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By Kristin Ellison | Wednesday, September 18, 2013

6 Attributes of Good Logo Design

Von Glitchka at work designing logos

Although there are many stylistic approaches to logo design, there are certain fundamental attributes that make a logo successful.

It’s unique It’s no secret that our world is being flooded with more images, tweets, articles, books, designs etc. every minute, so creating a unique design has never been more important. Although there are times when the creative fairy blesses us with an inspired design, more often than not great designs are hard earned. Proper research, intelligent creative thinking, and a lot of exploratory drawing should be part of your creative process every time.

It’s memorable Making a connection with your viewer and staying with them is an important part of effective logo design. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways: being unique, keeping it simple, using a clever concept or play on a business’ name, making an emotional connection with your viewer, and more.

By Kristin Ellison | Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Creating a great design: No image, no problem!

No image? No problem!

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What do you do when you’re faced with creating a great design—but have no images to bring variation and interest to the piece? John McWade’s answer to this common challenge is to use more white space, also known as negative space. This is the portion of a page left unmarked, such as margins, gutters, and space between columns, lines of type, and graphics. It may sound like a simplistic solution, but it’s a great way to make your design more dynamic, and attract your viewer’s attention.

By Kristin Ellison | Thursday, August 29, 2013

Save time and money by managing project “scope creep”

Everyone dreads “scope creep.” That’s when a project keeps expanding, either due to endless revisions or the addition of new work that wasn’t part of the original plan. To avoid it, be up front with clients about the number of changes covered in the fees that you’ve agreed upon. Additional work and/or revisions can certainly be accommodated, but you’ll need to amend the original agreement so that you’re fairly compensated for it.

What qualifies as a revision? What’s the difference between minor changes and substantial ones? You’ll have to define the line between the two, and make it clear to your client before you begin work; add this definition into the Terms & Conditions section of your agreement.

By Kristin Ellison | Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Use a Wacom tablet to improve your designs

Use a tablet to improve your designs

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Whether you’re designing a website, a logo, a product, a building, or an app, it’s valuable to begin that design process with a drawing. Drawing enables us to focus on the overall vision without getting distracted by details like color, font, or texture—which at this early stage are not important, and can actually hinder the development. The beginning is about the broad strokes, which is why drawing is such a perfect medium. Drawing on a Wacom is even more perfect, for a couple of reasons:

Greater accessibilityWe live in a world where the majority of the content we create (text, designs, messages, etc.) is digital, so having your initial drawings in digital form lets you share them more easily, and import them to other programs where they can be further refined.

By Kristin Ellison | Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Track your freelancing business expenses

freelance_home_office_plan

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One of the most important responsibilities as a freelancer is tracking your business expenses. Deducting expenses from your income can result in a huge savings, and in Running a Design Business: Freelancing, Petrula Vrontikis offers expense tips that are relevant for any kind of freelance business—not just design.

Personal versus business expenses The smartest way to track expenses is to keep personal expenses and business expenses separate. Have separate checking accounts and separate credit cards so you can easily track, categorize, and recap your business expenses.

By Kristin Ellison | Wednesday, August 07, 2013

What to look for in a press proof

What to look for in a print proof

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By Kristin Ellison | Thursday, August 01, 2013

Why type choice is so important

Type has two primary goals. The first is to convey information (what the actual words say), and the second is to add further context to the information. A typeface helps form that critical first impression about your message; before the viewer even reads what the words say, the typeface offers important clues. This is why it is so important to choose the right one. As you can see above, typefaces are so much more than just stylized alphabets; they have personalities that come across immediately and inform the viewer.

By Kristin Ellison | Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How to choose the perfect color palette

Create the perfect color palette for your images

Color is a tricky element in design, and made even more challenging when incorporating images into a layout. It can be difficult to know what colors are going to complement the image and the overall design. There’s a lot of science surrounding how to mix and match colors, but John McWade of Before & After offers some foolproof ways to pick the right colors from an image in his course Before & After: Things Every Designer Should Know.

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