Good Read: Design Is A Job by Mike Monteiro

September 18, 2014 / Books / 0 Comments /
Design is a Job

Book number 7 in A Book Apart series, Design is a Job by Mike Monteiro is a must read for any creative professional. From working with contracts to choosing the right types of clients, Mike shares his experiences and lessons learned as a designer and business owner.

Who it’s for:

The title may say “Design” but this book would be useful to anyone in creative services such as photographers, writers, illustrators, videographers, etc. If you’re a student, freelance or hope to someday own your own business – save yourself years of trial and error and buy this book!

What’s covered:

  • Getting clients – Ninety percent or more of clients come from referrals. But how do you get referrals? This book will teach you how to get referrals and what to do the other ten percent of the time.
  • Choosing the right clients – This may come as a little bit of a shocker, but not every client who cuts a check is a good client! First and foremost, can you do the work they are asking you to do? Do you have any ethical problem working for this client? After the initial meeting, do you think you and the client can work well together? Are you working directly with decision makers or an intermediary? Is this the type of work you want to be doing? These are all questions you need to ask when considering a new client.
  • Charging for your work – Young creative professionals have a tendency to feel uncomfortable talking about money with clients. Chalk it up to inexperience and lack of confidence. I know this because it used to be me. This book taught me how to get comfortable talking about money, how to put a value on my work and how to negotiate with clients.
  • Working with contracts – CYA. If you don’t know what that means look it up. Contracts are good for both you and the client. They help set clear expectations on what the deliverables are, when they’re due and how much money is to exchange hands at what point.
  • Managing feedback – Getting feedback from clients can sometimes feel a lot like pulling teeth. They either give no feedback at all or give the wrong kind of feedback. But it’s not their fault. It’s ours. In order to get the feedback we’re looking for, we need to give the client some direction.

Why I recommend it:

This book changed the way I thought about design and how I conduct myself on a professional level. It helped me understand not only how to put a value on what I was doing, but how to explain that value to my clients. Hands down this is one of the most important, influential books I’ve ever read and I strongly recommend it.

Creative Suite vs. Creative Cloud: Why It’s Time to Stop Debating and Get On Board

September 6, 2014 / Uncategorized / 0 Comments /
Being a designers her dream

So you’re a working [insert creative profession here] and you’re not sure whether you should update to Adobe Creative Cloud (yes there are still people holding out). Whether you’ve read the swarm of negative articles online or you just didn’t have it in your budget, you decided that for whatever reason, Creative Cloud was not for you. I’m here to give you 6 good reasons why you should reconsider and make the switch to Creative Cloud.

Reason #1: Creative Cloud is Here To Stay

Like it or not, but with over 2.3 million subscribers, Creative Cloud is here to stay. Adobe says it best:

“Let’s be honest: Some software upgrades are necessary, and others are just nice to have. Upgrading from Creative Suite 6 to Adobe Creative Cloud falls into the first category: It’s essential. CS6 is almost two years old, and Adobe has no plans to update it. Ever.”

Reason #2: Lack of Alternatives

Sure there are alternatives to Adobe software out there. And depending on which programs you use and how often you use them, you may find an alternative that works for you. But Adobe is the standard in the digital media industry and for the most part they are light years ahead of their competitors. If you are a working creative professional or at least aspire to someday become one, you should be using the same software that other creative professionals are using.

Reason #3: Compatibility

Speaking of other creative professionals that brings up the issue of compatibility. At some point in your career, you will be collaborating and working with other creative professionals (if you’re not, you should be). It’s hard to share and edit files if they have different filename extension.

Reason #4: It Doesn’t Matter Whether You Rent or Own

One of the biggest complaints that opponents of Creative Cloud have is that the issue of ownership. People who purchased Adobe Creative Suite 6 physically own the software. People who subscribe to Creative Cloud are merely renting it. Whether you rent or own the software is irrelevant. Your clients (the people who put food on your table) don’t care whether you rent or own the software. As of right now, anyone still running Adobe Creative Suite 6 are the proud owners of outdated software.

Reason #5: It’s Cheaper

Once you get over the idea of a monthly payment (believe me, it took me some time), Creative Cloud is actually cheaper than it’s Creative Suite predecessor. The CS6 Master Collection cost a whopping $2,500. Compare that with a subscription to the Creative Cloud which costs $50/month. For those of you without a calculator that comes out to $600/year which is $1,900 cheaper that Creative Suite!

Reason #6: It’s Worth It

If there’s anything worth investing in, it’s the tools you need in order to be successful in your career. If I were a carpenter I would have a really nice circular saw, hammer and a drill. But I’m not. I’m a graphic designer. So I have a really nice laptop and I pay a monthly fee to access the software I need to make a living. Welcome to the life of a working professional.