Ready to strike out on your own as a freelance designer, or build your own design studio from the ground up? This path will provide you with essential information, expert insights, and inspiration for running a design business.
Learn and apply best practices for starting a business.
Grow your business and maintain creativity
Discover how to manage your work using expert recommended best practices.
Discover the basics of becoming an entrepreneur and running your own business.
2h 20m • COURSE
Running a Design Business: Freelancing with Petrula Vrontikis
Provides tools and insights for self-employed designers just starting out.
1h 23m • COURSE
Running a Design Business: Starting Small with Petrula Vrontikis
Transition your freelance design career into a small business, one step at a time.
1h 33m • COURSE
Creating a Business Plan with Mike Figliuolo
Looking to build a business or expand one you're already running? First you'll need to write a business plan. Learn how to define your business, market, product, sales strategy, and more.
1h 12m • COURSE
Running a Design Business: Creative Briefs with Terry Lee Stone
Learn to write and use a creative brief for client-commissioned projects and ensure you have a roadmap for developing great design.
1h 13m • COURSE
Running a Design Business: Pricing and Estimating with Terry Lee Stone
Figure out what to charge for your design services, and learn how to set an hourly rate, create estimates, and make sure you get paid.
1h 5m • COURSE
Running a Design Business: Designer-Client Agreements with Terry Lee Stone
Learn to protect you and your client's interests and ensure a great creative design with a well-written contract.
1h 10m • COURSE
Running a Design Business: Presentation Skills with Petrula Vrontikis
Convey your ideas with confidence and clarity to get the approval needed to move your project forward.
1h 4m • COURSE
Sales Secrets for Small Business with Dave Crenshaw
Get a simple three-step sales system (explore-present-act) that you can incorporate into your own small business to boost sales.
48m 53s • COURSE
Running a Design Business: Self Promotion with Sean Adams
Learn how to promote your design business. Discover the various ways to use self-promotion, both analog and digital, to stand out in today's competitive marketplace.
1h 23m • COURSE
You'll learn to start a design business with these experts
Author of Disrupt Yourself, Whitney Johnson is a consultant and thought leader on disruption and innovation.
Whitney Johnson is a leading thinker on driving innovation via personal disruption and cofounder of Clayton Christensen's investment firm. She is a regular contributor for Harvard Business Review and LinkedIn, and the author of Disrupt Yourself, which Publisher's Weekly called "superb, savvy, wise." Whitney also speaks and consults with Fortune 100 Companies. Recently, her work was recognized by the Thinkers50, which named her as a finalist for the 2013 Future Thinker Award. You can find her at whitneyjohnson.com.
Petrula Vrontikis is a leading influence in graphic design.
Petrula's current work includes research, writing, consulting, creating brand communication strategies, training, and coaching. She received an AIGA Los Angeles Fellows Award honoring her as an essential voice raising the understanding of design within the industry, and among the business and cultural communities. She served as a national advisory board member of the AIGA, and is frequently asked to serve on numerous local, national, and international design juries.
She is creative director and owner of Vrontikis Design Office (@vrontikis and 35k.com) and a professor at Art Center College of Design, teaching graphic design, career development, and professional practice courses. Her professional practice gives her role as a teacher an important authenticity. She encourages students to explore their potential as designers and as a catalyst for change in the larger creative community.
Petrula is an avid traveler and visual translator. It's not unusual to find her scuba diving with giant manta rays, climbing a steep and rocky slope, or twisting her body like a pretzel in a yoga class.
Mike Figliuolo is founder and managing director of thoughtLEADERS, LLC, a professional services training firm.
He is a nationally recognized speaker and blogger on the topics of leadership, communications, decision-making, problem solving, and other critical business skills. An honor graduate from West Point, Mike served in the US Army as a combat arms officer. Before founding his own company, he was an assistant professor at Duke University, a consultant at McKinsey & Company, and an executive at Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is the author of One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership (www.onepieceofpaper.com), Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results (www.leadinsidethebox.com), and The Elegant Pitch: Create a Compelling Recommendation, Build Broad Support, and Get it Approved (www.elegantpitch.com). Mike's blog and the programs he teaches can be found at www.thoughtleadersllc.com.
Creative strategist Terry Lee Stone has taught the business of design at Art Center, CalArts, and Otis.
Terry Lee Stone is a writer, design management consultant, and creative strategist. She has worked with top U.S. design firms and their clients. She teaches the business of design at Art Center College of Design. She has taught Professional Practice at CalArts and Otis College of Art. The author of several books, including the Managing The Design Process series, Stone also writes for HOW, Communication Arts, and Felt & Wire. She's "Ask Design B*tch" at rockpaperink.com. Stone has served on the AIGA in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Miami, where she was the president; and has presented lectures to numerous creative organizations, including the AIGA, the Art Directors Club of New York, and the HOW Design Live Conference. She's the co-author of the cookbook Booze Cakes, proving that Stone isn't all business all the time.
Dave Crenshaw is an author and leadership coach who has been featured in Time and USA Today.
Dave Crenshaw is the master of building productive leaders. He has appeared in Time magazine, USA Today, Fast Company, and the BBC News. His courses on LinkedIn Learning have received millions of views. He has written four books and counting, including The Myth of Multitasking: How "Doing It All" Gets Nothing Done, which was published in six languages and is a time management bestseller. As an author, speaker, and online instructor, Dave has transformed hundreds of thousands of business leaders worldwide. Find out more at DaveCrenshaw.com.
Founder of design firm AdamsMorioka, Sean Adams teaches at Art Center and designs for clients such as Adobe.
Sean Adams is a fulltime faculty member at Art Center College of Design. He was a founding partner of the noted firm, AdamsMorioka. He is the current national president of AIGA, and the only two-term AIGA national president in the organization's 100-year history. Adams has served on the AIGA national board three times, and was AIGA Los Angeles president.
In 2014, Adams was awarded the AIGA Medal, the highest honor in the profession. He is an AIGA Fellow, and Fellow of the International Design Conference at Aspen. Adams is an author of multiple magazine columns and several bestselling books. He has been cited as one of the forty most important people shaping design internationally in the ID40, and one of the top ten most influential designers working today by GDUSA.
His blog, burningsettlerscabin, is regularly listed one of the ten best design blogs in the United States. Adams is an onscreen author with courses on design, branding, and design history for lynda.com. Adams' clients have included the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Adobe, Gap, The Metropolitan Opera, Frank Gehry Associates, Richard Meier Associates, Nickelodeon, USC, Sundance, and Disney.