Category: General

General creative topics

Download this free Digital Asset Management Best Practices Guide

Free DAM Guide

Interested in Digital Asset Management (DAM), but not sure where to start? Help find your path into the world of DAM with this free guide from Extensis.

It covers:

  • Workflow definition & mapping
  • Asset naming conventions
  • DAM solution selection criteria
  • System evaluation tips
  • Cloud-hosted vs on-premise evaluations
  • Real-world samples
  • ROI & Metadata planning tools

Download the free DAM Guide here.

Two of my favorite Adobe apps from the past

Adobe Streamline & Dimensions
Both apps were rolled in to Adobe Illustrator years ago—but the features still don’t work nearly as well as they did back in the Mac OS 9 days when they were stand-alone apps.

Of course, if we’re talking about great apps that Adobe killed off:
Adobe Type Manager
GoLive
LiveMotion
PressReady
ImageReady

There is more, but those are some of the ones I used almost daily back in the day.

Dealing with a client’s “sticker shock”

And there are not forty $100 hours in my work week. Ever.

No matter what you charge, client’s will always think you charge too much. Way too much. Tom Meyer offers a fantastic response when questioned about his “job-killer” photography rate.

As a graphic designer, you should prepare yourself to have the “why I charge so much” conversation with a potential client. You will have the conversation one day, so it’s best to be prepared.

Beauty and the Beast: Marissa Mayer & Yahoo

Yahoo!

On one hand, the world still thinks rockstar CEOs can pull off a “Steve Jobs” turnaround. The reality is that they can’t because that was a once in a lifetime thing. The board and investors at Yahoo! need to ground themselves in reality and stop expecting huge growth or profits at every quarterly announcement.

On the other hand, a CEO needs to at least show investors and consumers a direction/clear path that they’re going to take to bring a company around to profitability.

Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer is fairly easy on the eyes, but her report card as a CEO doesn’t look nearly as good. Since taking over Yahoo!, I’ve seen Marissa look beautiful in that red dress in Glamour magazine, and I’ve seen her spend lots of money on seemingly pointless acquisitions like Tumblr. I’ve seen little to nothing else.

I don’t know what the answer is, but I hope Mayer can pull off a “Steve Jobs” at Yahoo! fairly soon. I think she’s a brilliant tech mind, and Yahoo! has the ability to make big waves. But I suspect her time is running out.

Advice: Building the best graphic design toolbox

There is no perfect set of tools for graphic designers. We’re all unique, we all work in different ways, and budgets always come in to play. I’ve put together a breakdown of major factors when building the best graphic design hardware and software toolbox based on my experience. Consider the following as a guide, rather than a set of absolute rules.
Design Toolbox

Keep it simple

I’ve been a graphic designer for 30 years, using the Macintosh the entire time to produce work for some great clients. I’ve worked for ad agencies large and small, a design firm, printing companies, and I’ve freelanced full and part time. Over the years I’ve learned a few short rules as it pertains to building my design toolbox and getting things done—and it has held true everywhere I’ve worked. Those rules are: keep it simple no matter the cost, don’t get caught up in software trends and gimmicks, buy a little more than you think you need, because you will grow into it. The following is more specific advice for building your design toolbox. (more…)

Know your shit vs. know you’re shit

Grammar

While one person couldn’t care less about colons vs. semicolons, another person will have a visceral reaction to a misplaced apostrophe or a “there” where a “their” is needed…

In the age of texting and 140-character blurbs, grammar has become a lost art. But in business, it’s the difference between taking you seriously or not.

So you’ve released a new app?

When a new app is released I look for two keywords in the feature list: 'Social' and 'Share.' Then I bookmark it so I can ignore it again later.