20 killer tips to land your first Junior Graphic Design role

This post offers useful, honest and actionable tips to help you land your first Junior Graphic design role or internship.

You are on a mission graduate graphic designer

This post is here to help

Finding work as a fresh-faced young Graphic Designer can be challenge! This post has been written to offer assistance in your journey to landing that desired role. By hopefully following these 24 graduate designer tips it will push closer to finding you goal into becoming a intern or a graduate designer.

As for my credentials; I have both been a design graduate and manager in charge of hiring interns and graduate designers. This post will cover what the company looked for (my previous role), what ‘I’ looked for and what I wasted my time doing in the beginning when looking for work.

My credentials to clear up

1) I’m not Neville Brody, or Saul Bass.
2) A lot of this experience comes myself and my former colleagues
3) The rest is taught
4) The rest of it is from first hand experience.

20 detailed tips for landing that ideal creative role :


Part 1 – Getting Into Mindset – It’s a job in itself.

Design Brain

1) Be positive, and stay positive
There may come a time in your search for work where you will feel down in the dumps, the worst thing you can do if you really want to be a Graphic Designer is throw in the towel too early on.

Some graduates manage to find a jobs as a designer straight out of University. Others will land roles off the back work experience, after 4 months of applying, after 400 applications or after nearly 10 months! Keep going, and push forward. No two people are the same and your journey could be different.

2 ) Don’t Waste (too much) Time With Recruiters
I put a strong emphasis on talking to a lot of the recruiters in London at the start, believing they would find my next all star job! Generally speaking, recruiters don’t manifest results if you are a graduate. I will assume, they are more preoccupied with landing the roles for higher paying jobs and getting a larger commission – I’m not sure exactly.

Bottom line, I spoke to many creative recruiters for jobs that didn’t exist or didn’t come to anything. The few that were useful gave some interesting advice, others almost destructive advice.

Try here instead – YCN

3 ) Keep Bettering Yourself
This follows on from “wasting time”. Sitting on your computer watching Youtube videos about cute cats jumping off of furniture isn’t going to land you a job. Make good use of your time by researching companies, learning the nuances and shortcuts of Photoshop and Illustrator or consider learning a coding language. The more skills and worthwhile projects you have in your portfolio, the closer you will come to landing you first ideal role.

4 Imagine Your Ideal Role
For me, this was the trickiest part of finding a role and I feel that my portfolio, although diverse could have been considered convoluted. Your want your portfolio and visual language to be in tune with your first full-time job. In hindsight, I had no idea about what type of job I wanted! I just wanted a creative job. If you don’t know, consider working backwards – what jobs don’t you want?

Here is a scenario.

Joanne was a diligent and hardworking student that tried her best at University. She was fresh-faced graduate full of hope and aspirations, she assumed it would be a breeze, she was a top student and she – like others – would just step into a creative role. But it didn’t come as easily as expected.

Why? Because, its not all about grades and portfolio, it was about finding a professional job match. Joanne had an artistic lean in her portfolio. She became a book designer.

Craig, he was great with branding, liked to skateboard but hated reading books, his persona and portfolio was all about skateboarding. Craig was a fresh-faced graduate designer and he applied to the position advertised for a ‘Book Designer’ – that’ll will do, he thought. “I need a job so I will just go for it”. He didn’t get that role for graduate book designer… but he did get the role working for a Skateboarding Label.

Is there a grain of truth in the above scenario’s? A bit. And maybe these fictional graduates lived happily ever rafter because they found a good job match.


5 ) Your Portfolio and CV are not speaking to each other
If you are struggling to get a job, or get shortlisted, it could be a case that your portfolio and CV don’t match up!

I have read a great CV’s, useless CV’s, silly CV’s random CV’s and just obscure and irrelevant. You CV needs to be applicable to the role and the contents of the portfolio should reflect at least some of the information in your CV, spelling and typo’s are only the beginning. You need a CV and folio that match each other and will help to put you ahead of other applicants. Controversially, I will say make a killer portfolio first and write the CV second.

6 ) Right place at the right time | luck and availability
Sound like a cliché? It is! But it also very true. You can be a ridiculously talented designer with a great portfolio, but if you are not in the right place at the right time then you won’t get the job. Roles can become available due somebody leaving, maternity cover, looking for contractors for specific task or the company is expanding! Be on the job boards, be ready and be available.

7 ) Businesses Aren’t Charities

when I first started trying to land my first job, my CV and covering letter didn’t bring anything to the job. Without really saying it, I expected the role would just land in my lap as I was a shiny new graduate – graduating or passing you course is just the beginning and employers smell your un-jaded optimism from a mile away.

With my begging letter (covering letter) at the ready, it said far more than what was written on the paper. Between the lines it said :

please give me a job, I have nothing to offer, and you will be doing me a favour by hiring me… please do me a favour! I need experience.
Explorers, directors and seniors designers need more than this. A CV saying that you need something from them as opposed to offering all of your energy and bustling talent is just selling yourself short. I wish I could go back and tell myself this.

Some kind souls took time to answer my queries and offer advice but most of the time they ignored my queries. You need bring your ‘a game’ to the team, you will be hired to do a job and do it well. Hiring managers are looking for potential and your are brimming with it – remember? Bring your best.

Aside from drawing attention to the blemish of inexperience, employers will know you are a graduate just by looking at the graduation dates. Focus on what you can do and do well.

Companies won’t hire you out of pity

Part 2 – Job Preparation

Preparation is key.

Vector Black Portfolio

Looking at the points before have you picked you ideal employer or type of job?

Are you considering how your portfolio will align with your ideal role?

If you don’t have a clue what you ideal role is, don’t threat! I didn’t either! A good way of assessing who you ideal employer could be is by working backwards. Ask yourself : What would you hate to do? This will narrow you options, and consider your first steps when looking for work.

8 ) Design Portfolio
This shouldn’t even need to be a point but I have run interviews where ‘Graphic Design Graduates’ came to a creative design interview without a portfolio… or anything to show for that matter. To begin with, that applicant was relying on my memory (my poor memory) and hoping that I could recall everything in their portfolio, at least they got dressed! Turning up to a graduate position without anything wasn’t ideal for a couple of reasons:

1) Did their college or institution not make the designer create a portfolio?
2) They should want to put their best foot forward.
3) This is a chance to discuss their best pieces of work! To really shine!
4) Dozens of other applicants will turn up with a portfolio and it is VERY a competitive market.


Ah it will be ok not to have a portfolio, I am the best designer of all of them” – chances are there will be many good designers going for that position, especially in London.

There were times when we would get over a 100 applicants. Hoping an employer will remember your best work is putting you, as the applicant, at a huge disadvantage – you are a Designer, as general rule you need something to show.

Having a professional portfolio displaying your best and treasured work – especially for print roles is a must in my opinion.

Below are some key points which I have collected together from interviews and sharing information with Creative Directors and MD’s :-

  • Put your best pieces of work at the front and at the back, a strong start and a strong finish.
  • Try to include relevant pieces of work for the job role.
  • Keep improving your portfolio, offline and online.
  • Avoid rubbish work : if you have a ‘live project’ where you had to use ‘Comic Sans’ for the local church poster, leave it out of your portfolio. Putting a low quality project in your portfolio will undo all of your hard work. At most, just mention in your CV about a live project – if your gut and design sense tells you have added an terrible project, you probably have.
  • Add as much ‘good’ quality live work as possible. Work experience goes a long way and ‘showing’ that you have this experience reinforces trust and credibility.
  • I have always used an A3 professional portfolio since graduation. I’ve seen others use archival boxes also which look good. I would personally avoid an A2 ring-binder portfolio, they are too big and and says ‘art college’ to me. It’s all about impressions.

Your portfolio needs to reflect you as a professional, you’re not a student any more… sorry to remind you!

9 ) Digital Portfolio
Before an employer looks at your ‘physical portfolio’ you are going to need a digital portfolio, a website, or something online so you can make that initial first impression or ideally all of the afore mentioned in order to help grab their attention. Whether it is a compressed PDF or something on Behance, get your work online. When creating your digital PDF portfolio, keep it a small file size, anything above 10 MB may get rejected with inbox limitations.

10 ) Your Design CV
You NEED a CV. Don’t rely on your portfolio to do all of the talking as employers will want to see where you have studied, what you have studied, when, your skills and so on. Employers and hiring management are looking for relevant information, they are looking pieces of information and that will help recruit the ideal candidate for the role. If your CV is irrelevant, thin, too much or riddled with typo’s you are lowering you chances of being selected.

Handy CV notes :

  • Don’t create your CV in Word. You are a designer, put some style and class in it.
  • Remove irrelevant job experience. Art Directors, Seniors Designers etc, are not interested in your paper round from when you were 15. You wont be delivering papers in your internship or graduate design role.
  • Make it easy to read and skim. Hiring managers are in a rush and they are also human… make your information snappy and easy to navigate. They might be reading a lot of CV’s and by the 70th applicant, focus can start to go out of the window.
  • Use your CV to sell you and reinforce your absolutely killer portfolio!

11 ) Covering letters
Covering letters are where I have seen some of the biggest mistakes. Keep it polite and acknowledge the job listing. You can sniff a ‘copy and paste’ email from a mile away as it seams to ignore all of points in the job listing. But if you do ‘copy and paste’ make sure to add name and don’t leave sentences like this.

“Dear …..

I would like to apply for the position of … as believe I could bring something new to the team.”


I have seen a letter with the “…”still left in. I don’t think they cared much about the job, maybe they were tired!

12 ) Portfolio & CV are inline
I’m going to let you in on secret, after reading so many CV’s for the creative intern roles at my former company, I stopped reading the CV first!

Why? I have taken the time to read CV’s in past and individuals can talk the talk but can’t walk the walk or so the cliché goes. In essence, they bigged themselves in CV and when I looked at the portfolio(s)… Wow, that’s awful

Now that isn’t me bashing Graduate Designer, not at all, I’m not actually convinced they studied design, unless it was at the school MS Publisher 1995. That CV was created by somebody that didn’t have clue about design. I felt ‘had’! The covering letter and CV were so convincing when I opened the digital PDF Portfolio, I was shocked. Imagine reading an epic CV and then you click onto a digital PDF that looks something a 12 year would create .

Trouble is, I had already wasted my time reading a borderline deceptive covering letter and CV. I will have to see the good and assume they were very optimistic and deluded. They Certainly were not a designer, but they sounded like one.

What could I do to with such an individual? Time is very precious in a busy commercial environment. From then on : folio first, glance at covering letter, good! Go back, read.

Part 3 – Uncomfortable & Unspoken Realities

I’m going to spill the beans on things outside of your skills, CV and portfolio that could have an influence on your being passed over. Some of these are opinions, others are first hand experiences as an applicant and other little ‘gems’ from behind very closed business doors.

Hopefully the points in this section will be both helpful to you and make me hated by recruiters and companies – good!

Spilling the proverbial design beans

13 ) Your Uni, School and background can influence your selection
When having a conversation with another Senior Designer I was surprised when I heard a couple of things.

According to the designer, at a certain establishment, they checked the following :-

  • Where applicants had studied
  • Grades
  • Secondary school and GCSE’s – ‘secondary school and GCSE’s?’ – honestly.

You cannot choose your past and where you went to school as teenager. Back in school, I didn’t know what I was going to study afterwards, nor would I know that being at that school could have an influence. Believe it or not I think there is a certain level of elitism in certain establishments that goes beyond your accomplishments and attainment, sadly…

But you can choose your future.

14 ) Geography – you live too far away.
This is both from personal experience as an applicant and an employer. Recruiters and employers can sometimes see ‘where’ you have applied from. So if you are looking for a Job in London for argument sake and you are based in Northern Scotland – certain jobs websites tell the recruiters and prospective employers where the application came from.

How do they know and why does it matter?
It shouldn’t but it will be counted against you regardless, I will come to that. I have experimented with this by accident I the past. On my CV I wrote that I was currently living in London, I was staying in London on and off but not living here. On my CV it stated that I currently lived in London. I applied for a role through a website and a recruiter rang me the following day.

“So your CV says, you live in London, but your application came from Cornwall?” or similar words.

How did they know and why did it matter!?

It matters. This problem, among many as a graduate was more of a gulf than a hurdle. I didn’t understand why geography should matter if I wanted to apply for the position, they were interested before I told them where I was from. I can recall being told a couple if times after the initial telephone interview with the recruiter that I was too far away for the job – despite being willing to pay for a ticket in an attempt to get a job! As time went on I ran into this a couple of times. Mostly from recruiters.

Recruiters want to make money quickly, and sadly if they find another eligible graduate for the position that lives in or around the city they will get first pick, it can be as simple as that.

My previous boss also favoured locals as it was convenient. I tried my best when possible to favour, passion, talent, work ethic and a cracking portfolio when selecting a candidate – geography was irrelevant to me perhaps I was also motivated by an emotional ideal. I remember how many times I was thrown on the heap before I could even finish saying the sentence
“I am from Cornwall…”

This comes from the perspective of coming to and living in London. How to vault over the Geography issue:

  • Persist and keep applying.
  • Be patient
  • Find a friend or relative to stay with whilst you look.
  • Look for more creative jobs that by pass-recruiters where you feel less like a slab of design meat.

– Last point here – DO NOT RUN UP A DEBT!

15 ) You might not get the most fun tasks
As a graduate you may be given some repetitive or smaller jobs – that’s juts how it is. But you should use these to your advantage, do a great job, do it quickly and use these tasks to make an impression! You might also get a great reference from the your employer at the end. When handing out these tasks I would also mix them in with more interesting and conceptual tasks.

Part 4 – Design Tips | Employers Perspective

I will now write of what I, and my fellow colleagues looked for when at the interview stage of recruiter a graduate.

16 ) Character
Good portfolio, an active mind, somebody who will do the tasks. We would recruit someone with flair, a graduate that would be able to apply their skills to the brand and be part of the team.

In a highly sociable office / studio I would have to gauge how you, the applicant ,may interact with me and the rest in the team and how they might react to you. I could be away, in a meeting or really busy. If I left you as the Junior or Graduate alone with a sales manager would the office combust because he asked you to help implement a email sig for example. Knowing the personalities of the office how would you react to person A, B who you’d work with every day. We are people after all and not all people get along. Making the wrong match In a work environment could cost the company money

There is more to an interview than just a Portfolio and CV.

17 ) Ask questions, show interest.
Another thing that doesn’t appear to be mentioned much in other interview or advice articles. An interview is not only about you being interviewee, it’s also about you and the company. If I have a discussed potential project coming up in the future it is nice to see if you are actually interested in the role or topic. So asking more about the projects, the role, the progression are are worthwhile questions to ask when it comes to making that first impression.


18 ) Your ‘Interests’ on your CV
Why did this matter to me and the company? It’s not a huge point but as strange as it sounds, if I was interested in the candidates CV, I would look at their hobbies and interests to see I could find any relevance to the role.

If the candidate mentioned that they were interested in ‘tech’ games, gifting, arts and crafts, etc it, it could have been a tipping factor for taking more interest in them as I would be aware of the type of project in the pipeline. Not only that, I would consider the following based on your interests.

A – You would be more interested and passionate in a project if you were already like it as a hobby.

B – More likely to come up with vivid and strong marketing and product ideas if you already had some background knowledge on the topic.

It’s a piece on the CV that is often taken for granted, but as person recruiting for an intern, freelancer or potential graduate designer I would look!

For an actionable tip, perhaps write a bit about yourself, love computer games or books? Write it. You could find a company, agency or publisher that is looking for someone with a love for what you do. It’s a potential spot to add ‘icing’ on the cake.

19 ) Commercial experience will put you a an advantage.
Relevant experience more so. Seeing that you have already worked on commercial design projects, even be it for family and friends, will still offer transferable experience. If you can find freelance work, or work experience in your local area this will put you at an much bigger advantage when it comes to landing your first graduate designer role! To find thes jobs look in local papers, social media, talk to friends, Google, Jobs boards.

Conclusion : Tip Summary for Getting a Graduate Design Role

Ok that might be a lot of action to undertake in a short period of time but hopefully, now that you have read this article, you will leave this page feeling prepared and motivated to smash it and get the job. Here is a condensed summary.

  • Make good use of your time.
  • Be prepared, have you portfolio and CV ready
  • Remove irrelevant information from your CV
  • Create a portfolio that is applicable to your ideal role
  • Get as much experience as possible!
  • Work on personal projects and keep bettering yourself
  • Try to network with companies, directors, charities, etc – focus much less on recruiters
  • Keep checking jobs boards
  • Show interest in the role if you get the interview

Lastly from me…

As a closing note I have decided to add a little personal message from me – a small piece of my career journey from back in the day which shows I am human, just like everyone else. Here is a story from one of my less than ideal interviews.

The less than ideal interview

After applying for a job for a ‘Junior Designer’ I found on jobs board, I landed an initial interview with a recruiter. I had my portfolio, CV and smile ready. When asking the recruiter for tips – I asked question along the lines of ‘would the employer want grow and improve the website?’ I was keen, eager and naïve. I wanted to bring my passion to the company. After looking at the website and the branding I made some notes – taking into account that the recruiter also thought It may be a good idea to share these ideas.

With my mental notes scribed neuron juice onto my frontal lobes, my enthusiastic nature and my slick black portfolio, I was ready for the interview.

I sat down in front of 2 people, A Developer and his Manager I will assume.

I mentioned some ‘technical issues’ with the main website (being a website designer role – sort of – I though it would help) little did I know… That the person who built the website, tech issues included, was sat in front of me – in front of his Manager! The damage was done.

I had in inadvertently bruised this Developers ego without knowing or meaning to, I just wanted to point out tips to improve the website.

I didn’t get the role – he hated me, a lot!

The gentleman who had built the page probably came away from the interview squirming and I had put my foot in it by offering my ‘positive ideas’ for improvement. I was a fool, it was never meant to be and hey-ho I went onto other interviews.

Lesson : watch what you say, and be very mindful who you are talking to. Don’t accidentally ruffle too many feathers in an interview.

Further to this job, it wasn’t quite as advertised, it wasn’t a creative role. I was going to copy and past text into ‘mailshots’. Recruiters and job listings can have a sneaky habit of ‘fluffing’ up job descriptions.

I think I was happier not getting it, or so I tell myself.

So, don’t worry about the bad stuff, good will come along!

20 – Big Last Point – Stay Positive

GOOD LUCK GRADUATE DESIGNER!

Thank you for reading this post

20 Killer Tips to land your first graphic design role

Unity is Awesome – 5 key reasons to use Unity Software for your next game project

In this post I have decided to write 5 valid points of why to use Unity Software in your next gaming project. To put it out there – it is awesome! (in my opinion) and once you have read to the bottom of this post hopefully you will want download and start using it to!

Test tube vector graphics from unity dev lab website

To begin with I was dubious about using Unity. The interface looked complicated and I had little prior knowledge of using 3D software, that was all OK… because I wanted to make 2D games and applications anyway – for now, at least. Whilst writing this post I came across a video that was an inspiration to myself and maybe other startups, designers, artists and gaming indies. The original founder of Doom – John Romero himself created video on starting an indie game. You can watch his interview by following the link.

John Romero Hurrah to Doom

Game icons and unity application icons
Unity Dev Lab Icons

Before Unity (You can skip this bit)

Prior to using Unity, I used Adobe Flash software to create games, applications and motion graphics which were used for commercial and personal purposes. I still use Adobe Animate, although I have now expanded my tool-set and started to use other applications such as Adobe After Effects which gives fantastic results. If you are animator or motion designer I would highly recommend after effects.

I was trained in using Adobe Flash to an industry standard and used it on numerous projects in the 2000’s and early 2010’s, it was part of my bread and butter money along with graphic and website design. It was solid piece of software but something happened… the Smartphone. If you are asking yourself what the ‘smartphone’ has to do with anything, it has a lot. When the iPhone (can’t recall which model) came out, Apple announced that it would stop supporting flashplayer – in other words the player that displays the your video, game or application in the browser. Without going into too much detail and the technicalities, this was the start of the end Flash being displayed in the browser, it became less common place for the flash (.swf) to be displayed. HTML5, Applications, and video became some of the best applications but this is a different topic. In a word flash player fell away for progress.

As time went on, “Flash” started to die out and even became a dirty word. I would assume that this was also a motivation among many, that Flash rebranded itself to Animate – in essence it was still the same software but the name of the software – ‘Flash’ was gone.

a fun project that was created to promote a painter

I still hold it dear, and Flash (now Animate) is still a very capable program for 2D today, but tech and software evolves. So this is where I started to look into gaming platforms and have so far settled on Unity after trial and error.

Lets talk about the perks of Unity Software!

The 5 keys points – Why Use Unity

1) It’s Free
Unity Software is free for personal use and for smaller scale developers. If you are just starting a game, VR or development project you will not have to fork out huge upfront cost for the software. It’s also great even if you are hobbyist. Who doesn’t love free! I can only recommend that you download it now and form your own opinions.

2 ) It’s A Capable And Versatile Piece of Software
Whether you are looking to build a 2D game, an app or a full-scale 3D game Unity is great for both. Unity comes with 1000’s of ready to use assets to start creating your game. And that’s not all. With simple touch the button you can flick between 2D and 3D and even 2.5D. Here are some examples of the what has been made in Unity. (made with)

3 ) The Asset Store
The asset store is a huge library filled with gaming goodies to help you make your game. Its filled with sound effects, graphics, models, game templates, monsters, AI, and a whole host of other bits and pieces to the get the ball rolling. The Asset Store is constantly expanding with new assets ready for you to download and use. Please note, some of the assets vary in quality. You can use the rating system to gauge whether the asset you are looking to buy or use for free is good for you.

4 ) Tutorials
The tutorials are great. Unity has a learning curve and there is no easy way round this. The good news is, you can start using the basics quickly and you don’t have to be a coding guru. I would advise downloading Unity Software and following some of their tutorials first. You may be pleased to know that if you are ‘design heavy‘ you can download a template that will do a lot of the leg work out for you. But this can also be limited for the scope of the project.

5 ) Community – Forums
For me this is one of the best things that put Unity above the other free gaming engines I have tried and tested. Unity comes a with great community, that is friendly and willing to help.

This community will help you out when you are stuck, add new assets to the store and push the quality of Unity. I have used other free game engine forums and they are no where near as helpful and busy.

Potion bottles from Unity UI

What Unity Software can Achieve

Based on the couple of free engines I have used (wasted my time on) I can say that Unity Software is a great piece of kit. The only thing I might say is, Unreal seams to offer a better rendering engine for the lighting and environments. I have never personally used Unreal but it does look very good. But, whilst we are talking about the quality of graphics, have you heard of the Book of The Dead? This looks amazing!

Book of the Dead

Book of the Dead is a game / live demo created in Unity Software. The game shows the graphical might of Unity and what can be achieved using their engine, creativity and skilled in 3D modelling. I was blown away with the Blacksmith, and then I watched the Book of the Dead demo. You can watch the Book of the Dead demo to see what Unity is capable of but please note :- you need a powerful computer to download and run the demo and its assets.

Watch the Book of the dead demo to see what can be achieved using Unity 3D

Unity Software Testing Website

On my showcase and Unity sandpit website I have added a couple of my own mini games and experiments to show you what you can do with Unity. These are small scale experiments showing live the demo’s which can be played in your browser on your PC or Imac.

Enjoy Reading About Why Unity is Awesome?

if you would like to see more Unity Ramblings, artwork, cool assets then feel free to sign up to my mailing list.

So you know… I am not an advocate, affiliate or linked to Unity Software, I just watched to sing its merist and perhaps save you a little bit of time.

Where to find creative design inspiration | 10 websites and maybe a walk…

Creative design inspiration

Before the 10 websites…

Feeling stuck, confused, unmotivated by your design brief? |You have been sat at your computer for hours on end unable to produce the work and the time is ticking. In this post, I have collected together 10 links to websites that I hope will inspire you to nailing that dead line. Hey whilst you are reading this why not put the kettle on, sit back and think… don’t panic

– Trust me there is a difference.

Don’t rely on a blank Illustrator document to inspire you

If you have be sat for a long period of time staring at blank document you need give your mind an idea injection. And for this your mind needs creative fuel. I believe it is a rare thing that something comes from nothing. All ideas, products and design will have something to trigger that spark.

Aimlessly Pushing Pixels

You may be stuck because you have put the cart before the horse. There is no harm in discussing a brief with a client or boss to help you gauge and progress a project. Conversations with the right people can be a great motivator and bring a different edge to project that you wouldn’t have otherwise considered.

Step away from unproductive mode

There is no harm in coming away from your screen and stretching your legs and getting some blood and oxygen flowing around your body. A study here, shows how walking can stimulate thinking – if someone questions your seemingly random urges to push yourself away from the screen and go for a walk it could be worth mentioning the information in this study. When going for a walk at lunch time, I see it as ‘non-working’ working. It’s generally more progressive for me to do this than sit then in a brain haze.

Creative inspiration - Cornish beach walk
Wish you were here!

10 inspiring design websites – 2019

Did you go for a walk? Maybe you cant go for a walk for what ever reason. I have pulled together some posts from an older personal blog post. Did you make yourself that drink?

Design / Creative

https://abduzeedo.com/collections

https://www.designweek.co.uk/landing-page/projects/

https://www.creativeboom.com/inspiration/

https://printpattern.blogspot.com/

https://www.designspiration.net/


Packaging

http://lovelypackage.com/

Illustration

https://illustrationfriday.com/


Web

https://www.smashingmagazine.com/

https://thefwa.com

http://www.csszengarden.com/

Social Media
Websites such as Pinterest and Twitter can be a great source to get the old creative juices flowing – remember not to get carried away… you have a deadline after all!

Thank you for reading. If you are still stuck on a project I would be more than happy to help out. For more information have a look at my portfolio website here.

Website & Interface Projects – 2019

With over 10 years commercial experience in creative design and front-end web development I have been given some brilliant opportunities to work on products which have been fun, engaging and challenging. A large proportion of my experience has come from Satzuma, a gifting and tech company based in London.

User interface
A collection if interface elements for a
section of a flash memory sub domain

Projects have ranged from a tangible products to a new website which were created for promoting the product that was designed. ‘Branding’ and appearance was key, so the visual design for the website would have to work well for the packaging, the branding, the promotional material and all else in between, The design needed considered how it would be implemented across the board from start to finish.

Initial icon design created on illustrator and photoshop
Snap shot of early icons for the flash application –
Website application icons
Icon design for the application
A drag and drop application used to promote a product online
The drag and drop application – in action! Shows how the product worked.
Actionscript in action! used to create an APP
Doesn’t work by magic. In order to make the application work, it needed code! the life blood. So getting my coding hat on this was app was developed in Action Script 3. Once it was finished and released, the app could be played either in your browser or downloaded.
Landing page design for website
The application, also had a dedicated page on the website so you could download the play the game / application from your computer.

What was the point in this website and application?

A product was designed so you could decorate your own smartphone and headphones with an all encompassing DIY kit. It was for the gifting and tech market. And for this, the website look and feel needed meet the criteria:

  • Needed to be eye-catching and appealing to large retail stores on the high street
  • The product was geared toward slighty ‘edgy’ young female teens – students
  • The app needed to show the product in action from the ‘buyers’ browser. It was also used for the B2C market so ‘end-users’ could see what the product was about.

Creating An E-shop

It was discussed that it would be a good idea to create an online shop so business to business retailers could buy the products in wholesale. So a 1000 units, 50 units, etc and the platform would maintain the stock. After research and looking into core requirements, maintenance, ease of use and cost and stability OpenCart was the go ahead.

Snapshot of shopping cart of  website.





This is an example of the of the OpenCart theme with the core Satzuma branding applied to it.

The website needed to look engaging and in keeping with the brand as a whole. Packaging like one business and a website that looked like another would potentially put off customers and larger retail brands.

Full length opencart UI design
This is the UI design based around the Nexus Theme. This is the design stage before the artwork was broken down and applied to the online store.

A Piece UI Design

This is a piece of UI design that was applied to one of the earlier original Satzuma brochure site designs. These buttons and elements were broken down and written into the HTML and CSS. This website gave a punchy brand experience whilst offering information on the product.

User interface design for brochure website
On closer inspection you will see the various elements that made up the functionality and aesthetic of the original Satzuma website.

This design encompasses some of the core elements of the website. Such as :

  • The user interface design – buttons, backgrounds, quotes, decorations, navigation, logo, social media and other ad-hoc parts that constructed the general interface of the website
  • Buttons – Its not a coincidence that buttons are orange. Based on a seminar by a ecommerce consultancy. People clicked more often on the colour orange. Which was fortunate as so was the core branding of Satzuma. This allow for clear areas of Calls To Action on the web page.
  • Dark Elements – The core branding of Satzuma was orange a black – fun and tech. Using these core principles of the brand, I created a look that was both functional and respectful to the branding of the business. This also plays into something called ‘semiotics’ you can read more on semiotic examples here. The main purpose of the black, in addition to be part of the black/dark branding was to act as a neutral bed of colour to emphasise the CTA’s and the content.
  • Charm & Character – following the charming elements and the character of the brand you will see (or used to) the Satzuma Man drawing attention to promotions and core messages. He was a face / mascot which captured fun elements of the brand

Thank you for reading

If you need help with your website be it basic consultation, design, growing online, design the look and feel, helping to set up a WP website so you can manage your own website – feel free to say hello.

Tips For Creative Brief : suggestions on writing a simple brief | Client to Designer

Vector icon for writing a simple design brief.
No fuss, suggestions for writing a brief.

Designer to Client

Hey, maybe you are looking for some ideas on writing a creative brief and dont know where to start? Maybe you need ideas for writing the details for the next website some early pointers for a rebrand? This post has been written to give you, ‘the client’ some rough guidelines for setting a brief. Imagine answering the following…

Purpose & Plan

What is the purpose of the project? Is it to expand the business, launch a new product range or to promote something that you are already offering?

You will need to have some sort of a plan and end goal in mind for the project. If you don’t know what it is that you business needs, that’s OK… maybe you would prefer an initial chat first? Do take into account, without a plan or and end goal, even a loose one, you will end up going around in circles and costing yourself time. Maybe ask yourself some of these questions :-

  • What do I want to get out of it? Profits, more followers, leads etc
  • What will my return on investment be? (RIO)
  • Can this be achieved for the budget?
  • Should I do this now or should work on something else first?
  • What is the competition doing? 
  • How can do it differently/better?

Listed a above are some general open ended questions. If you are stuck and would like some initial design consultation and help with project planning get in touch.

Budget

The budget is important to consider as this will affect the amount of time that will be allocated to your project – factoring in deployment, build/design, concept and whether anything else needs to be considered. Below, are 2 methods to factor in – there are many others but for the sake of the article and to give you and idea I have picked 2.

Cascading, fluid, rolling. This method, is far more open-ended financially but allows for plenty of creative and innovative freedom, a designers dream more often than not as this can offer up great results. A draw back with this free flowing approach is that money can keep on going into a project, regular checks on the amount spent so far are a good approach and ball park figure should be offered in the beginning, especially with smaller business with tighter purse strings. So the pros and cons of this.
Pros :
– Offers great results, project continues until a project is at its best
– You dont pay for surplus time in case the project was over estimated on a fixed rate.

Cons
– Can be scary for start ups or businesses that have a very tight budget

Fixed price, this method usually suits both parties, or so I have found, a draw back with this is that sometime contracts and prices need to sometimes be re-evaluated should there be substantial changes to a project specification. In the beginning, a ‘fixed estimate’ will be discussed. beginning, factoring in changes (or tweaks) additional requests will increase the price as more time will be required. But you will also need to have an idea of what you need for a project for a budget.
Pros :
– Allows for more careful budgeting and price conscious projects
– Avoids ‘surprises’ when the bill comes.
– Stipulates clear objectives.

Cons :
– Projects can be underestimated and will need to be reevaluated for the time required.
– If additional features (feature packing) are added part way through it will can unsettle expectations on both parties.

Time Frame

Take into account when you need a project to be completed, things can take time to finish, the designer may be working on several projects at once and they may not all be yours. Also, waiting to hand over all relevant information at the last minute will end in disappointment eg, sending all the photo’s over for flyer an hour before a production deadline or as the designer needs to leave will not make the best of it… Get the relevant information such as, text, photo’s, FTP details etc over in decent time. It is neither fair and shouldn’t be expected that designer will drop everything including free time, family life and other projects to do your work. The earlier, the better! Besides, doing everything last minute just increases risk of failure for a projects.

Target Market

If this is a design project that is yet to have a brand established have you considered who the target market will be? Is this for children, adults, professionals, tourist, artists, trade and so on.

Branding

Do you have an existing brand guidelines for your company? If you have any existing logo, colours, fonts, do’s and don’ts this may be required for the project to be completed.

Deployment

Depending on the desired project, how do you intend to deploy the project? Will this be a small web banner, a flyer, will you be using a printer, will this be a for screen, will it be for print? It is worth considering how this may evolve in the future be it for print or screen. It is easier to scale a large file down or resize a vector than it is to resize a 60 px 60 px logo onto a bricks and mortar shop.

Limitations

Is there anything in the that the designer can’t do? Will it be for a certain target demographic, politically sensitive, have to fit on some something small, needs fit x y z etc etc

I hope this gives some food for thought, if this all looks a bit scary. It isn’t! Its fun and can be a great journey. If you would like to ask a question please feel free to do so.

Easy to follow steps for making a bespoke low-maintenance website using PHP include

So… Lets make a easy to maintain bespoke website.

Test tube graphic vector.
Using PHP include will make maintaining a larger bespoke website much easier.

Maintaining a large bespoke website can be very time consuming.  Using “include” can take the website to the next stage of modular design.

Imagine having to write 1 line of code into a ‘php’ file instead of having to copy & paste the same piece of code across 70 or so pages, worse still… imagine that piece of code had a typo – across all 70 pages! You would have to go back and amend all of the pages and it would be a costly waste of time!.

Using PHP include can reduce the time consuming method of copy and paste, shorten time and take your website to that next stage of design (Or look at a CMS system but that is a different topic). With the php Include method, the information you amend in one file can change across multiple webpages with a simple save and upload. To name a couple of ideas, you can use this method for navigation, footers, banner adverts and much more. I cannot emphasise how much easier this will make your life when working on larger projects if you must take the bespoke method. Change once to update many!

It will save hours!!!

Getting start with PHP include

As a basic example we are going to make a footer. We will have a master or ‘main’ document that will  “include” – pull in, integrate, import a file from your website.

This tutorial/experiment will assume you already have prior knowledge of setting your website up with root folders etc, if you need some more help with this please follow these tutorials.

https://helpx.adobe.com/dreamweaver/how-to/first-website-part1.html 

Or PHP

http://php.net/manual/en/tutorial.php

You Will Need: 

– The main file (The parent/master)
– An external footer file (why not add some styling to your html?)
– one line of code, which you will embed into the parent folder.
– A space to upload/test your experiment. (domain and hosting)

Stage 1 – Parent File (Master)

The ‘Parent’ (master) will pull in the external files to construct the page. in this example. The master will have some code in the bottom of the pagethat will say ‘Hey footer, you included down here’.

Why not call your parent file ‘master.php’

This image shows (with straying CSS, bleurgh! sorry an old image ) the master.php and Product-footer-test.html working together… or popping out of the bottom. 

PHP include shown in image - demo of a PHP include
This is a master file and a and external footer.html / or PHP working in conjunction.

Stage 2 – Footer File

I have used the footer in the example. This area of the website at my previous company used to have frequent updates, with new products being added constantly. As you can see, all styling is added to this queasy example with the accursed table by using CSS – the image below is the bare bones of the footer file – no bells, no whistles! ( Why did I use the horrible table back in the day… I groan).

If completed correctly, changes or modifications to the footer file, will be included in the master file once you add the “include” piece of code to the master file. So what you change here (the footer file) will be visible once you come to uploading all of the files and testing the file.

How you treat you footer is down to you, this tut is here to show you the principle.

A very simple PHP footer include image. Show how it can work for your project.
A bare example of a footer files – you can write and external CSS file for this to give it some magic or use inline CSS styling!

Stage 3 – The Simple Piece of Code to Paste Into Your Master PHP file

The image below shows in red where the piece of “include” code sits. So, imagine you have made a hollow space on your webpage, in the hollow space you are going to add this code to the bottom. As shown. 

1 line that could potentially save you hours!
Its just 1 line of code… 1 line that could potentially save you hours!

Product-footer-test.html”); ?>

The line of code above which has been inserted into the bottom of your master file will call on the footer module and all of its elements.  Once you upload your files you can see whether the footer has worked! Oh and check you have saved everything!

The visual diagram below will visually show how the principle works – leaving aside how the coding works for the PHP include.

Summary of PHP include in action

Parent, Child, Footer... How PHP include works for designers
This is a image of what is happening with you PHP include!

In a nutshell. You have a the parent (the main page) and a child, in this example it was the footer. 2 elements talking to each other. Thank you for reading.

Hey, need a hand with your website?

There’s other methods to get the results you want which may be even more effective if you are a non-coder. You can use a web builder, a CMS or something else. If you would like help you can find out more on the design website

Easy Techniques For Reducing Banding / Posterization in Photoshop

Posterization – Effective Techniques For Reducing Banding! 3 simple tactics

Are you look for a way reduce the rings in your artwork in Photoshop?
Are you look for a way reduce the rings in your artwork in Photoshop?

Banding in PS – What is it?

If like me you work as illustrator/designer, I’m sure you will have run into the dreaded banding aka Posterization If so, I will go into detail shortly. Please note; this is told from an illustration and design bias.

Illustration in Photoshop has been a blessing for me. Edit, undo, save as, copy, paste, re-colour artwork the list goes on. This issue comes when working with radial and linear gradients and tones of black and grey. Working with a lot of black and orange as part of the colour palette, I have had to figure out ways for dealing with or working around banding. For example, when I’m rendering characters like Rufus the rat, he has grey body with even darker creases in the body, getting the shading and highlights to blend hasn’t always been easy – banding has been a big issue. As it stands, I’m still uncertain as to how to get a completely smooth finish when rendering by work with a grey and black tones. I can offer some methods for reducing this so called ‘banding’ effect and the bane of drawing Rufus. 

My Setup 1 : New Document ‘I like RGB’

From the off, I have tested this on Photoshop CS5 and CC with similar results from version to version. 64 bit – 32 bit RGB to CMYK I’m not entirely sure if this has an influence aside from whether you are working with 8 bit, 16 bit and 32 bit; the later offering marginally tighter rings and hues. For this example I have worked with A 300 DPI document, in RGB using 8 bit (this can be changed later) also with the colour profile listed below on an iMac. This is by no means a significant contribution to the final out come but maybe worth noting.

Setting your photoshop file to 32 bit
Caption of colour modes

‘tangent alert’ Using RGB in the early stages is my preferred method, not everybody’s. “Isn’t this madness? You won’t see the genuine colours of your artwork!” Well unless, your screen is calibrated exactly and your using pantones, guaranteeing what you see on the screen to print can be tricky anyway. Besides, I work across both mediums of screen and print. 

Method 2 :  Ultimate Trick – Brush & Noise

Assuming that you are running into this issue whilst using a soft-edged brush tool in Photoshop, I would advise turning the noise’ on under the brush panel (as shown – press F5 bring this window up) this helps in the blending of steps with greys as shown below. As far as I can tell, based on my work, this improved the overall smoothness and graduation of the tones from light to dark regardless of bit mode or any other. You can also dabble with the filters if you are using large radials (That would be a different article). 

As you can see below, the black brush at the top has rings (banding) and the one below has far fewer the brush used on the lowest part of the blob has noise switched on. The speckled effect will be less obvious once you take your artwork to print

Blending colour steps in Photoshop
Look in the top left the brush, notice how you can see the steps / rings. This is much less obvious in the lower part of the black blob with where I have switched noise on

Method 3 : Big to small, playing with scale


Another trick for tightening this banding is by shrinking/scaling down your completed artwork. When you have applied the ‘noise’ and finished the process you can physically shrink the image to hide some of the messier details – an illusion essentially.

This is a method that I have used not only to disguise banding when digitally painting but also to give the appearance of tighter line work and detail in photography and illustration

Step 1 piece of art = 100%
Step 2 scale art to = 75%


When you print the document some of the details and blemishes are hidden away from the naked eye. This approach can also hide some of the rings in banding with added element of noise! Combine all 3 steps really scrub out the bands if you are having trouble on the screen or when you print.

Otherwise your hard could look like a dirty spill stain.

Conclusion
You will see the benefits for this when you come to printing your work, especially if you are working with shades of grey.

To summarise – Add noise to your brush mode.

The methods above were used on this character – Copyright Satzuma LTD

If you need help with your latest design project or need some tips free to find me on twitter!

This was originally written and part of my personal blog. 2015

How to get the black you want in print! Some tips and tricks to help

Working In Black In RGB & CMYK

The Great Black

Black can be a trouble to work with when it comes to print, especially with all of the varying print processes, paper finishes and general variations with commercial printing machines, inks, screen calibrations and so on – working with a black is a headache and I’m sure many others would agree! So, I have put together some tips and tricks to assist with your projects – it can be a dark and treacherous path. This post will mostly focus on creative approach rather than the pure technical aspects of Black ( K ). Working with 4 colour printing and spot colours is a detailed topic in its own right which is worthy of a post.

Illustrators, painters, artists and photographers

If you are a designer / work in print skip this paragraph!

Firstly, does it really need to be BLACK? When I say does it need to be ‘Black’ are there many things in the real world that are completely black? Aside from an all light absorbing, all-life-drinking black hole that absorbs all light and colour? Besides… that’s something that;s not of our world as far as I’m aware. Looking at the world around you, you will see come to see how lighting, surface, atmosphere and texture will absorb surrounding colours, including what you would what you would call a black surface. For example, someone is wearing a black t-shirt, more often that not if, even if it is new, light will catch on the folds, the creases and the contours of the fabric giving the black fabric a slight hue or tint depending on the light source and ambience.

Study things! I like to look at surfaces and objects that have an interesting finish for example : gloss surfaces, bottles, matte paint, skin, fur, hair, shadows, animals, sunglasses, cloth, etc. Another good source of reference of how to use light and dark with dramatic effect is Chiaroscuro – do some research online – research Caravaggio (one of many artist’s using this approach) and see what comes back. Caravaggio used light and dark with excellent dramatic effect framing the narrative in light and shadows. This is potentially subjective but hopefully… it will be food for thought – if its jet-black you’re after then please read on! ( I have attached a little image below with some dark but not black shading )

This image shows how tints shades can show some almost black can work. Most things are not strictly jet black

RGB BLACK… A HACK

A Preference

Typically, I like to work in RGB first and then convert my files to CMYK afterwards, especially if I’m working on a bitmap illustration or digital painting. Why? Because working in RGB generally gives me more creative freedom in the beginning and it also allows me to move between digital and print at a later date anyway. This is a my preferred method when working on an illustration and by no means a rule, just a preference. I’m not the only one working this way. By doing a Google search I stumbled upon a commercial artist who also likes to work this way – this writer and artist goes into much greater detail about the in’s and outs of color channels on their blog. I recommend having a read at some stage – perhaps after you have read my post.

(http://muddycolors.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/printing-your-work.html)

Unexpected Results – Designers a pleasant accident

I was always taught to work in CMYK for print and RGB for digital. I still champion this for working with professional printers as trying to print from RGB file may produce some erratic results, be it for leaflets printing, flyers, and other mediums. I accidentally ran a test print from Photoshop in RGB (Thinking it was CMYK) and the results were far more superior than the CMYK version. Both were printed on the same satin finish paper, on a Canon Pixma A3 with an impressive result. Despite my efforts and tinkering with the levels in the CMYK version to replicate what had happened In the RGB Version, I couldn’t produce the same results. I will make an assumption that my Inject printer translated the RGB to CMYK and just knew what I was after. I can’t complain too much as this project was sent to print and retained all the vivid colours and strong black colours.  Saying this, I still recommend trying to stick with the CMYK for design and print despite this result as this is typically what is asked – best to be safe, but something worth exploring for the future.

Digital Black Colour in Photoshop – Add a Hue

Unless your are working in RGB and your artwork will remain for screen (digital) only. Then may be best to work with ‘Designer Black’ check the numbers. Although the computer says it black (or you’ve had it calibrated) it is best to drop a bit of colour into the mix – and do test print it.

Photoshop Colour Palette
And Example of using the black in the colour palette

Last Round Up Hacks!

  • Take Notice of the colour warnings when you are in the colour picker window. This could save a lot of headache later on. (Yellow Triangle)
  • Let the printer do the leg work. Send your artwork to the printer and try to let them help you. A printer worth their salt will want to help you and have your return custom. To reinforce your expectations, send them a physical sample from your home printer – assuming you have a good quality home printer.
  • A HUE, if you are working on an image with a lot of dark areas why not add a little hue / tint of colour? 20% cyan for example or some magenta/red for a warmer image.
  • Avoid working with 0, 0, 0, 100 K, as this best reserved for font/text printing and can your work charcoal appearance. Use a ‘Rich black’ or ‘designers black’ instead. 20, 20, 20, 100 k for example.
  • Avoid 100, 100, 100, 100, CMYK as this is reserved for crop marks and using this colour can drown the paper – no one wants drowned paper!
  • Don’t be fooled. Your screen can be way out of the sync with your printer. Do some test’s first and see what results come from your printer (even printing on your home printer cannot guarantee the finish you require when you send your work to print) So take note.

    Yes… black can be painful to work with! And can be tricky colour to tame!

Thank you for reading how to work with black in print!

A quick and dirty trick for making a Photoshop brush – 2019

So… how to make an easy Photoshop brush in 5 simple steps

Ever wanted to make a Photoshop brush? It’s fairly straight forward, this little tutorial will have you making your custom brushes in no time! You will be defining a brush, adding it to your palette and then, all going well, using your newly defined brush in your projects! Lets draw a shape on black on a white background shall we?

1 ) Open Photoshop and make a new document – 300 x 300 px and 72 DPI for good measure, make sure the background is set to white.

2 ) Working in black and white (Shortcut ‘D’ for black and white) draw your brush shape (in black) onto your new document. Remember your brush shape needs to be dark /black when you come to creating your brush. For the sake of this little tutorial I have made mine a solid brush. Little splat below and yes feel to use it in your project.

A free custom Photoshop brush!
Photoshop Brush

3 ) Either by using the marquee tool or Apple + ‘a’ to select all (CTRL + A for windows). If you have selected the brush you want to define, you can go to the next step! 

4 ) Go Edit > scroll down to  ‘Define Brush Preset’ and click on it!

5 ) label your brush, I called this one blob’.

New custom Photoshop brush
Your new brush in the palette

Well done, you should now have designed your very own custom brush and saved it to your library.

If you press F5 to look at your brush palette, you will see the brush you have just made at the bottom of your library. Why not open a new document and test out your newly created Photoshop tool, make ink splats, draw faces this is just to set your onto the path of making more awesome brushes.

Photoshop brushes

Thank you for reading, if you would like some help with a project in Photoshop you can always drop me a line! Freelance Photoshopper!

Beginner Freelancer Hints & Tips – Book keeping and Clients (UK)

General tips for creative freelancing.

I have been asked questions on a couple of occasions about topics aside from being a creative thinker. I have worked with a couple of clients from all shapes and sizes and I am now going to offer some points from my own experiences. So I hope this helps.. (please excuse my poor spelling)

1) Agreement / Plan – Before you jump into a project make sure to get some form of written agreement to the client declaring what it is they will get for their budget in concise – detailed – bullet points, this will prove to be invaluable to you later on. A written agreement in the early stages lays down a project plan and what the client will get for their money and time. You don’t want to surprise the client at last stage with over spending their budget and ignoring their needs.

Agreements will also protect you as the designer from “feature packing”, feature packing is when a client would ask you to produce one poster for the same budget and then somewhere in the middle they try to slip a business card design or and extra webpage without wanting to pay for the extra time. Be careful about verbal agreements too, I have agreed to a project with a vague specification from a client only for it to back fire at a later date, make sure to talk it through in some detail first without dropping the final price into the conversation.

Don’t : “Hello Jeff could you design a booklet for me” and of course you’d jump at the opportunity and say “yes, great will do for £20”. Great, done and dusted….that quick, you’d be lucky. You will find yourself in probable situation whereby the client keeps changing there mind, adding elements to the project and continuous criticism about the the project. You don’t wont to hear the words “that’s not what we have agreed”, because that’s what you said on the phone, remember? That’s an example of being too quick to take the project and not talking it through. Do : “Could you design a poster for me?” “yes, what size, when, who, colours, time scale, budget in mind”? that is a rough example.

In the event you don’t talk it through, you may get these freelance symptoms : Loss of trust from your client, time consumption, delayed payments, loss of future projects, a headache, foul language, muttering under your breathe, morale.
So : Get the written spec if possible> Discuss > Plan Declare > Agree > Begin

2) Deposits – There are many valid reasons for asking for deposits, make sure to tie this into your agreement.
A deposit can act as confirmation for a project, this will guarantee your client is serious about investing into your time and skill. It will also confirm the start date for a project and you will find the project moves quickly. If a client starts to foam at the mouth about paying you a deposit I’d be weary, It could mean they don’t have the money, or don’t want invest in your time and effort. (Please only use this part as a guide, some companies may have a policy where they only pay on completion, use your instinct. I find this works for me.)How much is down to you.

Perks of the deposit are as follows : Acts confirmation for you and the client, pays for you to work through the project, protects you if the project is canceled, could keep you going until the far off completion date.

3) Price – Take into consideration what your price could be saying about your service, although many clients may want something for cheap this can also work against you (the designer). Could knocking the price down to %20 (or cheap by the current market) mean you are desperate, inexperienced or easy pickings? possibly from experience, by all means don’t be greedy, but don’t be too be cheap either. Being too cheap can say you lack confidence in your workmanship and will work for anything.
(If you are a graduate have the take it where you can get it attitude, if its good for the folio.)
Type into Google “salary calculator” or sign up to designweek.co.uk, better still, buy a design week and feel the printy paperness between your finger tips!

4) Book keeping – Always keep hold of your receipts, bank statements etc. As a freelancer you will need to fill out a self (assessment) form ether digitally or printed stating your earnings at the end of the tax year (April – to – April). Please take into account if you a you have a paye job, this will also add to your total earnings. Take into consideration at an early stages of freelancing and store some money to to pay your taxes and national insurance contributions, even better save your self some hassle and get an accountant.(I really should do that)
Type in self assessment in the revenue and customs website all call their hotline to talk to someone who knows more about the accounting side of things.

5) Communicate – This may sound like a cop out, but the “communication is the key” (or what ever) cliche really is the key. Talk to the client and respond to their needs. Take pride and joy in the project and this will really help you shine. The client will also be more will be more inclined to give future projects as you are enthusiastic about what you do .
Think it all through and every body ‘should’ be happy.

I hope you can extract some juiciness from this little article and helps you to avoid bulging temple veins!

Kind Regards,

Jimm