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Unlike other dry business books, this refreshing, straightforward guide from Logo Design Love author and international designer David Airey answers the questions all designers have when first starting out on their own. In fact, the book was inspired by the many questions David receives every day from the more than 600,000 designers who visit his three blogs (Logo Design Love, Identity Designed, and DavidAirey.com) each month.
How do I find new clients? How much should I charge for my design work? When should I say no to a client? How do I handle difficult clients? What should I be sure to include in my contracts?David’s readers–a passionate and vocal group–regularly ask him these questions and many more on how to launch and run their own design careers. With this book, David finally answers their pressing questions with anecdotes, case studies, and sound advice garnered from his own experience as well as those of such well-known designers as Ivan Chermayeff, Jerry Kuyper, Maggie Macnab, Eric Karjaluoto, and Von Glitschka. Designers just starting out on their own will find this book invaluable in succeeding in today’s hyper-networked, global economy.
Chapter One: Design as a Career
What makes a good designer?
On selling (the importance of sales)
What design schools lack
Finding your niche (we don't need another generalist)
Working as an independent designer
Working as an employee (team dynamics, limitations)
Working as an employer (less design, more managing)
Chapter Two: Starting-out
Experience required (more helps, but its possible with little)
Planning (creating a modern business plan)
Home office vs rented workspace
Choosing your brand name
Designing your brand identity
Launching your online presence
Marketing tips and finding new clients
Ethics in design
Chapter Three: Pricing
When to say no (be selective)
Talk about money early
The importance of clarifying expectations
Knowing what to charge
Avoiding project creep
How and when to raise your rates (and why it benefits your clients)
On discounting (not for new clients, but for old clients)
Collaboration and outsourcing
Chapter Four: Communicating with your Clients
You're the designer (the client isn't)
Discover the problem (don't assume there is one)
Highlight the importance of strategy
Beware requests for spec
Avoid the big reveal by involving the client throughout
Design by committee is unavoidable
The importance of showing your design in context
Common presentation mistakes
Chapter Five: Legalities
Terms and conditions
Why working without a contract costs thousands (Clemente case study)
What to include in your contract
Chapter Six: Before I Go
Be proud of your skills
Useful business tips