- The next iteration of 37signal's Basecamp.
- Why your method of brainstorming isn't working.
- Some things just can't be unseen. Here's one. And another.
- The dad who shot up his daughter's laptop ultimately failed at embarrassing her because she has no shame. That's just the way it is in her world. Welcome to the end of shame.
- The simple, yet inspiring branding of the Five & Dime Eatery.
- Why you should never, ever use two spaces after a period.
- JK Rowling is back and this time she's writing for adults.
- New sketch tool bridges the gap between traditional, freehand sketching and digital development.
- File this under "morbid - but amusing." Apparently this isn't illegal.
- Google's +1 button has been a mystery to users and content producers alike, but its connection to search ranking is inevitable.
Oh, Kelly, you changed my life, and in turn have impacted the lives of so many others (and billions of pixels). Thank you.
In 2000, I attended a Thunder Lizard Web Design Conference in Atlanta. Back then, a Thunder Lizard event was the place to be to learn about cool cutting edge web stuff like cascading style sheets, animated GIFs and project management. At that time I was working at ConnectOK, the digital portal of The Oklahoman (anyone remember the term 'portal?'). It was a time when the internet was going through its awkward puberty stage and newspaper editors was still cocky enough to say stuff like "readers will never give up their daily newspaper." Anyways, the Oklahoman was kind enough to send me to this web design conference and I soaked it up like a sponge.
Photoshop v5.5 demos, usability seminars, how to write website proposals, organize projects - it was all awesome. And there in the frenzy of all this cool web stuff was a speaker named Kelly Goto (last name 'Go to' = how programmingly appropriate). She nailed it for me. Her presentation: 'Workflow that Works' was useful, practical, intelligent and down-to-earth, did I mention useful? So useful, after I left OPUBCO, I built a web design business around the presentation materials she provided.
Looking back on early Back40 days, my wife, Sandy and I were like a little Kelly Goto business incubator headquartered in Prague, Oklahoma. The rest is history. Or rather, the rest is on our Timeline 2000-2012 page.
Thanks Kelly. Truly. Thanks.
Another mentor blog: What sanding fenders taught me about the design business.
Looking for a freelance designer or an OKC design firm to help with some print design projects? I have 6 pointers for you.
I've worked with hundreds of clients and the clients that come prepared are the best clients. You can apply these pointers to a variety of print campaigns, from a simple logo redesign to complex annual report.
1. Set design goals
When you don't know what you want out of your design or you don't know the problem that which your design is supposed to solve how can your designer really meet your needs? This is why my number one pointer for clients working with a designer on a print design is to set your design goals. Design goals can be as simple as the following:
- get more exposure to brand
- explain new service to existing customers
- share contact information in a memorable way
- clearly deliver company financial details
- promote new product and increase sales
- give insight into your company for potential customer
When you know what your primary goals are then you can create a plan with your designer to really make an effective print design. Planning is going to also save you time and money!
2. Know your competitors
In all elements of business it's good to know what your competition is doing. You should be looking at your competitors print designs to be inspired, increase aspects that make you better, and steer your design goals towards beating the competition!
3. Get to know your print designer
When working with a print designer you should feel comfortable enough to be completely open. Your ideas should be heard, and your designer should share ideas back. When you have a close relationship with your designer you can trust them to do a great job and they can trust you enough to give you the best work they can. If you are working with a designer for the first time I would suggest you ask:
- to see their print portfolio
- how long they have been designing
- how many print designs have they done of the same print piece (logo design, business card design, brochure design, letterhead design, folder design, and any other items involved in print marketing campaigns)
- how comfortable they are with accomplishing your design goals
These short questions can give in insight into who the designer is, how openly they can communicate with you, and how much experience they have.
4. Plan printing costs
Don't forget when you are having a print design done there will also be printing costs! This sounds simple, but if your designer is not showing you print estimates from the start than there is probably a problem. I would love to design for a client without a budget, but in reality that is just not the case. When you plan with your designer what your printing costs will be upfront they can work with you to select the right paper, fold, binding, die cut, ink, and more.
5. Set a timeline
Your designer should be planning and setting up a timeline with you. Make sure that they get it all planned out when your project starts. Some of the items on the timeline should be when:
- design payments need to be made
- initial design is created
- after feedback is given how shortly revisions can be delivered back to client
- all content needs to be delivered to the designer
- final design needs to be approved
- printing payments need to be made
- design files need to be sent to the printer
- design files delivered to the client
6. Know what you are getting
When everything is completed what are you going to be receiving from the designer? Make sure you know! Are you receiving 80 lb letterhead or 100 lb letterhead? If your designer is anything like me I work hard to manage expectations. It's important to me to make sure clients know what size, weight of paper, and finish their print designs will have! Lastly if you are having a logo designed know what files you will be receiving. Any reputable designer should be delivering at the minimum .ai, .eps, .psd, .pdf, .tiff, .jpeg, and .png files! I also like to send logo files in black and white and grayscale. You can even request your designer to prepare a style guide for your logo design.
Along the way, as you work on your print designs, your designer should be providing the best customer service they can along with excellent designs! If you need any more pointers or have any questions you can always leave me a comment below this blog or call and ask for Amy 478-4080.