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DesignCast 90: Revenge of the Listener Questions
51:50
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 51:50
DesignCast 90: Revenge of the Listener Questions

With another milestone (90 episodes) comes another listener question show! We can’t get to all your amazing questions in our regular shows, but we certainly try our best to get through as many as we can every tenth episode. This time around, we answer your questions about:

  • Color matching and file prep between your monitor and print
  • Politely saying no to design “favors”
  • The idea of a base hourly price that all designers can agree on
  • Clients getting sidetracked by other designers when checking you out on Behance
  • How much to charge and what file format to provide when doing visual design for a web developer client
  • Cheaper alternatives to high-priced fonts
  • Pricing jobs for smaller vs. large clients

Keep the questions coming, guys! We hope yo answer yours next time around!

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP715 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post DesignCast 90: Revenge of the Listener Questions appeared first on The Deep End Design.

2015 Logo Design Trends
52:54
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 52:54
2015 Logo Design Trends

The LogoLounge 2105 Trend Report just dropped, chronicling all the newest trends in the wild world of logo design. In honor of that, we were lucky enough to have Bill Gardner, the trend-master himself (and founder of LogoLounge) return to the show to go over the list, and share his unique insights with the gang and all of you.

While the annual trend report is always interesting, this year sees a few particularly unique trends that you probably never saw coming, so you will definitely want to listen!

We also weigh in on a new listener question regarding full legal business names in logos.

Show Links:

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Take the WORK out of Networking
50:39
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 50:39
Take the WORK out of Networking

As creative professionals, there may be no single more important thing to our business than to properly network. It’s how we find clients, collaborators as well as fellow designers we can look to as friends.

This week we were lucky enough to be joined by top rated HOW Design Live speaker Terri Trespicio, who gives us the rundown on how we can most effectively network. She offers some truly amazing tips and mindsets that will help you let your guard down and get the most out of every single interaction.

We also tackle a new listener question about transitioning casual clients into more formal business relationships.

Show Links:

The post Take the WORK out of Networking appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Artisan Business Cards
47:57
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 47:57
Artisan Business Cards

While it sounds like the premise of a Portlandia sketch, the art of handmade (or letterpress) business cards is back in a big way. In this episode the gang discusses the topic of artisan business cards – whether you make them by hand in small batches, or pay more for that handmade (yet professional) look. We talk about some of our ideas for cool handmade cards, as well as when it might make sense to use them.

We do not, however, discuss if you should or should not put a bird on it. That’s something only YOU can decide.

We also answer a listener question about how to land a killer internship.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP615 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

Featured image courtesy of: maud.com.au

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A Farewell to Mad Men
59:00
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 59:00
A Farewell to Mad Men

Very few shows have held such niche appeal to career creatives as AMC’s Mad Men. Its visual style, creative subject matter and unforgettable characters have left an undeniable impression on the world, especially us designers. Now that it has concluded, the gang sits down to discuss all things Mad Men: from Saul Bass’ iconic credits sequence, to the decor, fashion, drinking at work, the characters, and real-world branding and design featured in the show.

But be warned, this episode does contain plot spoilers. So if you aren’t caught up, you might want to make a date with Netflix, and save it for a future date.

After that, we answer a new listener question about resumes… specifically, how long is too long?

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP515 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

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Takeaways from HOW Design Live
1:08:53
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:08:53
Takeaways from HOW Design Live

This past week, the gang all got together at the HOW Design Live Conference in Chicago, one of the most prestigious design conferences in the world. We know most of you didn’t make it, so in this episode, we will go over our experience, what we learned, and our recommendations for future conferences.

In addition to our thoughts, Nick was able to gather some great short interviews with some of the speakers and exhibitors at the show which we will share with you in this episode. Lots of cool stuff to share here, you won’t want to miss a minute!

We also answer a listener question about how to market your design services on a limited (or zero) budget.

Show Links

The post Takeaways from HOW Design Live appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Is the Apple Watch for You?
1:00:51
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:00:51
Is the Apple Watch for You?

Designers worldwide have a natural affinity for all things Apple, but their latest innovation, the Apple Watch has people divided. In this episode, the gang breaks down the pros and cons of the new device, revealing what it can do, as well as its lengthy list of limitations. So where do we come down on it, and will any of us actually buy it? Listen and find out!

Keeping in the spirit of Apple, we answer a new listener question about whether or not designers actually need to use Apple computers over PCs.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP415 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Is the Apple Watch for You? appeared first on The Deep End Design.

What Inspires Us
49:54
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 49:54
What Inspires Us

Thomas Edison once said something about inspiration and perspiration, but we don’t really remember what it was. Instead, we’re going to take this episode to talk about where we find creative inspiration on a daily basis, and how we turn those inspiration points into something unique for our clients.

We also answer a new listener question about how to handle client contracts when your clients aren’t local.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP415 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post What Inspires Us appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Designer’s Spring Cleaning Checklist
58:55
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 58:55
The Designer’s Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring has officially sprung, which is a great time for us as graphic and web designers to take a little time to spruce up all aspects of our work lives. In this episode, the gang talks about ways you can keep organized and clean up what has been piling over the year. Also, we address a negative itunes revew where we were called out for excessive swearing, and make a solemn vow (for now) to keep it clean!

We also answer a listener question about how to approach your early design career: make lots of money/benefits, versus making less but learning more.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP315 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post The Designer’s Spring Cleaning Checklist appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Nomadic Designer
59:48
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 59:48
The Nomadic Designer

Just like the heros of many songs from the ’70s, some of us just gotta ramble. Wes and Mikelle have both recently relocated to different cities, so how does that impact their design business? In this episode, the gang talks about the prospect of picking up and moving, how to keep your current clients through the move, and how to start finding new ones once you’ve reached your destination.

Moving is never easy, particularly when you’re moving a business as well. But the advice offered in this episode should help calm your fears, and give you hope that moving can actually help your business by serving multiple locations rather than just one. We also answer a new listener question about when your portfolio work doesn’t exactly match up with what’s on your clients’ website.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP315 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post The Nomadic Designer appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 80: Any Questions??
50:09
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 50:09
DesignCast 80: Any Questions??

80 episodes have really flown by, and we celebrate this milestone with another listener question show! This time around, we answer all types of design-related questions sent in by you, our loyal listeners, via email, audio and twitter. So listen closely, we might have answered yours!

Topics we tackle include:

  • What were the catalysts that made us want to go out on our own? (as opposed to working for another company)
  • Are there any tax incentives for doing pro-bono design work?
  • How do you make sure the WordPress sites you design for clients are safe from hackers?
  • What are the negative implications for a less-than-ideal business name?
  • Are free Adobe competitor programs “good enough” to use?
  • When hiring a subcontractor through Elance or Odesk, do you eventually move away from that environment and pay them directly?
  • Do you ever doubt your design work is good enough when handing off a clomp to a client?

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP215 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post DesignCast 80: Any Questions?? appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Turning Down Work
58:20
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 58:20
Turning Down Work

Turning down work? Why would you ever do such a thing? Well, there are a multitude of legitimate reasons for not taking on a new client, project or fulltime job. Maybe you get a bad feeling from the client, don’t agree with the project goals, or maybe it just isn’t a good fit for whatever reason.

On this episode, the gang waxes philosophical on such reasons, pulling from their own varied experiences. We also tackle a new listener question about whether using WordPress is “cheating.”

Do you have any good stories of a time when you chose to turn down a job? What were the circumstances and how did you handle it? Tell your story in the comments section below!

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP215 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Turning Down Work appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Responsive Logo Design is a Thing!
52:11
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 52:11
Responsive Logo Design is a Thing!

When you hear the word responsive, you probably think of scalable websites. Well it turns out that the same principle can apply to logos as well. Instead of just designing and delivering a single all-purpose logo for a client, you can now choose to go the responsive route and deliver several variations on the same logo. Variations which are meant to be displayed at different resolutions.

In this episode, the gang has an in-depth discussion about this emerging trend in logo design, and what it means for your design business, as well as branding in general. Are responsive logos the wave of the future, or just the fad of the month? Do they help build a brand or do they end up fragmenting it? How would the logo design process change when designing a responsive logo? How do you charge for it?

We answer all these questions in addition to one submitted by a listener regarding paying for fonts versus just using free ones.

Show Links

  • Responsivelogos.co.uk – Cool site showing examples of big brand responsive logos
  • The house example we referenced in the show
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP115 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Responsive Logo Design is a Thing! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 5: Selling SEO
40:07
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 40:07
Growing Your Design Business Part 5: Selling SEO

If you design and develop websites for clients, it only makes sense to offer SEO (search engine optimization) services as well. In this, our last segment in the “Growing your design business” series, we sit down with outreach consultant Kai Davis and talk about the benefits of offering SEO to your clients.

More specifically, we talk about partnering with a trusted SEO expert that you can fold into your current design business. You can then offer your clients the services and expertise of someone who knows SEO inside and out while earning some extra money in the process. Win-win!

We also answer a new listener question about the importance of having a go-to copywriter, as well as the overall importance of good copy in your portfolio website.

Check out Wes’ new custom logo sign:

photo(7)

Show Links

  • Kai Davis’ Website :He’s an excellent SEO consultant with a great track record!
  • American Vintage Inc : Etsy shop that made Wes’ AMAZING lighted logo sign
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP115 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

 

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 5: Selling SEO appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 4: Pairing with a Printer
57:06
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 57:06
Growing Your Design Business Part 4: Pairing with a Printer

If any part of your design business involves print, then it might be beneficial for you to have a go-to printer for your clients. In this episode, the gang chats with Jerrold Omens and Nicole Nicolette from Tri City Printing about how to find, and work with a trusted print partner.

We discuss the pros and cons of working directly with your printer, versus simply handing off design files to your clients, mistakes designers typically make, and everything else you need to know about printers and print brokers.

We also answer a new listener question about how to accurately price quote a logo project.

Happy Holidays, we will be back with more episodes in the new year!

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1214 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 4: Pairing with a Printer appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 75: The Graphic Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014
1:00:41
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:00:41
DesignCast 75: The Graphic Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014

It’s that holly-jolly time of year again to drink eggnog, wear festive sweaters and make out our wish lists. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or Festivus, any of the gifts we cover here will make the inner designer in you very happy.

The gang each covers what they are wishing for this year, and a few trends emerge along the way. But worry not, there is a wide range of gift ideas here, so there is definitely something for everyone.

We also answer a new listener question about how Mikelle manages to get any work done with that new baby of hers lurking around.

Do you have anything you’re asking for this year that should be included on our list? Let us know in the comments section below!

Show Links (No peeking until after you’ve listened):

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1214 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

 

 

The post DesignCast 75: The Graphic Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014 appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 3: Teaming with a Copywriter
55:37
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 55:37
Growing Your Design Business Part 3: Teaming with a Copywriter

One of the biggest assets for your design business, (no matter what your medium,) is a talented copywriter. Whether you work primarily in web or print, a good copywriter can add the kinds of marketing messages to your client work that will contribute a LOT to their bottom line, making YOU look like a rockstar.

In this, the 3rd part of our “Growing Your Design Business” mini-series, we chat with copywriter Kristen Fischer about tips and tricks you can use to find and manage the copywriter that will take your design business to the next level. We also talk about the benefits of having one at all, and specifically, what a good copywriter can do to keep projects moving along, and end on-time and on-budget.

We also answer a listener question about billable vs. non-billable hours.

Show Links

  • Kristen Fischer’s website – Check out her work, or buy one of her awesome books for freelancers!
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1114 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 3: Teaming with a Copywriter appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 2: Dealing with Developers
51:26
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 51:26
Growing Your Design Business Part 2: Dealing with Developers

Rolling right along in our mini-series on growing your design business, the gang has a candid discussion about the often challenging topic of finding and managing web developers. Just like in any profession, there are varying degrees of quality when looking for web developers, so you’ll want to do everything you can to find one of the best!

Wes talks about the troubles he has had in this department, and offers some solid advice on how to navigate around them. Should you pay premium prices for domestic developers, or save some money by going the off-shore route? Would you prefer the flexibility of working with a freelancer, or the stability of working with a development company? We explore all scenarios so you can make up your own mind as to what is important to you.

We also talk about what you’re going to need to provide your developer to get things rolling, as well as how to keep the process running smoothly all the way through the QA phase and finally, website deployment.

We also answer a new listener question about the fine line between inspiration and flat-out stealing.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1114 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 2: Dealing with Developers appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 1: Managing Design Subcontractors
1:03:00
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:03:00
Growing Your Design Business Part 1: Managing Design Subcontractors

Welcome to the first episode in our series-within-a-series we like to call “Growing Your Design Business.” In this and future episodes, we will focus on growing your network of talent, allowing your design business to flourish and go places you never knew possible.

In this episode, we focus on the process of finding and managing design subcontractors. Why would you want to take this step? Many reasons: maybe you have an influx of work you can’t handle on your own. Maybe your skill set is limited, and hiring someone who can do what you can’t (or don’t want to) will allow your business to be more versatile.

We go over how to find the best talent, how to pay them, and how to oversee their work. When done right, the work done by another designer can really extend the reach of your design business, allowing you to take on more clients and do a broader scope of work.

We hope you enjoy this episode, and look out for future episodes within this mini-series!

Listener Question

This week, we take an audio question about how we as designers can best take care of our eyes. Since we rely on them so heavily for our work, we should all do what we can to make sure they work their best!

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1014 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 7 day free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 1: Managing Design Subcontractors appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Passionate About Passion Projects
1:01:00
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:01:00
Passionate About Passion Projects

Passion projects!

You may have a design business, or be trying to start one. Or maybe you are knee deep in advertising design at your firm, or sketching icons for your companies next big operating system.

But all work and no play makes Jill/Jack a dull girl/boy! Creative people need to create — it’s likely that very drive got you into the field you work in now — but sometimes you need to stretch your creative muscles and do something for yourself.

Forget what clients want, or what is “proper” design, or all the best practices for creating something for someone else.

That’s what passion projects are — doing something you want for the joy and pleasure of it, with the prospect of making money from it a distant second in priority to simply enjoying it.

Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo talk about the benefits of graphic design passion projects, and let us know some of the things they do to flex those creative muscles for their own benefit.

Mikelle covers how she disconnects from the digital and makes spending quality time in the real world with her real child a passion project. It’s never easy to tune out all the noise and switch gears from modern communication to just being present for those that need you, and can be a worthy project all its own.

Nick talks about a project for his graphic design class involving creating social media accounts, not for personal use, but to talk about what they are passionate about.

Your down-time is important, not to mention hard to come by. How do you want to spend it? You can check Facebook again, sure. Who knows, maybe some friend did something fun in the last half-hour! Or, maybe better, do you want to keep your creative juices flowing on a project just for you?

There could be something you want to get better at, to learn more about — a passion project is exactly the ticket.

Do you need too beef up your portfolio a bit? Setting yourself on a client-free passion project can fill up your collection of logos or website mock-ups in a hurry.

And a good passion project doesn’t even have to be in your field. How many of those interesting inventions you use daily were put together by someone with a passion for solving some everyday problem?

Nick brings us up to speed about something exactly like this — a healthy candy company he hopes may pick up into something big, but for now is a passion project where his drive and the joy of doing it is what is moving it forward.

Listener Question:

Wes is asked what his favorite design podcasts are (besides his own, of course!)

Show Links

  • Just The Case — Laser engraved, real wood cases for your iPhone. A passion project turned successful venture!
  • Print It Forward — Buy shirts to benefit Daniel E. Johnson Memorial Scholarship fund at saa! A passion project that benefits education!
  • Lead and Light — Minimalist, design focused tee shirts!
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP914 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 7 day free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post Passionate About Passion Projects appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 70: Listener Question Show, Extreme Student Edition!
1:05:07
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:05:07
DesignCast 70: Listener Question Show, Extreme Student Edition!

Its time for another listener question show! Thanks to Nick Longo, our resident design professor, we have a whole crop of questions submitted by design students. So if you’re in school, listen up. And if you’re not, don’t worry, the questions are still very applicable to designers at any level.

As always, send in your listener questions to: questions@50.87.248.227/~thedeeq2. We especially love to get audio questions, so just record yourself asking a brief design-related question and email us the mp3 (or other audio file,) and we will try our best to answer it on an upcoming episode.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP914 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 7 day free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post DesignCast 70: Listener Question Show, Extreme Student Edition! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Balancing Your Freelance Work & Life
52:40
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 52:40
Balancing Your Freelance Work & Life

Something any creative person understands is the need for, and the constant struggle with, striking a balance between your work and your life.

History is replete with creative types that worked their magic like none before them, but burned out from a lack of balance.

But just how is it done? How do you keep up with the rapidly changing world, get all the work done you need to, and yet keep sane and balanced?

Join Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo as they hash out some of their own experiences for us.

Mikelle talks about the changes marriage and children brought about in her work. Have the changes affected her ability to enjoy her work, or has she found ways to balance the load?

Children bring a whole new dimension to working from home, especially infants. How should you handle the unavoidable interruptions little bundle of joy will bring to your conversations with clients?

Freelancing is full time work and then some. Anyone who does it knows you can’t always shut down at 5 PM and call it a day. And not having a hard schedule where you can “clock out” and wash your hands of it for the day means you need to strike a balance between your working hours and not working hours.

Nick outlines the difficulty self employed people and freelancers in general face when trying to be the best and most successful. It’s very easy to fall into the spiral of working yourself to exhaustion trying to be as successful as you think those around you are, which may only make you less likely to succeed. Sometimes it is better to track your time, see what is nibbling away at your productivity, and work less rather than more — something that could be that missing step between pulling your hair out and being successful.

Wes talks about unplugging during your work day. As graphic designers, the internet is one of the tools of the trade. You can’t get away from it even if you wanted to at this point. But things like Facebook, Twitter, and email break your work time into little chunks, and every time you stop and start again after a distraction, a little lost time is added to your work day.

Unplugging yourself, answering emails later rather than right now, taking the Facebook app off your phone, these things can help make an 8 hour workday more like a 4 hour workday.

Weekends are another thing freelancers have to worry about. It is all too attractive to work every day and answer that phone no matter when it rings, but is that healthy? Being self employed, you need to set boundaries, keeping a day or two to yourself. Wes and Nick explain how they handle working and not working on the weekends.

And then there are vacations. Freelancing means working on your own, for your own goals, but you can easily lose track of your own time off. In the corporate world, you are often forced to take vacation time, but freelancers have to be mindful and allow themselves some “me time”. How does Wes, Nick, and Mikelle handle the “loss” of time and how important is the vacation to keeping them all on their game?

Today’s Listener Question

Often when building your portfolio, especially in the beginning, much of your work will have been done while working for someone other than yourself. Few of us can fill a portfolio without doing some of the work in a “day job”!
But what are your rights when using some of this work in your own portfolio. Can you show it in your portfolio at all? Are there any conflicts of interest? How useful is it, really?

Show Links

  • Anti-Social – A program that allows you to temporarily block access to social media sites, stopping the temptation for that “one quick look.”
  • Toggl – A fast, free, and easy time tracker for web, Windows, OS X, Android and iOS. See what you are spending all that time doing!
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP914 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post Balancing Your Freelance Work & Life appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Creative Process Decoded
1:00:56
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 1:00:56
The Creative Process Decoded

In the 68th episode of the DesignCast, Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo take us through their individual creative processes!
 
Everybody has their own approach to creative endeavors — and this is never more true than when it comes to graphic design work, since the creative process is long and winding. Not only do you have to create the projects, but you have to complete a dozen steps before and after the graphic work is finished, and having a strong and economical process to get things done can really help keep things from getting out of control.
 
The first crucial step is getting the information you need to do the job right from the client — and then help guide them to the best possible place. This means you have to have a firm grasp on what works and what doesn’t, what will excite their intended audience and what will fall flat. Not every idea a customer has for their own design will work, and often the client won’t know why they like what they like.
 
Mikelle explains what works for her at this stage and the importance of talking to the client in person and on the phone, rather than only through email. Hearing their voice and seeing their expressions could give you cues that can make this so much easier for you and them.
 
Wes and Nick cover the importance of inserting the legal aspects of the business into the creative process by getting signatures and documentation for every major step you take. You don’t want to spend hours completing a difficult project only to have the client tell you that’s not what they wanted, and worse, not have proof that is what they asked for to begin with!
 
The next step is always brainstorming. Nick recommends some tactics to help get the best out of your brainstorming sessions and Mikelle talks about how she uses the internet and customer ideas to help hone in on a quality concepts.
 
And, how important is quality quiet time when it comes to thinking up new ideas for your next project? Wes talks about how he needs to sometimes unplug from podcasts and other noise to let his mind work – sometimes boredom is that helpful, missing aspect in our creative lives. Most of us can’t think creatively and listen to conversation at the same time.
 
Next up in the process: Comp time! Sooner or later, we need to produce something for the customer to see, floating a handful of concepts and seeing what works. There a lot of ways to approach this and finding the one that works best for you is important. This is the time when your skill at design and your creative process needs to be at its best.
 
The DesignCast crew talks about what they consider the most important steps in their process when it comes to comps — how many concepts they deliver and how they handle the changes, as well as how many concepts they show to the client at once.
 
How many different designs does Wes bring to the client at this time? What does Nick think the single most important thing to show the client at this time is? Hint: Just how well have you listened to your clients needs?
 
In the end of it all, the most important thing is to judge your creative process honestly and make it work best for you. Everyone does things differently and has strengths and weaknesses all their own.
 
But by listening to the DesignCast, maybe some of our experiences can help you iron out your own best process!

Today’s Listener Question:

Advertising your freelance business is important. You can’t forget to get yourself out there in front of prospective clients.
But what kind of advertising is worth the money in this day and age? Print media like magazines have large readerships, but cost a lot to get an ad into — money that may be better spent elsewhere.
The gang lets us know their thoughts.

Show Links:

Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code deep814 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus – A great way to brainstorm, the visual thesaurus draws the links between words and ideas in a visual map.
lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial! There is no place out there quite like linda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post The Creative Process Decoded appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Where’s My Money?!
49:02
2017-10-23 12:58:16 UTC 49:02
Where’s My Money?!

Join the DesignCast crew as Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo dip into the  headlines of their lives!

Once in a while we like to dip into our personal experiences, peeling back the curtain and talking about events that have affected us in recent months – customer issues, invoicing problems, and the general craziness of being in the wild world of design.

Why make the mistakes when you can learn about them from us?

Invoicing

Unless you are an accountant moonlighting as a designer, invoicing is probably one of the scarier parts of the business.

How do you bypass all the possible pitfalls? How can you be sure you can get the money you’ve earned when, sometimes, a client might not want to pay?

How do you cover yourself?

It’s rarely a black and white situation. A client might have the wrong idea of what finished means when it comes to a website, for example, not realizing that your part of the job is completed. Or a family emergency may pop up and divert their attention, leaving you in the lurch even as you send follow up emails for weeks. Or, maybe, they just weren’t very serious to begin with.

Wes outlines a recent situation where a client, having not yet fulfilled their end of the process by providing the copy for the site, refused to pay the remainder for the completed project. He outlines step by step how he handled the problem, and what you can do to head off such an issue yourself.

Other times there is little you can do about the more serious situations except count it as a loss and attempt to soften the blow to your finances. Mikelle talks us through a few situations where, in the end, she let her accountant deal with the losses at tax time.

And don’t think it is just the smaller clients that play with your payments! Nick spends some time filling us in on a large corporate client that loved his work, and yet still decided not to pay him because they weren’t successful in using the completed project to its fullest. Complicating matters was the fact the company in question was in Florida, while Nick is in California, meaning he would need to travel across country to press for the money.

Let us know your experiences!

Tell us your experiences! Have you had an issue collecting the money you earned? Did it change how you approach the business as a whole? What did you take away from the experience?

Tell us all about it in the comments below!

 Todays Listener Question:

As designers, we are asked to create things that our clients will use to improve their business, or sell a product, or maybe show support for a cause.

What do you do if a client wants to hire you to create something you aren’t comfortable with? Flyers for a political party you dislike, posters for or against a particular social issue, or an ad designed to sell something you have serious doubts about…

Do you do it because it’s a job? Or do you step back from the situation and decline?

Show Links:

  • Shake – A web and mobile app designed to make creating small, simple contracts as easy as a handshake.
  • FreshBooks– Cloud based accounting and invoicing software.
  • LegalZoom – LegalZoom is the nation’s leading provider of personalized, online legal solutions for small business owners and families.
  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP814 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial

The post Where’s My Money?! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

2014 Logo Design Trends
1:12:07
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 1:12:07
2014 Logo Design Trends

Bill Gardner, founder of LogoLounge, returns to the DesignCast to talk with Wes McDowell and Nick Longo about logo design trends in 2014.

LogoLounge is the best place to find logo reference materials on the web with a huge database of expertly crafted logos (200,000 and counting).

Bill Gardner has been collecting and examining trends in logo design for years and you can see the trend reports all the way from 2003 at LogoLounge. Each report is a multi-page in-depth look into the logo trends for that year including example logo designs – a real boon for designers everywhere.

In fact, while listening to this episode, please feel free to head to LogoLounge and look for the “2014 Logo Trend Report” link on the right hand side, or the ‘Trends Reports’ link in the footer – this way you can follow along!

2013 was a tipping point in web design: Mobile devices are overtaking the larger, more traditional devices for surfing the web, and we need to take this into account when creating logos and designs. It is no longer good enough to have a logo look good in inches when it may be shrunk to a quarter inch on a mobile device, or used as a favicon for the client’s website.

How will your logo look squeezed onto a screen as small as a business card? Will it hold up to the rigors of the small screens of smart-phones and tablets?

And how are others taking on this challenge?

Bill Gardner lets us in on what he sees as the 2014 logo design trends we can expect. Designers everywhere are reacting to the changing trends and user expectations, trying different techniques to develop logos both eye-catching and workable at any size and on any device.

Will the sharp, clean mono-line become the predominate style of the year? Is the hyper-flat logo design trend backing off and making room for the glassy, more ‘realistic’ look and feel like the newest iteration of the NBC peacock?

Bill finds digital waves reminiscent of Wi-Fi symbols bubbling to the top, hexagon shaped logos popping up more often than even he expects, and birds and woodland creatures – created with stacks of geometric shapes – dancing onto the design stage everywhere.

Bill also talks about a few logo trends not in the 2014 Logo Trends report – including the rise of responsive, digital only logos like you can find at Bureau347 – just for us at the DesignCast, so don’t miss it!

You can always reach out to Bill via the contact page of LogoLounge or via email at bill@logolounge.com, and let him know of any trends you are seeing in logo design today!

You can find more of Bill Gardner’s wisdom at lynda.com where you can start a free trial just for our listeners at lynda.com/deepend, along with hundreds of other professional videos and classes on design, photography, software and more.

Last, but not least, we answer a new listener question on how necessary classical art education is for graphic designers. Does an art education help, or hinder, design work? Or is it important to be as diverse as possible in your knowledge and education?

Show Links:

The post 2014 Logo Design Trends appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Freelance Design or Fulltime Gig?
52:42
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 52:42
Freelance Design or Fulltime Gig?

While there are many different types of graphic and web design gigs out there, they generally fall into two separate categories: freelancing on your own, or going to work for a company. We’ve all done both, and know that each scenario comes with its own set of pros and pitfalls. In this episode, the gang discusses what we prefer personally, as well as what you should consider when weighing out your options.

We also answer a new audio listener question about delivering logo files to a client.

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP714 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial

The post Freelance Design or Fulltime Gig? appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Social Media Tips for Designers
58:24
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 58:24
Social Media Tips for Designers

Social media is here to stay, fellow designers. While the platforms may change and shift over time, twitter, facebook, linkedin, instagram and pinterest remain solid ways of connecting with clients, as well as other creatives. In this episode, we have special guest Chuck Anderson, from No Pattern talking with us about all things social media. We go over the big ones, and how we use them to our ultimate advantage in our own design businesses. As always, the conversation takes a few random twists and turns, but its all a part of the journey.

Speaking of social media, this week we got a great listener question via twitter about how to prioritize projects when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Show Links:

 

Image credit: Quka / Shutterstock.com

The post Social Media Tips for Designers appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Building & Using Your Network
49:55
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 49:55
Building & Using Your Network

No designer is an island. To one degree or another, we all rely on a network of others to keep our business afloat. Maybe you subcontract out some work that you can’t handle on your own. Maybe you have created valuable relationships with print vendors, hosting providers, etc. And lets not forget how valuable networking can be to find clients that we want to work with over and over again.

In short, building a network of both creative support and prospective clients is too important to ignore. In this episode, we talk all about how we have managed to build up our networks, and how we utilize then to benefit both our businesses and theirs. After all, all relationships should be give-and-take in order for everybody to benefit.

We also answer a listener question from a very young listener who wants to find clients locally without relying on emails/online methods.

Show Links:

The post Building & Using Your Network appeared first on The Deep End Design.

How to Handle & Price Rush Jobs
41:50
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 41:50
How to Handle & Price Rush Jobs

What’s the rush? Your client needs a brochure design yesterday, and its up to you to make it happen. Before accepting a rush job, you have to understand how it will affect the other aspects of your business. Who do you push aside to make time to turn around this new job so quickly? Will other deadlines be missed to accommodate it? And what should you charge your client for the inconvenience? In this episode, the gang tackles this tricky topic, so you might be better prepared to deal with it when it happens.

Also, we answer a listener question about how to get a project kicked off on the right foot.

Show Links:

The post How to Handle & Price Rush Jobs appeared first on The Deep End Design.

What We Wish We’d Learned in Design School
57:28
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 57:28
What We Wish We’d Learned in Design School

As great a tool as design school can be, they can only prepare you for so much in four years. As any designer who has been working for a while knows, there is a ton of knowledge that doesn’t drop on you until after you’ve started working in “the real world.” In this episode, listen in as the gang goes over the things they know now, that they wish they knew then.

We also answer a new listener question regarding the different business types you can choose from when setting up your own design studio.

Show Links:

The post What We Wish We’d Learned in Design School appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 60: Two Men & A Listener Question Show
52:05
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 52:05
DesignCast 60: Two Men & A Listener Question Show

In this, our 60th episode, we mourn the temporary absence of Mikelle by reaching deep into our mailbag to answer more of your listener submitted questions! Without Mikelle’s usual sweetness,  this episode is our manliest yet. Wes and Nick tackle a wide variety of topics, including:

 

 

  • How to improve the overall quality of your work
  • How to be a healthy freelancer
  • How to make a comprehensive WordPress training manual for your web design clients
  • How you should approach taking over for another designer mid-project
  • How to approach a WordPress website project… where do you start, and how do you plan it all out?
  • How do you balance being a “pixel pusher” with being the creative genius you want to be?

In other exciting news, right after we recorded this episode, Mikelle finally gave birth to her son Oakly Vedder! With a name like that, he is destined to become a bona fide rock star!

0414Oakly77 0414Oakly39

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 60: Two Men & A Listener Question Show appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Overcoming Price Objection
52:40
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 52:40
Overcoming Price Objection

When speaking with prospective clients, one topic that will invariably come up is price. But what do you do when a potential client thinks your design services are just too expensive?

In this episode, we tackle the topic of how to deal with clients who are obsessed with price. We cover everything from explaining your value, to changing the scope of the project to accommodate their budget, to knowing when you may need to just walk away.

This episode’s listener question deals with how you should display your work in your portfolio: actual photos or Photoshop mockups?

Show Links:

The post Overcoming Price Objection appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Saying Nope to Spec Work
41:50
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 41:50
Saying Nope to Spec Work

Do you like working for free? Neither do we. The creative field has always been plagued by the notion that what we do is somehow not “real” work, and should only be paid for upon approval. It has become increasingly common for potential clients to request designs up front, as a test to see who they deem good enough to hire. What’s worse, is they usually do this with multiple designers/firms at once, and only “award” the project to one. This type of thing doesn’t go on in other industries, so why is it so common in the realm of design?

In this episode, we have special guest host Nick Longo joining Wes and Mikelle to talk about the downside of spec work. And there are many… for us as designers, as well as for the very clients that request it. We talk about how to politely decline such situations, as well as how we can educate these clients about how it could adversely affect their business.  We then discuss the fine line between spec work and the art of pitching, and when it actually makes sense to spend time on designing for a pitch.

We also answer a listener question about how much you need to customize a WordPress theme, and if keeping it as-is would be considered a crime against design.

Show Links:

Featured image credit: Glen Quintana Jr

The post Saying Nope to Spec Work appeared first on The Deep End Design.

How to Develop a Branding Guide
35:59
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 35:59
How to Develop a Branding Guide

Everyone knows that the logo is the cornerstone of a company’s branding and identity. But why stop after just designing the logo for a client? Not only is offering a printable set of branding guidelines invaluable to your clients, but it can be a great upsell of your services as well. In other words, if youcan master this, it can result in more money for your client, as well as you. Win-win.

In a nutshell, a branding guide will detail exactly how your client’s new logo should, (and more importantly,) should NOT be used. The main goal of a branding or identity guide is to establish consistency for your client’s brand. This has a lot to do with the logo, but touches on other areas as well, such as typography and brand colors across all mediums.

In this episode, we talk about what you should include in the guide, as well as some formatting tips which will make it even easier.

We also answer a listener follow-up question from episode 54, about how to best label self-initiated projects in your portfolio.

Show Links:

 

Image credit: TNA Brand Manual

The post How to Develop a Branding Guide appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Design Contract Lifesavers
1:01:57
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 1:01:57
Design Contract Lifesavers

If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you will remember that we did a whole episode covering all the basics of graphic and web design client contracts. But over the past few years, plenty of situations have come up with our own clients that have prompted us to add extra clauses to our contracts. We had to learn the hard way why we needed them, but you can just take it from us!

We cover all kinds of important life-saving clauses such as why its important to have a single point of contact, and how to make sure your clients have their web content ready by the time you’re ready to launch their site.

As always, we take on two new listener questions about how to sell a pre-designed logo to an unwitting client, and how to explain your true worth to a client who may be on the fence.

Show Links:

The post Design Contract Lifesavers appeared first on The Deep End Design.

When Good Designs Go Bad
50:35
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 50:35
When Good Designs Go Bad

We’ve all been there. You design something awesome for a client, hand over the files, and then you see that it has been changed. Maybe a small tweak, or maybe it has been transformed into something unrecognizable. Something awful. Something, you no longer want your name on. In this episode, Mikelle recounts just this kind of story that happened to her recently. We discuss her options, and what she could, and should do about it.

We also answer two new listener questions that were sent to us via twitter, so they were short, sweet and to the point. If you have a short question that can be phrased in 140 characters or less, tweet it to us! Just use the hashtag #DGDC.

Has thins kind of thing happened to you? If so, how did you deal with it? Did you cut your losses and walk away, or do what you could to salvage the project even if it meant ruffling some feathers? Leave your experience in the comments section below!

Show Links:

Featured image credit: Cristiano Jackie

The post When Good Designs Go Bad appeared first on The Deep End Design.

What’s in it For Me?
48:06
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 48:06
What’s in it For Me?

When marketing our design services to clients, it is common to spend a lot of time talking about what we do, and how good we are at it. Unfortunately, focusing on that alone is not enough to entice the discerning client. You have to clearly lay out your unique value proposition, in other words, you have to tell your potential clients what’s in it for them to hire you.

To talk all about the “wiifm” (what’s in it for me) principle, we have Matthew and Ben Newton, two Australian brothers who happen to co-host The Web Agency Podcast. We talk about a recent study they have conducted about design agency portfolio sites in several major cities, and we get to see what is working for some, what some are lacking, and how well different agencies are utilizing the wiifm principle, and scoring better clients because of it.

We also answer two new listener questions about finding a design mentor, and how to build a compelling portfolio of self-initiated projects.

If you like listening to this show, we highly recommend you check out The Web Agency Podcast as well. It’s an easy, entertaining listen, and each episode is packed with great info for anyone running their own web design biz.

Show Links:

The post What’s in it For Me? appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Designer Deductions
59:48
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 59:48
Designer Deductions

We’ll bet you hate thinking about taxes. We also bet you love saving your hard earned money! While paying taxes is the burden of just about every person on this planet, it can be especially hard on freelance graphic designers. Luckily, we have many expenses that can be deducted from our tax burden, resulting in more money in our pockets.

In this episode, the gang discusses many of the biggest deductions we as designers can take, including a few that you may have not been aware of.

As we say in the show, we are NOT tax professionals, and any advice we give should be run past your accountant first. We want you to keep as much money as you can, but we don’t want you crossing any lines that could get you flagged by the IRS.

We also answer a few new listener questions about how to handle client web hosting, and what the pros/cons of hiring a business manager.

Show Links:

 

Featured image copyright: Angelyn Ong

The post Designer Deductions appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Year End Wrap-Up
53:59
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 53:59
The Year End Wrap-Up

We’re coming right up on 2014, and what better time to stop and look back on what we learned this past year? (We thought about doing it in July, but is just seemed premature.) Wes, Mikelle and Sam each talk briefly about the biggest lesson they learned in their design careers this year, as well as their career goals for 2014. We also share some our favorite listener lesson and goal submissions. There were some great ones, so be sure to stick around for those as well.

We finish out the year with two brand spankin’ new listener questions about educating clients who aren’t used to the creative process, and what to do about the age old problem of the client who takes their sweet time supplying you with content.

Show Links:

The post The Year End Wrap-Up appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013
53:11
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 53:11
The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Our gift guide show last year was such a runaway hit that we had to do it again. Listen as Wes, Mikelle and Sam go over some of their top picks for gifts you should be asking for this year. Some are clearly just for designers, some will help you get through your day, and some are just fun/quirky enough that only a designer could fully appreciate them. (I’m looking right at you, Chinese Lucky Cat.)

After the festivities, we answer two new listener questions about how to get back in the game when you’ve taken a long hiatus from designing, and what you should be charging a client for constant, small revisions to a website.

Gift Links:

 

The post The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013 appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 50: Giving Thanks & Answering Your Questions
1:06:34
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 1:06:34
DesignCast 50: Giving Thanks & Answering Your Questions

Is it just a coincidence that we happened to reach 50 episodes just in time for Thanksgiving? Yes it is! But even so, what better way to thank you, our loyal listeners, than another super-fantastic listener question show? In this episode, we tackle a bunch of new questions sent in by you. As usual, we try to vary the topics as much as possible so that there is truly something for everyone. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Show Links:

Dreamhost Use promo code DEEP60 for $60 off web hosting

OvernightPrints Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order

The post DesignCast 50: Giving Thanks & Answering Your Questions appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Mobile Web Design Tips & Trends
1:02:15
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 1:02:15
Mobile Web Design Tips & Trends

In this episode, we were lucky enough to have Patrick McNeil, the author of The Mobile Web Designer’s Idea Book sit down with Wes for a chat about the latest trends in the ever evolving world of mobile web design. We go over the basics of mobile web design methodologies and frameworks, and we discuss the current state of mobile, and why it’s only getting more and more important going forward. We then talk about some of the more popular trends that are emerging in regards to mobile, as well as some important usability concerns that you would want to address in the design process.

Want to win a free signed copy of The Mobile Web Designer’s Idea Book? We are giving away 4 free copies! Just leave a comment below by Monday, Nov. 18th to be entered to win.

This contest is now closed. Congrats to our 4 winners!

 

As always, we answer two new listener questions about client holiday gifts, and how to avoid being asked to do valuable web design work at a minimum wage job.

Here are some screenshots from the book, highlighting a few different styles we address in the interview:

Superclean Style

superclean mobile

Minimal Style

minimal mobile

Flax Pixels Style

flat pixels mobile

Atypical Navigation Style

atypical

Image credits: The above images are from The Mobile Web Designer’s Idea Book by Patrick McNeil. ©2013, HOW Publishing. All rights reserved.

Show Links:

OvernightPrints Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order.

The post Mobile Web Design Tips & Trends appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Jeepers! It’s the Scope Creeper!
45:27
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 45:27
Jeepers! It’s the Scope Creeper!

Wrapping up our “design dilemma” series, this week we focus on a spooky Halloween tale that will strike fear in the hearts of designers everywhere… scope creep! So take a listen… If you dare.

Sam recently faced such a tale of terror in his own studio, and lived long enough to tell us about it. We learn how he got into this mess in the first place, and we talk about ways to deal with it beforehand, as well as after-the-fact. There are many things you can do to combat scope creep in your design business, beginning with your contract.

It may be too late for Sam, but you can all still save yourselves…

We also answer a few new listener questions about teaming up with other freelancers and how to bill your clients for stock images.

Show Links:

Shutterstock: Use promo code: DEEP10 for 30% off any package. Expires Nov. 30, 2013.

OvernightPrints: Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order.

 

The post Jeepers! It’s the Scope Creeper! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Clever Logo Conundrum
37:19
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 37:19
The Clever Logo Conundrum

We recently had an episode dedicated to a design dilemma Mikelle was facing with a client. So we decided to make this into a series all about one big problem each of us is facing in our business. In this episode, it’s Wes’ turn.

We always advocate asking clients for samples of designs they like, so you can properly gauge their taste, and what they will respond to. However, Wes recently began seeing a trend emerge with his logo design clients: they were always picking out “clever,” literal logos for inspiration, even when their company name or industry did not lend itself to that sort of treatment.

Rather than dwelling on the problem, the gang talks about how to better arm yourself against this sort of thing, so that you and your clients can get started on the right track, instead of chasing false leads. You will learn how to properly ask for example logos, and we also discuss the possibility of not asking for examples at all. There are multiple opinions voiced in this episode, so you can listen and see what makes the most sense for you.

After that, we answer two new listener questions about taking days off, and whether or not After Effects is worth learning.

Show Links:

Shutterstock: Use promo code: DEEP10 for 30% off any package. Expires Nov. 30, 2013.

OvernightPrints: Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order.

 

Image credit: Draward.com

The post The Clever Logo Conundrum appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Graphic Designer’s Home Office
51:20
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 51:20
The Graphic Designer’s Home Office

Working from home can be pretty sweet. You can work in your pajamas, and it’s pretty much the shortest commute ever. But being a freelance designer only works if your home office is in top shape. In this episode, the gang talks about our own home office setups, how we like to work, stay organized, and what we simply cannot live without. We go over everything from our desks, to our hardware, software, decor, and ways to stay inspired. After all, your home office needs to be not only functional, but you need to actually enjoy being there for 8 (or more) hours a day.

We also answer a few new listener questions about how to politely distance yourself from a client-butchered design, and whether or not technology is making our jobs as designers easier or harder.

Show Links:

  • Overnightprints Use promo code DOUBLEDEEP for double-sided printing for the price of single-sided on business cards, postcards, brochures and stationery products

Image Credit: Typography fanatic Nick Keppol‘s creative home office

The post The Graphic Designer’s Home Office appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Curious Case of the Copycat Client
44:58
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 44:58
The Curious Case of the Copycat Client

We may know a lot about the ins and outs of running a successful design studio, but we regularly run into dilemmas of our own. Mikelle had a recent client scenario which devolved from looking to an existing site for “inspiration” into the client wanting a very close copy of the original.

When clients want to copy something that’s already out there, how are you supposed to handle it? In this episode, we talk it out, and come up with some great suggestions on how to handle this situation if it ever comes up.

We also answer a few listener questions about how you should represent hobby work on your resume, and what one listener might be doing wrong in his client communications.

Show Links:

  • Overnightprints Use promo code DOUBLEDEEP for double-sided printing for the price of single-sided on business cards, postcards, brochures and stationery products

The post The Curious Case of the Copycat Client appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Creative Director Track
50:49
2017-10-23 12:58:17 UTC 50:49
The Creative Director Track

Being a graphic designer is great. But many designers have aspirations of going even further in their creative careers, and for some that means becoming a creative director one day. In this episode, the gang breaks down how to be a creative director; what kind of personality is most attracted to the role, what is often required of the job, and more importantly, what do you need to be doing right now in order to get there someday?

We have Sam Cox back with us (a bona fide creative director himself) to offer his insights and personal experience on the subject. We learn how he got to where he is today, and what he likes and dislikes about his role as a CD.

Also, we take on a few more listener questions about how to start in the wonderful world of WordPress web design (alliteration, anyone?) and whether you should follow your creative carer passions at the risk of losing a steady payday.

The post The Creative Director Track appeared first on The Deep End Design.

2017 Designer Gifts Wish List
59:25
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 59:25
2017 Designer Gifts Wish List

Just in time for Cyber Monday, we present our annual designer gift guide! Listen as the gang lists off the things we’ll be asking for this year, because getting cool stuff is really what the holiday season is all about. And Nick will apparently be buying every. single. thing.

We also answer a new question, and give a little portfolio advice to a listener who lives in an area where there isn’t much demand for her skills.

The Wish List

Show Links:

The post 2017 Designer Gifts Wish List appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Positioning Your Agency (or Micro-Agency)
1:04:37
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:04:37
Positioning Your Agency (or Micro-Agency)

Have you ever wondered how to set yourself or your design agency apart from the competition? Wonder no more, because in today’s episode, we have a very special guest who will shed some light on the subject. Content strategist and copywriter Aaron Wrixon is in the house, and will show you how to stand out, and put your best self front and center.

Whether you’re a solopreneur, running an agency, or a micro-agency, these tips will be hugely beneficial as you go into 2018.

We also answer a listener question about what/how much you need to provide your web developer with to properly communicate your designs.

Show Links:

The post Positioning Your Agency (or Micro-Agency) appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Our Biggest Takeaways From Adobe Max
1:12:18
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:12:18
Our Biggest Takeaways From Adobe Max

Last week, the gang all got together in person to attend the 2017 Adobe Max conference, and we can honestly say it was incredible. Lots of new announcements, feature enhancements, and brand new programs that we’re all super excited to share with you.

Mikelle couldn’t join in on this episode, but Wes and Nick are here to go over the biggest takeaways and things we’re the most excited about. And be sure to stick around till the very end, we have put together some key takeaways from other attendees and listeners who we met in person at the conference.

We also answer a new listener question about what to charge for the design of liquor bottle labels.

Show Links:

The post Our Biggest Takeaways From Adobe Max appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Designer Fails
53:34
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 53:34
Designer Fails

Any designer who’s made it will tell you they failed a LOT on the way up. It’s the best way to learn — at least that’s what we keep telling ourselves. And the Deeply Graphic gang is no different. Listen to our tales of woe, and what we learned from biting it over the years.

And since we got several great fail stories from our listeners, we have those sprinkled throughout the episode as well. Thanks to Ricky, Kyle and Joshua for opening up and sharing what they learned with the rest of us!

As always, we answer a new listener question about whether or not you should hand over those working files, (and what you should charge for them if you do.)

Show Links:

The post Designer Fails appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Clients From Hell
53:39
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 53:39
Clients From Hell

Working with great design clients is what makes our job so amazing. Then there are the OTHER ones. Clients who don’t value your work. Clients who give vague feedback, or who will “know it when they see it.” Most of the time, this is all on us as the designer — we haven’t properly communicated our process or our value. But what about those times when you just have a “client from Hell?”

This week, we’re joined by former editor-in-chief of Clients From Hell, Bryce Bladon. We talk all about these types of clients: warning signs to look out for, how to bow out gracefully, and how to just get the f*** out when necessary. You’ll learn what to include in your contract, and how to handle yourself in these sticky situations.

We also answer a listener question about “how old is too old” to get started in graphic design. (Spoiler alert, it isn’t 25.)

Show Links:

The post Clients From Hell appeared first on The Deep End Design.

What’s Coming to Creative Cloud?
1:03:32
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:03:32
What’s Coming to Creative Cloud?

Every designer basically lives, works and breathes in the Adobe Creative Cloud. So this week, we have Adobe’s Michaël Chaize on with us to discuss upcoming additions, as well as a few cool things you can currently use that you may not have known about. (We were all surprised by a few things that we can’t wait to try!)

We also talk about the cool things we can expect to do/see/learn at the upcoming AdobeMax conference in Vegas. And of course, we answer a new listener question about social media kits for clients.

Show Links:

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DesignCast 140: Listener Question Show!
44:47
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 44:47
DesignCast 140: Listener Question Show!

We made it to 140 fun-filled episodes, and to celebrate, we’re digging deep into our mailbag to answer six new burning questions from listeners like you.

Whether you’re a print or web designer, seasoned vet or newbie, there’s something here for everyone!

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 140: Listener Question Show! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Recurring Revenue Packages
51:57
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 51:57
Recurring Revenue Packages

Did you know it costs about five times as much to acquire a new client than it takes to maintain an existing one? Knowing that, why do so many designers “one and done” it with their clients?

In this episode, the gang talks about some great ways to keep your existing customers by offering ongoing services that benefit you both. For example, if you design websites, why not offer a monthly SEO service that helps them attract visitors? We’ll talk about how to structure and price your packages, as well as how to pitch them to your new and existing clients.

We also answer a new listener question about what to post on social media to attract, educate and entertain prospective clients, rather than just other designers.

Show Links:

The post Recurring Revenue Packages appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Proposals: Put in the Work!
1:07:21
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:07:21
Proposals: Put in the Work!

One of our very first shows was about proposals, but we’ve gained a lot of knowledge since those early days, and we have a lot of new proposal tips to share with you. Listen as the gang talks about all aspects of the proposal process, including the writing process, things to include, and how to properly deliver a proposal to a prospect.

Yes, a proposal done right can mean a lot of upfront (sometimes unpaid for) work. But if you do it right, it will pay off, big time.

We also answer a new listener question about niching while still advertising that you have generalist capabilities.

Show Links:

The post Proposals: Put in the Work! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

An Ad-ucation in Advertising Your Design Business
1:00:56
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:00:56
An Ad-ucation in Advertising Your Design Business

Unless you have all the business you can handle, AND you are making the kind of money you deserve, you should probably consider advertising in one way or another. In this episode, the gang discusses the various platforms available that work in 2017. We talk about paid options, but Mikelle has another method that she has had great success with that won’t cost you a dime.

We also have a big announcement in this episode that you won’t want to miss!

And we of course answer a new listener question regarding how to handle case studies when your clients don’t provide you enough hard data.

Show Links:

The post An Ad-ucation in Advertising Your Design Business appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Talkin’ 2017 Logo Trends in the LogoLounge
1:10:40
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:10:40
Talkin’ 2017 Logo Trends in the LogoLounge

It’s that time of year again. The smell of freshly cut grass in your nose, the taste of vodka with just a splash of lemonade on your tongue, and the sweet sounds of Bill Gardner talking about this year’s logo design trends all up in your earbuds! That’s right kiddies, it’s time for the 2017 LogoLounge Trend Report, and we’ve got it all right from the source.

Listen as we talk about all the latest logo design trends, and how we got here. It’s a fascinating conversation, and we highly recommend following along with the report, which you can find here: https://www.logolounge.com/articles/2017-logo-trends

Our conversation was so engrossing, we actually ran out of time for a listener question — a first for our show. But don’t worry, we’ll get back on track next time.

Show Links:

The post Talkin’ 2017 Logo Trends in the LogoLounge appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Mobile Optimization Checklist
1:03:16
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:03:16
The Mobile Optimization Checklist

I’ll bet most of you either specialize in web design, or at least offer it as a client service. Like it or not, in 2017 (and beyond,) this means you need to know how to design for mobile devices. With over half of Internet browsing taking place on mobile, we as designers can no longer afford to ignore it.

In this episode, we go through a checklist of everything you need to think about in order to satisfy mobile users, as well as search engines in regard to mobile web design. We cover two major areas:

  1. Site speed
  2. User experience

We also tackle a new audio question about whether turning to UX/UI design can result in fewer client objections.

Show Links:

The post The Mobile Optimization Checklist appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Designing with SEO in Mind
59:19
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 59:19
Designing with SEO in Mind

If you offer web design services, how well do you know the mysterious art of SEO? For any noobs out there, that stands for “search engine optimization,” and is usually a very important aspect to almost any website. Any SEO expert will tell you that it’s always better to plan your search strategy from the beginning, but all too often, it is added in at the last minute as an afterthought.

In this episode, Wes offers some basic training in planning SEO from the start, and how that will impact the rest of the project. if you can nail the basics, any site you design will be in a much better position when the real work of link-building begins.

We also answer a new listener question about making your phone number public, and the types of clients you might attract that way (and how to better qualify them.)

Show Links:

The post Designing with SEO in Mind appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Charging for Your Value
55:35
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 55:35
Charging for Your Value

In the world of graphic design, most people charge one of two ways: based on time or per project. But let’s face it, both are usually based on some type of time-based calculation. The problem with this method is that nobody really benefits from it.

Your client is ends up paying for the time you spend, not a tangible result. And you are essentially just trading time for money. Why not charge your clients based on the value you bring to them instead?

In this episode, the gang talks all about the ins and outs of this method of pricing, as well as our own experiences with it. If you aren’t using this pricing model yet, you should really consider it. It will only benefit you and your clients, as you now have a vested stake in their success.

We also answer a listener question about a possibly tacky method of advertising.

Show Links:

 

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Supplementing with Subcontractors
1:08:28
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:08:28
Supplementing with Subcontractors

We love getting topic suggestions from our listeners, and today’s episode is one of those. We’ve talked a lot over the year about subcontracting work out to others. It’s a great way to fill in your skill gaps, or just have extra hands in order to focus on more important business-building tasks. In today’s episode, you’ll hear how we started getting our feet wet hiring subcontractors, what duties we give them, as well as a whole lot of advice we wish we’d known from the beginning.

We also answer an audio question about where we turn to keep learning in a very crowded Internet.

Show Links:

The post Supplementing with Subcontractors appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Advice for the Graduating Design Student
1:07:04
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:07:04
Advice for the Graduating Design Student

With spring break well behind us, thoughts turn to summer, and maybe even graduation. Good thing we have our resident design professor Nick to dole out some awesome advice to all you grads out there. And in the spirit of not leaving the rest of you out, this advice is pretty great for any designer when it comes to job interviewing, and portfolio sprucing.

We also answer a listener question about the best way to become known as an authority in the design realm.

Also, if you happen to get the awesome reference in our featured image above, go ahead and leave a comment. You’ll definitely earn our respect.

Show Links:

The post Advice for the Graduating Design Student appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 130: A Good, Old Fashioned Listener Question Show
58:36
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 58:36
DesignCast 130: A Good, Old Fashioned Listener Question Show

We’ve reached another milestone, (assuming 130 is indeed a milestone?) So we’re back to clear out the ol’ inbox and answer your burning questions. We have seven different ones, so there is really something for everyone in this episode.

We know we’ve been doing live episodes for this lately, but we just forgot to tease it on the last episode, so we went back to “the old way” just this once. #sorrynotsorry

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 130: A Good, Old Fashioned Listener Question Show appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Qualifying Your Clients
52:50
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 52:50
Qualifying Your Clients

Whenever you first meet with a new prospective client, they are sizing you up. And if you’re smart, you’re sizing them up right back. After all, you probably don’t want to work with everyone who comes your way. There are many things to consider: their budget versus your rates, their niche, their project, and their overall attitude. In short, you need to figure out pretty quickly whether or not you want to work with this person.

In today’s episode, the gang dissects the qualification process. Why we do it, and how. Because if you’re serious about your design business, you need to be selective with your clients. Some will make your job incredibly fulfilling, and some will make you hate getting up in the morning. Even worse, pick the wrong clients consistently enough, and you’ll be out of business altogether.

We also answer a listener question about sending out physical work samples to get new business, and how to do that with nothing but “concept” portfolio work.

Show Links:

The post Qualifying Your Clients appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Getting Our Mood Board On
56:37
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 56:37
Getting Our Mood Board On

If you’ve ever felt like your first client comps aren’t nailing it, you really need to give mood boards a try. Mood boards are a way to save time by quickly communicating an overall design direction to your client for approval. This can involve just one that they need to approve, or multiple variations from which they can choose a direction. Either way, by getting this visual feedback up front, your first comps will come much closer to hitting the bulls-eye.

The gang talks about their own experiences with mood boards, as well as tips and tricks to make sure you’re getting everything you can out of this exercise, (and have a little moment of creative zen along the way.)

We also answer a listener question about landing an agency job with no prior agency experience, (as well as little to no digital experience.)

Show Links:

The post Getting Our Mood Board On appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Project Minimums to Maximize Business
1:05:31
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:05:31
Project Minimums to Maximize Business

Nothing can kill the productivity of a designer faster than a neverending barrage of small jobs. You have to wrap your head around a new brand, create invoices, and client interactions for a micro-payout. This is why it is so crucial to have a project minimum — the absolute minimum amount you’re willing to take on a new job for.

This can be applied to either money, time or scope. Whatever makes the most sense for you and your design business. In this episode, the gang talks all about why having a minimum is important, and what can be wasted without one. And of course, we all have stories to tell on the subject.

We also answer a new listener question about the specific marketing/messaging that got us our first “big fish” clients.

Show Links:

The post Project Minimums to Maximize Business appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Be Your Own Trendsetter
1:02:18
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:02:18
Be Your Own Trendsetter

We talk a lot about design trends, but when is it time to break away from the pack and try something totally different? And with a never ending supply of design inspiration out there, how do you turn down the noise enough to explore your own creativity?

In this episode, the gang explores this idea, and how it can apply to print, branding and web design. We’ve got some great examples from our own projects, and we also talk about how to push the envelope creatively within the real-life constraints that we often find ourselves in.

We also answer a new listener question about how to make potential clients see your work as superior, when they lack the “designer’s eye.”

And special shout-out to Aleisther Guido for this awesome piece of fan art!

pink fan art

Show Links:

The post Be Your Own Trendsetter appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Diving Deep into Discovery
57:10
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 57:10
Diving Deep into Discovery

Do you know the best way to deliver real value to your clients? Coincidentally, it’s the same thing that will allow you to charge much more than you’re charging now—Discovery.

Discovery is the secret sauce to solving real problems in your clients’ business. When you stop simply taking orders based on your clients’ stated needs, and digging deeper, you can provide web design, branding, or just about any other type of design that actually connects with their audience, contributing to their bottom line.

In this episode, listen as the gang goes over their discovery processes, and how they use discovery to unlock unexpected gold nuggets of info that they can build a thoughtful project around.

We also answer a new listener question about how to tell a potential client why not to use a DIY web builder for their website.

Show Links:

The post Diving Deep into Discovery appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Web Design Trends We Can Expect in 2017
53:57
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 53:57
Web Design Trends We Can Expect in 2017

On our last episode, we covered all the biggest graphic design trends we predict for next 2017, and we wanted to follow it up with trends we can expect to see specifically in the world of web design.

Listen as the gang goes over their favorite (and most promising) trends for 2017. Some are purely aesthetic, while some actually have a higher purpose—to increase conversions.

If you’d like to add the infographic Wes talked about to your own blog, feel free to check it out and grab the embed code here.

And for our last show of the year, we of course answer a new listener question about how to measure the success of a design project when there isn’t any hard data to back it up.

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep2016 — Click here to get your yearly subscription to Videoblocks and Audioblocks for just $149… That’s $100 off
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

The post Web Design Trends We Can Expect in 2017 appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Graphic Design Trends of 2017 Predicted!
1:02:06
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:02:06
Graphic Design Trends of 2017 Predicted!

With 2016 quickly approaching, let’s turn to what 2017 will likely have in store for us as graphic designers. In this episode, the gang talks about the trends we have all been noticing and are likely to spike in the new year. We talk creative trends, as well as a few trends in the creative freelancing arena.

We also answer a new listener question about how to rise above all those free tools just about anyone can use to simulate a graphic designer’s job.

Show Links:

Photo credit: Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

The post Graphic Design Trends of 2017 Predicted! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide ’16
1:00:47
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:00:47
The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide ’16

The holidays are upon us, and that means three things — some really bad Christmas movies on The Hallmark Channel, getting drunk to avoid family, and the Deeply Graphic annual designer gift guide episode. Seriously, it’s one of our favorite yearly traditions, and this one truly has something for everybody.

So strap in, spice up your eggnog, (nobody’s lookin’) and listen for all the coolest stuff you should be asking your loved ones for this holiday season.

We also answer a new question about clueless employers asking you to design stuff in (gasp) Microsoft Word. Seriously though, where’s my eggnog?

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep2016 — Click here to get your yearly subscription to Videoblocks and Audioblocks for just $149… That’s $100 off
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

Gift Links (No peeking until after you’ve listened):

 

The post The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide ’16 appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Tips & Tricks for Designing Facebook Ads That Crush It
57:05
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 57:05
Tips & Tricks for Designing Facebook Ads That Crush It

Facebook ads are one of the most cost-effective — and overall effective — forms of online marketing available today. This is because you can easily tailor them to the target audience. In today’s episode, listen as the gang schools you on the best ways to design killer Facebook ads, as well as some behind the scenes marketing tactics you can use to make them as effective as they can be.

You can use this to design Facebook ads for your own design business, or take what you learn and apply it to your clients Facebook ads. By not only understanding what makes a great looking ad, but how to make it as effective as possible, you can bring a tremendous value to your clients — and charge a premium for your expertise.

We also answer a listener question about how we have personally used social media for our businesses.

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep2016 — Click here to get your yearly subscription to Videoblocks and Audioblocks for just $149… That’s $100 off
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section
  • Unstock.io — for stock images you can use in Facebook ads that feel more authentic
  • Richard Garcia’s cinemagraph tutorial video

The post Tips & Tricks for Designing Facebook Ads That Crush It appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Live Halloween Spooktacular! Ask Us Anything
1:16:17
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:16:17
Live Halloween Spooktacular! Ask Us Anything

To celebrate our 120th episode, we decided to join forces with the darkest of holidays to bring you our first ever live Halloween Spooktacular! While the live event has come and gone, you can still listen to all the spookiness and listener questions we took during our live broadcast.

We got to answer a bunch of questions from a lot of you, so there is more than enough here to fill up your trick or treat bag!

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep50 — Click here to get your yearly subscription for $50 off. That’s just $99/year for a HUGE library of video clips
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

The post Live Halloween Spooktacular! Ask Us Anything appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Cinemagraphs* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)
45:43
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 45:43
Everything You Wanted to Know About Cinemagraphs* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)

One of the big forecasted web design trends for 2016 was the widespread use of cinemagraphs. So where are they?

Listen in as the gang dissects the benefits or incorporating cinemagraphs into your web designs, email marketing campaigns and social campaigns. We also go over your basic options for making/purchasing one, and what you would need to make one from scratch.

Listen to learn how to make a cinemagraph

Since this is such an untapped trend, you can be one of the first to use cinemagraphs in your designs, which is a great way to keep the attention of users and increase conversions.

Be sure to join us for our Halloween Live-Stream Spooktacular! Monday, Oct. 24 at 6pm Pacific, 9 Eastern. Go to thedeependdesign.com/live

We also answer a new listener question about freelancing vs. fulltime when you have young ones at home.

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep50 — Click here to get your yearly subscription for $50 off. That’s just $99/year for a HUGE library of video clips
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section
  • Clipchamp.com

The post Everything You Wanted to Know About Cinemagraphs* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Hot Print Talk! The Latest Trends in the Print World
52:04
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 52:04
Hot Print Talk! The Latest Trends in the Print World

While we can sometimes get focused on web design, this one’s for all you die-hard print designers out there.

Join us as we chat with Nicole and Katie from Tri City Printing about all the latest trends in the print world. We cover all the hottest new print promotional items you can use with your own branding as client gifts, or to suggest to your clients for their own purposes. We also talk about the newest trends in inks and finishes that will make your business cards, brochures and other printed materials pop.

We also answer a new listener question about avoiding bad design habits when you’re starting out.

Show Links:

The post Hot Print Talk! The Latest Trends in the Print World appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Why Should Clients Choose You?
1:06:08
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:06:08
Why Should Clients Choose You?

All designers want to get to the point in their career where they can call the shots and work with the clients they want to work with. But how do you get there? By being the kind of designer (and businessperson) that clients consistently want to work with.

In this episode, we’re joined for a second time by branding expert Terri Trespicio. Terri dishes out some pretty amazing advice on how to figure out exactly what you do, how to communicate that with your clients, and how to make them care.

Only by conveying a unique value to your prospects can you expect to stand out and generate enough interest to propel you to where you can call the shots.

We also answer a new listener question about the ethics and logistics of adding projects (where you had a limited revisionist role) to your portfolio.

Show Links:

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Finding Design Clients Through Social Media
1:02:58
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:02:58
Finding Design Clients Through Social Media

As creative solopreneurs or agency owners, there are no shortage of ways to find great clients. We can attend networking mixers, send out emails, or rely on good old-fashioned word of mouth. But one we keep getting one particular question time and time again — how do you use the power of social media to find new business?

This week, we are joined by social media expert, (don’t call him a guru!) Josh Hoffman. Josh teaches us the importance of establishing your brand on social media, how to put yourself in front of the right people, and what to say and do once you have their attention.

Josh also talks about the importance of the principle of playing “the long game” with potential clients, and the concept of “killing them with content.” There are a million great tips in this episode, so you won’t want to miss a second.

We also answer a new listener question about how to make your design resumé stand out to potential employers.

Show Links:

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When Your Clients Aren’t Feeling It
45:39
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 45:39
When Your Clients Aren’t Feeling It

Have you ever had an unsatisfied client? At some point, I think every designer has run into this problem. It’s how you deal with it that matters.

This episode was spurred on by a listener question we got from a designer who’s client went completely off-the-grid after things went south. Not knowing what to do next, naturally she wrote to us!

Join us as we talk about how we have found ourselves in similar situations over the years, and what we did about it. More importantly, listen for our tips you can use from the beginning of a project to help minimize the risk of this happening to you.

We also answer another listener question about how to outsource those pesky “small jobs” for your web design clients.

Show Links:

The post When Your Clients Aren’t Feeling It appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Apple Workflow Tips
1:07:31
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:07:31
Apple Workflow Tips

If you’re like most designers out there, your work machine of choice is a Mac. And if you’re like most Mac users, you have a pretty good handle on your workflow, but there is always room for improvement.

On today’s episode, we are joined by Apple consultant (and Mikelle’s new bff) Brett Nord. Brett is here to teach us all about how to make the most of our Macs, from how to maximize their longevity, to how to automate mindless tasks. All you have to worry about is what you’re going to do with all your newfound free time!

As always, we also answer a new listener question about how much to reveal when a client asks you to participate in the “debrief” process after a project.

Show Links:

The post Apple Workflow Tips appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Reality Checking Your Freelance Design Work
58:32
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 58:32
Reality Checking Your Freelance Design Work

The life of a freelance graphic/web designer can be incredibly rewarding. The independence of working for yourself is alluring, but working by yourself comes with more than a few drawbacks. With nobody to bounce ideas off of, or show your works in progress to, how do you ever really know if you’re on the right track?

In this episode, the gang talks about all the ways we can make sure our projects never lose sight of the original objectives and goals. We talk about ways to keep things on track, as well as how to get extra eyeballs on your work to make sure you’re actually connecting to the intended audience.

We also riff a bit about MasterCard’s new logo (ay-yay-yay…) and we tackle a new listener question about leaving the 9-5 world to strike out on your own — with a partner.

Show Links:

The post Reality Checking Your Freelance Design Work appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Our Newest Secret Weapons
1:03:50
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:03:50
Our Newest Secret Weapons

One of the greatest joys of being a designer is when you discover something new that changes your life for the better. While change can be scary, it can also open you up to a whole new world of possibilities.

In this episode, the gang each talks about one such discovery that they use to increase productivity and creativity in their day-to-day. Whether you work primarily in web, or print, you will find something interesting here.

We also answer a new listener question from a non-web-designer, and whether she should learn it, or simply partner with a web pro in order to offer it as a service to clients.

2016 Logo Design Trends Show Links:

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2016 Logo Design Trends Report
1:13:54
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:13:54
2016 Logo Design Trends Report

What designer doesn’t love discovering the latest trends? And who doesn’t love a good tradition? Well hold onto your hats, kids, this episode has BOTH! Yep, sitting down with LogoLounge‘s Bill Gardner to discuss the latest trends in logo design has become one of Deeply Graphic’s most time-honored traditions. And this one doesn’t disappoint.

Follow along with the trend report, which can be found here

In this episode, we go over all the top trends Bill has discovered while poring over countless logo entries. There are quite a few interesting logo design trends, as well as some natural evolutions of trends we have seen in the past. Whether you like them all or not, you’ll definitely learn something here.

And as always, we answer a new listener question about some of the best ways to pick up extra, small design projects.

2016 Logo Design Trends Show Links:

The post 2016 Logo Design Trends Report appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 110: The LIVE Show!
1:22:51
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:22:51
DesignCast 110: The LIVE Show!

Our last live show was so much fun that we’re continuing the tradition, answering your questions live! But if you missed the show, no worries, you can catch up with it now.

In this jam-packed episode, the gang answers an insane number of listener questions — some personal, some professional — all while saying goodbye to sobriety.

Remember, we’re going to try to do live shows like this every ten episodes, so if you missed our last two, no excuses next time!

You can either listen to the audio-only feed as usual, or watch the video below for the closest thing to the real live experience.

 

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 110: The LIVE Show! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Slow Times
54:24
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 54:24
The Slow Times

All creative professionals have ups and downs — it’s just a part of the life. It’s how we choose to use that time that will make or break your business.

In this episode, the gang talks about nine things you can do with your time between clients that will actually help you get more of them, and streamline your workflow for maximum efficiency.  There is a lot of ground covered here, so you won’t want to miss this one.

We also answer a listener question about how you can best spend 10-15 hours per week on setting your freelance business up for success.

Be sure to join us for our next LIVE listener question show on May 31 @ 6pm Pacific, 9 Eastern.

Come with all of your questions and we will do our best to get through all of them! Just go to thedeependdesign.com/live

Show Links:

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Design Consulting as a Service
51:53
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 51:53
Design Consulting as a Service

As graphic and web designers, we do a lot of behind-the-scenes work that we don’t always charge for. But what if we did?

In this episode, we expand upon a listener question to talk about the topic of charging clients for all those little things we do that don’t count as “design” work. Things like reading and responding to emails, meetings, and even upfront discovery. We also talk about the idea of breaking consulting off as a separate stand-alone service you can offer to clients. It’s a great way to demonstrate your value, and get away from being a commodity-driven business.

We also answer a listener question about transitioning from a 9-5job that offers a tiny bit of design responsibility to a full-fledged design role/ solopreneur.

Show Links:

The post Design Consulting as a Service appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Ultimate Project Organization Method
59:15
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 59:15
The Ultimate Project Organization Method

One of the biggest game-changers for your design business is when you figure out how to get your projects organized.

In this episode, the gang is joined by Word Revolution‘s Barbara Carneiro. She has an amazing method of pre-organizing her website and branding projects within her online project management software program that allows her to simply add a new client project, duplicate the pre-existing tasks, and voila — her and her team have a bullet-proof list of every single task that lays ahead of them.

Not only does this keep her business organized, but it gives her clients a way to keep up with the progress, and it keep them on track with anything assigned to them as well. Win-win.

You can use this method with just about any project management program, including Basecamp, Teamwork, even the free Trello. While we mostly talk about how to organize web design projects, this method can absolutely be used to organize any type of project.

Download Barbara’s checklist here

We also answer a listener question about how to build a relationship with the ultimate decision-maker on your client’s team.

Show Links:

The post The Ultimate Project Organization Method appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Help! My Client Thinks He’s a Designer!
50:52
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 50:52
Help! My Client Thinks He’s a Designer!

As designers, it’s completely normal to get feedback from your clients. When it can become frustrating, however, is when that feedback turns into a full-on concept with instructions to “just make this.”

It can be confusing. After all, they are supposedly paying us for our expertise, not just our ability to trace and digitize. While this can sometimes be a teachable moment for our clients, there are those that cannot be talked out of their own ideas, even if ours are more considered.

This episode was inspired by a listener question from Darren Doyle of Studio93. He recently went through this situation and wanted our advice on how to handle it. We thought the question needed some clarification, and so we decided to go long-form with it.

You can hear Darren’s whole story, see how things got to this point, what he could have done to prevent it, and ultimately what happens next.

We also answer a listener question about how to save for retirement as a creative solopreneur.

Show Links:

The post Help! My Client Thinks He’s a Designer! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Real-Life Rebrands: The Good, the Bad & the Fugly
1:03:38
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:03:38
Real-Life Rebrands: The Good, the Bad & the Fugly

We’ve talked about rebranding ourselves as creative pros, but this time around we wanted to talk about some recent real-life corporate rebrands to see who got it right, and who didn’t.

Want to follow along with us? Download this pdf of all the logos we discuss in this episode.

In this episode, the gang goes over ten such rebranding efforts, discussing each at length to determine if they were actually successful from not only a visual perspective, but from a goal perspective as well. How well does each hit its mark? Will they resonate with their audience? Listen and find out our thoughts!

We also answer a new listener question about what additional knowledge is needed to design for the web as opposed to other design disciplines.

Show Links:

The post Real-Life Rebrands: The Good, the Bad & the Fugly appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Packaging Design Tips & Trends
57:13
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 57:13
Packaging Design Tips & Trends

They say not to judge a book by it’s cover, but we’re all guilty of choosing products based purely on their packaging. In this episode, our resident packaging guru, Nick walks us through the latest packaging design tips & trends that you can use to add value to your next packaging design project.

We also briefly discuss our thoughts on the new uber rebrand, and how to handle client work while you’re sick.

We answer a brand new listener question about what to do if 90% of your project experience comes from a single brand. How do you showcase that in a portfolio to show that you can actually handle a variety of projects?

Show Links:

The post Packaging Design Tips & Trends appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Client-Focused Portfolio Websites
58:44
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 58:44
Client-Focused Portfolio Websites

We’ve discussed it before, but it’s a new year, and we have some brand new perspectives on our biggest marketing asset as designers — our portfolio websites. Wes just went through a major redesign, and Nick is currently planning one as well, so listen for our tips on how to make the most of yours.

One of the biggest takeaways from this episode is to keep your prospective clients in mind. They don’t care about you, or what you DO. They care about how you will help THEM. That means conveying benefits, not just how amazing a designer you are.

We also answer a new listener question about what we use for project management and communications throughout a project.

*NOTE: Apologies in advance for some sound issues on this episode. There is static here and there, but this is a valuable conversation that we still wanted to share.

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP216 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

 

The post Client-Focused Portfolio Websites appeared first on The Deep End Design.

New Year, New Design Processes
1:12:40
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 1:12:40
New Year, New Design Processes

Every now and then its a good idea to step back, and ask yourself what’s working in your design business, and what isn’t. In this episode, the gang reflects on what new processes they want to start implementing in 2016 in order to grow their businesses.

We talk about many goals, including raising our rates, focusing on how to truly help our clients’ businesses through our design work, and much, much more.

We also answer a twitter question about video projects. And stick around for a few bonus interviews Nick did with some other design solopreneurs about their 2016 goals!

Show Links:

 

The post New Year, New Design Processes appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Secrets to Winning $10K+ Web Projects
46:07
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 46:07
Secrets to Winning $10K+ Web Projects

In the new year, what better resolution can we have than to do higher value work for higher value pay? In this episode, Wes interviews Brent Weaver, founder of ugurus.com about this very subject.

Brent talks about how you can find those big fish clients, as well as how to qualify them to make sure they can afford high value web projects. Then we talk about the discovery process which will allow you to deep dive into your client’s business to uncover ways you can actually help them achieve their business goals through their new website. This is the key to delivering high value web projects, and it’s what will allow you to start charging much more than you currently do.

We also talk about how to add some recurring revenue streams into the mix, so that you don’t just end a project abruptly. You can continue to provide value to them in the long-term, which is good for your business as well.

After the interview, the gang answers a new listener question about design “tests.” Should you have to put up with them or not?

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP116 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section
  • Ugurus.com – Go here to learn more about the 10K Bootcamp we talked about in today’s show!

The post Secrets to Winning $10K+ Web Projects appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 100: Ask Us Anything LIVE!
2:14:47
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 2:14:47
DesignCast 100: Ask Us Anything LIVE!

Well we finally made it to 100 episodes, and we could think of no better way to celebrate the milestone than by spending it with you. In this very special episode, the gang broadcasts live for the very first time, answering your questions in real time.

In case you weren’t able to make the live broadcast, please enjoy the show in its entirety below:

The questions are too numerous to list here, but quite a bit of ground was covered. And once again, we want to thank you guys, our loyal listeners for your continued support and for allowing us to make it this far. Happy New Year!

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP1215 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post DesignCast 100: Ask Us Anything LIVE! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The 2015 Graphic Designers’ Gift Guide!
54:22
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 54:22
The 2015 Graphic Designers’ Gift Guide!

Mariah Carey may only have a single wish this Christmas, but then again, she’s not a graphic designer. This holiday season, curl up with a cozy sweater, a mug of “coffee” and this episode of Deeply Graphic so you know exactly what to ask for this year.

The gang each brings 3 gift ideas to the party, ranging from the inexpensive to the pretty expensive, so there is truly something for everyone and every budget.

We also answer a listener question about whether or not we should get a final client sign-off after the completion of a project.

Don’t forget to mark down Monday December 28th 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern for our LIVE 100th episode “Ask Us Anything” show! Just go to thedeependdesign.com/live and join in on the fun.

Show Links:

Gift Links:

The post The 2015 Graphic Designers’ Gift Guide! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One
53:36
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 53:36
99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One

As creatives, one of the most challenging aspects of our work is winning business from good clients. The thing that separates the successful designers from the rest is that they aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and show their potential clients exactly why they are the best for the job. And I don’t mean over email. That’s right, I’m talking about pitching, baby.

Graphic Design Pitch Tips

In this episode the gang (ok, mostly Nick,) talks about his pitching process, giving you all of his strategies, and tells you exactly what you need to include in your pitch deck to impress those big clients and win the job.

We also answer a listener question about how to best reschedule a client interaction, and whether or not it’s ever okay to be sick.

Don’t forget to mark down Monday December 28th 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern for our LIVE 100th episode “Ask Us Anything” show! Just go to thedeependdesign.com/live and join in on the fun.

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP1115 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post 99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Unique Client Gift Ideas
52:44
2017-12-13 09:24:50 UTC 52:44
Unique Client Gift Ideas

With the holiday season underway, let’s not forget about those that make our business possible: our clients. In this episode, the gang each brings their own unique ideas about what you can do for your clients this year, no matter what your budget. Whether it’s snacks customized with your own branding, or a complimentary add-on service, these ideas are sure to send the right message of thanks to your clients, as well as keep you top-of-mind for them when it comes time for more work to be thrown your way.

There are so many great options, whether you buy something as-is, or use your design skills to customize it to the hilt.

Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars for our LIVE 100th episode on December 28 at 6pm Pacific, 9 Eastern! We will announce the url soon, but plan on joining us, where we will answer your questions on the fly.

In addition to our gift guide, we answer a listener question about how to keep track of all those fonts you have installed.

Show Links:

The post Unique Client Gift Ideas appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Running an Agency Remotely
50:12
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 50:12
Running an Agency Remotely

Most of us creative freelancers and solopreneurs have never thought about working out of an actual office space. High overheads, leases and actual employees are definite roadblocks, but there is good news: Running your business remotely can work quite well for most of us. But, are you doing it right?

In this episode, Wes interviews Matt Inglot, founder of Tilted Pixel, and host of Freelance Transformation Podcast about how he runs his successful agency thousands of miles away from most of his client base. We talk about why he decided to do this, the planning that went into it, and how he works with both clients and contractors all 100% remote.

We also have a discussion about how running your business remotely can allow for plenty of travel.

Matt has a well thought out process for practically every aspect of his business, so listen close for ways to streamline your remote agency for maximum efficiency. Because as Matt says, your clients should never feel that you aren’t physically there.

We also answer a listener question about how to get bigger clients with better budgets.

Show Links:

The post Running an Agency Remotely appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Web Design Trends Going into 2016
56:45
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 56:45
Web Design Trends Going into 2016

With 2015 almost turning to 2016, the gang takes a look at some of the more popular, innovative and controversial web design trends going on right now, as well as what 2016 web design trends will look like.

As with all trend shows, we want to reiterate that just because a trend exists, doesn’t mean you have to or should be using them. Some trends work great for a very specific type of site, not so well for others. Having said that, Wes seems to be using all of them for his website refresh that is currently under way.

Trend setter or slave to the trends? Only time will tell!

Show Links:

 

Featured image courtesy of eightandfour

The post Web Design Trends Going into 2016 appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Personal Branding Revisited
49:59
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 49:59
Personal Branding Revisited

Branding is one of the most important considerations for any business, especially for freelancers. With as much competition we creative freelancers face, ya gotta be memorable to survive. In this episode, the gang discusses the steps you should be taking to find the inner personality of your company or solopreneurship, and then how to carry that through all the different aspects of a successful branding effort.

We also answer a very apropos listener question about naming your business – Your name or company name, and how to brainstorm a great one.

Show Links:

The post Personal Branding Revisited appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Ten Kickoff Commandments
48:18
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 48:18
Ten Kickoff Commandments

Every design project should start with the client kickoff meeting, and in this episode, Nick walks us through his version of the “10 Commandments” of a perfect kickoff.

Kickoff meetings are important for several reasons: you get to dig deep with your client and find out everything you need to know to get the job done, AND it is your first opportunity to place yourself firmly in the driver’s seat. Mess it up, and you risk making a poor first impression, resulting in less trust from your client. If that happens, you will unfortunately have an uphill battle ahead of you every step of the way.

We also answer a new listener question about how and what a web designer needs to hand off to a web developer as the development phase begins.

Show Links:

The post Ten Kickoff Commandments appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Moonlighting by Design
46:55
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 46:55
Moonlighting by Design

The life of a designer is a widely varied one. Some of us 9-5 it, some freelance, some do both, with going full-time freelance as the goal. But in this episode, our guest David Lesué shows us that doing both in the long-term can be its own reward.

David has a full-time job as a creative director, and is able to feed his creativity with his after-hours passion gig, Stately Type. We talk all about what goes into his time management, staying inspired, and his rules for moonlighting successfully.

Since Stately Type happens to be a social media based apparel business, we also talk a lot about the specifics of t-shirt design, and how his “tribe” votes on what he ends up designing.

Show Links:

The post Moonlighting by Design appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Design by Committee
51:27
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 51:27
Design by Committee

All designers have been the victim of having too many cooks in the kitchen at one point or another. Unfortunately, pleasing multiple people (and having to incorporate their input) is just a reality for any working designer. BUT, there are things you can do to sidestep, or at least minimize this scourge.

In this episode, the gang discusses the many reasons design by committee is so common, and we offer tips and practical, hard-learned advice that we use to stop pleasing “Peggy from accounting,” and focus on designing and building the best possible product.

We also answer an audio question about whether or not you can call yourself a web designer in the very beginning stages, when you may not have ACTUALLY designed any websites yet.

Show Links:

The post Design by Committee appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 90: Revenge of the Listener Questions
51:50
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 51:50
DesignCast 90: Revenge of the Listener Questions

With another milestone (90 episodes) comes another listener question show! We can’t get to all your amazing questions in our regular shows, but we certainly try our best to get through as many as we can every tenth episode. This time around, we answer your questions about:

  • Color matching and file prep between your monitor and print
  • Politely saying no to design “favors”
  • The idea of a base hourly price that all designers can agree on
  • Clients getting sidetracked by other designers when checking you out on Behance
  • How much to charge and what file format to provide when doing visual design for a web developer client
  • Cheaper alternatives to high-priced fonts
  • Pricing jobs for smaller vs. large clients

Keep the questions coming, guys! We hope yo answer yours next time around!

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP715 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post DesignCast 90: Revenge of the Listener Questions appeared first on The Deep End Design.

2015 Logo Design Trends
52:54
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 52:54
2015 Logo Design Trends

The LogoLounge 2105 Trend Report just dropped, chronicling all the newest trends in the wild world of logo design. In honor of that, we were lucky enough to have Bill Gardner, the trend-master himself (and founder of LogoLounge) return to the show to go over the list, and share his unique insights with the gang and all of you.

While the annual trend report is always interesting, this year sees a few particularly unique trends that you probably never saw coming, so you will definitely want to listen!

We also weigh in on a new listener question regarding full legal business names in logos.

Show Links:

The post 2015 Logo Design Trends appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Take the WORK out of Networking
50:39
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 50:39
Take the WORK out of Networking

As creative professionals, there may be no single more important thing to our business than to properly network. It’s how we find clients, collaborators as well as fellow designers we can look to as friends.

This week we were lucky enough to be joined by top rated HOW Design Live speaker Terri Trespicio, who gives us the rundown on how we can most effectively network. She offers some truly amazing tips and mindsets that will help you let your guard down and get the most out of every single interaction.

We also tackle a new listener question about transitioning casual clients into more formal business relationships.

Show Links:

The post Take the WORK out of Networking appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Artisan Business Cards
47:57
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 47:57
Artisan Business Cards

While it sounds like the premise of a Portlandia sketch, the art of handmade (or letterpress) business cards is back in a big way. In this episode the gang discusses the topic of artisan business cards – whether you make them by hand in small batches, or pay more for that handmade (yet professional) look. We talk about some of our ideas for cool handmade cards, as well as when it might make sense to use them.

We do not, however, discuss if you should or should not put a bird on it. That’s something only YOU can decide.

We also answer a listener question about how to land a killer internship.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP615 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

Featured image courtesy of: maud.com.au

The post Artisan Business Cards appeared first on The Deep End Design.

A Farewell to Mad Men
59:00
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 59:00
A Farewell to Mad Men

Very few shows have held such niche appeal to career creatives as AMC’s Mad Men. Its visual style, creative subject matter and unforgettable characters have left an undeniable impression on the world, especially us designers. Now that it has concluded, the gang sits down to discuss all things Mad Men: from Saul Bass’ iconic credits sequence, to the decor, fashion, drinking at work, the characters, and real-world branding and design featured in the show.

But be warned, this episode does contain plot spoilers. So if you aren’t caught up, you might want to make a date with Netflix, and save it for a future date.

After that, we answer a new listener question about resumes… specifically, how long is too long?

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP515 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post A Farewell to Mad Men appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Takeaways from HOW Design Live
1:08:53
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 1:08:53
Takeaways from HOW Design Live

This past week, the gang all got together at the HOW Design Live Conference in Chicago, one of the most prestigious design conferences in the world. We know most of you didn’t make it, so in this episode, we will go over our experience, what we learned, and our recommendations for future conferences.

In addition to our thoughts, Nick was able to gather some great short interviews with some of the speakers and exhibitors at the show which we will share with you in this episode. Lots of cool stuff to share here, you won’t want to miss a minute!

We also answer a listener question about how to market your design services on a limited (or zero) budget.

Show Links

The post Takeaways from HOW Design Live appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Is the Apple Watch for You?
1:00:51
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 1:00:51
Is the Apple Watch for You?

Designers worldwide have a natural affinity for all things Apple, but their latest innovation, the Apple Watch has people divided. In this episode, the gang breaks down the pros and cons of the new device, revealing what it can do, as well as its lengthy list of limitations. So where do we come down on it, and will any of us actually buy it? Listen and find out!

Keeping in the spirit of Apple, we answer a new listener question about whether or not designers actually need to use Apple computers over PCs.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP415 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Is the Apple Watch for You? appeared first on The Deep End Design.

What Inspires Us
49:54
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 49:54
What Inspires Us

Thomas Edison once said something about inspiration and perspiration, but we don’t really remember what it was. Instead, we’re going to take this episode to talk about where we find creative inspiration on a daily basis, and how we turn those inspiration points into something unique for our clients.

We also answer a new listener question about how to handle client contracts when your clients aren’t local.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP415 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post What Inspires Us appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Designer’s Spring Cleaning Checklist
58:55
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 58:55
The Designer’s Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring has officially sprung, which is a great time for us as graphic and web designers to take a little time to spruce up all aspects of our work lives. In this episode, the gang talks about ways you can keep organized and clean up what has been piling over the year. Also, we address a negative itunes revew where we were called out for excessive swearing, and make a solemn vow (for now) to keep it clean!

We also answer a listener question about how to approach your early design career: make lots of money/benefits, versus making less but learning more.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP315 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post The Designer’s Spring Cleaning Checklist appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Nomadic Designer
59:48
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 59:48
The Nomadic Designer

Just like the heros of many songs from the ’70s, some of us just gotta ramble. Wes and Mikelle have both recently relocated to different cities, so how does that impact their design business? In this episode, the gang talks about the prospect of picking up and moving, how to keep your current clients through the move, and how to start finding new ones once you’ve reached your destination.

Moving is never easy, particularly when you’re moving a business as well. But the advice offered in this episode should help calm your fears, and give you hope that moving can actually help your business by serving multiple locations rather than just one. We also answer a new listener question about when your portfolio work doesn’t exactly match up with what’s on your clients’ website.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP315 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post The Nomadic Designer appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 80: Any Questions??
50:09
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 50:09
DesignCast 80: Any Questions??

80 episodes have really flown by, and we celebrate this milestone with another listener question show! This time around, we answer all types of design-related questions sent in by you, our loyal listeners, via email, audio and twitter. So listen closely, we might have answered yours!

Topics we tackle include:

  • What were the catalysts that made us want to go out on our own? (as opposed to working for another company)
  • Are there any tax incentives for doing pro-bono design work?
  • How do you make sure the WordPress sites you design for clients are safe from hackers?
  • What are the negative implications for a less-than-ideal business name?
  • Are free Adobe competitor programs “good enough” to use?
  • When hiring a subcontractor through Elance or Odesk, do you eventually move away from that environment and pay them directly?
  • Do you ever doubt your design work is good enough when handing off a clomp to a client?

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP215 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post DesignCast 80: Any Questions?? appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Turning Down Work
58:20
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 58:20
Turning Down Work

Turning down work? Why would you ever do such a thing? Well, there are a multitude of legitimate reasons for not taking on a new client, project or fulltime job. Maybe you get a bad feeling from the client, don’t agree with the project goals, or maybe it just isn’t a good fit for whatever reason.

On this episode, the gang waxes philosophical on such reasons, pulling from their own varied experiences. We also tackle a new listener question about whether using WordPress is “cheating.”

Do you have any good stories of a time when you chose to turn down a job? What were the circumstances and how did you handle it? Tell your story in the comments section below!

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP215 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Turning Down Work appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Responsive Logo Design is a Thing!
52:11
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 52:11
Responsive Logo Design is a Thing!

When you hear the word responsive, you probably think of scalable websites. Well it turns out that the same principle can apply to logos as well. Instead of just designing and delivering a single all-purpose logo for a client, you can now choose to go the responsive route and deliver several variations on the same logo. Variations which are meant to be displayed at different resolutions.

In this episode, the gang has an in-depth discussion about this emerging trend in logo design, and what it means for your design business, as well as branding in general. Are responsive logos the wave of the future, or just the fad of the month? Do they help build a brand or do they end up fragmenting it? How would the logo design process change when designing a responsive logo? How do you charge for it?

We answer all these questions in addition to one submitted by a listener regarding paying for fonts versus just using free ones.

Show Links

  • Responsivelogos.co.uk – Cool site showing examples of big brand responsive logos
  • The house example we referenced in the show
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP115 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Responsive Logo Design is a Thing! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 5: Selling SEO
40:07
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 40:07
Growing Your Design Business Part 5: Selling SEO

If you design and develop websites for clients, it only makes sense to offer SEO (search engine optimization) services as well. In this, our last segment in the “Growing your design business” series, we sit down with outreach consultant Kai Davis and talk about the benefits of offering SEO to your clients.

More specifically, we talk about partnering with a trusted SEO expert that you can fold into your current design business. You can then offer your clients the services and expertise of someone who knows SEO inside and out while earning some extra money in the process. Win-win!

We also answer a new listener question about the importance of having a go-to copywriter, as well as the overall importance of good copy in your portfolio website.

Check out Wes’ new custom logo sign:

photo(7)

Show Links

  • Kai Davis’ Website :He’s an excellent SEO consultant with a great track record!
  • American Vintage Inc : Etsy shop that made Wes’ AMAZING lighted logo sign
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP115 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

 

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 5: Selling SEO appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 4: Pairing with a Printer
57:06
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 57:06
Growing Your Design Business Part 4: Pairing with a Printer

If any part of your design business involves print, then it might be beneficial for you to have a go-to printer for your clients. In this episode, the gang chats with Jerrold Omens and Nicole Nicolette from Tri City Printing about how to find, and work with a trusted print partner.

We discuss the pros and cons of working directly with your printer, versus simply handing off design files to your clients, mistakes designers typically make, and everything else you need to know about printers and print brokers.

We also answer a new listener question about how to accurately price quote a logo project.

Happy Holidays, we will be back with more episodes in the new year!

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1214 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 4: Pairing with a Printer appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 75: The Graphic Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014
1:00:41
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 1:00:41
DesignCast 75: The Graphic Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014

It’s that holly-jolly time of year again to drink eggnog, wear festive sweaters and make out our wish lists. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or Festivus, any of the gifts we cover here will make the inner designer in you very happy.

The gang each covers what they are wishing for this year, and a few trends emerge along the way. But worry not, there is a wide range of gift ideas here, so there is definitely something for everyone.

We also answer a new listener question about how Mikelle manages to get any work done with that new baby of hers lurking around.

Do you have anything you’re asking for this year that should be included on our list? Let us know in the comments section below!

Show Links (No peeking until after you’ve listened):

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1214 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

 

 

The post DesignCast 75: The Graphic Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014 appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 3: Teaming with a Copywriter
55:37
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 55:37
Growing Your Design Business Part 3: Teaming with a Copywriter

One of the biggest assets for your design business, (no matter what your medium,) is a talented copywriter. Whether you work primarily in web or print, a good copywriter can add the kinds of marketing messages to your client work that will contribute a LOT to their bottom line, making YOU look like a rockstar.

In this, the 3rd part of our “Growing Your Design Business” mini-series, we chat with copywriter Kristen Fischer about tips and tricks you can use to find and manage the copywriter that will take your design business to the next level. We also talk about the benefits of having one at all, and specifically, what a good copywriter can do to keep projects moving along, and end on-time and on-budget.

We also answer a listener question about billable vs. non-billable hours.

Show Links

  • Kristen Fischer’s website – Check out her work, or buy one of her awesome books for freelancers!
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1114 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 3: Teaming with a Copywriter appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 2: Dealing with Developers
51:26
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 51:26
Growing Your Design Business Part 2: Dealing with Developers

Rolling right along in our mini-series on growing your design business, the gang has a candid discussion about the often challenging topic of finding and managing web developers. Just like in any profession, there are varying degrees of quality when looking for web developers, so you’ll want to do everything you can to find one of the best!

Wes talks about the troubles he has had in this department, and offers some solid advice on how to navigate around them. Should you pay premium prices for domestic developers, or save some money by going the off-shore route? Would you prefer the flexibility of working with a freelancer, or the stability of working with a development company? We explore all scenarios so you can make up your own mind as to what is important to you.

We also talk about what you’re going to need to provide your developer to get things rolling, as well as how to keep the process running smoothly all the way through the QA phase and finally, website deployment.

We also answer a new listener question about the fine line between inspiration and flat-out stealing.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1114 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 10 day free trial!

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 2: Dealing with Developers appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Growing Your Design Business Part 1: Managing Design Subcontractors
1:03:00
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 1:03:00
Growing Your Design Business Part 1: Managing Design Subcontractors

Welcome to the first episode in our series-within-a-series we like to call “Growing Your Design Business.” In this and future episodes, we will focus on growing your network of talent, allowing your design business to flourish and go places you never knew possible.

In this episode, we focus on the process of finding and managing design subcontractors. Why would you want to take this step? Many reasons: maybe you have an influx of work you can’t handle on your own. Maybe your skill set is limited, and hiring someone who can do what you can’t (or don’t want to) will allow your business to be more versatile.

We go over how to find the best talent, how to pay them, and how to oversee their work. When done right, the work done by another designer can really extend the reach of your design business, allowing you to take on more clients and do a broader scope of work.

We hope you enjoy this episode, and look out for future episodes within this mini-series!

Listener Question

This week, we take an audio question about how we as designers can best take care of our eyes. Since we rely on them so heavily for our work, we should all do what we can to make sure they work their best!

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP1014 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 7 day free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post Growing Your Design Business Part 1: Managing Design Subcontractors appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Passionate About Passion Projects
1:01:00
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 1:01:00
Passionate About Passion Projects

Passion projects!

You may have a design business, or be trying to start one. Or maybe you are knee deep in advertising design at your firm, or sketching icons for your companies next big operating system.

But all work and no play makes Jill/Jack a dull girl/boy! Creative people need to create — it’s likely that very drive got you into the field you work in now — but sometimes you need to stretch your creative muscles and do something for yourself.

Forget what clients want, or what is “proper” design, or all the best practices for creating something for someone else.

That’s what passion projects are — doing something you want for the joy and pleasure of it, with the prospect of making money from it a distant second in priority to simply enjoying it.

Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo talk about the benefits of graphic design passion projects, and let us know some of the things they do to flex those creative muscles for their own benefit.

Mikelle covers how she disconnects from the digital and makes spending quality time in the real world with her real child a passion project. It’s never easy to tune out all the noise and switch gears from modern communication to just being present for those that need you, and can be a worthy project all its own.

Nick talks about a project for his graphic design class involving creating social media accounts, not for personal use, but to talk about what they are passionate about.

Your down-time is important, not to mention hard to come by. How do you want to spend it? You can check Facebook again, sure. Who knows, maybe some friend did something fun in the last half-hour! Or, maybe better, do you want to keep your creative juices flowing on a project just for you?

There could be something you want to get better at, to learn more about — a passion project is exactly the ticket.

Do you need too beef up your portfolio a bit? Setting yourself on a client-free passion project can fill up your collection of logos or website mock-ups in a hurry.

And a good passion project doesn’t even have to be in your field. How many of those interesting inventions you use daily were put together by someone with a passion for solving some everyday problem?

Nick brings us up to speed about something exactly like this — a healthy candy company he hopes may pick up into something big, but for now is a passion project where his drive and the joy of doing it is what is moving it forward.

Listener Question:

Wes is asked what his favorite design podcasts are (besides his own, of course!)

Show Links

  • Just The Case — Laser engraved, real wood cases for your iPhone. A passion project turned successful venture!
  • Print It Forward — Buy shirts to benefit Daniel E. Johnson Memorial Scholarship fund at saa! A passion project that benefits education!
  • Lead and Light — Minimalist, design focused tee shirts!
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP914 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • Lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 7 day free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post Passionate About Passion Projects appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 70: Listener Question Show, Extreme Student Edition!
1:05:07
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 1:05:07
DesignCast 70: Listener Question Show, Extreme Student Edition!

Its time for another listener question show! Thanks to Nick Longo, our resident design professor, we have a whole crop of questions submitted by design students. So if you’re in school, listen up. And if you’re not, don’t worry, the questions are still very applicable to designers at any level.

As always, send in your listener questions to: questions@50.87.248.227/~thedeeq2. We especially love to get audio questions, so just record yourself asking a brief design-related question and email us the mp3 (or other audio file,) and we will try our best to answer it on an upcoming episode.

Show Links

  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP914 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com 7 day free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post DesignCast 70: Listener Question Show, Extreme Student Edition! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Balancing Your Freelance Work & Life
52:40
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 52:40
Balancing Your Freelance Work & Life

Something any creative person understands is the need for, and the constant struggle with, striking a balance between your work and your life.

History is replete with creative types that worked their magic like none before them, but burned out from a lack of balance.

But just how is it done? How do you keep up with the rapidly changing world, get all the work done you need to, and yet keep sane and balanced?

Join Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo as they hash out some of their own experiences for us.

Mikelle talks about the changes marriage and children brought about in her work. Have the changes affected her ability to enjoy her work, or has she found ways to balance the load?

Children bring a whole new dimension to working from home, especially infants. How should you handle the unavoidable interruptions little bundle of joy will bring to your conversations with clients?

Freelancing is full time work and then some. Anyone who does it knows you can’t always shut down at 5 PM and call it a day. And not having a hard schedule where you can “clock out” and wash your hands of it for the day means you need to strike a balance between your working hours and not working hours.

Nick outlines the difficulty self employed people and freelancers in general face when trying to be the best and most successful. It’s very easy to fall into the spiral of working yourself to exhaustion trying to be as successful as you think those around you are, which may only make you less likely to succeed. Sometimes it is better to track your time, see what is nibbling away at your productivity, and work less rather than more — something that could be that missing step between pulling your hair out and being successful.

Wes talks about unplugging during your work day. As graphic designers, the internet is one of the tools of the trade. You can’t get away from it even if you wanted to at this point. But things like Facebook, Twitter, and email break your work time into little chunks, and every time you stop and start again after a distraction, a little lost time is added to your work day.

Unplugging yourself, answering emails later rather than right now, taking the Facebook app off your phone, these things can help make an 8 hour workday more like a 4 hour workday.

Weekends are another thing freelancers have to worry about. It is all too attractive to work every day and answer that phone no matter when it rings, but is that healthy? Being self employed, you need to set boundaries, keeping a day or two to yourself. Wes and Nick explain how they handle working and not working on the weekends.

And then there are vacations. Freelancing means working on your own, for your own goals, but you can easily lose track of your own time off. In the corporate world, you are often forced to take vacation time, but freelancers have to be mindful and allow themselves some “me time”. How does Wes, Nick, and Mikelle handle the “loss” of time and how important is the vacation to keeping them all on their game?

Today’s Listener Question

Often when building your portfolio, especially in the beginning, much of your work will have been done while working for someone other than yourself. Few of us can fill a portfolio without doing some of the work in a “day job”!
But what are your rights when using some of this work in your own portfolio. Can you show it in your portfolio at all? Are there any conflicts of interest? How useful is it, really?

Show Links

  • Anti-Social – A program that allows you to temporarily block access to social media sites, stopping the temptation for that “one quick look.”
  • Toggl – A fast, free, and easy time tracker for web, Windows, OS X, Android and iOS. See what you are spending all that time doing!
  • Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code DEEP914 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial! There is no place out there quite like lynda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post Balancing Your Freelance Work & Life appeared first on The Deep End Design.

The Creative Process Decoded
1:00:56
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 1:00:56
The Creative Process Decoded

In the 68th episode of the DesignCast, Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo take us through their individual creative processes!
 
Everybody has their own approach to creative endeavors — and this is never more true than when it comes to graphic design work, since the creative process is long and winding. Not only do you have to create the projects, but you have to complete a dozen steps before and after the graphic work is finished, and having a strong and economical process to get things done can really help keep things from getting out of control.
 
The first crucial step is getting the information you need to do the job right from the client — and then help guide them to the best possible place. This means you have to have a firm grasp on what works and what doesn’t, what will excite their intended audience and what will fall flat. Not every idea a customer has for their own design will work, and often the client won’t know why they like what they like.
 
Mikelle explains what works for her at this stage and the importance of talking to the client in person and on the phone, rather than only through email. Hearing their voice and seeing their expressions could give you cues that can make this so much easier for you and them.
 
Wes and Nick cover the importance of inserting the legal aspects of the business into the creative process by getting signatures and documentation for every major step you take. You don’t want to spend hours completing a difficult project only to have the client tell you that’s not what they wanted, and worse, not have proof that is what they asked for to begin with!
 
The next step is always brainstorming. Nick recommends some tactics to help get the best out of your brainstorming sessions and Mikelle talks about how she uses the internet and customer ideas to help hone in on a quality concepts.
 
And, how important is quality quiet time when it comes to thinking up new ideas for your next project? Wes talks about how he needs to sometimes unplug from podcasts and other noise to let his mind work – sometimes boredom is that helpful, missing aspect in our creative lives. Most of us can’t think creatively and listen to conversation at the same time.
 
Next up in the process: Comp time! Sooner or later, we need to produce something for the customer to see, floating a handful of concepts and seeing what works. There a lot of ways to approach this and finding the one that works best for you is important. This is the time when your skill at design and your creative process needs to be at its best.
 
The DesignCast crew talks about what they consider the most important steps in their process when it comes to comps — how many concepts they deliver and how they handle the changes, as well as how many concepts they show to the client at once.
 
How many different designs does Wes bring to the client at this time? What does Nick think the single most important thing to show the client at this time is? Hint: Just how well have you listened to your clients needs?
 
In the end of it all, the most important thing is to judge your creative process honestly and make it work best for you. Everyone does things differently and has strengths and weaknesses all their own.
 
But by listening to the DesignCast, maybe some of our experiences can help you iron out your own best process!

Today’s Listener Question:

Advertising your freelance business is important. You can’t forget to get yourself out there in front of prospective clients.
But what kind of advertising is worth the money in this day and age? Print media like magazines have large readerships, but cost a lot to get an ad into — money that may be better spent elsewhere.
The gang lets us know their thoughts.

Show Links:

Shutterstock – Visit Shutterstock and check out their massive selection of stock images for your designs. Be sure to use the promo code deep814 for a 20% discount on any subscription!
Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus – A great way to brainstorm, the visual thesaurus draws the links between words and ideas in a visual map.
lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial! There is no place out there quite like linda.com — you can learn at your own pace on so many subjects and at such a good price.

The post The Creative Process Decoded appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Where’s My Money?!
49:02
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 49:02
Where’s My Money?!

Join the DesignCast crew as Wes McDowell, Mikelle Morrison, and Nick Longo dip into the  headlines of their lives!

Once in a while we like to dip into our personal experiences, peeling back the curtain and talking about events that have affected us in recent months – customer issues, invoicing problems, and the general craziness of being in the wild world of design.

Why make the mistakes when you can learn about them from us?

Invoicing

Unless you are an accountant moonlighting as a designer, invoicing is probably one of the scarier parts of the business.

How do you bypass all the possible pitfalls? How can you be sure you can get the money you’ve earned when, sometimes, a client might not want to pay?

How do you cover yourself?

It’s rarely a black and white situation. A client might have the wrong idea of what finished means when it comes to a website, for example, not realizing that your part of the job is completed. Or a family emergency may pop up and divert their attention, leaving you in the lurch even as you send follow up emails for weeks. Or, maybe, they just weren’t very serious to begin with.

Wes outlines a recent situation where a client, having not yet fulfilled their end of the process by providing the copy for the site, refused to pay the remainder for the completed project. He outlines step by step how he handled the problem, and what you can do to head off such an issue yourself.

Other times there is little you can do about the more serious situations except count it as a loss and attempt to soften the blow to your finances. Mikelle talks us through a few situations where, in the end, she let her accountant deal with the losses at tax time.

And don’t think it is just the smaller clients that play with your payments! Nick spends some time filling us in on a large corporate client that loved his work, and yet still decided not to pay him because they weren’t successful in using the completed project to its fullest. Complicating matters was the fact the company in question was in Florida, while Nick is in California, meaning he would need to travel across country to press for the money.

Let us know your experiences!

Tell us your experiences! Have you had an issue collecting the money you earned? Did it change how you approach the business as a whole? What did you take away from the experience?

Tell us all about it in the comments below!

 Todays Listener Question:

As designers, we are asked to create things that our clients will use to improve their business, or sell a product, or maybe show support for a cause.

What do you do if a client wants to hire you to create something you aren’t comfortable with? Flyers for a political party you dislike, posters for or against a particular social issue, or an ad designed to sell something you have serious doubts about…

Do you do it because it’s a job? Or do you step back from the situation and decline?

Show Links:

  • Shake – A web and mobile app designed to make creating small, simple contracts as easy as a handshake.
  • FreshBooks– Cloud based accounting and invoicing software.
  • LegalZoom – LegalZoom is the nation’s leading provider of personalized, online legal solutions for small business owners and families.
  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP814 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial

The post Where’s My Money?! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

2014 Logo Design Trends
1:12:07
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 1:12:07
2014 Logo Design Trends

Bill Gardner, founder of LogoLounge, returns to the DesignCast to talk with Wes McDowell and Nick Longo about logo design trends in 2014.

LogoLounge is the best place to find logo reference materials on the web with a huge database of expertly crafted logos (200,000 and counting).

Bill Gardner has been collecting and examining trends in logo design for years and you can see the trend reports all the way from 2003 at LogoLounge. Each report is a multi-page in-depth look into the logo trends for that year including example logo designs – a real boon for designers everywhere.

In fact, while listening to this episode, please feel free to head to LogoLounge and look for the “2014 Logo Trend Report” link on the right hand side, or the ‘Trends Reports’ link in the footer – this way you can follow along!

2013 was a tipping point in web design: Mobile devices are overtaking the larger, more traditional devices for surfing the web, and we need to take this into account when creating logos and designs. It is no longer good enough to have a logo look good in inches when it may be shrunk to a quarter inch on a mobile device, or used as a favicon for the client’s website.

How will your logo look squeezed onto a screen as small as a business card? Will it hold up to the rigors of the small screens of smart-phones and tablets?

And how are others taking on this challenge?

Bill Gardner lets us in on what he sees as the 2014 logo design trends we can expect. Designers everywhere are reacting to the changing trends and user expectations, trying different techniques to develop logos both eye-catching and workable at any size and on any device.

Will the sharp, clean mono-line become the predominate style of the year? Is the hyper-flat logo design trend backing off and making room for the glassy, more ‘realistic’ look and feel like the newest iteration of the NBC peacock?

Bill finds digital waves reminiscent of Wi-Fi symbols bubbling to the top, hexagon shaped logos popping up more often than even he expects, and birds and woodland creatures – created with stacks of geometric shapes – dancing onto the design stage everywhere.

Bill also talks about a few logo trends not in the 2014 Logo Trends report – including the rise of responsive, digital only logos like you can find at Bureau347 – just for us at the DesignCast, so don’t miss it!

You can always reach out to Bill via the contact page of LogoLounge or via email at bill@logolounge.com, and let him know of any trends you are seeing in logo design today!

You can find more of Bill Gardner’s wisdom at lynda.com where you can start a free trial just for our listeners at lynda.com/deepend, along with hundreds of other professional videos and classes on design, photography, software and more.

Last, but not least, we answer a new listener question on how necessary classical art education is for graphic designers. Does an art education help, or hinder, design work? Or is it important to be as diverse as possible in your knowledge and education?

Show Links:

The post 2014 Logo Design Trends appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Freelance Design or Fulltime Gig?
52:42
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 52:42
Freelance Design or Fulltime Gig?

While there are many different types of graphic and web design gigs out there, they generally fall into two separate categories: freelancing on your own, or going to work for a company. We’ve all done both, and know that each scenario comes with its own set of pros and pitfalls. In this episode, the gang discusses what we prefer personally, as well as what you should consider when weighing out your options.

We also answer a new audio listener question about delivering logo files to a client.

Show Links:

  • Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP714 for 20% off any image subscription!
  • lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial

The post Freelance Design or Fulltime Gig? appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Social Media Tips for Designers
58:24
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 58:24
Social Media Tips for Designers

Social media is here to stay, fellow designers. While the platforms may change and shift over time, twitter, facebook, linkedin, instagram and pinterest remain solid ways of connecting with clients, as well as other creatives. In this episode, we have special guest Chuck Anderson, from No Pattern talking with us about all things social media. We go over the big ones, and how we use them to our ultimate advantage in our own design businesses. As always, the conversation takes a few random twists and turns, but its all a part of the journey.

Speaking of social media, this week we got a great listener question via twitter about how to prioritize projects when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Show Links:

 

Image credit: Quka / Shutterstock.com

The post Social Media Tips for Designers appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Building & Using Your Network
49:55
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 49:55
Building & Using Your Network

No designer is an island. To one degree or another, we all rely on a network of others to keep our business afloat. Maybe you subcontract out some work that you can’t handle on your own. Maybe you have created valuable relationships with print vendors, hosting providers, etc. And lets not forget how valuable networking can be to find clients that we want to work with over and over again.

In short, building a network of both creative support and prospective clients is too important to ignore. In this episode, we talk all about how we have managed to build up our networks, and how we utilize then to benefit both our businesses and theirs. After all, all relationships should be give-and-take in order for everybody to benefit.

We also answer a listener question from a very young listener who wants to find clients locally without relying on emails/online methods.

Show Links:

The post Building & Using Your Network appeared first on The Deep End Design.

How to Handle & Price Rush Jobs
41:50
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 41:50
How to Handle & Price Rush Jobs

What’s the rush? Your client needs a brochure design yesterday, and its up to you to make it happen. Before accepting a rush job, you have to understand how it will affect the other aspects of your business. Who do you push aside to make time to turn around this new job so quickly? Will other deadlines be missed to accommodate it? And what should you charge your client for the inconvenience? In this episode, the gang tackles this tricky topic, so you might be better prepared to deal with it when it happens.

Also, we answer a listener question about how to get a project kicked off on the right foot.

Show Links:

The post How to Handle & Price Rush Jobs appeared first on The Deep End Design.

What We Wish We’d Learned in Design School
57:28
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 57:28
What We Wish We’d Learned in Design School

As great a tool as design school can be, they can only prepare you for so much in four years. As any designer who has been working for a while knows, there is a ton of knowledge that doesn’t drop on you until after you’ve started working in “the real world.” In this episode, listen in as the gang goes over the things they know now, that they wish they knew then.

We also answer a new listener question regarding the different business types you can choose from when setting up your own design studio.

Show Links:

The post What We Wish We’d Learned in Design School appeared first on The Deep End Design.

DesignCast 60: Two Men & A Listener Question Show
52:05
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 52:05
DesignCast 60: Two Men & A Listener Question Show

In this, our 60th episode, we mourn the temporary absence of Mikelle by reaching deep into our mailbag to answer more of your listener submitted questions! Without Mikelle’s usual sweetness,  this episode is our manliest yet. Wes and Nick tackle a wide variety of topics, including:

 

 

  • How to improve the overall quality of your work
  • How to be a healthy freelancer
  • How to make a comprehensive WordPress training manual for your web design clients
  • How you should approach taking over for another designer mid-project
  • How to approach a WordPress website project… where do you start, and how do you plan it all out?
  • How do you balance being a “pixel pusher” with being the creative genius you want to be?

In other exciting news, right after we recorded this episode, Mikelle finally gave birth to her son Oakly Vedder! With a name like that, he is destined to become a bona fide rock star!

0414Oakly77 0414Oakly39

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 60: Two Men & A Listener Question Show appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Overcoming Price Objection
52:40
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 52:40
Overcoming Price Objection

When speaking with prospective clients, one topic that will invariably come up is price. But what do you do when a potential client thinks your design services are just too expensive?

In this episode, we tackle the topic of how to deal with clients who are obsessed with price. We cover everything from explaining your value, to changing the scope of the project to accommodate their budget, to knowing when you may need to just walk away.

This episode’s listener question deals with how you should display your work in your portfolio: actual photos or Photoshop mockups?

Show Links:

The post Overcoming Price Objection appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Saying Nope to Spec Work
41:50
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 41:50
Saying Nope to Spec Work

Do you like working for free? Neither do we. The creative field has always been plagued by the notion that what we do is somehow not “real” work, and should only be paid for upon approval. It has become increasingly common for potential clients to request designs up front, as a test to see who they deem good enough to hire. What’s worse, is they usually do this with multiple designers/firms at once, and only “award” the project to one. This type of thing doesn’t go on in other industries, so why is it so common in the realm of design?

In this episode, we have special guest host Nick Longo joining Wes and Mikelle to talk about the downside of spec work. And there are many… for us as designers, as well as for the very clients that request it. We talk about how to politely decline such situations, as well as how we can educate these clients about how it could adversely affect their business.  We then discuss the fine line between spec work and the art of pitching, and when it actually makes sense to spend time on designing for a pitch.

We also answer a listener question about how much you need to customize a WordPress theme, and if keeping it as-is would be considered a crime against design.

Show Links:

Featured image credit: Glen Quintana Jr

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How to Develop a Branding Guide
35:59
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 35:59
How to Develop a Branding Guide

Everyone knows that the logo is the cornerstone of a company’s branding and identity. But why stop after just designing the logo for a client? Not only is offering a printable set of branding guidelines invaluable to your clients, but it can be a great upsell of your services as well. In other words, if youcan master this, it can result in more money for your client, as well as you. Win-win.

In a nutshell, a branding guide will detail exactly how your client’s new logo should, (and more importantly,) should NOT be used. The main goal of a branding or identity guide is to establish consistency for your client’s brand. This has a lot to do with the logo, but touches on other areas as well, such as typography and brand colors across all mediums.

In this episode, we talk about what you should include in the guide, as well as some formatting tips which will make it even easier.

We also answer a listener follow-up question from episode 54, about how to best label self-initiated projects in your portfolio.

Show Links:

 

Image credit: TNA Brand Manual

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Design Contract Lifesavers
1:01:57
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 1:01:57
Design Contract Lifesavers

If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you will remember that we did a whole episode covering all the basics of graphic and web design client contracts. But over the past few years, plenty of situations have come up with our own clients that have prompted us to add extra clauses to our contracts. We had to learn the hard way why we needed them, but you can just take it from us!

We cover all kinds of important life-saving clauses such as why its important to have a single point of contact, and how to make sure your clients have their web content ready by the time you’re ready to launch their site.

As always, we take on two new listener questions about how to sell a pre-designed logo to an unwitting client, and how to explain your true worth to a client who may be on the fence.

Show Links:

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When Good Designs Go Bad
50:35
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 50:35
When Good Designs Go Bad

We’ve all been there. You design something awesome for a client, hand over the files, and then you see that it has been changed. Maybe a small tweak, or maybe it has been transformed into something unrecognizable. Something awful. Something, you no longer want your name on. In this episode, Mikelle recounts just this kind of story that happened to her recently. We discuss her options, and what she could, and should do about it.

We also answer two new listener questions that were sent to us via twitter, so they were short, sweet and to the point. If you have a short question that can be phrased in 140 characters or less, tweet it to us! Just use the hashtag #DGDC.

Has thins kind of thing happened to you? If so, how did you deal with it? Did you cut your losses and walk away, or do what you could to salvage the project even if it meant ruffling some feathers? Leave your experience in the comments section below!

Show Links:

Featured image credit: Cristiano Jackie

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What’s in it For Me?
48:06
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 48:06
What’s in it For Me?

When marketing our design services to clients, it is common to spend a lot of time talking about what we do, and how good we are at it. Unfortunately, focusing on that alone is not enough to entice the discerning client. You have to clearly lay out your unique value proposition, in other words, you have to tell your potential clients what’s in it for them to hire you.

To talk all about the “wiifm” (what’s in it for me) principle, we have Matthew and Ben Newton, two Australian brothers who happen to co-host The Web Agency Podcast. We talk about a recent study they have conducted about design agency portfolio sites in several major cities, and we get to see what is working for some, what some are lacking, and how well different agencies are utilizing the wiifm principle, and scoring better clients because of it.

We also answer two new listener questions about finding a design mentor, and how to build a compelling portfolio of self-initiated projects.

If you like listening to this show, we highly recommend you check out The Web Agency Podcast as well. It’s an easy, entertaining listen, and each episode is packed with great info for anyone running their own web design biz.

Show Links:

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Designer Deductions
59:48
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 59:48
Designer Deductions

We’ll bet you hate thinking about taxes. We also bet you love saving your hard earned money! While paying taxes is the burden of just about every person on this planet, it can be especially hard on freelance graphic designers. Luckily, we have many expenses that can be deducted from our tax burden, resulting in more money in our pockets.

In this episode, the gang discusses many of the biggest deductions we as designers can take, including a few that you may have not been aware of.

As we say in the show, we are NOT tax professionals, and any advice we give should be run past your accountant first. We want you to keep as much money as you can, but we don’t want you crossing any lines that could get you flagged by the IRS.

We also answer a few new listener questions about how to handle client web hosting, and what the pros/cons of hiring a business manager.

Show Links:

 

Featured image copyright: Angelyn Ong

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The Year End Wrap-Up
53:59
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 53:59
The Year End Wrap-Up

We’re coming right up on 2014, and what better time to stop and look back on what we learned this past year? (We thought about doing it in July, but is just seemed premature.) Wes, Mikelle and Sam each talk briefly about the biggest lesson they learned in their design careers this year, as well as their career goals for 2014. We also share some our favorite listener lesson and goal submissions. There were some great ones, so be sure to stick around for those as well.

We finish out the year with two brand spankin’ new listener questions about educating clients who aren’t used to the creative process, and what to do about the age old problem of the client who takes their sweet time supplying you with content.

Show Links:

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The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013
53:11
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 53:11
The Designer’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Our gift guide show last year was such a runaway hit that we had to do it again. Listen as Wes, Mikelle and Sam go over some of their top picks for gifts you should be asking for this year. Some are clearly just for designers, some will help you get through your day, and some are just fun/quirky enough that only a designer could fully appreciate them. (I’m looking right at you, Chinese Lucky Cat.)

After the festivities, we answer two new listener questions about how to get back in the game when you’ve taken a long hiatus from designing, and what you should be charging a client for constant, small revisions to a website.

Gift Links:

 

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DesignCast 50: Giving Thanks & Answering Your Questions
1:06:34
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 1:06:34
DesignCast 50: Giving Thanks & Answering Your Questions

Is it just a coincidence that we happened to reach 50 episodes just in time for Thanksgiving? Yes it is! But even so, what better way to thank you, our loyal listeners, than another super-fantastic listener question show? In this episode, we tackle a bunch of new questions sent in by you. As usual, we try to vary the topics as much as possible so that there is truly something for everyone. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Show Links:

Dreamhost Use promo code DEEP60 for $60 off web hosting

OvernightPrints Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order

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Mobile Web Design Tips & Trends
1:02:15
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 1:02:15
Mobile Web Design Tips & Trends

In this episode, we were lucky enough to have Patrick McNeil, the author of The Mobile Web Designer’s Idea Book sit down with Wes for a chat about the latest trends in the ever evolving world of mobile web design. We go over the basics of mobile web design methodologies and frameworks, and we discuss the current state of mobile, and why it’s only getting more and more important going forward. We then talk about some of the more popular trends that are emerging in regards to mobile, as well as some important usability concerns that you would want to address in the design process.

Want to win a free signed copy of The Mobile Web Designer’s Idea Book? We are giving away 4 free copies! Just leave a comment below by Monday, Nov. 18th to be entered to win.

This contest is now closed. Congrats to our 4 winners!

 

As always, we answer two new listener questions about client holiday gifts, and how to avoid being asked to do valuable web design work at a minimum wage job.

Here are some screenshots from the book, highlighting a few different styles we address in the interview:

Superclean Style

superclean mobile

Minimal Style

minimal mobile

Flax Pixels Style

flat pixels mobile

Atypical Navigation Style

atypical

Image credits: The above images are from The Mobile Web Designer’s Idea Book by Patrick McNeil. ©2013, HOW Publishing. All rights reserved.

Show Links:

OvernightPrints Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order.

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Jeepers! It’s the Scope Creeper!
45:27
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 45:27
Jeepers! It’s the Scope Creeper!

Wrapping up our “design dilemma” series, this week we focus on a spooky Halloween tale that will strike fear in the hearts of designers everywhere… scope creep! So take a listen… If you dare.

Sam recently faced such a tale of terror in his own studio, and lived long enough to tell us about it. We learn how he got into this mess in the first place, and we talk about ways to deal with it beforehand, as well as after-the-fact. There are many things you can do to combat scope creep in your design business, beginning with your contract.

It may be too late for Sam, but you can all still save yourselves…

We also answer a few new listener questions about teaming up with other freelancers and how to bill your clients for stock images.

Show Links:

Shutterstock: Use promo code: DEEP10 for 30% off any package. Expires Nov. 30, 2013.

OvernightPrints: Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order.

 

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The Clever Logo Conundrum
37:19
2017-12-13 09:24:51 UTC 37:19
The Clever Logo Conundrum

We recently had an episode dedicated to a design dilemma Mikelle was facing with a client. So we decided to make this into a series all about one big problem each of us is facing in our business. In this episode, it’s Wes’ turn.

We always advocate asking clients for samples of designs they like, so you can properly gauge their taste, and what they will respond to. However, Wes recently began seeing a trend emerge with his logo design clients: they were always picking out “clever,” literal logos for inspiration, even when their company name or industry did not lend itself to that sort of treatment.

Rather than dwelling on the problem, the gang talks about how to better arm yourself against this sort of thing, so that you and your clients can get started on the right track, instead of chasing false leads. You will learn how to properly ask for example logos, and we also discuss the possibility of not asking for examples at all. There are multiple opinions voiced in this episode, so you can listen and see what makes the most sense for you.

After that, we answer two new listener questions about taking days off, and whether or not After Effects is worth learning.

Show Links:

Shutterstock: Use promo code: DEEP10 for 30% off any package. Expires Nov. 30, 2013.

OvernightPrints: Use promo code DGDESIGNCAST for deep savings on any order.

 

Image credit: Draward.com

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2017 Designer Gifts Wish List
59:25
2017-12-13 09:25:04 UTC 59:25
2017 Designer Gifts Wish List

Just in time for Cyber Monday, we present our annual designer gift guide! Listen as the gang lists off the things we’ll be asking for this year, because getting cool stuff is really what the holiday season is all about. And Nick will apparently be buying every. single. thing.

We also answer a new question, and give a little portfolio advice to a listener who lives in an area where there isn’t much demand for her skills.

The Wish List

Show Links:

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Positioning Your Agency (or Micro-Agency)
1:04:37
2017-12-13 09:25:04 UTC 1:04:37
Positioning Your Agency (or Micro-Agency)

Have you ever wondered how to set yourself or your design agency apart from the competition? Wonder no more, because in today’s episode, we have a very special guest who will shed some light on the subject. Content strategist and copywriter Aaron Wrixon is in the house, and will show you how to stand out, and put your best self front and center.

Whether you’re a solopreneur, running an agency, or a micro-agency, these tips will be hugely beneficial as you go into 2018.

We also answer a listener question about what/how much you need to provide your web developer with to properly communicate your designs.

Show Links:

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Our Biggest Takeaways From Adobe Max
1:12:18
2017-12-13 09:25:04 UTC 1:12:18
Our Biggest Takeaways From Adobe Max

Last week, the gang all got together in person to attend the 2017 Adobe Max conference, and we can honestly say it was incredible. Lots of new announcements, feature enhancements, and brand new programs that we’re all super excited to share with you.

Mikelle couldn’t join in on this episode, but Wes and Nick are here to go over the biggest takeaways and things we’re the most excited about. And be sure to stick around till the very end, we have put together some key takeaways from other attendees and listeners who we met in person at the conference.

We also answer a new listener question about what to charge for the design of liquor bottle labels.

Show Links:

The post Our Biggest Takeaways From Adobe Max appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Designer Fails
53:34
2017-12-13 09:25:04 UTC 53:34
Designer Fails

Any designer who’s made it will tell you they failed a LOT on the way up. It’s the best way to learn — at least that’s what we keep telling ourselves. And the Deeply Graphic gang is no different. Listen to our tales of woe, and what we learned from biting it over the years.

And since we got several great fail stories from our listeners, we have those sprinkled throughout the episode as well. Thanks to Ricky, Kyle and Joshua for opening up and sharing what they learned with the rest of us!

As always, we answer a new listener question about whether or not you should hand over those working files, (and what you should charge for them if you do.)

Show Links:

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Clients From Hell
53:39
2017-12-13 09:25:04 UTC 53:39
Clients From Hell

Working with great design clients is what makes our job so amazing. Then there are the OTHER ones. Clients who don’t value your work. Clients who give vague feedback, or who will “know it when they see it.” Most of the time, this is all on us as the designer — we haven’t properly communicated our process or our value. But what about those times when you just have a “client from Hell?”

This week, we’re joined by former editor-in-chief of Clients From Hell, Bryce Bladon. We talk all about these types of clients: warning signs to look out for, how to bow out gracefully, and how to just get the f*** out when necessary. You’ll learn what to include in your contract, and how to handle yourself in these sticky situations.

We also answer a listener question about “how old is too old” to get started in graphic design. (Spoiler alert, it isn’t 25.)

Show Links:

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What’s Coming to Creative Cloud?
1:03:32
2017-12-13 09:25:04 UTC 1:03:32
What’s Coming to Creative Cloud?

Every designer basically lives, works and breathes in the Adobe Creative Cloud. So this week, we have Adobe’s Michaël Chaize on with us to discuss upcoming additions, as well as a few cool things you can currently use that you may not have known about. (We were all surprised by a few things that we can’t wait to try!)

We also talk about the cool things we can expect to do/see/learn at the upcoming AdobeMax conference in Vegas. And of course, we answer a new listener question about social media kits for clients.

Show Links:

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DesignCast 140: Listener Question Show!
44:47
2017-12-13 09:25:04 UTC 44:47
DesignCast 140: Listener Question Show!

We made it to 140 fun-filled episodes, and to celebrate, we’re digging deep into our mailbag to answer six new burning questions from listeners like you.

Whether you’re a print or web designer, seasoned vet or newbie, there’s something here for everyone!

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 140: Listener Question Show! appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Recurring Revenue Packages
51:57
2017-12-13 09:25:04 UTC 51:57
Recurring Revenue Packages

Did you know it costs about five times as much to acquire a new client than it takes to maintain an existing one? Knowing that, why do so many designers “one and done” it with their clients?

In this episode, the gang talks about some great ways to keep your existing customers by offering ongoing services that benefit you both. For example, if you design websites, why not offer a monthly SEO service that helps them attract visitors? We’ll talk about how to structure and price your packages, as well as how to pitch them to your new and existing clients.

We also answer a new listener question about what to post on social media to attract, educate and entertain prospective clients, rather than just other designers.

Show Links:

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Proposals: Put in the Work!
1:07:21
2017-12-13 09:25:04 UTC 1:07:21
Proposals: Put in the Work!

One of our very first shows was about proposals, but we’ve gained a lot of knowledge since those early days, and we have a lot of new proposal tips to share with you. Listen as the gang talks about all aspects of the proposal process, including the writing process, things to include, and how to properly deliver a proposal to a prospect.

Yes, a proposal done right can mean a lot of upfront (sometimes unpaid for) work. But if you do it right, it will pay off, big time.

We also answer a new listener question about niching while still advertising that you have generalist capabilities.

Show Links:

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An Ad-ucation in Advertising Your Design Business
1:00:56
2017-12-13 09:25:04 UTC 1:00:56
An Ad-ucation in Advertising Your Design Business

Unless you have all the business you can handle, AND you are making the kind of money you deserve, you should probably consider advertising in one way or another. In this episode, the gang discusses the various platforms available that work in 2017. We talk about paid options, but Mikelle has another method that she has had great success with that won’t cost you a dime.

We also have a big announcement in this episode that you won’t want to miss!

And we of course answer a new listener question regarding how to handle case studies when your clients don’t provide you enough hard data.

Show Links:

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Talkin’ 2017 Logo Trends in the LogoLounge
1:10:40
2017-12-13 09:25:04 UTC 1:10:40
Talkin’ 2017 Logo Trends in the LogoLounge

It’s that time of year again. The smell of freshly cut grass in your nose, the taste of vodka with just a splash of lemonade on your tongue, and the sweet sounds of Bill Gardner talking about this year’s logo design trends all up in your earbuds! That’s right kiddies, it’s time for the 2017 LogoLounge Trend Report, and we’ve got it all right from the source.

Listen as we talk about all the latest logo design trends, and how we got here. It’s a fascinating conversation, and we highly recommend following along with the report, which you can find here: https://www.logolounge.com/articles/2017-logo-trends

Our conversation was so engrossing, we actually ran out of time for a listener question — a first for our show. But don’t worry, we’ll get back on track next time.

Show Links:

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The Mobile Optimization Checklist
1:03:16
2017-12-13 09:25:04 UTC 1:03:16
The Mobile Optimization Checklist

I’ll bet most of you either specialize in web design, or at least offer it as a client service. Like it or not, in 2017 (and beyond,) this means you need to know how to design for mobile devices. With over half of Internet browsing taking place on mobile, we as designers can no longer afford to ignore it.

In this episode, we go through a checklist of everything you need to think about in order to satisfy mobile users, as well as search engines in regard to mobile web design. We cover two major areas:

  1. Site speed
  2. User experience

We also tackle a new audio question about whether turning to UX/UI design can result in fewer client objections.

Show Links:

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Designing with SEO in Mind
59:19
2017-12-13 09:25:04 UTC 59:19
Designing with SEO in Mind

If you offer web design services, how well do you know the mysterious art of SEO? For any noobs out there, that stands for “search engine optimization,” and is usually a very important aspect to almost any website. Any SEO expert will tell you that it’s always better to plan your search strategy from the beginning, but all too often, it is added in at the last minute as an afterthought.

In this episode, Wes offers some basic training in planning SEO from the start, and how that will impact the rest of the project. if you can nail the basics, any site you design will be in a much better position when the real work of link-building begins.

We also answer a new listener question about making your phone number public, and the types of clients you might attract that way (and how to better qualify them.)

Show Links:

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Charging for Your Value
55:35
2017-12-13 09:25:05 UTC 55:35
Charging for Your Value

In the world of graphic design, most people charge one of two ways: based on time or per project. But let’s face it, both are usually based on some type of time-based calculation. The problem with this method is that nobody really benefits from it.

Your client is ends up paying for the time you spend, not a tangible result. And you are essentially just trading time for money. Why not charge your clients based on the value you bring to them instead?

In this episode, the gang talks all about the ins and outs of this method of pricing, as well as our own experiences with it. If you aren’t using this pricing model yet, you should really consider it. It will only benefit you and your clients, as you now have a vested stake in their success.

We also answer a listener question about a possibly tacky method of advertising.

Show Links:

 

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Supplementing with Subcontractors
1:08:28
2017-12-13 09:25:05 UTC 1:08:28
Supplementing with Subcontractors

We love getting topic suggestions from our listeners, and today’s episode is one of those. We’ve talked a lot over the year about subcontracting work out to others. It’s a great way to fill in your skill gaps, or just have extra hands in order to focus on more important business-building tasks. In today’s episode, you’ll hear how we started getting our feet wet hiring subcontractors, what duties we give them, as well as a whole lot of advice we wish we’d known from the beginning.

We also answer an audio question about where we turn to keep learning in a very crowded Internet.

Show Links:

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Advice for the Graduating Design Student
1:07:04
2017-12-13 09:25:05 UTC 1:07:04
Advice for the Graduating Design Student

With spring break well behind us, thoughts turn to summer, and maybe even graduation. Good thing we have our resident design professor Nick to dole out some awesome advice to all you grads out there. And in the spirit of not leaving the rest of you out, this advice is pretty great for any designer when it comes to job interviewing, and portfolio sprucing.

We also answer a listener question about the best way to become known as an authority in the design realm.

Also, if you happen to get the awesome reference in our featured image above, go ahead and leave a comment. You’ll definitely earn our respect.

Show Links:

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DesignCast 130: A Good, Old Fashioned Listener Question Show
58:36
2017-12-13 09:25:05 UTC 58:36
DesignCast 130: A Good, Old Fashioned Listener Question Show

We’ve reached another milestone, (assuming 130 is indeed a milestone?) So we’re back to clear out the ol’ inbox and answer your burning questions. We have seven different ones, so there is really something for everyone in this episode.

We know we’ve been doing live episodes for this lately, but we just forgot to tease it on the last episode, so we went back to “the old way” just this once. #sorrynotsorry

Show Links:

The post DesignCast 130: A Good, Old Fashioned Listener Question Show appeared first on The Deep End Design.

Qualifying Your Clients
52:50
2017-12-13 09:25:05 UTC 52:50
Qualifying Your Clients

Whenever you first meet with a new prospective client, they are sizing you up. And if you’re smart, you’re sizing them up right back. After all, you probably don’t want to work with everyone who comes your way. There are many things to consider: their budget versus your rates, their niche, their project, and their overall attitude. In short, you need to figure out pretty quickly whether or not you want to work with this person.

In today’s episode, the gang dissects the qualification process. Why we do it, and how. Because if you’re serious about your design business, you need to be selective with your clients. Some will make your job incredibly fulfilling, and some will make you hate getting up in the morning. Even worse, pick the wrong clients consistently enough, and you’ll be out of business altogether.

We also answer a listener question about sending out physical work samples to get new business, and how to do that with nothing but “concept” portfolio work.

Show Links:

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Getting Our Mood Board On
56:37
2017-12-13 09:25:05 UTC 56:37
Getting Our Mood Board On

If you’ve ever felt like your first client comps aren’t nailing it, you really need to give mood boards a try. Mood boards are a way to save time by quickly communicating an overall design direction to your client for approval. This can involve just one that they need to approve, or multiple variations from which they can choose a direction. Either way, by getting this visual feedback up front, your first comps will come much closer to hitting the bulls-eye.

The gang talks about their own experiences with mood boards, as well as tips and tricks to make sure you’re getting everything you can out of this exercise, (and have a little moment of creative zen along the way.)

We also answer a listener question about landing an agency job with no prior agency experience, (as well as little to no digital experience.)

Show Links:

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Project Minimums to Maximize Business
1:05:31
2017-12-13 09:25:05 UTC 1:05:31
Project Minimums to Maximize Business

Nothing can kill the productivity of a designer faster than a neverending barrage of small jobs. You have to wrap your head around a new brand, create invoices, and client interactions for a micro-payout. This is why it is so crucial to have a project minimum — the absolute minimum amount you’re willing to take on a new job for.

This can be applied to either money, time or scope. Whatever makes the most sense for you and your design business. In this episode, the gang talks all about why having a minimum is important, and what can be wasted without one. And of course, we all have stories to tell on the subject.

We also answer a new listener question about the specific marketing/messaging that got us our first “big fish” clients.

Show Links:

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Be Your Own Trendsetter
1:02:18
2017-12-13 09:25:05 UTC 1:02:18
Be Your Own Trendsetter

We talk a lot about design trends, but when is it time to break away from the pack and try something totally different? And with a never ending supply of design inspiration out there, how do you turn down the noise enough to explore your own creativity?

In this episode, the gang explores this idea, and how it can apply to print, branding and web design. We’ve got some great examples from our own projects, and we also talk about how to push the envelope creatively within the real-life constraints that we often find ourselves in.

We also answer a new listener question about how to make potential clients see your work as superior, when they lack the “designer’s eye.”

And special shout-out to Aleisther Guido for this awesome piece of fan art!

pink fan art

Show Links:

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Diving Deep into Discovery
57:10
2017-12-13 09:25:05 UTC 57:10
Diving Deep into Discovery

Do you know the best way to deliver real value to your clients? Coincidentally, it’s the same thing that will allow you to charge much more than you’re charging now—Discovery.

Discovery is the secret sauce to solving real problems in your clients’ business. When you stop simply taking orders based on your clients’ stated needs, and digging deeper, you can provide web design, branding, or just about any other type of design that actually connects with their audience, contributing to their bottom line.

In this episode, listen as the gang goes over their discovery processes, and how they use discovery to unlock unexpected gold nuggets of info that they can build a thoughtful project around.

We also answer a new listener question about how to tell a potential client why not to use a DIY web builder for their website.

Show Links:

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Web Design Trends We Can Expect in 2017
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2017-12-13 09:25:05 UTC 53:57
Web Design Trends We Can Expect in 2017

On our last episode, we covered all the biggest graphic design trends we predict for next 2017, and we wanted to follow it up with trends we can expect to see specifically in the world of web design.

Listen as the gang goes over their favorite (and most promising) trends for 2017. Some are purely aesthetic, while some actually have a higher purpose—to increase conversions.

If you’d like to add the infographic Wes talked about to your own blog, feel free to check it out and grab the embed code here.

And for our last show of the year, we of course answer a new listener question about how to measure the success of a design project when there isn’t any hard data to back it up.

Show Links:

  • Videoblocks.com/deep2016 — Click here to get your yearly subscription to Videoblocks and Audioblocks for just $149… That’s $100 off
  • Freshbooks FREE for 30 Days Offer – Important: You must enter Deeply Graphic into the “How Did You Hear About Us” section

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