The 55 secret Rules in Design and Advertising: Personal Matter

  • Be generous with your time estimates. When your client asks how long you will need to deliver, always add at least 50% of the time you think you are gonna need to the estimate. In fact, better double it. You think you need five days to design the website? Say you need 10! You estimate a total of two months for the campaign plan? Name three. do not hesitate to be liberal with your time estimates. you will bite your butt if you can’t deliver on time and need to call for an extension – that only makes you look unprofessional. The second benefit is that if you are able to do it in half the time you estimated, you will make a terrific impression. This can be most important for your success – paired with our fifth and final rule of personal matter:

5. do not try to be a ticket of ten

Especially when you start off as a freelancer, you will want to take every job that is available. You most likely do not have a solid client basis yet – but you need one, and you have to start somewhere, right? Well, not quite. You shouldn’t start somewhere – you need to start in your niche. As a designer, you are supposed to create identities. Why be inconsistent when it comes to yourself?

If you are a topnotch web designer, and you want to be a shining star in that field, you should focus on web design and not necessarily do flyers, posters and calendars. Many freelancers tend to spread their field too widely, often into areas they are not so good in, only to deliver bad work. That results in bad reputation. Remember our happy clients? They want solid work, and only if you can deliver that, you will be hired again – either by them or by the ones they recommended you to – because you made them happy!

So, instead of being a mediocre all-rounder, focus on your profession and find people to network with. If you know a killer identity guy, call him up and form a relationship! Send him the identity you get, and let him send you the web development jobs he runs into. Networking is key: Not only will it give you more jobs in your field, a better reputation and more awareness, but it will also make your clients happier because you can provide them with more options and resources. Plus, it will give you what you want and need: it will make you happy, simply because you are doing what you love to do. Tell me, how important is being happy to you?

The 55 secret Rules in Design and Advertising: Workflow

This is the third installment in the 55 secret Rules in Design and Advertising. So far, I have covered:

  • Part 1: Basic Rules
  • Part 2: Rules of Composition

Set 3: The Rules of Workflow and Getting it Done

Whether you are working for an advertising agency or you are a freelancer, there are a few things everybody I know in the creative business incorporates. The nature of or jobs makes it necessary to rely on a few techniques that get our creative juices flowing.

1. You laugh at nine to five

you will have to forgive me for this one – it may sound harsh and insulting to some people, but it is the full truth in the creative business. A standard 9-to-5 job is the exact opposite of what the life of a designer looks like. Especially when you freelance, you do not usually start your working day at nine in the morning, take a break at noon and clean up your desk at five. This has two main reasons:

  • There is no routine in creativity. With inspiration being the driving force of our productivity, we can’t look at the clock and say Now you have gonna be creative for eight hours. Inspiration comes and goes. you will find yourself standing up and working on a job in the middle of the night, just because you had that great idea that needed immediate attention.
  • Design is not an everyday job. A designer will not usually pull a line between work and fun. We do not go to work because we have to – but because we love what we are doing! That is, if you are a designer at heart and soul. You then (start to) notice that design is all around. You start walking through life with open eyes and absorb everything you see. Especially when you are in advertising.

2. You can spend hours and hours tweaking and turning a comp upside down, but sometimes, your first idea is still the best

Sometimes, you have this fantastic idea that you love so much. You get all excited over it. You start outlining the idea right away. At some point though, you do notice that you need a couple more ideas. That may be for the reasons mentioned above, or simply because you are such an ambitious designer, which is very good. But you simply can’t come up with anything else. Why is that?