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The Articles section is a wealth of information for
new as well as experienced sellers and buyers of creative
services. The subjects cover a wide spectrum from marketing
to how much to charge for a project.
If you would like to write an article, submit
your creation to Derald,
Creative Latitude's articles editor. Also feel free to contact
him with topic suggestions or ideas. Derald is here to help
you get started, so reach out to him with any questions.
Remember, we're looking for subjects that will be of interest
to the general viewership. That includes the design community
as well as clients looking for creative services.
Editor's Note:We have received many articles over the last few months. If you do not see your article appearing in the next edition it is being held for future editions. If your article is declined I will notify you via email, and I usually offer a few tips, so it can be resubmitted and accepted.
La Revolutión Interior(Notes on the Icograda World Design Congress 2007, La Habana, Cuba)by Maggie Macnab
The last week of October I had the extraordinary experience of attending the Icograda International Design Congress in La Habana, Cuba. Over 600 designers, teachers and related professionals gathered from 57 countries to discuss the current state of design, how we teach and how we learn...
Can Blogging Help You Market Your Product Online? by Robert W. Bly
Here’s a question I’ve been curious about lately: should marketers add blogging to their arsenal of marketing tactics? Will it help sell more products and services? Or is it – as I suspect – an utter waste of time...
Keeping Your Career Fresh By Eleni Swengler
At one time or another everyone finds that a job they once enjoyed no longer offers any challenges or opportunities for growth. There are still ways to be proactive about career development and professional growth...
What Makes You So Special? by Micah Choquette
Not long ago, I was on the phone with a guy who wanted to begin a graphic design business. His reason behind it was simple: he wanted to provide a cheap solution to the general public for graphic/web design...
The Seven Deadly Sins of Email Marketing by Dani Nordin
If done badly, however, you can lose readers, get lost in SPAM filters, or what's worse, completely embarrass yourself. Here are seven deadly mistakes (sins) to avoid when crafting your e-zine...
How to Write a Press Release for Your Design Services
By Shaun Crowley
If you have an interesting story to tell, a press release will help you to make newspaper editors aware of it. Maybe you recently won an award. Maybe you stumbled upon some interesting information in the field you...
Why Freelance? (Part 2)by Ronnie Lebow
Today, I woke up to sunshine after 4 gloomy, rainy days. I ate a leisurely breakfast, read the newspaper cover to cover, and walked my daughter to school. I came home, made a pot of coffee, and sat down to peruse my...
Logo Design Buyer's Guide By Harris Jhosta
Across a period of time a logo design is the image which symbolizes a corporation, its products and services in a complete explanatory manner. Its purpose is to create an unforgettable, familiar feeling on the mind of...
Procrastination - A Four-Letter WordBy Cindy Caldwell
What is procrastination and how does it become such an ingrained habit? We get into a horrible cycle of not doing what we are supposed to be doing, then feeling guilty about not doing it, so we go to our computers...
7 Reasons to Consider a Desktop for Your College Computer by Scott Hawksworth
I am always asked what type of computer is best for college. People hear a lot of things, but mostly "Laptop, laptop, laptop!" I'm always first to tell freshman entering college to slow down and consider a desktop for a...
The Magnitude of E-Mail AttitudeBy Charlene Rashkow
Wanting to have a successful business is something we each hope to achieve and most of us do all the things we believe will get us there. But, we often forget that having a product or service to sell is not nearly as...
Let Your Creatives Create! By Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua
Okay, so we’ve had the Super Bowl and the reactions to the ads are in. They are overwhelmingly “eh…not bad, but nothing wowed me.” Two of the highest ranking ads, in popularity and, according to the Today show...
Web 2.0–Are We Bowing to a False Messiah?By Barry A. Densa
Are you absolutely beside yourself – giddy with delight because Web 2.0 has finally arrived to help you sell more, sell faster, make you richer, smarter, sexier, and lower your triglyceride levels?
The Friendship Between Corporate Sales and Creative Forces
By Cindy Caldwell Think you don’t need a creative person in your corporate office? Think again. If your sales staff is producing their own marketing materials, it may be time to consider a new “look.” Are your marketing materials so...
Portfolio Design 101by Eleni Swengler In the graphic design profession a portfolio documents your work and serves as a stepping stone to a design job. A portfolio should showcase the work it contains – not compete with it. It should also evolve as a...
Do You Look Good on Paper?by Charlene Rashkow
No matter how talented you are or how great you present yourself in person, if you’re in the market to attract new clientele and want to dazzle a potential customer with your qualifications, the one sure way to draw...
A Simple Guide to Brands, Corporate Identity and Logos
by John Amy
The first use of a brand was just that – a "brand", a mark of ownership on cattle. Later, trademarks were used to define individual products. The red triangle of BASS, the first trademark registered in England, was...
How to Write a Business Planby Charlene Rashkow Perhaps you awoke this morning buzzing with excitement about a fantastic idea that occurred to you for a start up business opportunity. Of course a concrete idea is the first and most important step in regard to your new...
On Creativity by Cheryl Swanson (From her speech at FUSE, Brand Identity 2006)
Inspiration fuels our dreams; it unleashes our imagination so we can create, so we can think differently… Frankly, all of the practical
information in the world is useless unless we’re inspired to use it…
12 Common Mistakes New Entrepreneurs Makeby Biba F. Pédron
Perhaps the first question to ask yourself then is whether you are in fact ready to start your own business. Do you have an entrepreneurial mindset? Are you committed to spend all the time you need to...
Image is Everything? The Problem of Paper by Dani Nordin One place you can start is by choosing paper wisely. Although those glossy sell-sheets and brochures you get from your online printer might look snazzy, most glossy stocks only contain about 10-15% post-consumer...
The Kind of Designer Your Client Needsby Micah Choquette
We're going to take a step outside the world of the designer-vs-client battle and look at another issue. I've read numerous articles on "how to handle" clients regarding everything from getting them to coaching...
An interview with Bert Benson, Founder of Art Bureauby Ann Ellis
Talented San Francisco based printmaker Bert Benson is well known for promoting the work of other artists through Art Bureau, his online gallery and limited edition publications. What motivates the man behind the...
Karmic Equity–In Search of Inspiration and Full Dog Bowls by D'Lanie Blaze
I met this woman once whose passing statement changed my life. Her name was E.J. and I was training to take over her desk job in an office I knew I wouldn’t stay for long. When I was supposed to be working, and...
The Design Constitutionby Chuck Green
What is your understanding of the dynamics of the Client/Creative relationship? I've heard lots of opinions and countless complaints, but in all my wanderings, I have yet to find a good, non-legalese consensus of...
Does Color Really Matter?by Charlene Rashkow We've all read the countless publications about effective web site design, outstanding written content and the never ending need for search engine optimization, yet often the importance of color one chooses for a...
15 Ways to Maximize Your Networking Effort by Biba F. Pédron
When you join a group or an organization, it is very important that you commit to the group, and attend the meetings on a regular basis. Weekly or monthly depending on the group you choose...
Sleepless in Seattle: Thoughts on the CL Get Together by Derald Schultz
In late April the staff at Creative Latitude got together. That may not seem like a noteworthy event to many of you, but the dirty little secret at CL is that with the exception of Neil and myself; none of us have ever...
The Illustrative Designer - Creative Process by Von Glitschka
Non-designers over the years have asked me "What do you do for a living." It's always been interesting how they respond when I tell them. Doesn't matter if I say "Graphic Designer" or "Illustrator" they tend to...
The Power of the Press (Release)by Jeff Fisher, Engineer of Creative Identity, Jeff Fisher LogoMotives
For supposedly being creative individuals, it is surprising how many designers do not think creatively when it comes to marketing and promoting their own work. Getting your name out to potential clients...
Simple Tips for Writing an Engaging Article Expand your reach and increase your credibility by Carolyn Campbell, MA, CPPC
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of publications in print and on the web looking for articles on topics relating to the needs of their audience or clientele. By sharing your expertise you will develop trust, connection...
Why We Don't Make Speculative Presentationsby Creative Business
The main product of our business is ideas creative solutions to the communications problems and opportunities facing our many clients. And good ideas creativity can be tough to define, or agree upon. One...
Why Speculative Work is Unethicalby Habib Bajrami Requests for speculative work are a plague on the industry of graphic design. Spec work is work for free without guarantee of compensation, and it is an extremely harmful practice to both clients and designers...
On Contests, Contention and the Creative Process An essay from the team at NO!SPEC
Although they’re nothing new, design contests are not only on the rise, they are becoming a common way for an enterprise to attempt to procure design items such as logos, posters, websites and other materials...
A Winning Strategy: Industry Awards as a Marketing Tool by Jeff Fisher, Engineer of Creative Identity, Jeff Fisher LogoMotives
In dealing with the issue of speculative, or "spec," design there is often confusion with the terms "contest" and "competition." A legitimate design "competition" will always be for design work already created by a...
Designers Must Write by Eric Karjaluoto
Early in my career, I was involved in a strange and completely unnecessary rivalry with one of my coworkers. She and I were like oil and water. After years of chilly interaction we actually managed to engage in...
Design Contests Are Dangerous For Your Business by Robert Wurth, Creative Director, Freshly Squeezed Design I recently wrote a blog entry on Freshly Squeezed Droplets about Powerball winners and the dangers that a sudden windfall of success can bring – whether it’s in the form of money from a lottery, or customers...
United Way and Speculative Workby Art Javid
The United Way of Greater Toronto recently posted a “Call for Submissions” on their web site, basically inviting thousands of design professionals worldwide to compete for the honor of redesigning the...
3 Things You Should Know About Corporate Reports by Colin Goedecke
The annual report is a company's calling card, with a major role to play in building stakeholder relationships. And these days, when advanced businesses increasingly rely on creativity and added value, getting the...
Why these branding associations?by Jack Yan
Last year, Errol Saldanha spotted a problem among the branding profession: not many of us were in positions where we could affect strategy properly and solve some of the world’s problems. Finance ruled...
The Secret Life of Symbols by Maggie Macnab
Humans have often been called the symbolizing animal. We use words, number, shape, and other deduced imagery to give context to the intangible. This is how we transport and anchor the imagination...
How to Hire and Work with a Graphic Designer(Part 2) by Kyle Mueller
A contract should be a detailed document outlining what will be provided by you, the client (copy, photographs) what the designer will ultimately produce for you (logo, print materials, web site) and who is responsible...
Are You Choosing the Right Clients?by Charlene Rashkow
There isn't a business owner alive who doesn't want to make his or her
business grow. Of course we all want to make more money, increase client satisfaction and derive great fulfillment from our efforts. But, if you're ...
Things Happen on the Way to the Forumsby
Jeff Fisher, Engineer of Creative Identity,
Jeff Fisher LogoMotives
In late 1998 I finally joined the online design community from my home-based design studio in Portland, Oregon. Having been a one-person operation most of the 27 years I have been in the design field, I did...
Four Criteria for Hiring a Link Building Serviceby Scott Hawksworth
One of the best things a business or individual can do to promote a web site is to build relevant links to it. While many try to do it themselves, consideration should be given to the use of a link building service...
Becoming a Little Famous - The Power of Public Relations by Neil Tortorella
Public Relations (P.R.) can be one of the most powerful tools in your marketing toolbox. When managed correctly, it can add a lot of credibility to you and your practice, it's often loads less expensive than advertising...
How to Hire and Work with a Graphic Designer(Part 1) by Kyle Mueller Are you planning a brand update or starting a new company? This article is for professionals who have needs for graphic design services, and have not worked in the creative field or with creatives before. It is a primer to...
Blogs, Podcasts and All That Stuffby The Cat
If you asked me a month ago about spending my precious time updating an industry or personal blog, I’d say, "Never!" Sure, I have a business blog (now sadly ignored) which I’ve spent time on, but I’ve always...
LogoWorks: Who is to Blame?by Robert Wurth
One of the first elements of design that any new business must face is its logo. This simple little symbol carries a lot of weight for a company. Being the visually-based creatures that we are, we use logos to help us...
Dear Ms. Boundsby Steve Douglas
You may, or may not, be aware about the Internet backlash regarding the subject of your article on LogoWorks. While I'll leave that debate for others, I read your article and found some quotes and statements that...
How to Ask for and Get the Fees You Deserveby Robert Bly One of the toughest questions beginning and experienced service providers wrestle with is: "How much should I charge?" You probably have a standard fee, or range of fees, you want to charge...
Color Part 2: Formats and Systemsby Erin Ferree There are several color formats and systems available for mixing and specifying colors. Here, we explain three of the most common systems
Planning Your Way to Successby Charlene Rashkow
Whether you are a small company or a larger corporation one of the primary keys to success lies in preparing and following a good marketing plan. You can have the most awesome product or service to offer, but...
Color Part 1: Accuracyby Erin Ferree Color is one of the most difficult parts of a design to show accurately to a client. Color perception can be affected by many factors...
Build Better Link Popularity with Syndicated Articles by Scott Hawksworth
There are many schools of thought on how to build strong backlinks to a Web site. Some webmasters build reciprocal links, while others register their site in many directories. Still others do both of those, and rent...
Common Myths About Graphic Designer Certificationby Caroline Bruckner, R.G.D., Christopher A. Gee, and William Johnston Discussions about GD certification have always evoked passions on both sides of the debate. However, in discussing this issue on various GD discussion boards and blogs, it's clear that the same myths about...
The Biggest Crime by Stephen Fairley The biggest crime in small businesses today goes unnoticed by most outsiders. It is not reported in the media. There are no police reports filed and companies do not even mention it on their websites. People don't...
CRM For Beginners: Customer Relationship Management Basics by Matt Hogansworth
In order to maintain a successful business, the business must understand and maintain a positive relationship with its customers. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the process of bringing the customer...
A Simple Way to Get Clients by Ronnie Lebow In my last article, I discussed why I became a freelance creative. My inbox has been filled with emails asking the same question…so how do I get started? This is not a simple question to answer...
Inspirations, Early Designs and the Test of Timeby Jeff Fisher, Engineer of Creative Identity, Jeff Fisher LogoMotives In initiating this series I took time to sort through box after box of old projects in my basement and look back on nearly thirty years of income producing design. While in high school and college I did get paid for art, illustration and design work. However, I don’t think I would have...
Creative Rights and Leasing A Carby Faith Martin
The rights associated with creative work is one of the most misunderstood areas of this profession. I've been giving it a great deal of thought lately. How do I explain that because you are using a design the copyright doesn't belong to you unless you specifically paid for it?
Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone!by Charlene Rashkow
Inherent within the human spirit is a desire for fulfillment, a longing to carry out our creative aspirations by reaching new heights of accomplish-
ment. Yet often the yearning for fulfillment can be suppressed by fear and apprehension. Perhaps we aren’t feeling good enough, smart...
The Logo Factor by Steve Douglas Logo design is an integral part of any design studio or freelance business. It allows you to develop a working relationship with a client from the get-go, and dovetails into other areas of design - stationery, web...
Brain Science and Brandingby Peter Flaschner
What a time to be alive! Did you know, that just the other day two scientists published separate articles where they described how they used fMRI machines to read the brains of volunteers? Its true. They...
CRM 101: Customer Relationship Management for Beginners by Scott Hawksworth
Customer Relationship Management, abbreviated “CRM,” is the term for a business strategy that is designed to improve customer service. CRM is also designed to increase customer satisfaction and gain new customers...
Increasing Sales with Strategic Menu Design by Derald Schultz A menu is much more than a bill of fare; it is a carefully planned guide to direct the patron to your most profitable items and maximize sales. You have an average of two minutes to make the sale, so layout strategy...
Dangers by Art Javid The last thing you have to worry about when running a web
site is getting your domain name pulled from right under
your feet, often times without you even knowing.
challenge of restrictive guidelines by Keith Bowman All too often designers view tight project parameters as
restrictions on their creativity. True creativity is born
in the challenge of restrictive guidelines. The charge of
a designer is to examine, define, and deconstruct the guidelines,
until they form a core concept built on a solid foundation.
The Value of Corporate Identityby Neil Tortorella Consider for a moment that you’re a buyer for a company seeking a Polybendum supplier. Now, you know that Polybendum is pretty much the same across the board, so you’re just looking for the lowest price...
Including the Client in the Design Processby Christopher Gee
Most Graphic Designers would cringe at the notion that our clients secretly believe that in the middle of the night, while everyone is asleep, tiny design elves sneak into our studios and complete design work for us.
When, Why and How to Fire a Clientby Derald Schultz The relationship between a graphic designer and a client is very similar to a marriage. It requires trust, loyalty and communication for a successful relationship. In business as in life, relationships do not always last and...
Working for Love or Money...or Both?by Christopher Gee
Graphic designers, and other arts professionals, are faced with this riddle as soon as they enter high school. While their artistic talents may be...
Why Freelance? by Ronnie Lebow So here I am, with the screen open in front of me, and I think the only logical way to begin is to explain why I became a freelancer in the first...
Art of Creative Strategy by Stephen Gates Developing the ability to sell a strategy and have your client
value makes it an essential skill to any designer. Over the course my career
I have had to learn and adapt how I sell my creative concepts, because...
Balance In A Tilted Worldby Stephen
I think most entrepreneurs struggle with similar issues,
especially balance. There are many reasons they can give
for their lack of life balance and low satisfaction: "I
have too much work to do. I just need a few more
Joys of Diversification by Martha Retallick One of the biggest problems that designers face is finding
new clients. If you’re not pursuing more business, you’re
trying to keep projects moving.
Much Should I Charge? by
Jeff Fisher Think before you ask the question "How much should
I charge?". The answer is in the specific questions you
ask yourself about a project.
Credibility Through your Website!by
Your prospects want one thing and one thing only! They want the reassurance that
what you say about what you offer is legitimate. Because credibility is crucial
to the success of your business, convincing potential...
Should Designers Study? by Martha Retallick Young people who are contemplating a design career often
seek advice on
what they should study. To them I say...
Good Research: The Basics
And The Hidden Truths by Dave Singleton What is the role of research in the marketing process?
A researcher who conducts on-the-ground information gathering
and a marketer who utilizes that information are likely to
have very different answers to that question. However, both
sides would agree on one point - they want and need to compile
Why Speculative Work is Unethicalby
Requests for speculative work are a plague on the industry of
graphic design. Spec work is work for free without guarantee
of compensation, and it is an extremely harmful practice to both
clients and designers alike. Requests for spec work in lieu of
RFPs are unprofessional, exploitative...
American Design Awards by Art Javid
A few years ago when we were seriously contemplating hiring a designer to help
us with various projects around the studio, we placed a wanted ad in a few online
publications, not knowing what a huge response we would end up getting.
Quality & Implementation:
Where Intent Convenes with Integrity by Grace Visconti
If ever there was a time to implement accreditation nationally, it is now. Recently,
I received several emails advertising cheap logos, business cards and stationary.
The direct mail advertisement promoting these graphic design services wouldn’t
allow me to reply. The advertisement...
Pitching and Winning Assignments
Onlineby Travis N. Tom
As an independent contract designer, it's unsafe to place
all of your proverbial eggs in one basket. Thinking one or
two clients will keep you afloat is a risky move. What happens
Your Themeby Kevin Potts Almost every designer, illustrator and copywriter
spoken with describes "self-design" as a struggle,
a task left to the back burner because they "don’t
have any ideas" or they "don’t know where
How to Effectively Handle
a Business Down Time! by Charlene Rashkow
Perhaps you've been experiencing a downtime in your business
and feeling as though you've literally hit a wall. The phone
has stopped ringing, your e-mail box has nothing but advertisements
and it seems as if your business has come to an end.
Marketing Mentor: an
interview with Ilise Benun
It's not the easiest thing to juggle being the chief cook and
bottle-washer of your creative enterprise. We tend to wear many
hats creative professional, bookkeeper, office manager,
janitor, sales person and marketer. At times, it's tough to not
drop a ball or two. One that often falls to the ground is marketing.
Tips for High-Impact Documents by Rob Ashton, Managing
Director and Principal Consultant at Emphasis
The personal computer now allows us to create documents to our
heart’s content. Yet in most cases, it’s just made
it easier to communicate badly in volume. Here’s how to
cut through the information overload and get your documents to
the top of the pile.
Jobs for Output: A Crash Course by Valarie Martin Stuart of Wavebrain Creative
Communications The most well-designed and effective printed piece
is a failure if it can’t be properly output for printing.
However, preparing your electronic files for printing isn’t
difficult. Just follow these steps.
Four C's to Designing Success by
Linda Fisher, Founder and President of Design Management Resources You say that you want to be a leader. Leadership is measured in deeds
- not words. The leader's path to success is strewn with obstacles: good intentions
unexpected twists and turns causing delays; missed opportunities and missed deadlines
due to lack of prioritization.
Design by the Booksby Jeff Fisher, Engineer of Creative Identity, Jeff Fisher LogoMotives
Since beginning work as a professional graphic designer over 25 years ago I have been collecting a library of books on graphic design, and the business aspects of design, in an attempt to continually educate myself. The suggestions given here will be updated when new list possibilities catch the attention of myself, and others contributing to this site.
NEW feature! Licensed to Designby Christopher A. Gee
Regardless of training, education or experience, the moment a person proclaims themselves a Professional Graphic Designer and accepts even $1 in payment, they are magically transformed into a Professional Graphic Designer and there is nothing official that states otherwise.
GRAPHIC make-overs by Alina Hagen Let the fun for the month of May begin! This feature is our very own reality show... GRAPHIC
make-overs, where you will find real-world design make-overs
done by professional designers.
NEW feature! Neil's newbiesby Neil Tortorella New to the biz? Just hanging out your shingle and need 20 years experience overnight? Or maybe you've been on your own for just a year or two and have that occasional sinking feeling because you know there's got to be a better way. Check out Creative Latitude's new section just for for the neophytely challenged, Neil Newbies.
Hitting the Wall by Creative Latitude's industry guru, William Johnston
You may have hit the Wall in your creative career and not even known it. The Wall? The Wall is that point in a creative's career when he or she reachs an obstacle that makes it difficult to carry on. It usually occurs mid-career and can manifest itself in a number of ways.
Of Castles and BedroomsBy John Silver Design is a problem-solving exploit. It is a certain hijacking of form and a commandeering of function. Careful though. If you can imagine an electrician standing in a puddle of water with a live wire in both hands preparing to splice the two together - you won't be far from the reality of our industry.
Refrigerator Door Mindshareby Martha Retallick, "The Passionate Postcarder"
If you want to design effective postcards, then aim for
"Refrigerator Door Mindshare."
Handling Tough Questions by C.J. Hayden
Preparation is the key to becoming confident when speaking with prospective customers. Handling an inquiry, placing a follow-up call, or making a presentation, are all situations where you can expect your prospects to ask questions. Unfortunately we sometimes prepare for only the questions we want to hear, and not the tougher ones clients will ask.
a "contest" is not a contest by Jeff Fisher,
Engineer of Creative Identity, Jeff Fisher LogoMotives It may bark like a dog and look like a dog but, is it really
always a dog? A similar query may arise with many design
contests, especially those popping up all over the Internet
on a daily basis.
a creative practice with a degree ... but no experience by Neil Tortorella Here's a quandary that's, unfortunately, not too unusual.
You graduate from art/design school with a killer book, high
grades and a load of ambition. You also have no job ... no internship
... no nothin.' The market's down and there've been mass layoffs
at the design firms and ad agencies. You've mailed out hundreds
of resumes and it's still no soap. What's a newbie to do?
Clients of Design as an Investment/Partner
by Chris Gee Graphic design is not art. It sounds obvious but sometimes
needs saying and reiterating. Art exists for arts sake;
graphic design is a business tool and exists to enhance communication
of ideas, messages and thoughts. Yet there is an age old disconnect
between those who do graphic design and those who pay for graphic
Design Firms Need to Know to Survive-and Thrive-in the Global
Marketplace of 2004by Linda Fisher Today, we are standing at a threshold in the business world,
fraught with peril, yet, full of possibilities. It is a time
filled with new kinds of challenges and uncertainties. Recent
corporate scandals, economic downturns and up ticks, and global
corporate repositioning have catapulted business into a period
of great transition. Inevitably, tremendous opportunities arise
in times of transition. Is your design business in a position
to take full advantage of these opportunities?
Altered Statesby Cheryl Swanson Marketing trends for the forseeable future reunite us with
the myths and fantasies from which weve become disconnected
in this time-pressed, sleep-deprived Survival of the Fastest