How to survive as a freelance graphic designer?

tips and tricks

Ok, so you chose to live the “glamorous” life of a freelance graphic designer. Two months later you start realizing there is no such a “glamorous” life when you are a freelance graphic designer, specially if you just started in this world.

How can a freelancer get more work and generate more leads?

 

Relationships – your clients are one of the most important aspects of your career as a freelancer.

  • Be honest to your clients
  • Keep in touch with old clients, offer your new services and also revisions of old services
  • It’s okay to disagree, but learn to respectfully disagree
  • Develop a newsletter
  • Don’t be afraid of requesting referrals

 

Designs – following some simple steps go a long way on the results of your designs.

  • Research your options, similar designs and ideas
  • Sketch, draw, imagine.  Give yourself a little bit of wiggle room to create.
  • Have your client in mind when designing, remember they are the ones paying and they are the ones that know their clients.

 

Time management – you may end up with multiple projects at a time, how you manage to survive and deliver on time.

  • Prioritize, organize your work by importance and deadlines
  • Eliminate procrastination
  • Project management applications can help (yo can find some free ones online)
  • If you are too busy, consider outsourcing some designs or works

Sell yourself – to reach clients, you need to constantly market yourself and prove your worth over other designers.

  • Learn your work, make sure that you know what you are talking about and present yourself secure of your designs
  • Use social media, social media is an amazing tool to promote your services, showcase your projects and meet other freelancers.
  • Develop creative business cards, marketing material; use your talents in favor of your marketing material

 

These are basic ideas you can use in the launch of your new freelance career.  Can you suggest some other ideas?

Graphic Design Vocabulary – Knowing Your software 2

graphic design software

 

 

A couple of weeks ago we started talking about terms, vocabulary or jargon on the various graphic design software. Today we are going to learn a little bit about another Adobe software, Adobe Illustrator.

AI

Adobe Illustrator is a great program for drawing vector-based graphics. You can create illustrations, diagrams, and other forms of artwork.

  • first developed for Apple Macintosh in December 1986
  • Primary used for vector drawing

Lets now learn some vocabulary words for Adobe Illustrator.

Anchor point – a point on a path that indicates a change of direction.

Art board – printable portion of the work area, where illustrations can be finalized.

Bezier Curve – A mathematically generated curve that has two endpoints and control points to specify curve direction.

Bounding box – a temporary frame around a selected object that shows the object’s outer dimensions.

Brush— A selected brush determines the appearance of a path’s stroke. Brushes are stored in the Brushes palette, and sets of brushes can be loaded and saved.

Closed path – Vector paths that are continuous and have no ends; the beginning and end points are the same.

Constrain – to force and object to take a certain form.

Corner pointe – an anchor point where a path changes direction in an angle rather than smoothly.

Dock – A location in the application window where a panel or panels are secured so they do not float.

Fill – characteristics of the inner area of an object, such as the color, pattern, style inside and object.

Marquee – Rectangle drawn around an object with a tool to select an area.

Open path – Vector paths that have two ends; the beginning and end points are not the same.

Panel – A group of related commands and options.

Path – The line that forms the shape of an object.

Point of origin – The point on which an object rotates or transforms. The point of origin may be within the object or outside it.

Shear – To slant or skew an object from its original orientation.

Smooth Point – an anchor point that connects path segments in a smooth curve.

Stroke – Characteristics of the outline of an object, such as its weight, color, style.

Are any of these words new for you? Next week we will see and learn a little bit more about Adobe Illustrator.

Graphic Design Vocabulary – Typography 3

typography tittle

In the last couple weeks we have learned typography terms that we commonly use and some others that never seen before. It is very important that we use them appropriately and educate our clients in the use of them, this can be the solution of misunderstandings between designers and clients.

Lets see the last post of vocabulary words for Typography.

Tracking, Kerning and Letterspacing – Tracking, kerning and letterspacing control the distance between characters. Tracking is adjusted to change the space between characters consistently across a block of text. Kerning is the reduction of space between characters, and letterspacing is the addition of space between characters.

Typeface – A typeface refers to a group of characters, such as letters, numbers, and punctuation, that share a common design or style. Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica and Courier are all typefaces.

Type Families – The different options available within a font make up a type family. Many fonts are at a minimum available in roman, bold and italic. Other families are much larger, such as Helvetica Neue, which is available in options such Condensed Bold, Condensed Black, UltraLight, UltraLight Italic, Light, Light Italic, Regular, etc.

Weight – Refers to the heaviness of the stroke for a specific font, such as Light, Regular, Book, Demi, Heavy,Black, and Extra Bold.

Width – Refers to whether the standard typeface has been extended or compressed horizontally. The common variations are Condensed, Normal, or Extended.

X-height – The x-height is the distance between the meanline and the baseline. It is referred to as the x-height because it is the height of a lowercase “x.” This height can vary greatly between typefaces.

 X Line  – A line marking the top of those lowercase letters, such as “x”, having no ascenders. The upper boundary of x-height.

As a giveaway we will also can find below a printable card with a list and definitions of symbols, how are they use and some examples.  Feel free to press over them and print them for your personal use.

symbols 1

symbols 2

 

 

Graphic Design Vocabulary – Typography 2

As promised last week we are helping you with more terminology on Typography.  Words that can help use communicate with other designers and also, help our clients understand some concepts that are foreign to their knowledge.

typography voc 3

typography voc 4

 

We still have one more week on Typography vocabulary.  Have you learned something new? Are these concepts useful on your design practice?

What’s new in Adobe Photoshop CS 6?

Many graphic designers had been wondering what’s new in the recently launched Photoshop CS6.  In this post we will see some cool features of this software.

New Effects

  • Field Blur
  • Iris Blur
  • Tilt T Shift
  • Broken Effects
  • Image Deblurring

Layer Search – Search for layers by layer type, name, effect, blending mode, color or by large range of attributes. Want to find all layers that have a pattern overlay layer style? Just search for effect and overlay. CS6’s improved searching should make traversing 1000+ layer documents a whole lot easier.

Create shapes – If you know the exact size you’d like your shape to be, select the corresponding shape tool and click anywhere on the canvas, then type in the dimensions you’re after.

Layer Styles on Groups – Layer styles can now be applied to groups in the same way they can be applied to bitmap, vector and type layers. There’s many reasons why this is an awesome feature, but my main use for it will probably be to apply more layer styles to objects — you can now have two or more drop shadows by nesting layers inside groups and applying layer styles to the groups. In my opinion, this is a far better technique than using Smart Objects for the same purpose, because this will allow documents to scale and maintain quality.

On canvas dimensions – Moving and transforming now shows a small box on the canvas with related values, as you perform the adjustment. Far easier than watching the info panel out of the corner of your eye while you work. There’s some options to control how this works under the Interface tab in Preferences.

Group Clipping Mask – Layers can now be clipped to groups, allowing for some pretty wild masking possibilities. Use in abundance and in combination with group layer styles to impress.

User interface brightness – Photoshop CS6 ships with four different interface brightness options. The default is dark grey with white icons, giving CS6 a vastly different look.

Pasting from Illustrator Fixed – Pasting vector shapes from Illustrator now always aligns to the pixel boundary.

Copy and Paste Shape Attributes – Right clicking on a vector layer in the layers panel presents these two new functions. Copying the Shape Attributes puts the fill (be it solid or gradient) and stroke into a clipboard so you can apply it quickly to one or more layers.

Paragraph and Character Styles – These behave like Paragraph Styles and Character Styles in InDesign and many other design apps, letting you store a text style and apply it quickly to text throughout your document. You can even edit the master styles and have all instances update. Very handy for larger, text filled documents.

Strokes on Paths – Just like it says on. Handy, because you can use the vector strokes in combination with the stroke layer style for stroke on stroke action. There’s also some associated options, including dashed stroke editing that’s similar to Illustrator.

These are some of the changes and new features of the new version for this software. What other features have you notice in this great program?