Tag: business

weekend reading

There have been a lot of great articles floating around the internet this week and I thought I’d share a few of the ones that I found very much worth reading. This cold weather has me curling up with a cup of coffee and my books and my instapaper when I’m on the go. It’s the perfect time to catch up on reading!

Have a great weekend!

Emily Cohen: Helping you design your business

There is so much dreariness outside today, I knew I’d be listening to a Creative Morning talk to brighten it up a bit. I couldn’t have asked for a better video to pick than Emily Cohen’s talk about business, startups, running a successful design company, contract tips and letting us know that “a fish stinks from the head down.” Truly worth watching no matter what kind of creative you are.

How Graphic Designers Get Paid

While doing my freelance projects, I always wonder what others are doing as they deal with their clients and money. This great article, How Graphic Designers Get Paid, has done most of the legwork in showing what others do and have done for their own work. I was very surprised at some of the answers, especially that 61.5% said they bill a fixed rate. I thought for sure it’d be more even with an hourly rate. Did any numbers surprise you?

via David Airey

Ork Posters

Have I mentioned I have an awesome younger sister? She bought me an Ork Poster this Christmas of Philadelphia and I’m in love. Screen printed white on green French Paper, the poster pops and I now want to buy one of each…

I also really enjoy the Ork story by founder Jenny Beorkrem:

“A core belief of Ork Posters is keeping the designs original to you and your environment. Someday I may wonder, ‘What was I thinking?’ but we don’t license or permit the design to be used for any external, promotional purposes.

We’ve turned down big companies like Urban Outfitters, Macy’s and art distributors because I don’t want to just sell, sell, sell, that’s easy. The challenge is to build a business – offer great products, collect a customer base, and build a brand that people can relate to. Because we’ll inevitably have more ideas and products come along in the future, and I want to make sure that Ork has a connection with YOU, so you’ll be around for it – as cheesey as it may sound.

Great job, Jenny! And I’m happy to throw in a vote for Columbus and Cleveland to be next on your map list. Read more of Ork Poster’s story and buy one for yourself for just $22, here.

Mickey Drexler’s Redemption

With all the talk about the ridiculous new Gap logo (which has now been officially replaced), I was really inspired by this article about Mickey Drexler, former Gap CEO and now JCrew CEO, and his firing-turned-redemption at JCrew. A wonderful read and an inspiration for taking a company by the reins and turning something like a firing into fuel for the future.

Written in 2005, the article still impacts so much of my newly fashion-oriented life and I was intrigued to learn how exactly he molded  two brands into what he wanted them to be. Read the article from NY Magazine here and read more about the Gap logo fiasco here and Gap’s official statement here.

via Rifle

Stay Up Late

Any wise advice from Ohioan Michael Beirut I listen to closely and his short article on staying up late is just that. Pulled from their 2005 archives, you can read more great articles on AIGA’s Design Journal as well. Enjoy!

“One week after I graduated from college in Ohio, I moved to New York with my new wife Dorothy and began working as a design assistant at Vignelli Associates. It was 1980, and I was the lowest employee on the totem pole. Working in a design office in those days was different. I never touched a computer. As I recall, the office didn’t even have a computer. In fact, we didn’t have a fax machine.

I spent most of my days putting thinner in rubber cement and taping tissue paper over mechanical boards. Every once in a while I would get to do a mechanical myself, usually following the direction of one of the more experienced designers. I was working in New York City for a designer I idolized and I was the happiest person on earth. It so happened that we got an apartment that was three blocks-literally, a 135 second walk-from the Vignelli office. Work started at 9:30 a.m. I usually got up at around five minutes to 9 and still had time to pick up a doughnut on my way in.

Dorothy, on the other hand, had a corporate job downtown, in the World Trade Center to be precise. She had to wake up before 6 to be at work at 8. I literally slept three hours later than her every morning. Every night Dorothy would go to bed at around 10 p.m. I was still wide awake, and our apartment was so small it drove me crazy. I had a key to the office. So I got in the habit of tucking my wife in every night and going back to work to start another shift, which often would last from 10 to 3 in the morning.

This went on for four years. Anything I’ve achieved in my career I credit today to those four years. I loved working late at night. I worked on office stuff, and I worked on personal projects. I played music really loud and drank Mountain Dew. I would design anything: invitations for my friends’ parties, packaging for mix tapes, one-of-a-kind birthday cards, and freebies for non-profits.

When Massimo Vignelli noticed I had extra time during the day, he started giving me extra work. Things that would have taken two days only took one, thanks to the night shift. The more work I did, the faster I got, and the better I got. It never occurred to me to ask for overtime. 25 years later, nearing 50 with three kids (and the same wife), I can’t tell you the last time I was awake at 3 in the morning, intentionally, at least. So my advice to anyone starting a career as a designer? Stay up late while you can. It pays off.”

Michael Bierut
Partner, Pentagram Design New York

via Keaton Taylor

Must Read: Rework

Rework, a book by the fantastic guys at 37Signals (also Basecamp, Campfire, Backpack and Highrise creators) is an incredible addition to my growing list of Must Reads. The book is filled with short chapters each with a great illustration like one the pictured above and a real life experience in each paragraph. They aren’t writers, per se, and they completely accept that. They are only experienced in success, and their stories, lessons and knowledge are profound and concise. They talk of their successes and failures and most of all, how to find success. I think it’s a great addition to any designer’s library and I’ll definitely be re-reading it before I start another book on my list. Buy a copy here and let me know what you think!

What the F is my Social Media “Strategy”?

A great device to create answers for your next big meeting when you don’t know how to answer: What the Fuck is my Social Media Strategy?

via 160over90

Designers Don’t Read

Being stuck on a few flights and a few long bus rides, I’ve learned to pack a good book or two. On my most recent trip, I borrowed my friend Casey’s book, Designers Don’t Read, and all I can say is that I ordered it as soon as my plane hit the ground. A book comprised of Austin Howe’s essays and thoughts about design, each section is quick, to the point and completely powerful. Even though Howe isn’t a designer, his respect, knowledge and love for good, thought-provoking design pushes me to be better and ask for more as a creative and as a designer. Because designers don’t read, each section is labeled with the time it will take you to complete it, ranging from 0.5 minutes to 8.0 minutes, and the entire book will take you 3 hours and 1 minute. I highly recommend picking up a copy here and let me know what you think!

image via Designers Review Of Books

Expense A Steak

Brilliant! Need an expense report for your $300.00 steak dinner? Maloney & Porcelli’s will do the work for you! Put in the cost of your meal and POOF! A downloadable pdf scan of receipts! Did I already say this is brilliant?? Make your own here.

via CSCA and Troy Allen

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