When to Say No to a Web Design Client

Rejecting potential clients is an art that all freelancers and designers should know. Sometimes, you and the client just don’t work well together, and that’s okay! It just takes a bit of finesse – so even when you have to reject them in the middle of the project, you and your business can come out unscathed. When They Push the Limits Some people will get away with whatever they can. They may “negotiate” your contract, ask for extra revisions without paying, or just generally undermine the rules you set. The goal is often to avoid paying full price. The best thing you can do is make a contract that covers all your bases, and put your foot down. You may or may not want to compromise with certain clients, but never let yourself get taken advantage of. When a Client is Rude or Demanding There’s no reason to deal with someone who looks down on you. If in the initial exchange you find your client to be short, nagging, or abusive, it’s time to say no right then. These people will make your job way harder than it’s worth. They may avoid paying, nitpick, ask for constant revisions, or simply make your life difficult. If a client is showing warning signs, don’t take the job. It’s not worth it! When They Make Strange Requests Sometimes people aren’t sure how to phrase what they want. Their requests can seem incomprehensible and vague. Or maybe what they’re asking for would take too much time. The right questions can solve many of these problems. Ask ones that leave no room for vague answers, give a few examples to pick from, or elaborate on a confusing statement. Explain why something won’t work, or why you don’t understand their request. But sometimes, it’s best to simply turn down these clients. When you’d only be guessing at what they want, the result isn’t going to satisfy either of you. When Your Design Choices Clash A designer who can’t please their clients can never succeed. However, that doesn’t mean the customer is always right. When a client has a different vision – one that may ruin the project in your eyes – the best you can do is gently explain why you made that decision, compromise, or let it go. However, if it gets to the point that you’d be ashamed to put this project in your portfolio, it may be best to refer the client elsewhere. And if you know from the get-go that you don’t want your name associated with this project, refuse...

Popular Design News of the Week: October 15, 2018 – October 21, 2018

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers.  The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week. Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news. Why Web Sliders Suck and 5 Ways to Fix Them   Meetter – Reduce Time Wasted by Meetings   A Guide to Rhythm in Web Typography   Keys to Maintainable CSS: Order   About Design Critique   How not to Design a Product like Everyone Else’s   Become an Emoji!   The Best Colors Named After People   Documenting Design Workflows   Funkify – Experience the Web Through the Eyes of the Differently Abled   Planable 2.0 – Collaborate on any Social Content, from Anywhere   Evergreen: A React UI Framework Built by Segment   If You Want to Design your Life, Start by Designing your Environment   Dribbble Launched an Official Sketch Plugin   Building an Image Generator for the Number 1 Track on Spotify   Uber’s Undoing: Local Vs. Global   Designing for Cognitive Differences   Why We Need to Stop Over-complicating UX   The No. 1 Thing You’re Getting Wrong About Inclusive Design   UX Amoeba for your Resume   Become a Stylistic Typography Expert in Sketch   Inclusive Design 24   Embracing Design Generalism   The Most Important Design Tool You’re not Using   Instagram has a Massive Harassment Problem   Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News. Add Realistic Chalk and Sketch Lettering Effects with Sketch’it – only $5!

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25 square logos to keep you on point

There are many reasons to choose a square logo design. Square logos can represent a wide variety of things including strength, reliability, structure and organization. If these sound like values that resonate with your business, keep reading! We’ve rounded up some inspirational examples that will spark your imagination and show you why it’s hip to be square. Square logos that show strength
— by shevaSquares are one of the building blocks of our civilization. They can be seen everywhere from architectural design to money safes. For these reasons they often give viewers the impression of strength—and many companies take advantage of this in their logo designs. Take the BearBox logo, which represents a company that installs mobile data centers in challenging conditions. The square shape of the bear logo gives consumers the impressions that the data centers are strong and resilient against any element that they may encounter. Similarly, the square logo for MainDoor has a bold and strong appearance, which is perfect for a company that offers maintenance services for fire doors. Does your company offer a service that relates to strength and resilience? Try out a square logo in your next design! Square logos that emphasize geometry
— Squares are one of the most fundamental geometric shapes, which makes them great for businesses related to topics such as 3D printing, interior design or even an art academy. We especially love how the logo for George Vincent features multiple asymmetrical geometric lines within a square, which speak well to the interior design services offered by this business. Does simple geometry relate to your business? Start here for inspiration! Square logos that represent structure and organization
— One of the nice features of squares is that they fit neatly with other squares—think milk crates and shipping boxes. For these reasons squares give the impression of structure and organization. Looking at squares from this angle, we can see why a square logo would work great for a company that designs residential neighborhoods, a business that sells treats in neatly packed squares or even a company that offers a perfectly organized sock subscription service. Does your business take pride in structure and organization? Try a square logo for you next design! Square logos that highlight simplicity
— Squares are extremely simple....

Should You Sell Website Support or Maintenance Services?

By now, you’ve likely encountered and worked your way out one of the more common problems freelancers face. In moving your business model from one that bills by the hour to value-based pricing, you become a trusted resource for clients instead of one they call on to tackle nitpicky requests. As a result, everyone stops focusing on the number of hours you put into a website and starts looking at the outcomes you deliver. By setting a rate that is commensurate with the value you deliver, you’re likely to be happier with your work. But what if I told you there’s another way to increase your comfort and satisfaction as a web designer? With standard web design work, you make a living from one-off jobs. However, you can’t always predict when or how many of them you’ll have at any given time. This can lead to the dreaded feast or famine. By selling design support or maintenance services, you can give yourself a steady stream of recurring revenue that spares you from that. Reasons to Offer Website Support and Maintenance Services There are entire companies whose business models revolve around WordPress support and maintenance services. It’s great that there are dedicated professionals who can handle this for WordPress users who don’t know how to do it themselves, don’t have the time, or simply don’t want to. But if this is something you’re capable of doing and have an interest in, why not add it to your repertoire and become their one-stop-shop for all things website-related? Here are some reasons why I believe designers should add this service to their offering: Maintenance and support work is ongoing. This translates to a steady and predictable paycheck. You can automate many of these tasks, or even outsource, and still make a good profit. You can pick-and-choose what kinds of support tasks you offer. This enables you to be more productive and focused on your regular design work as you’re not worried about finding that next client. You’ll have a hand in protecting and maintaining clients’ websites, which ensures they get the most out of it. This is a great way to upsell previous or current website customers on ongoing services. This is a good opportunity to turn maintenance customers into website customers. You can create new website packages that include this add-on service. This’ll bring more variety to what you offer and paint your overall services in a more...

15 inspiring Instagram accounts every entrepreneur should follow in 2019

Looking for entrepreneurial inspiration? Ready to stop procrastinating? It’s so easy to get sucked into procrastination mode when your Instagram feed is clogged up with teacup pigs and tiny dogs wearing tiny sweaters—incredibly cute, but not very motivational. Here’s a simple life-hack: fill your go-to time-wasting spaces (like Instagram) with inspiration from successful entrepreneurs instead! To get you started, we curated this list of 15 entrepreneurs whose Instagram accounts are the real deal. These guys, gals and groups are proven success stories and they share their wisdom on Instagram to help you kickstart your business. Read on to see what we love about them. 1. Everette Taylor Who he is: CEO of ET Enterprises. Strong proponent of millennials, women and people of color creating their own success, rather than fitting into the established mold.
Find him at: everette on Instagram
Why follow him: To see photos of the speaking events he’s at and where he’ll be next. Illustration by Daria V.Everette Taylor is the CEO of ET Enterprises, the umbrella under which his multiple million-dollar companies operate, including Millisense, Popsocial and Growth Hackers. A former high school dropout who overcame homelessness as a teen, Everette built his first business at 19 and sold it two years later and not even a decade after that, he’s been named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in marketing and advertising. When we asked Everette how he uses Instagram to support his business, he replied, “It’s an amazing customer acquisition channel. On the personal side, I’m able to promote my products and businesses organically to my growing audience as well as earn money as an ambassador and influencer for brands. I use that money to put towards my businesses or new products.” Via Everette TaylorEverette Taylor’s Instagram is full of photos of him at speaking events and screenshots of articles featuring him. Following him is the quickest way to read his latest interviews and see what he’s up to. Everette’s not shy about discussing his past. He’s not full of himself, either. The advice he’d give his younger entrepreneurial self is to “optimize for happiness, rather than success. Money and success mean nothing if you’re not happy or lack peace of mind. Self care is essential. You can still grind and be productive without burning yourself out.” 2. Peter Voogd Who he is: Founder of...

6 Design Rules You Should Break This Year

Although graphic design has many principles and guidelines, some designers stick too closely to the rules. By limiting yourself to hard and fast rules of design, you could be limiting the expression of your work.  Outdated design rules have no place in a graphic designer’s toolbox and today’s clients are looking for savvy and a chance to be bold. The ability to push boundaries is a respected quality. These are a few of the design rules you should break this year: 1. “Use the Grid System for Every Design” The grid system is a popular method that’s taught in almost every basic graphic design class. After the second World War, graphic designers began to rethink page layout and used a flexible layout instead. The grid system recommends that all of the elements of a page align through a system of vertical and horizontal lines. The grid system is a great starting point but this principle isn’t a hard and fast rule. Some of the more adventurous designers have ignored grid systems entirely. David Carson is a great example and he developed the “grunge” movement which set him apart from the competition. He showed that breaking the rules can fuel creativity so don’t be afraid to step away from the grid. Move things around in a more radial or fluid way. Let your image rest on being asymmetrical or imbalanced and see what happens. If you don’t like it, you can always go back to coloring inside the lines. 2. “Form Must Follow Function” This “form follows function” principle began in the Bauhaus movement and with good reason. The idea that function was the key driver of design made a distinction between design and fine art. Commercials are a great example as poorly designed commercials often draw people in but they don’t remember the product being advertised. Function by itself is going to leave a designer in the dust. Plenty of functional designs are terrible. They communicate the needs but avoid the aesthetics of the piece. This is a paradox since your job as a designer is to drive aesthetic forward. Instead of elevating one over the others, think about form and function as a scale. They have to be balanced and seen as not being more important than the other. The first priority is maximizing the message which sets the tone. Always ask if the final product attracts and informs – this is a design that will have the appropriate...

Vote for October’s Top 9 at 99

Bottoms up! Celebrate Oktoberfest all month long with the finest in beer and brewery design. Our designers have been busy creating fantastic designs for all things brew. Cast your vote below for one of October’s nine nominees, including a website for a new Texas brewery, a logo for a company specializing in brewery t-shirts, a label for a Scottish craft beer and more! 1. Extra Pale Ale can
_ Kalangadoo Brewing Co. branches out from cider to beer with an Extra Pale Ale. 2. Beer of the Month Club poster
_ Beer release calendar by JansDesign It’s the beer of the month club at Milwaukee Brewing Co. The brewery features a new craft beer each month. 3. Brewery Tee’s logo
_ Have a favorite brewery? Brewerytees.com has a shirt for that. Support your brew house with a purchase from this one-stop-shop for brewery T’s from around the world. 4. Prohibition IPA label
_ It’s naughtily delicious! Webster Brewing Company crafts Prohibition IPA with pre-prohibition style malts. 5. Backroads Brewing Co. website
_ Backroads Brewing Co. website by simplest Brewpub, bakery, backyard games and an awesome website, too. Backroads Brewing Company has it all. 6. Southern Strain logo
_ Hop on board! Southern Strain Brewing Company features lots of hoppy goodness in its small town brewery. 7. Hawk Tail Summerale can
_ Hawk Tail Brewery scored a fresh label for its latest beer—a refreshing Summerale. 8. New England IPA t-shirt
_ New England IPA t-shirt by netralicaCheers! Jmstickney boasts New England pride (and his beverage preference, too) with a shirt that says it all. 9. Gorilla Porage label
_ A chest-pounding brew! Gorilla Porage is The SLOPEmeisteR Brewing Company’s latest—a chocolate and coconut porter. Fill out my Wufoo form! Voting ends at 11:59pm PST on October 24, 2018. Best of luck to this month’s nominees! The post Vote for October’s Top 9 at 99 appeared first on 99designs.

The Best Designers Are Taoists (Sort Of)

Okay, for the love of any God you prefer, read this bit before you start writing comments…please? I’ve been studying up on philosophical Taoism lately because someone very near and dear to me is a (philosophical) Taoist, and I wanted to understand her better. What I’ve found is that web and UX designers have, by studying the data, come to a lot of the same conclusions as ancient Eastern philosophers. While the lessons in this article may not be new to most of you, I thought it would be interesting to see how the principles of good design match up with Lao Tzu’s1 principles for good living. The world’s top designers are not, to my knowledge, actual Taoists. Neither am I evangelizing for Taoism. For one, I do not consider myself to be a Taoist, and secondly, evangelism as we know it is largely anathema to the ones I’ve met. Thirdly, the practitioners of philosophical Taoism I’ve met will get a little annoyed if you call it a religion. Philosophical Taoism is just that: a philosophy, and many people adopt the philosophy alongside any religion they might already have.2 But without getting further into that3, here’s what I’ve found. 1. Don’t Struggle “Struggle” as a concept, is unavoidable. We struggle so we can eat. But Taoist philosophy says that we should not struggle more than we have to. Take a lioness, for example: she may struggle to hunt down enough food for her cubs and her pride, but she does not struggle to be a lion. That part is instinctual, and she revels in it. We humans, and designers/developers in particular, are very good at overcomplicating things for ourselves. We struggle not just to design and improve at our jobs, but we often struggle in ways that simply aren’t necessary. If you need examples, I’m just going to refer you back to Zeldman’s article: The Cult of the Complex. Smart designers keep it simple. Another way good designers embrace this principle is in our love of workarounds and adaptability. While Bruce Lee himself was apparently non-religious, that whole “be like water, my friend” speech is actually one of the most important metaphors in the Tao te Ching. Water doesn’t struggle against obstacles, it goes around them. Nowadays, that sort of adaptability is basically a requirement for getting hired onto any studio or team that know what they’re doing. 2. Don’t Meddle The Tao te Ching was, like many early self help books—I’m kidding...

How to Start a Newsletter for Your Website

Creating a newsletter for your website can be a great way to keep loyal visitors up-to-date on your adventures, while leaving them engaged and coming back for more. But where to begin? How can you create a newsletter on your own? It’s not so difficult – here’s what you need to do! Choose an Email Marketing Service Your first step in this venture is to choose an email marketing platform. Whether you’re looking to send out automated emails curated from content on your website, or to craft custom templates to send each week or month, most services will have what you need. It’s a matter of the features and pricing that’s right for you. There are hundreds of fantastic email services out there; here are a few examples. MailChimp: This popular platform is a safe bet for beginners. It’s packed with features and free up to 2,000 contacts and 12,000 emails per month. It’s perfect if you’re not sure about committing. GetResponse: GetResponse is an affordable all-in-one platform that includes email marketing, automation and landing page design. Constant Contact: Constant Contact aims to deliver marketing for small businesses that’s offered to as many people as possible. The drag-and-drop editor makes templates easy to create. Select Content and Craft a Template Picked a marketing platform? It should come with email templates that you can personalize to fit your brand and vision. While this step will vary depending on the service you picked, here are a few things to keep in mind while creating your newsletter template. The subject line is the most important part of an email. It’s the difference between a deleted email and an engaged user. Don’t waste any time here; grab their attention, make an offer, or create urgency in your headline. Build intrigue! Use teasers for blogs or products; promise something if they visit your site, like an exclusive look at the latest posts or products. Don’t forget your call to action! Lead the readers to your website with a gripping CTA and a button that can’t be missed. Limit the frequency of emails, but make sure to be consistent. Any more than weekly can annoy users; any less than monthly can cause lost engagement. Use images. A text-only email is boring. Include a large picture to grab attention and draw it to the main content. If you’re pulling from your blog feed, you’ll need to use RSS-to-email features. Collect...

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08 Dec 2018