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Graphic Design: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
How to Use the Photoshop Clone Stamp Tool
Learn to use the clone stamp tool in Adobe Photoshop to retouch photos by copying one area of an image onto another area.
What Are JPG Files?
JPG files, also known as JPEG files, are a common file format for digital photos and other digital graphics. When JPG files are saved, they use
Your Introduction to Graphic Design
An introduction to the basics of graphic design and its different applications.
The Graphic Design Process
When starting a new design project, there are steps of the graphic design process to follow that will help you to achieve the best results. You can save yourself time and energy by first researching the topic, finalizing your content, starting with simple sketches, and getting several rounds of approval on designs.
How To Design a Website
A step by step guide to designing a website, from research and brainstorming to creating wireframes, developing the website and promoting it.
Need Free Fonts? Try Dafont.com
Dafont is a free font website, offering downloadable freeware, shareware, demo and public domain typefaces for windows and mac.
Digital Printing
Digital printing refers to modern printing methods that use digital files, such as PDFs, instead of printing plates.
Create a Graphic Design PDF Portfolio Using...
Many graphic software programs, such as InDesign and Illustrator, have the option of exporting a design as a PDF, which allows you to create a PDF portfolio. This PDF portfolio can be a custom designed brochure-style piece showcasing your best work, which can be emailed to prospective clients or employers.
You Need These Tools for Graphic Design
There are several tools that are essential to graphic design. See how a computer and software, design books, a sketchpad and even other designers can be essential to your design process and business.
What Are GIF Files?
GIF files are a format commonly used for graphics presented on websites. GIFs can contain a maximum of 256 colors, and are therefore best for images that contain simple shapes, a limited color palette, text and other elements as opposed to photos.
How to Use the Photoshop Save for Web Tool
As a graphic designer, you may often be asked to deliver web-ready images, such as photos for a web site or banner ads. The Photoshop “Save for Web” tool is a simple and easy way to prepare your JPEG files for the web, helping with the trade-off between file size and image quality.
4 Things Anyone Can Do with Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop has long been considered essential software for graphic design. Photoshop’s primary functions include photo editing, website design, project layout, and the creation of elements for any type of project.
How to Create Website Wireframes
Website wireframes are simple line drawings that show the placement of elements on a web page. Learn the focus, benefits and elements of a properly constructed website wireframe.
All About the Elements of Graphic Design
elements of graphic design shapes lines colors type fonts typography typefaces text art illustrations photography texture photos
Learn the Benefits of Working on a Retainer
A retainer is a fee paid for a pre-determined amount of time or work. Most commonly, a percentage of a retainer is paid up-front for a specified number of hours or days of work within a time period.
5 Design Rules for Easy Website Navigation
Navigation is a key component of a website, and here are five rules to follow to help design yours effectively.
A Day in the Life of a Graphic Designer
Like many graphic design fields, working in advertising takes you far beyond creating designs and page layouts. While a specific job may be to create a print ad for a campaign, this field requires an understanding of marketing, public relations and consumers.
How to Use Texture in Graphic Design
Texture can refer to the actual surface of a design or to the visual appearance of a design. In the first case, the audience can actually feel the texture, making it unique from the other elements of design. In the second case, texture is implied through the style of design. Rich, layered graphics can create visual texture that mirrors actual texture.
Beginner's Guide to Buying a Website Domain Name
Domain names or website addresses, such as google.com or facebook.com, are available for purchase from many website services or registrars. While of course the names mentioned above are far from available, there are countless website addresses that can be purchased, often whether they are already owned or not.
4 Functions of the Photoshop Marquee Tool
The Photoshop marquee tool, a relatively simple feature, is essential for several tasks. At the most basic level, the tool is used to select areas of an image, which can then be copied, cut or cropped. There are four options within the tool to select different types of areas: rectangular, elliptical, a single row or a single column.
How is Designing for the Web Different than...
An overview of the differences between designing for print and for the web, with a a focus on audience, layout, color, technology and careers.
Using Shapes in Graphic Design
Shapes are at the root of graphic design. They are figures and forms that make up logos, illustrations and countless other elements in all types of designs. Altering the size, form, angles, colors and other characteristics of the shapes in a design can significantly impact its message and success.
Is a Mac Really Better Than a PC?
One of the most common ongoing debates in the computer world is whether to get a Mac or a PC. Macs, produced by Apple, have often been used in the design world, with the PC (running the Windows operating system) dominating most of the business world. When looking at the two for graphic design work, the focus is on the handling of graphics, color, and type, the availability of software, and overall ease of use.
6 Things Every Graphic Designer Should Ask New...
At the start of a project, it is important to know what to ask graphic design clients to gather as much information as possible. This will often occur before you have landed a job, as it is necessary to have this meeting to help determine the cost and timeframe of the project.
Learn About Typeface Anatomy
There is a standard set of terms to describe the parts of a character. These terms, and the parts of the letter they represent, are often referred to as
7 Types of Website Navigation to Consider
Navigation is a key element of any website. It’s how the user gets from section to section, and to your content. Aside from creating something unique, there are several options for navigation in site design that are quite common, and for a good reason… they help the user browse your site easily.
Introduction to How Typography Is Described and...
Basic typography terminology to help with the understanding how type is described and measured.
About the CMYK Color Model
The CMYK color model is used in printing. Although computer monitors display color in RGB, final printed pieces will be in CMYK, and so it is important to understand this model and the printing process.
Online Printing
There are many websites that offer online printing for your design projects such as business cards, calendars, stickers, postcards and posters. These online printers offer a multitude of products to choose from with different paper options, processing speeds and delivery options. Depending on what you are printing you can often decide to order recycled paper and choose a matte or glossy finish, along with many other options. Some of the websites will provide you with a free proof to review before placing your order.
How to Design a Graphic Design Business Card
Whether you are a freelancer or you own your own design firm, it is crucial to have business cards for your graphic design business. A well-designed card with the right content will help you look professional, show off your work, and land new clients.
Color Separation
Color separation is the process by which original artwork is separated into individual color components for printing.
How to Make Sure Your Design Prints Correctly
When preparing a document to send to a printer, there are several specifications and elements to include in your layout. These specs help to insure that the printer will provide your final project as intended.
Types of Graphic Design Portfolios
Which kind of portfolio should you go with? Wait, there's more than one? Don't worry, we'll explain 'em all and help you decide which is best for you.
Using Facebook to Promote Your Graphic Design...
Facebook is enormously popular, most often thought of as a social tool for friends and family to share photos, thoughts and anything else that the huge Facebook network allows. It is also, however, a powerful business tool. With so many people on one website, it was inevitable that businesses jumped in with profiles, or pages, of their own and by taking advantage of other business opportunities.
How to Use Photoshop Tool Presets
Creating tool presets in Photoshop is an excellent way to speed up your workflow and remember your favorite and most-used settings. A tool preset is a named, saved version of a tool and specific related settings such as width, opacity and brush size, all handled through the tool presets palette.
6 Essential Graphic Design Software Programs
Graphics and business-related software are key for graphic design. Products such as the Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop, content management software, and time tracking software will help you stay creative and organized.
How to Use the Adobe Illustrator Selection Tool
The Illustrator selection tool is for selecting objects in your layouts, such as shapes and blocks of type. Once selected, you can use the tool to move, transform, or apply any number of filters or effects to the selected objects.
Online Portfolio Websites
While there are benefits to building a custom portfolio and website, below are some popular sites that make building an online presence quick and easy.
Should Graphic Designers Charge Hourly or Flat...
A common decision to be made when starting a graphic design project is whether to charge a flat or an hourly rate. Each method has pros and cons, as well as ways to work towards a fair deal for both you and your client.
TIFF Files
A TIFF file, or TIF file, stands for Tagged Image File Format. TIF files are a common format for images, especially those used on graphic design.
How to Use the Adobe Photoshop Tools
The tools available on the Photoshop toolbar and menus are the basis for working in the software. Learning tools such as the crop, clone stamp and marquee, and the use of tool presets, will help facilitate design and improve workflow.
File Types
There are many file types used in graphic design. These file types include image file formats such as JPG files, GIF files and TIFF files and other common file types such as PDF files and PPT files.
How to Use the Adobe Illustrator Pen Tool
The pen tool is perhaps the most powerful tool in Illustrator. It can be used to create countless lines, curves and shapes, and serves as the building block for illustration and design. The tool is used by creating “anchor points,” and then by connecting those points with lines, which can be connected further to create shapes. Use of the pen tool is perfected through practice.
Learn How to Use the Grid System in Graphic...
The grid system in graphic design is a way of organizing content on a page, using any combination of margins, guides, rows and columns. By using the grid system, a consistent design can be achieved through all the pages of a project.
How to Determine a Graphic Design Hourly Rate
Setting a graphic design hourly rate is important because it will position you in relation to your competitors, determine what your flat rates are for projects, and of course directly affect what you earn.
6 Things That You Need to Include in a Website...
A website proposal contains many aspects different from other graphic design proposals, in that technical elements must be addressed along with creative ones. While print proposals do address items such as printing procedures, website proposals must specify web hosting, systems for maintaining content, programs or programming languages to be used and other technical specifications.
What is “Spec” Work?
Spec work (short for speculative) is any job for which the client expects to see examples or a finished product before agreeing to pay a fee.
How to Use the Adobe Illustrator Type Tools
There are several tools for creating type, all found on the Illustrator toolbar, and each with a different function.
How to Create a Graphic Design Project Outline
Before beginning the design phase of a job, it is helpful to create a graphic design project outline. It will provide you and your client with some structure when discussing and creating the pages and elements of a project.
How to Determine a Flat Rate for Graphic Design...
Charging a flat rate for graphic design projects is often a good idea, because both you and your client know the cost from the start. Unless the scope of the project changes, the client doesn’t have to worry about going over budget, and the designer is guaranteed a certain amount.
Graphic Design: It's Older Than You Think
A timeline noting key moments in graphic design history from 15,000 BC to 1900, including the first visual communication, the invention of movable type, the opening of the first type foundry, and the development of the first Caslon Old Style font.
Offset Lithography
Offset lithography is a process used for printing on a flat surface, using printing plates.
Graphic Design Branding
To create a brand for a company is to create their image, and to promote that image with campaigns and visuals. Working in branding allows a graphic designer or design firm to get involved with many aspects of the industry, from logo design to advertising to copywriting and slogans.
Graphic Design Schools
Attending a graphic design school to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree in graphic design can be an invaluable accomplishment towards building a successful career in the design industry. Design schools offer exciting and unique programs to build your skills in design, typography, illustration and other fields. This list of schools highlights some of the best in the United States.
International Graphic Design Schools
Earning a design degree can go a long way in helping to enrich and advance your career in the graphic design industry. There are many schools around the world that offer excellent programs in the various fields of graphic design including industrial design, visual communication, automotive design, health-care design and product design. This list of schools highlights some of the best outside of the United States, according to Bloomberg Businessweek and psdtutsplus.com.
Color Models: RGB
The RGB model is so important to graphic design because it is used in computer monitors. Therefore, when designing websites and other on-screen projects, the RGB model is used because the final product is viewed on a computer display.
Apple iMac Review
The Apple iMac claims to be “the ultimate all-in-one,” and it truly is. While marketed as Apple’s consumer model, the Apple iMac certainly packs enough power to use for professional graphic design, with a lower cost than the Mac Pro. Tools such as iLife and Font Book, and Apple's great handling of colors and fonts, make the Apple iMac an excellent tool for graphic designers.
How to Create an Email Newsletter
An email newsletter is an important tool for growing a graphic design business. It is one of most effective ways to spread the word-of-mouth on what type of work you are doing and looking for.
Lipsum.com Lorem Ipsum Text Generator
Lipsum.com is an online resource that generates any requested length of Lorem Ipsum dummy text for graphic design projects.
How to Find Out Your Client's Budget
Finding our your client's budget can save a lot of time and aggravation. By simply asking, or researching, how much a client can spend you can often determine not only if you can take a job, but what type of service you can provide. As there are often variables that can greatly affect costs, it will help you work with the client rather than quoting blindly and potentially losing a project.
Type Families
The different options available within a typeface, such as roman, bold and italic, make up a type family.
Your Introduction to the Different Types of...
There are several different types of fonts that make up the majority of the fonts found today. The three main types are OpenType fonts, TrueType fonts and Postscript, or Type 1, fonts.
The Printing Process
A list of graphic design printing process resources to help make your designs look there best in print. They include printing vendors, glossary terms, and articles.
How to Use the Photoshop Crop Tool
The Photoshop crop tool serves two main purposes. The first is to crop, which means to cut out an area of an image by selecting the area that you wish to keep. It is also handy for quickly resizing images. These functions can also be used at the same time to crop and resize a photo (or any type of image) at once.
Graphic Design Career Paths
There are many career paths to take within the field of graphic design. Graphic designers may choose to work as book designers, in web design, branding, illustration, logo design or often a combination of several fields.
Working as a Web Designer
Website design, while a relatively new industry, is now an essential part of a company’s image, brand, and advertising, marketing and public relations campaigns.
Profile of Graphic Designer Paul Rand
Paul Rand was one of the most famous and influential graphic designers in history. He is best known for his logo design and corporate branding, creating timeless icons such as the IBM and ABC television logos.
Project Management Software
As client lists and project sizes grow, turning to graphic design project management software is a great way to stay organized by using to-do lists, calendars, collaboration, automated billing and more.
Illustration Blogs
Illustrations are used throughout graphic design in art and design books, magazines, advertisements,
Adobe CS3 - Creative Suite 3 Design Standard...
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Do You Have the Skills to Be a Graphic Designer?
You don't need to be a fine artist to be a graphic designer. While it could help your career and your creative side, it is not necessary to be a sketch artist, painter or other type of artist in the traditional sense. Graphic design is about taking elements such as type, photos, illustrations, and color and combining them to create effective messages.
Veer – Rights-Managed and Royalty Free...
Veer is a high-end stock site offering quality images and typefaces through a clear, user-friendly website. Images are available from a large selection of stock providers, including Comstock, Photodisc and Digital Vision.
Using Swatches to Insure Desired Color Results...
When designing for print, a common issue that has to be dealt with is the difference between the color on your computer display and on paper. To deal with this problem, you can use the Pantone Matching System, or PMS. The PMS has an industry standard book of color swatches with reference numbers that you can give to the printer, who will then use ready-made inks that match these numbers to complete the job.
How the Wayback Machine Can Help You Find Old...
The WayBack Machine allows users to find old web pages in their extensive website archive of billions of web pages.
Graphic Design Business Ideas and Tips
Starting or building a graphic design business can be a daunting task. These graphic design business ideas are tips to help spread the word, show off your work and set your rates, as well as suggestions for meeting with clients and managing projects.
Basecamp: Project Management and Collaboration...
Basecamp is an excellent online software package that makes project management and collaboration easy. Created by 37signals, the entire Basecamp system is accessed and managed online, so none of the software or data is actually stored on your computer.
Using Color in Graphic Design
Color is an interesting element of graphic design because it can be applied to any other element, changing it dramatically. It can be used to make an image stand out, to show linked text on a website, and to evoke emotion. Graphic designers should combine their experience with color with an understanding of color theory, including rgb color, cmyk and the hsv color model.
How to Organize Your Graphic Design Files
As graphic designers take on more and more projects, organizing the files related to the projects becomes increasingly important.
Graphic Design Time Tracking Software
As a graphic design business grows, using time tracking software can help you keep organized, properly bill your clients, set your rates and study your workflow. There are many stand-alone time tracking applications, as well as options that are part of larger project management packages.
How to Promote Your Graphic Design Business
There are many ways to promote a graphic design business, including blogging, word-of-mouth, email newsletters and social networking. Many of these methods are inexpensive or free, and can lead to increased exposure for your business and new clients.
How to Write a Graphic Design Contract
Graphic design contracts are important to protect the designer and clearly spell out the terms of an agreement and project. This list describes sections to include in a graphic design contract.
Profile of Graphic Designer Saul Bass
Saul Bass was a Bronx- born graphic designer who took his New York style to California and became famous for his work in film and classic logo design. He studied in New York at the Art Students’ League as a teenager and developed a unique style that is both recognizable and memorable.
Graphic Design Rush Fees: What's a Fair Price...
When you have clients who want projects done on a short deadline, there are several things to consider before you charge a rush fee.
Brainstorming in Graphic Design
Before you even begin to create a first version of a design in graphics software, it is important to harness your creativity to come up with concepts and ideas for a project. Unless the winning idea simply pops into your head (it has been known to happen), it is often difficult to sit down and start designing without a brainstorming session.
What Is Copyright?
Copyright refers to laws that regulate the use of the work of a creator, such as an artist or author.
Billable Invoice Creator
Billable is a free online invoice creator with a free invoice template. The easy to use, one page app allows you to create an invoice online and then print it or save it as a PDF.
10 Early Warning Signs of a Bad Client
It is often the case that designers are competing for projects, and the client is selecting who to work with based on experience, rates and many other factors. At the same time, however, designers should be deciding if the client is a good fit for them.
Graphic Design Organizations
Joining a graphic design organization can open up a new outlet for networking to increase your client-base, contact list and list of potential collaborators. Being a member of a design organization can also give you access to events, research options and competitions. This list covers some professional organizations in the design industry.
How are Lines Used in Graphic Design?
Lines are used to divide space, direct the eye, and create forms. At the most basic level, straight lines are found in layouts to separate content, such as in magazine, newspaper, and website designs. This can of course go much further, with curved, dotted, and zigzag lines used as the defining elements on a page and as the basis for illustrations and graphics.
Examples of Successful Website Layouts
Successful website layouts depend on many variables including consistent navigation, proper balance, use of space, and clear delivery of content. See examples of successful layouts in a variety of industries.
TrueType Font
A TrueType font is a single file that contains both the screen and printer versions of a typeface. TrueType fonts make up the majority of the fonts that have come automatically installed on Windows and Mac operating systems for years.
Graphic Design Pricing
A list of tools, resources and articles to help with graphic design pricing, setting graphic design rates, time tracking and other aspects of the financial side of design.
Using Illustration in Graphic Design
Illustration is commonly used in graphic design projects. A beautiful illustration can often grab the attention of your audience just as well as a photograph, and in many cases it can be even more effective. Illustrations are often necessary to “illustrate” a point, such as in graphs, charts and maps or in a set of icons for a website. There are several sources of illustrations, each with advantages and disadvantages in terms of quality, cost and time.
Preparing Content for a Website Portfolio
The web is full of portfolios for graphic designers, web designers, photographers, artists, illustrators and other creative professionals. When building a new online portfolio, there are many factors to consider and decisions to make to set yourself apart and properly showcase your work. You must determine your goals, create an outline, categorize and select your work for presentation, write your content, and design and launch the website.
Working as a Book Designer
Working in book design can mean several things. For some, it may be creating elaborate book covers and jacket designs from scratch. For others, it may mean hours of detailed-oriented layout work.
Apple’s Bundled Software
The software that is included with all new Apple computers can be very handy for managing tasks beyond your personal life. Here are some tips for using Mac applications in your design business.
Review of Email Newsletter Marketing with Emma
Emma is an online service that manages email newsletter marketing, from organizing contacts to creating design templates to statistics reporting.
Time Tracking in Graphic Design
There are many benefits to time tracking in your graphic design business. Keeping track of the hours you spend on projects, and specific tasks, can help you set your rates, improve your business, and even save time in future projects.
Graphic Design Books
Building a library of graphic design books can be very helpful to a designer. Some will be showcase books to look through for inspiration, while others teach design theory or provide tips on running a graphic design business.
Name That Font! Let "What the Font" Help You
Sometimes dentifying fonts can be tough. And sometimes impossible. Let's see if What the Font! can help figure which font you just fell in love with.
The Behance Network
Members of the Behance Network can create online portfolios to showcase their work and attract new clients. Behance is a members-only website, but anyone can request an invitation by filling out an online form with just an email address and description of work.
Working as an Illustrator
Illustration, while often closely related to graphic design, is for many a separate profession. Most commonly, illustrators work in software such Adobe Illustrator or Corel Painter, and often incorporate hand-drawn elements into their work.
How to Choose a Website Domain Name
Choosing a domain name for you or a client can be a long and tedious process. With so many names no longer available, creating a new one or finding the right one requires research, creativity and sometimes a significant investment. Regardless of whether you are looking for a brand new name or considering purchasing one, the same factors come into play to determine the value of the domain name to your business.
Job Listings and Articles for Freelancers from...
FreelanceSwitch is an excellent online resource for all kinds of freelancers, with a blog full of articles and advice, a freelancers directory, job board, forum and other resources.
Using Photography for Graphic Design Inspiration
Photography is a great source of graphic design inspiration. There are many online resources that give you access to vast photo collections, from photography portfolios to stock photography websites.
Identify Fonts with Free iPhone App What the Font
What the Font is a free iPhone application that identifies typefaces from photos. A companion to the MyFonts website with the same title, What the Font is an extremely intuitive and clever app that is a great tool for designers on the go.
Graphic Design Blogs
Graphic design blogs can be excellent resources for design information, inspiration and tutorials. Many design blogs are written by industry leaders and offer an inside look into what they are interested in and inspired by. This list highlights some of the most popular design blogs.
Using Google AdWords to Drive Traffic to Your...
Google AdWords is an excellent way to drive traffic to your website and attract potential clients. With so many graphic design portfolios online, targeting customers in your area with keywords specific to your design focus can help grow your design business.
How to Build a Graphic Design Portfolio Without...
Getting jobs without work in a portfolio is difficult, as is building a portfolio without jobs. Tracey Halvorsen has some tips to get you started.
OpenType Font
OpenType fonts are the current standard in fonts.
Tips for Handling the Legal Side of Graphic...
The legal side of graphic design includes important issues such as contracts, copyrights, and the settling of disputes, all of which are key to the success of a design business.
Essential Fonts for Graphic Design
A list of essential fonts for a graphic designer, including some of the most popular and commonly used typefaces. While many of these fonts come installed with your computer, this list includes links to purchase the full font families on Linotype.com.
Graphic Design Tutorials
A list of graphic design tutorials to help with your day-to-day design work. They include Photoshop tutorials, Illustrator tutorials and some how-to guides.
How and Why to Get your Credit Line on Graphic...
Getting your credit line on your work is a great way to spread word-of-mouth on your business. It is satisfying, and lucrative, when someone sees your work and contacts you for a project.
Graphic Design Conferences
Attending design conferences is a great way to build your graphic design business. You will often attend lectures, seminars and collaborative events that give you first-hand expert advice. At the same time, just being at a design conference is an opportunity to network with others in your field and walk away with the potential for new projects and clients.
Quoting Tip – Ask the Client What Their...
The most simple and straightforward approach to determining a budget is to ask the client what they can spend.
Copyright for Graphic Designers - Who Owns the...
Unless otherwise specified in a contract, the graphic designer retains the right to his or her creations, and should always attempt to do so.
Where to Find Fonts
Knowing where to find fonts for your graphic design projects can make your job much easier. When you find the perfect font that meets your needs it can help you achieve that ideal finished product for both you and your client. Check out this list of font websites with both free and paid fonts for download.
OmniGraffle Review
OmniGraffle, now in version 5, is Mac software that simplifies the creation of wireframes, flowcharts and other diagrams by providing shape, line, arrow, text and graphics tools to use on a blank canvas. Many stencil sets, which are collections of graphics with a particular theme, are available that make the software even more powerful.
Free Fonts for Download from UrbanFonts.com
UrbanFonts.com is a well-designed free font website with over 8,000 freeware fonts for download. UrbanFont’s attractive site makes browsing fonts easier than on some other free font sites.
Web-Based Feedback and Collaboration with Notable
Notable is an excellent web-based application for providing and sharing feedback on website designs, code and content. Through a simple, clean interface, users can capture web pages, take notes on specific areas of the design or code, and collaborate with their team or clients.
Key Moments in Graphic Design History Timeline:...
A timeline noting key moments in graphic design history from 1900-1990, including the opening of the Bauhaus school, the designing of the IBM and MTV logos, and the release of the first Macintosh computer and Adobe Photoshop.
Graphic Design Projects for Friends and Family
A common dilemma that graphic designers face is whether or not to take on projects for friends and family, and what to charge them.
PsPrint.com – Online Printer
PsPrint.com is an online print shop that offers a long list of products at affordable prices, along with several paper options, same day service, and a large collection of design templates.
Work-for-hire refers to the situations in which a creator of a work does not retain the rights to that work. By default, and artist or designer owns the copyright to his or her work. Work-for-hire includes two exceptions to that rule.
Instagram for iPhone
Instagram is a free photo sharing app for the iPhone that allows you to take photos, transform them with a variety of filters, and easily share them on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and other social networking sites.
Tips and Advice for Starting a Freelance Design...
When is the right time to start a freelance business? What are important tips for people leaving a full-time job? I had a chance to speak with Tracey Halvorsen, Principal and Creative Director at interactive agency Fastspot, about advice for designers looking to start a freelance business.
Five Ways to Improve Your Graphic Design Business
There are many ways to improve your graphic design business. Some of the most obvious ways include building your portfolio and improving your skill set through practice or courses. However, there are additional improvements you can make to your business that don't involve design work. These include anything from how you dress to how you write.
The Benefits of a Graphic Design Blog
There are many benefits to writing your own graphic design blog. Writing a blog can build a community around your website, promote your business, and help to establish yourself as an expert in the field.
Growing Your Graphic Design Business Through...
At any stage of a business in graphic design, word-of-mouth is one of the most effective ways to land more jobs.
Digital Asset Management
As a graphic designer’s collection of stock photos, PDFs, artwork and other images grows, it is helpful to use software to browse files. Rather than sift through folders, various software packages offer efficient ways to find what you are looking for.
The Noun Project
The Noun Project is a website created to build a free collection of symbols. These free icons are useful for all types of design projects including websites, user interfaces and print design.
PostScript Font
A postScript font, or a type 1 font, has two parts, one for displaying the font on screen and the other for printing. PostScript fonts were developed by Adobe and for a long time considered the professional's choice for printing.
Color Properties and the HSV Color Space
The HSV color space is important to look at because it describes color based on three properties: Hue, Saturation and Value. As you edit these values, the full spectrum of colors can be created.
Graphic Design Magazines
Graphic design magazines can serve as a great source of inspiration for graphic designers. They are also a terrific resource for finding design competitions to enter and events to attend, and many are packed with advice on running a design business.
Web 2.0 Design
Web 2.0 design often features textures, drop shadows, clean layouts, icons and other design elements. What other features helped shape the look of web 2.0?
The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing and...
The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing and Ethical Guidelines is an excellent resource that covers pricing and business practices across all types of design professions, contracts, law, professional relationships and more.
Estimating Projects
When creating a proposal for a new graphic design job, one of the most difficult steps is estimating the project cost. It can be helpful to break down the necessary tasks to reach a final estimate.
A List of Graphic Design Books for Inspiration
Sometimes the quickest way to get creative inspiration for a project is to see what others have done. You’re not looking to copy anything, of course, but rather see a concept, color, shape, typeface or any other element that might spark your next great idea. This list of graphic design books provides inspiration in different areas of design.
American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)
The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), representing 22,000 members, is the largest and oldest membership organization representing designers. Since 1914, the AIGA has been a place for creative professionals to network and work towards improving graphic design as a profession.
Carbonmade Online Design Portfolios
Carbonmade is a website that allows you to build an online design portfolio. Carbonmade has a plan for a free online design portfolio, and a portfolio search that can help potential clients find your work.
Using LinkedIn to Promote Your Graphic Design...
LinkedIn is a business networking website that allows professionals to connect and help each other. Unlike many other networking tools that were originally geared towards socializing, LinkedIn is specifically for business networking and therefore an obvious choice as a tool to market yourself as a graphic designer.
Using Typography and Fonts in Graphic Design
Typography is crucial to almost all design projects. It is important to understand basic typography terms, how to use it effectively and how to find and identify the best fonts for a project.
Email Marketing with Campaign Monitor
Sending an email newsletter is a great way to spread word-of-mouth on your design business. There are many ways to do it for free, but there are also many services that offer email marketing tools and software, giving you control over design, contact management and statistics to test the effectiveness of your emails. Campaign Monitor is a great, user-friendly email marketing service with affordable pricing.
Web Design
There are many factors and decisions that go into creating the perfect web design. Where to start, what tools to use and how your design elements will appear on the page are just a few of the many choices web designers have to make during any project. This list of resources, tools and articles provides help when it comes to web design.
Billings Time Tracking Software
Billings, by marketcircle, is time tracking and invoicing software for the Mac. Billings has a simple and clean user interface that makes time tracking easy, and it allows for complete control over design of estimates and invoices.
How Can I Start a Design Firm if I Don’t...
If you can’t afford to start a design business, how can you get into graphic design? One of the best ways is to start small. Starting a career in design doesn’t necessarily mean starting a design “firm,” at least in the traditional sense. You don’t need to start with an office space or employees… your firm, or freelance business, can just be you. While there are some startup costs, a design business can be one with relatively low overhead.
How to Get Organized in Your Design Business
When working as a graphic designer, it is important to get organized. If your business is not organized, there is a good chance your design will ultimately suffer. Keeping track of design tasks, leads, client requests, finances, emails, and phone calls is all part of getting, and staying, organized.
Graphic Artists Guild
The Graphic Artists Guild is a professional organization dedicated to educating and protecting its members, with a focus on the economic and legal sides of being a creative professional.
How Can Personal Projects Help Start a Career...
One of the best ways to get started in graphic design is to take on personal projects. Whether you are trying to figure out if design is the right career for you, or if you have already decided you love it and want to build a portfolio, personal projects are a great starting point.

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