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Tips for Young upcoming Graphic Designers

1          -           Be willing to take advice from Senior graphic designers,  don’t think 
                        you know everything. And don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone else.
2          -           Keep Your Stuff Organized, it is very imported to keep your layers
                        organized that way you will make your life much easier, when you’re working
                        with a lot of pictures and thing.
3          -           Listen to the criticism people give, the sooner you start thinking of criticism
                        positively the better. You can learn a lot from the criticism people give and it
                        can help you improve your work in the future.
4          -           Be yourself and build relationships, with everyone you work with and not
                        just your clients. Do a lot of networking and get to meet new people. In the
                        designing world it is very important to just be yourself.
5          -           Line up all your tasks, write down everything  you have to do and organize
                        them from most important to least important, then work from the top down.
                        This way you would not forget anything and get everything done quicker.

Does Your Business Card Pass the Trash Test?

Your business card is often the first impression a potential client has with your company. The business card design and message will ultimately determine whether it gets thrown in the trash or filed for contact later.

Reach in your wallet and pull out your business card. Your Small Business Information guide has put together the business card test. Learn if your business card will pass or be trashed.

Size: Does your business card conform to the traditional size of 3.5" by 2"? Anything greater will not fit in wallets or most business card holders. End result trash.

Paper Quality: Is your business card design of professional quality or is it flimsy with perforated edges? Cheap cards are trashed.

Ink: Drop some liquid on your business card. If the ink runs, it's in the trash.

Color Test: Colorful cards can add to your professional image. Too much color can be detracting. Trash your card if it is black and white or has more than 3 colors unless it's a photograph.

Message Design: Your business card should clearly tell people what you do and offer a meaningful benefit. No message adds confusion so your card ends up in the trash.

Image Match: Your business card design should match your business image. If you're a designer, then the card should be creative. If your card is out of synch with your image, time to toss it.

Font Size: Is your card crammed with information? White space on the card will make it easier to absorb your message. If you have a lot to say, add it to the back of the business card. Is the print so tiny you have too squint to see it? This one is heading for the trash.

Contact Information: Your clients or potential clients should have as many means as possible to contact you based on their preference. Your business card design should include: voicemail, phone, fax, email, and website. Lack of contact information puts your card in the trash.

You only have one chance to make a great first impression. Make sure you invest in the best business card design you can afford. The business card is your introduction to a client, for the low cost per card that is money well spent.

(I give create to for this article)

How to create a good flyer that bring good results:

-       Use a lot of images and big images, to tell the story of your product/company. By using your own photos your design would look even more customized. With the right and the best photos and images, you can be sure to make an eye appealing flyer that will convert in to sales and profits effortlessly.
-       Print them well.
Some business owners would resort to printing their flyer templates on their own in the hope that they will be able to save a lot of money. You have to remember that even though printing on your own will save you money, the printed materials are less likely to look professional.
-       Less is more!
Avoid losing key pieces of information in a cluttered, over-designed layout. When designing headings and bullets, limit yourself to one or two fonts—and don’t be afraid to leave white space!
-       Different Sizes
While most people assume a flyer is a sheet of standard paper that measures 8.5 by 11 inches, the truth is flyers can come in all shapes and sizes. Full color flyers can be made into poster sizes, which work great for businesses attracting motorists as they drive by. You can also get unique shapes and designs of flyers, which can help your business stand out as unique and make your flyer memorable in the minds of the customers.
-       Target Your Audience. Your flyer should have a message that will show the benefit or the result of using your product or service. A flyer should create a clear call to action. It should invite customers to place an order, attend an event or call for a consultation, etc.

-       Come up with a snappy headline. This is your first and only shot at capturing the reader's attention. Sum up your product in a few, but powerful, words.
-       Focus on the benefits of your product or serviceBe sure to keep your text short and to the point. Some of the most powerful words to use are: free, save, love, new, results, and guarantee.


Hey everyone...

Firstly I want to welcome all of you on my blog, my name is Eliz-Mari Nel. I’m currently studying graphic web designing, in Bellville. I’m a young energetic person and I love new challenges.
On my blog I will be posting tips on graphic/web designing and will be advertising my services.
I hope you enjoy your time here and find my blogs interesting. I also just want to invite you to feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if you would like to make use of my services, just send me an email and I will respond a quick as possible.

Mistakes To Avoid In A Graphic Design Business

There are so many graphic designers out there but only a few can really say that they are successful in what they do. A lot are still struggling to have the clients they need to grow their business. Even with years of being graphic designers, just a few can really say that they are getting bigger and better.

So what is the problem for those who cannot make the cut? For many designers, failing to get their business off the ground comes from three major mistakes made by them. If you are a budding graphic designer, it would be to your benefit if you know these important mistakes so you can avoid doing it. And for those already in the industry for quite some time now, this would be good time for you to reassess your strategy and include these mistakes in the things that you should NOT do.

Quoting Too Soon!

This is a total turn off for many customers and prospects. Before you could even propose to them your rate, you should be able to make them see your value first. When prospects ask you how you work, they are not asking for your rate so stop yourself from quoting it. What they really want to know is the quality of your work and if your type of service fit what they are looking for. For example, if you are a brochure printing designer, never tell your rate before your prospect could even see whether they would let you start printing brochures for them. It is all about your worth to them first. When they are clear about your capacity to provide them what they need, then you can bargain for your value without any challenge.


Many opportunities to design have been lost just because a graphic designer failed to follow up. Do not let other graphic artists steal your clients right under your nose. Be ready to follow up after the initial consultation. And if ever there is a reason you cannot make the deadline you have provided, make sure that you let your clients know so they will not be left hanging. And this goes also when you make the proposal. You have to follow up on it after a day or two. The bottom line is to stay connected with your clients from the initial meeting up to the very end that you will hand them the final output. This would ensure the feeling of security and assurance from your clients that you are looking after their needs and wants.

Continue Marketing!

Do not stop marketing just because you have enough customers right now. Even if business is at its peak, it does not mean that you have to stop marketing altogether. It is very important to market everyday and regularly. You have to think about the time when all your customers’ requirements would be finished. You need to have a steady supply of clients and customers to be able to sustain your business.

Learning to profit from your business comes from knowing the mistakes that you make and avoiding them. It will require focus and effort on your part to fix the problems. But when you are able to do so, you can have a practice that not only works but can send in a lot of opportunities for you to grow your business

11 Steps to Better Networking for the Graphic Designer

What kind of emphasis do you put on networking in your business?
Networking is a very important part of almost any business and it’s no different in the design business. In fact, I have generated thousands of dollars of revenue for my business with this one strategy alone. It’s a powerful approach to build any business, and it’s one that can keep continuous work coming into your business year after year.

But even with all the obvious advantages and benefits of effective networking, I see a lot of designers missing out on future work because of ineffective techniques. Here are 11 tips to remember about networking when you want to get the maximum amount of work into your business.

1. Networking is not and event – it’s an attitude.

How you view networking is critically important to the kind of success you can expect from it. Networking isn’t just something you plan to do at scheduled times or allocated to ‘networking events’. Networking is something you should be doing constantly when you meet people.

Networking effectively can generate thousands and thousands of dollars for your business. A key benefit of networking is that you can actually build momentum when you do it. Which means it becomes easier and more profitable the more you do it.

However, many designers look at networking, as an event instead of an attitude and this is where many designers miss out on future work that could have otherwise been theirs if they had only approached it with a purpose driven attitude.

As owner of your own business you are always “on”. Which means you should always be ready for an opportunity to present itself. And when it does, you need to be ready to act upon it.

2. Put yourself in social situations

People like to deal with people they know, like, and trust.
So be one.

Often when you network you are connecting through your existing relationships to create new ones with other people they know. All for the purpose of identifying people who you can help.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a big network of friends to begin with. You have opportunity to connect with more people than you realize. Intentionally seek out new connections with people and continuously build upon your connections with new ones.

Even if you tend to be the shy type – put yourself in situations where you are meeting new people. It could be a book club, sports event, church or a special event. Be open to new experiences and view these outings as a chance to get to know others and their needs.

3. Describe WHO you work with and the BENEFITS they get

One of the most common exchanges at any type of social gathering is “What do you do?” When you answer don’t respond by saying – “I’m a designer”.

When you simply state ‘what you do’, you potentially miss out on a meaningful connection with the person you are talking to – or with someone they know. This response doesn’t encourage more discussion, in fact, it
usually stops it.

Instead, when asked ‘what you do’, respond by saying WHO you work with and the BENEFIT they get by
working with you.

For instance:

“Hi, what do YOU do for a living?”

“I work with business owners to create dramatic marketing material that they use to get more sales and more clients”.

Often a response like this generates the question “Really? How do you do that?” or you might get “Wow! Really? I need help with my marketing! Maybe we should talk?”

The key to getting a response that leads to work, is to answer the question by describing WHO you work for and the BENEFIT they receive, in a way that invites further comment.

4. Be Positive and approachable

If you don’t have a friendly approachable attitude with everybody you meet, you could be missing out on future work from new connections. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if you aren’t friendly and approachable, you’re going to make it difficult to attract new people.

People won’t connect you with their friends if your attitude is going to make them look bad. They need to be 100% positive you’ll treat everyone the same – positively. People won’t connect you with people they know if they are unsure how you will behave.

The simplest way to ensure you are connectable to as many people as possible is to always be friendly and approachable. Friendly shouldn’t be an act. If it is – people will detect it and will be cautious in connecting you with others. So be real, genuine and friendly – to everyone.

5. Don’t be desperate when you connect

What do you say when people ask you how your business is ‘going’? Are you saying things that will attract the listener or are you saying things that repel them!

We all stress over lack of work – just don’t pass your stress onto people you meet. Some designers communicate a desperate need for work, and by so doing create a situation that is repulsive to people instead of attractive.

Up and down workloads are a part of business life. But communicating slow periods in a desperate or needy way can actually cost you future work.

Just a note on sounding desperate:

[The ‘desperate response’ is given most often to friends, those you are most comfortable with. As opposed to new contacts. So be on the alert how you are communicating to good friends. And remember that what you say has impact on the future.]

6. Be in demand

If every time you meet people you are saying that you ‘have no work’ you could be creating a negative perception in their mind –

‘Have no work’ = ‘Maybe you’re not that good’

When it comes to doing business, people are attracted to busy businesses because they associate ‘busy’ with ‘good’. The unsaid message is “they must be good because they are busy all the time”.

Being busy creates an impression of being in demand.

So make a habit to communicate that you are busy when asked. Even if you’re NOT busy with clients you
SHOULD be busy doing something in your business!

That something could be creating better business systems, creating a special promotion or general marketing.

Whatever it is – be busy at it. This creates a very positive impression of your services

Being in-demand also creates a sense of urgency with the listener. It subtly tells them that they need to act quickly if they want to secure your services.

7. Always have time for new work

Being in demand is a delicate balance however.

Be careful about communicating that you’re ‘too busy’. Although this says that you are ‘in-demand’, it also says “I don’t have time for you or anybody else”.

So be ready to counteract this response.

Always let the person know that although you are busy – you’re never too busy to help them.

Try saying something like… “We’re really busy right now, but I want you to know that I’m never too busy to help you or any of your friends. I’ll make time to help you whenever you need it – just let me know”

8. Be ready to demonstrate and respond

Never miss an opportunity to demonstrate what you do. Often people I meet introduce me to other people. And when they do its important to assess if they are somebody I can help. If they are, it’s very important to use the connection as a way of creating a next step.

Carry examples with you or keep a presentation package of your services in your bag or case. When you meet a new person and discover that they may need your help, offer them a package.
If you don’t have any marketing material on you, inform the new contact that you have some packages at the office that they might find helpful and offer to send them one. Or print up special web page addresses on your business cards that has valuable information they can view or download.

Presenting samples, information and other examples presents proof of your abilities and moves your connection to the next step…

9. Get their contact info

Asking for a person’s contact information is a simple enough step but it can seem pushy or feel awkward if you’re not prepared to ask for it in advance.

In my early days of networking it was amazing how many people I would talk to but forget to get a business card or detailed contact information so I could follow-up later.

Always try to get a business card if you can. If they don’t have one – always carry a pen and notebook so you can write it down. Make sure to get full contact information including mailing, phone numbers and especially email.

10. Follow up

No connection is worth the above effort if you don’t follow up. Once you have a contact name follow up and stay in touch.

Staying in touch is the first steps in building meaningful relationships.

The best way to stay connected usually starts with a phone call. But sometimes that isn’t always practical especially when you have a lot of contacts and very little time. So stay in touch by putting them into your automated marketing funnel.

When you have a systematic marketing funnel you can automate the contact process making it easier and more reliable to stay in touch.

11. Don’t Sell. Help.

There is one final key to successful networking…

Don’t practice any of the above tips with the idea that you are trying to ‘sell’ people.

People don’t want to be SOLD something every time they meet you. But many people do need help.

So be attentive to the needs of others first and foremost.

That means listening carefully, staying engaged in the conversation, and being attentive to areas where you could help someone (or someone they know).

When you keep in mind that you are in the business of helping people by providing design services, it makes the process of networking natural, enjoyable and even fun.

When the people you talk to sense your genuine interest in others and in your desire to help, they will be more than happy to pass the name of other people your way.

(I give create to for this article)

How to hire a graphic designer

First of all, you should try to find a designer that specializes in the design field that interests you for the specific project. For example, if the case is a new logo and brand identity design of your company, you need a brand identity designer, specialized in corporate identity design and branding. If the case is a poster, then you should try to find a designer specialized in print design Communicating the right information to the right professional with the appropriate skills, style and attitude can be very difficult. Here are some tips that can be very helpful for you to find the right designer for every project.

Be Specific and Accurate

It is very important to give as many accurate details about your design project as possible. Not every graphic designer can do everything and what you have in mind is some times much more difficult to be communicated the right way and clearly understood by others. You should be specific about the includes of the project (corporate identity design, logo design, printed material, illustration, manipulation and alternation of photographs, websites or packaging). Before choosing a designer, just check his/her portfolio and make sure he/she has the potential to create exactly what you’re looking for.

Be Upfront about Budget and Terms

State your budget and terms at the first or second communication with the designer. You will not be able to bargain a graphic designer down by not telling him/her how much money you can spend on a project, and in the design field you definitely get what you pay for. Tell the designer from the beginning what your budget is, what your timeline or deadline is, and how you want to handle the process. By doing this, you will be dealing with the best designers available for your pocket, instead of those that are too expensive or not skilled enough.

Be Honest and Professional

Designers are professionals and you should treat them the same way you would like to be treated. Consider your graphic designer as a respected partner and you can both come out happy with good results.
Following the guidelines above, you should have no problems, but if issues do come up, just remain calm, and analyze the situation. In this art-originated profession, a little patience and honesty is needed.

Thanks for taking the time to read these tips. Good luck in your search!

(I give create to for this article)

What makes a great logo?

A professionally designed logo is one of the most important first steps for any new business to take. A well-designed logo defines the company to the public, and serves as the centerpiece of its image and all visual branding from business cards to websites. So what makes a logo truly great?
1. Memorable
An effective logo stays in the mind of the customer long after they have viewed it. Consumers prefer things that are familiar, if they remember your logo when they see it again, they will be drawn to it. How many of these logos can you identify from just the first letter?

2. Simple and Potent
Imagine the logo design process as taking a novel and turning it into a haiku. Thomas Jefferson famously and wisely said, “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” The same can be said of logos. Take everything about your company and boil it down to its very essence. Eliminate everything that is not completely essential, such as taglines or LLC’s. Consider communicating what your business does through abstract or simplified visual elements. Resist the urge to think too literally. Nike started as a shoe company for runners. Instead of using a runner or shoe in their logo, they captured the essence of their spirit through a simplified wing from the Greek goddess Nike, who personifies victory.

3. Appropriate colors and fonts
Red has been scientifically proven to increase appetite, and yellow gives a feeling of warmth and happiness. It's no secret that food chains want their customers to be hungry and happy! Every color has powerful connotations, and when used correctly color can greatly influence mood and reaction. Every font expresses varying degrees of strength, tradition, friendliness, playfulness, or trustworthiness. Carefully chosen fonts and colors will convey what you want to express about your company.

4. Versatile
How would your logo look on a ballpoint pen? How about a billboard? Does your logo still look great in black and white? Does it still read well when embroidered or screen-printed? A successful logo will be effective when used in conjunction with a variety of media, colors, sizes and applications. It is timelessness will grow with your company and will rarely need redesigning.

5. Captures Your Unique Purpose
A good logo never uses clip art or stock images. At Lightbox we design from the ground up around your unique goals and identity. Your logo should set you apart from the crowd.

(I give credit to for this article)

How Can Personal Projects Help Start a Career in Graphic Design?

If you don’t have formal design training or professional experience it does not mean you can’t get started in designing. You just have to start somewhere.
Firstly I would advise you to take some personal projects and work on that and practice. Then you can figure out if design is the right career for you, and decide if you love it and want to build a portfolio, but personal projects are a great starting point. A personal project can be something you do just for yourself... a website design on a favourite topic, an invitation to an event or really anything for which you are your own client. This is also very impressive in a portfolio, especially when starting. Many design students’ portfolios consist of primarily personal work and college projects.
Work for friends and family can also be considered personal projects. Whether or not you charge from this work and what you charge is a personal decision, though it can’t hurt to do a few free jobs when trying to get your feet wet. Offer to design a friend’s wedding save-the-date, baby announcement, poster for their band’s show, or anything else that will give you experience and visibility. From there, word-of-mouth can spread as people see your credit line on the work and ask about the designer. As you build up a portfolio of work, you can start taking on paying clients and applying for design positions.

What is the difference between “Just a Graphic Designer” and a “Graphic designer people want to hire”?

A “graphic designer” can be many people: Someone who focuses on producing artwork for art’s sake, equivalent to someone who produces fine art for a living. They are artists who create graphics for clothing, or designs patterns for fabrics. In this article I wrote I focused on the “graphic designer” as someone who works on creatively in advertising/marketing capacity.
A GREAT graphic designer is partially interpretive and if someone hires you they look at your character, attitude and professionalism. I believe you can distill the main requirements for “graphic designer greatness” into a few key areas that require specific, high degrees of competency. These points are discussed below.
As a graphic designer trying to find work in the advertising/marketing space, you’re armed with a good understanding of what people who hire designers are looking for, and to help you prepare as best you can to land the job you’ve always wanted.
Requirements for “Designer Greatness”:
1.   Artistic Ability or “Talent”:
It’s the ability of the designer to vision and design a professional looking finished product, whether it be a printed piece, a logo, a website or a billboard ad. It requires an advanced understanding of color, composition and typography. It is by far the most elemental talent a designer needs, for without it they are not a designer.

Be sure your level of talent meets or exceeds the level of talent that is currently acceptable in the jobs you desire and to which you are applying. It takes one level of talent to work at a small, local newspaper designing classified ads for small businesses. Any designer with talent can get better: for some it just takes longer, so don’t give up!

2.   Skill with Popular Creative Tools
It’s a person’s expertise with the most popular creative productivity tools in the industry. It include applications like Photoshop, Illustrator and Quark Express, other popular graphic applications like Flash, InDesign and Corel Draw and other productivity tools like Adobe Acrobat, Word Processing programs, MS Office applications, AdobeVersion Cue and Windows/Mac operating systems.

It is extremely important that designers be experts in the use of the most popular programs used in the graphics industry, because in the design world, you’ll need them to do your job and because – most importantly – time translates into money.

3.  Knowledge of popular industry production processes
The technical understanding of how the visual pieces designers create are actually produced, printed or published. This means possessing the production knowledge necessary to ensure that a visual communications piece prints, outputs or displays correctly in the media for which it was designed.

Know the different production requirements for art that you create for various media formats. Understanding the different production methods used to produce the most popular forms of visual communications will also allow you to get creative with materials as well, and create unique pieces with atypical stocks and finishing processes.

4.  Excellent understanding of business and marketing fundamentals
Have an excellent understanding of business and marketing fundamentals as a designer means you understand WHY a piece is being created for a company and how that piece fits strategically into a broader, higher-level marketing and/or business plan. It means you understand the specific business goal a piece you are designing must achieve, why it is important that the piece achieve it, and why the achievement of that business goal is the most important criteria for evaluating the success of your design

The understanding of business and marketing fundamentals is the most rare – and the most important – attribute designers possess. Those that have it are years ahead of those that don’t, because they do not demand that their agency spend months, and possibly years (which costs time and money) teaching them why the art they are creating is important to the client, and how it will be used.

5.  Ability to see through the eyes of the target market

Having the ability to experience the world, including interacting with collateral you’ve designed, through the eyes of your target market means you can remove yourself from your own system of beliefs and values when evaluating an experience.

It is not easy to fundamentally change the way you think in order to be more like another type of
person. However, with practice, it becomes easier to achieve.
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