Understand what types of websites designers use and what works for you.
- Let's talk about websites in the context of self-promotion. This isn't about the technical coding issues, it's about the message and how the information is presented. A designer's website can be complex and use all the bells and whistles, or simple with one page and static images. Both are correct, as well as everything in between, as long as it follows your brand. There is a common misunderstanding that a designer's website needs to do everything short of taking you to lunch. Clients will think I don't understand websites if mine isn't twirling with colors, motion and background techno music.
Nothing could be less true. The website is a place to present your philosophy, personality and capabilities with your brand's voice. Here are three examples that demonstrate this concept. Marian Bantjes' site is a simple gallery for complex and intricate work. The images are the first and most important read. Portfolio is highlighted, driving the viewer here before the other sections. Even the typography reveals Marion's personality.
It's light and fresh, never corporate and stiff. My site functions as an archive of work and a blog. The home page is the blog, providing a personal touch. Subsequent pages show selected projects over time, communicating my experience over three decades, and case studies with more in-depth information, demonstrating that I can think. Michael Vanderbyl's home page provides an incredibly produced video, where he discusses his philosophy and work.
Throughout the video, work is shown. The simplicity of the structure relates to Vanderbyl's restrained and minimal design approach. The video gives us a sense of who he is and what he believes. Obviously, there are thousands of graphic designer websites. Most of them are portfolio sites with no brand message, or so complicated that nobody can understand the message. The most successful sites reflect the brand personality and voice. They are updated frequently and actually work.
It's not hard to do this, as long as you continue to document the work, add it to the site, and stay on brand, you're light years ahead of the competition.
In this course, Sean takes you through the steps of determining what your design identity is and developing the essential pieces every promotional system needs. He takes a deep dive into some of the more complex and critical components, such as developing an effective and elegant website, and also touches on topics one might not think of—such as writing an effective bio and working with colleges to give back and brand build. Learn how to let the world know who you are and what you do. Start promoting your design career now.
- Compiling brand assets: your CV, images, and project descriptions
- Creating a website to showcase you and your portfolio
- Creating business cards
- Sending thank-yous
- Managing your social media presence
- Joining AIGA and other design organizations
- Participating in events and conferences