GoMediaZine » Graphic Design http://www.gomediazine.com Design insights & tutorials. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:25:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Go Media owners Jeff Finley and Bill Beachy host the show and discuss the business of design and how to improve the quality of your work and life. Go Media no Go Media jeff@gomedia.us jeff@gomedia.us (Go Media) Go Media Real-world advice from working artists and designers. graphic design, artist, business, inspiration, go media, tutorials, advice, illustration, photoshop, illustrator, art GoMediaZine » Graphic Design http://www.gomediazine.com/wp-content/images/powerpress/gomedia-podcast-300x300.png http://www.gomediazine.com/category/insights/graphic-design/ Cleveland, Ohio Monthly How to design a great t-shirt (even with minimal design skills) quickly: The Unleashed T-Shirt Pack by Steve Knerem http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/design-a-killer-t-shirt-the-unleashed-t-shirt-pack-by-steve-knerem/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=design-a-killer-t-shirt-the-unleashed-t-shirt-pack-by-steve-knerem http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/design-a-killer-t-shirt-the-unleashed-t-shirt-pack-by-steve-knerem/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:49:46 +0000 Go Media http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=43031 In design, it seems, speed and quality rarely go hand in hand. But there are some instances when you can have it all. Introducing the T-Shirt Mockup Pack With our new t-shirt mockup packs, you can design a great t-shirt quickly. Seriously. Here's what happens: we hook you up hard core with all of the artwork and mockup files. You take those files into AI and modify the original illustration (if you so choose). Then, you mockup your design in Photoshop with some of the World's Best Templates (ours of course). Bada bing, bada boom: you've got a t-shirt to call your very own. You have ultimate creative freedom, giving both you seasoned designers, and those of you with beginner design skills, countless possibilities. Continue Reading »

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In design, it seems, speed and quality rarely go hand in hand.

But there are some instances when you can have it all.

Introducing the T-Shirt Mockup Pack

With our new t-shirt mockup packs, you can design a great t-shirt quickly.

Seriously.

Here’s what happens: we hook you up hard core with all of the artwork and mockup files. You take those files into AI and modify the original illustration (if you so choose). Then, you mockup your design in Photoshop with some of the World’s Best Templates (ours of course). Bada bing, bada boom: you’ve got a t-shirt to call your very own.

You have ultimate creative freedom, giving both you seasoned designers, and those of you with beginner design skills, countless possibilities.

Today we unveil…

The Unleashed T-Shirt Design Pack

unleashed-feature-image1
This t-shirt design pack includes:

  • All 9 Vectors created by Steve Knerem
  • Both Original .AI files of this design, offering you 2 color variations from which to work
  • 2 Mockup PSDs: a Ghosted Long-Sleeve T-Shirt and Zipper Hoodie (Back Version)

As a bonus, we throw in a sample of Steve Knerem’s Video Tutorial: Hand Illustration for T-Shirts: Part 1 of 3

I want it now – $17

Take a peek at the goods

2colorvariations breakthedesign_unleashed1

Sample Included

Sample Included

So, umm. What are you waiting for?

Give it to me now – $17

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Call for WMC Fest 5 Sponsors: Build your brand and join a movement in the making http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/call-for-wmc-fest-5-sponsors-build-your-brand-and-join-a-movement-in-the-making/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=call-for-wmc-fest-5-sponsors-build-your-brand-and-join-a-movement-in-the-making http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/call-for-wmc-fest-5-sponsors-build-your-brand-and-join-a-movement-in-the-making/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 13:04:54 +0000 Go Media http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=42861 The countdown for Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 5 is on. Continue Reading »

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The Go Media offices are buzzing with energy…

The countdown for Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 5 is on.

As the speakers and bands fall into place and the gallery walls fill, our anticipation grows. We know that this year, beyond any others, will be one that goes down in history. But we can’t do this thing alone.

Here’s the thing…

Weapons of Mass Creation Fest is a $175,000 event that takes year-round focus and planning to make it the premier art, design, and music event USA. Entering its fifth year, it has generated comparisons to major industry conferences like TED, SXSW, and 99% but it’s truly one of a kind. It’s not only an industry networking event, but also an extremely fun and inspiring arts and music festival with year-round buzz.

wmc_ss

Over the course of three days, more than 2,000 attendees will travel to Cleveland to see a diverse array of speakers, artists, and musical acts in the Gordon Square Arts District. There is nothing quite like it! Creative professionals, entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, students, and fans will gather to learn, get inspired, collaborate, network, and celebrate their passion for art, design, music, and entrepreneurship.

How you can help:

Want to support the creative community, be a part of a movement in the making and get your brand in front of thought leaders, influencers, and taste-makers?

Just email Jeff or Heather for more information on how you can sponsor the Fest.

Please share this post with others and help us spread the word!

Head to the WMC Fest page here: button

statsandalumni

16,000+ Facebook Fans
26,000+ Twitter Followers
23,000+ RSS Readers
Speakers, Workshops, Bands, Vendors
1 Venue, 2+ Stages for 2 Days and 3 Nights
Expected 2014 Attendance: 2,000+
10,000 web visitors per day
60,000+ Arsenal Visitors
$300,000 in economic impact

Past Sponsors:

Ad Packs, Adobe, AIGA, Airtype, Allison Lehman, Already Been Chewed, American Greetings, Awwwards, Aztek Web, Beeteeth, Behance, Big Cartel, Bitmanic, Bizdom, Bound Custom Journals, Brandon Rike, Busy Beaver Button Co, Buzzbin Magazine, Caffeinated Solutions, Caleb Heller, Carbon Ads, Cellar Door Records, CHIRP Radio, Christopher G. Axelrod, City Edge, CityBreaks Studio, CLE Clothing, Cleveland Scene Magazine, Cranky Pressman, Crowd Compass, Daniel Collins, Declaration, Domestica, Draplin Design Company, Drund, Earnest Machines, Field Notes, FITC Toronto, Fizz Creative, Fonds Podium Kunsten, From Up North, Geoff Pelaia, Go Media, Good Fucking Design Advice, Grain Edit, Gumroad, Happy Dog, Hot Cards, Icon Expedited, Igloo Letterpress, iLTHY, Jakprints, Jesse Sloan, Jon Contino, Jonathan McRobert, Kent State University, Koyono, Littlelines, Mailchimp, Melamed Riley, Montreal Meets, Moore Design Co., Northcoast Zeitgeist, Ohio Authority, On the Grid, Owl Design Collective, Passionfruit Ads, Pixels & Vinyl, Pop Stache, Purple Films, Reinberger Auditorium, Simeon Hendrix, Squareshare Studios, Stand Out Stickers, Threadbird, Threadless, Top Shelf Records, Two24 Studios, VG Kids, Virb, Virginia Marti College of Art & Design, Wall Eye Gallery, Warpaint Press, Windowframe Productions, WSEM, Yellowcake Shop, Yelp Cleveland, Zach Christy

savethedate2014-b

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Witness 20 Creatives Sharing their Struggles and Successes: the WMC Fest 4 Videos http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/witness-20-creatives-sharing-their-struggles-and-successes-the-wmc-fest-4-videos/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=witness-20-creatives-sharing-their-struggles-and-successes-the-wmc-fest-4-videos http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/witness-20-creatives-sharing-their-struggles-and-successes-the-wmc-fest-4-videos/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 13:52:46 +0000 Go Media http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=42851 Jeff Finley, founder of WMC Fest, said it best: "Something about the WMC Fest stage, people stand up there and start spilling their guts. It transcends career. They took off their band-aids and showed us all their wounds, and it's okay because they know they'll be supported and taken care of. They will be loved." Continue Reading »

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WMC Fest Speakers Bare their Souls

Jeff Finley, founder of WMC Fest, said it best: “Something about the WMC Fest stage, people stand up there and start spilling their guts. It transcends career. They took off their band-aids and showed us all their wounds, and it’s okay because they know they’ll be supported and taken care of. They will be loved.”

bandaids

Whether you were there in the crowd, or did not have the fortune to be, you’re in luck. We’ve collected all of the WMC Fest 4 speaker videos for you. They’re available below, as well as on our Vimeo channel.

Here, you can gobble up the generous, heartfelt, honest stories of John Jennings, Alonzo Felix, Timothy Goodman, Ann Friedman & Dylan Lathrop, Lisa Congdon, Rena Tom, Christen Carter, Stewart Scott-Curran, Caroline Moore, Adam Garcia, Valerie Mayen, Grace Dobush, Jon Contino, Nick Disabato, Jacqui Oakley, Kern & Burn, These are Things, Troy Deshano, Stephanie Landes Burris and Brandon Rike. Here, you can feel like you’re not alone.

Enjoy and we can’t wait to see you all at WMC Fest 5, coming up August 15 – 17 at the Cleveland Public Theatre.

Head to the WMC Fest page here: button

John Jennings: The Souls of Black Comix

Alonzo Felix: Fieldwork

Timothy Goodman: I Want to Get Away with Shit

Ann Friedman & Dylan Lathrop – A Picture and 1,000 Words

Lisa Congdon in Conversation with Rena Tom: Illustrating Gertrude Stein

Christen Carter (Busy Beaver Buttons) – How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Work

Stewart Scott-Curran – How to Find the Devil in the Detail Without Selling Your Soul

Caroline Moore – How Punk Rock Made Me a Better Entrepreneur

Adam Garcia – The F Word

Valerie Mayen – Emotional talk at WMC Fest 2013

Grace Dobush – The Sound of One Man Networking

Jon Contino – The Rise of the Underdog

Nick Disabato – Too Uncomfortably Personal to Share at Professional Conference

Jacqui Oakley – The Substance of Style

Kern & Burn – Quit Jobs. Start Projects.

These are Things – How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Enjoy The Ride

Rena Tom in Conversation with Lisa Congdon: Building Your Dream Job

Troy DeShano – The Best Decisions Rarely Make Sense on Paper

Stephanie Landes Burris – What I Learned About My Job from My Eight-Year-Old Self

Brandon Rike – Betray the Institution

Our WMC Fest speaker videos are also available on our Vimeo Channel.

defy

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Header lettered by Mary Kate McDevitt

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Want to create a customized rock and roll tee (minus the lengthy design hours)? We can help. http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/road-hog-t-shirt-pack/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=road-hog-t-shirt-pack http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/road-hog-t-shirt-pack/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 14:00:40 +0000 Go Media http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=42374 Life as a designer can be completely overwhelming. With projects constantly coming through, work piles up and never-ending revisions make for long days and late nights. It isn't like we're not completely thankful, but let's be honest: Sometimes we just need a break. Thankfully, there is a little shortcut sent from heaven that lets us do our job while cutting our hours, saving us money and making us look like a rock star. Introducing the t-shirt design pack. Continue Reading »

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Life as a designer can be completely overwhelming. With projects constantly coming through, work piles up and never-ending revisions make for long days and late nights. It isn’t like we’re not completely thankful, but let’s be honest:

Sometimes we just need a break.

Thankfully, we know of a little shortcut sent from heaven. This shortcut cuts precious hours, saves us money and basically makes us look like rock stars.

Introducing the t-shirt design pack.

roadhog-feature-images1

This little gem of a product is a designer’s dream. Why? It includes everything you need to design a great customized t-shirt in no time flat:

  • All of the vector illustrations (no need to create your own!) by the amazing OK Pants (otherwise known as Aaron Sechrist) 
  • All original .AI files (including 4 color variations masterfully chosen for you)
  • A tri-blend ghosted t-shirt mockup .PSD (professionally present your artwork)

And looky here you even get:

How do you start saving your own sanity?

Just click here:

Road Hog T-Shirt Design Pack by Aaron Sechrist

break_the_design gma_tmp_mens-triblend_front-ghosted roadhog-feature-header

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Become a Master Typographer: How to Choose the Perfect Typeface http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/fonts-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=fonts-2 http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/fonts-2/#comments Fri, 21 Mar 2014 17:19:44 +0000 Go Media http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=41805 A critical question we often ask ourselves and know other designers contemplate when working on any given design is, "How do I choose a font?" So many factors go into this decision, however thanks to the help of some friends, including Creative Director Michael Prewitt as well as Art Directors Craig Weiland and Harley Peddie, we're here to share with you ways you can choose the perfect typeface for every project. Continue Reading »

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Choosing the Right Type: 10 Considerations

A critical question we often ask ourselves and know other designers contemplate when working on any given design is, “How do I choose the right font?”

So many factors go into this decision, however thanks to the help of some friends, including Creative Director Michael Prewitt as well as Art Directors Craig Weiland and Harley Peddie, we’re here to share with you ways you can choose the perfect typeface for every project.

Use this tool from inspirationlab.wordpress.com, Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Use this tool from inspirationlab.wordpress.com, Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

How to Choose a Font

1. Ask yourself:Is the typeface appropriate for the subject?”

Before venturing into your design, investigate the mood, personality, and attitude of the project.

Then, as Michael Prewitt notes, ask yourself, ‘Is the typeface appropriate for the subject?’

“This question,” he finds, “is the king. Every typeface conveys certain ideas, emotions, and associations — even fonts that are not display faces, designed for body copy. Typefaces may be strong, graceful, elegant, brash, businesslike, quirky, playful, traditional, understated, fierce, etc. They may convey a certain period or historical/geographic context, such as Old West, Roman era, Victorian, Art Deco, 1950s, Art Nouveau, High-Tech/Sci-fi, etc. They may be designed to look very geometric/precise, flowing and curvy, hand-written or calligraphic, distressed or grungy, or traditional serif or sans serif type for copy. So it’s important to ask what you want the font to say, and what do you not want it to say. Think clearly and fully about this point, because you don’t want to be one of those designers who picks a font because it’s informal, but fails to consider that the job calls for ‘elegant and informal,’ not ‘drawn while smoking weed informal’ — or maybe the other way around.”

Adds Craig Weiland, “A designer has to be aware of the basics of type usage. Serifed type is often used for long copy, like books and magazines. This is because the serifs make the characters more recognizable, and the text easy to read in bulk at small sizes. Serif body copy usually pairs well with sans-serif display type. There are mountains of exceptions, but you have to understand the rules before you can effectively break them.”

Does this logo's typeface communicate the kind of things you'd go to a massage parlor for? I'd expect to walk out of there bruised and bloody. Is Agatha even a woman? - Craig Weiland

Does this logo’s typeface communicate the kind of things you’d go to a massage parlor for? I’d expect to walk out of there bruised and bloody. Is Agatha even a woman? – Craig Weiland

The process of choosing the perfect typeface not only comes from experience and education, but also through trial and error.

Weiland continues, “I test a lot of fonts when I design a logo. I’ll sometimes go through 20-30 different faces looking at how the characters relate to each other, the overall mood presented by the forms, readability at large and small sizes, how I might use color, how the letterforms create negative spaces and how I might use them, and so forth. I have to have a solid understanding of the attitude I want to project. For instance in the massage logo example above, the attitude communicated is strength, confidence, power, pride. A massage parlor should be welcoming, warm, relaxing and soothing. The typeface chosen must broadcast these attributes, or at least not be in conflict with them.”

2. And…Is the typeface technically appropriate?

Another aspect of being appropriate is technical, Prewitt points out.

“Some typefaces are too thin for the size at which they will be used, or maybe too heavy for the ink level on a medium that could allow bleed-through. Thin fonts will tend to choke (plug up) when printed reversed out of a dark background. For web fonts, readability on screens and devices is important. A font that will be screened onto a small object like a pen needs to have enough thickness that it won’t quickly deteriorate when the item is used.”

3.  Be aware of trends and clichés in type.

As with any other design, trends and clichés should factor into the design decision making process. Great designers can stay up to date by hungrily consuming the world of type around them, following fellow artists, social media sources, inspirational blogs, etc.

Prewitt notes, “Every decade, there are fonts and type styles that become popular and that become passé. There are trends in type that are affected by many things, including styles of clothing, popular movies, cultural movements, and more. The more you are in touch with trends in society, the better you will be at choosing typefaces that will resonate with current thoughts and feelings. This does not mean you should focus only on the fonts everyone else is using; but if you understand why those fonts are popular, it can help you find new typefaces that will stand out and still look contemporary. In the same way, you can avoid typefaces that have become synonymous with past fads.”

“In the 1990s, a font called Officina Sans was quite popular,” Craig Weiland recalls. “It was used everywhere someone wanted to project ‘contemporary office chic’. Today, I can’t use it at all. It’s worn out… it only projects ‘we think it’s still the 90s.’ You can’t pick up things like that if you aren’t paying attention to the design world around you. As a designer, you are (or should be) always paying attention to design in your environment and media. If you notice a cool typeface in something, like a movie poster or a billboard, see if you can track it down later using Google searches or WhatTheFont, so you can add it to your arsenal for future use.”

4. Look for a typeface that excels in the small details.

Prewitt begs designers to ask themselves, “How well do the letters flow together? Is there some little flourish, or ligature, or other detail that would give this typeface some extra class, without going too far? If you are designing something like a company logo where you are using just a few letters, a font that has a really nice letterform for one or more of the letters you are using could really make the design. Look at the punctuation and non-Latin characters. A well-designed font will include many glyphs besides the Latin alphabet, and they will be well-designed and not generic-looking (the punctuation will be in the same style as the letters, etc.).”

He notes, “People without a background in design will sometimes say that every roman typeface ‘looks like Times New Roman,’ or every sans serif font ‘looks like Arial.’ But the more you study typefaces and become familiar with them, the more you will see that even the most basic typefaces can be great designs or poor designs. The details make all the difference.”

5. Think about how different typefaces will work together.

When marrying typefaces, designers should tread carefully. Like coupling two people (or more) together, typefaces have personalities, and these must mesh well together in order to live in perfect harmony.

Prewitt agress. “Most designs involve two or more different typefaces. Some fonts work really well together, others are too similar and clash, or too wildly different. The fonts should complement each other, and they should all support the message of the piece.”

Found on Quora, Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on Quora, Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

6. Make use of your options.

“On my work computer I have over 3,500 fonts,” reports Prewitt. “I have my favorites, and there are some I have never used and probably never will use. But it’s great to have a diversity. Many designers, especially beginners, tend to use a lot of the fonts that came with their system — such as the fonts that come with Adobe products. There is nothing wrong with many of those fonts, except that they are sometimes overused. When a font is overused, people may connect your design with other designs that are completely unrelated, or they may see your design as clichéd. Besides that, when you use default fonts, you have to realize that lots of amateurs are also using the same fonts, and that can give an amateur feel to your work.

Even though I have lots of fonts, they are all sorted into groups and styles, so it is fairly easy for me to find just the font I want, without perusing the whole collection.

It is also helpful to collect pictures of good fonts for future reference. Probably you don’t have the budget to purchase every font that catches your eye. But if you save it to Evernote, or Pinterest, or some other place, you can refer back to it later when you have a hot project that needs a great typeface.”

7.  Consider the cost

Designers should considers clients pocketbooks when choosing an appropriate font, as Harley Peddie reminds. “Unfortunately, clients still squirm paying $100 to license a typeface when they’re so used to getting this stuff for free, especially with webfonts from our good friends at Google.”

8. But…avoid freeware fonts.

Per Prewitt, “Although professionally designed fonts can be pricey, they can also be exceptionally well designed. With commercial fonts, you usually get better kerning pairs (very important), more alternates, more ligatures, and more styles/weights that pair well together. With freeware fonts, you often get very bad kerning and sometimes even font errors such as overlapping paths that can cause problems in production. Also, many freeware fonts come with usage restrictions that will prevent you from legally using them in some projects. This is not to say that all free fonts are bad. But you have to be careful about which ones you use. Also be aware that there are often deals where you can get pro fonts for cheap or even free. Some free fonts are designed by professional designers or foundries, and so you could expect them to be high quality.”

9. Time
Time, too, can be an issue in choosing the perfect typeface. Peddie adds, “Sometimes you just gotta get it out the door, so instead of spending hours lost in the wonders of independent foundry sites, you dust off Univers one last time.”

10. Pick something (appropriate) from your arsenal.

What exactly to start with?

Prewitt comments, “The ‘starter fonts’ question is difficult, because everyone has their own taste in fonts, and different styles of projects that they do. Personally, I like Minion and Myriad quite a lot, although these fall into the category of somewhat overused. They are neutral enough that I find they are good base fonts to start a new project with, and I might replace them with other typefaces later in the design process. Besides those, I would recommend any of the following: Adobe Garamond (or the Premier Pro version), Arno Pro, Chaparral Pro, Chronos Pro, Didot, Encore Sans Pro, FF Absara, FF Acanthus, FF Milo, Gloriola, Helvetica Neue, Rayuela, Ronnia, Vista Sans and Vista Slab, and Warnock Pro as good starting points. None of these are display fonts and are not particularly exciting; but they are good sturdy fonts with a wide range of supporting roles.”

He adds, “I would recommend against using any typefaces that have been heavily overused in desktop publishing: Algerian,  Avant Garde, Benguiat, Bank Gothic, Bradley Hand, Brush Script, Cooper,  Copperplate Gothic, Curlz, Impact, Kristen, Mistral, Souvenir, Times New  Roman, Papyrus, Vivaldi, Zapf Chancery, Zapf Dingbats, etc. Always use Helvetica (or Helvetica Neue) instead of Arial.”

And last but not least:

“Don’t ever use Comic Sans.”

Cover Photo credit: Brenda Gottsabend | Flickr

How do you find the perfect typeface? Add your thoughts in the comments below!

For further reading:
100 Top Resources for Typography and Hand-Lettering

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Present Professional Photorealistic, 3D Designs in Minutes using the World’s Best Mockup Templates http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/3-ways-to-mockup-your-designs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=3-ways-to-mockup-your-designs http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/3-ways-to-mockup-your-designs/#comments Thu, 20 Mar 2014 13:37:57 +0000 Go Media http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=42003 Want to knock the socks off of your clients, whilst instantly boosting your street cred? Take a few extra moments in your design process to mock up your art using the World's Best Mockup Templates. (Promise: It works every time my friends). The mockup is a trick of the trade for Go Media and the top design professionals in our community. Why? It gives your clients professional, high quality, palpable, photorealistic 3D imagery of your designs. The result fools them into believing you went the extra mile to produce a physical mockup! (But it's okay, we won't tell!) Not only will your client be über impressed, but you'll just generally be able to communicate your vision to your printer and have a clearer vision of the end product yourself. Continue Reading »

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Separate the men from the boys…

Want to knock the socks off of your clients, whilst instantly boosting your street cred?  Take a few extra moments in your design process to mock up your art using the World’s Best Mockup Templates. (Promise: It works every time my friends).

The mockup is a trick of the trade for Go Media and the top design professionals in our community. Why? It gives your clients professional, high quality, palpable, photorealistic 3D imagery of your designs. The result fools them into believing you went the extra mile to produce a physical mockup!  (But it’s okay, we won’t tell!) Not only will your client be über impressed, but you’ll just generally be able to communicate your vision to your printer and have a clearer vision of the end product yourself. (You’ll stand a little taller, too.)

Read on to choose the best templates for you.

Pick Your Templates!

We have three options, all giving you the highest quality mockups. You can select the best site for you, depending on your wants and needs, skill level and access to software.  Take a quick glance below and choose your own adventure.

smulogo
Shirt Mockup
What is it?
An Easy-to-use online platform to realistically
mockup your designs on tees.
How much will it cost?
Access to free mockup templates as well as
pro subscriptions at $9.99 per month are available
What will I get?
To save out jpeg snapshots on site
Try it free for 7 days!

mockupeverythingwords
Mockup Everything
What is it?
An Easy-to-use online platform to realistically mockup your designs on t-shirts, as well as variety of print products in categories such as technology, outdoor, food & beverage, sporting goods and more. At least 5 new templates added every month.
How much will it cost?
Access to free mockup templates as well as
pro subscriptions at $12.00 per month are available
What will I get?
To save out jpeg snapshots on site, with the option of purchasing individual templates at an additional (but small!) charge
Try it free for 7 days!

arsenal_logo
Arsenal
What is it?
Go here to purchase the world’s best templates in the form of layered Photoshop files set up to give your artwork a photorealistic presentation
How much will it cost?
PSD files are available in packs, bundles and collections
starting at only $9
What will I get?
To download the PSD files you have purchased: they’re yours for life – the perfect design and mockup tool for personal and commercial use!
Click to Buy Some Templates Now!

Questions? I’m your girl! Email me, Heather, now.

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Pause Fest Ident Shows What Happens When Ideas Run Wild http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/pause-fest-ident-shows-what-happens-when-ideas-run-wild/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pause-fest-ident-shows-what-happens-when-ideas-run-wild http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/pause-fest-ident-shows-what-happens-when-ideas-run-wild/#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2014 13:21:05 +0000 Meleah Maynard http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=41774 Motion designer and 3D artist Rich Nosworthy was one of several animators, designers and studios asked to help create an ident for this year’s Pause Fest in Melbourne, Australia. Titled “Airspace,” the ident served as a sort of animated logo for the annual digital film festival, and was shown frequently throughout the event. Continue Reading »

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Airspace

Motion designer and 3D artist Rich Nosworthy was one of several animators, designers and studios asked to help create an ident for this year’s Pause Fest in Melbourne, Australia. Titled “Airspace,” the ident served as a sort of animated logo for the annual digital film festival, and was shown frequently throughout the event.

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Working with a very open creative brief and the festival’s theme, which this year was “connected,” Nosworthy used Cinema 4D and After Effects to create an ident that shows how unusual and interesting things can happen when inspiration and all sort of disparate ideas meet. “It was a great opportunity for me to play with a lot of ideas,” Nosworthy recalls, explaining that he started with a general concept involving unique objects in the sky connected by wires.

cannon

As the objects meet, they react and transform in time to the music, which was created by Wesley Slover of Sono Sanctus. The goal was to bring to life the way all kinds of weird ideas get conceived of during the early stages of a project only to be thrown out later for being off-brand or just too strange. “So the whole thing needed to feel like this landscape of unused ideas that were too silly to be used in the real world, but over time they start to grow and take over the space above us” he says. “To be honest, it was just a good chance to have a lot of fun with this style and let the imagination run riot.”

A Love of Design

Currently living in Auckland, New Zealand, Nosworthy taught himself to use C4D and After Effects in 2009 after first learning Maya while studying computer science in college. Though he is a skilled visual effects artist, he’s become more interested in motion graphics over the years because he likes the opportunity to work in more abstract ways and do more with design. (See his reel here.)

In addition doing personal and freelance projects, Nosworthy works full-time as a motion designer and 3D lead for the New Zealand-based creative studio, Bunker. He was invited to create an ident for Pause Fest by Melbourne-based motion designer, Caspian Kai Pantea, one of the curators of the event. Though he’d never done anything like that before, he was excited to give it a try.

tentacles

ScreenGrab04

In all, Nosworthy figures it took about eight weeks working nights and weekends to create “Airspace,” a name he came up with when the project was nearly finished and it stuck. After first doing a few sketchbook doodles of different ideas and choosing what seemed to be the strongest, he worked closely with Slover, the sound designer, who is based in Seattle, Washington. “I would send him test animations and images and he’d send back clips of sound design and music,” Nosworthy recalls. “It was a cool dynamic where the inspiration kept moving back and forth around the clock.”

A Little Bit of Everything

Nosworthy says that “creative block” was the biggest challenge he faced while working on “Airspace.” While it was great to have a lot of creative freedom, it was no easy task to tie together all of the ideas he had for the abstract piece in a way that looked the way he wanted it to. Cinema 4D helped because it allowed him to try out ideas quickly and keep moving. “It’s very modular, so you can plug in deformers and effects and see what works,” he explains. “It’s a great concepting tool from a designer’s point of view.”

Once he’d chosen the ideas he wanted to include, Nosworthy modeled various objects in C4D and starting putting bits and pieces together, each piece building up more and more over time in a way that sometimes felt like the objects had minds of their own. Much of the modeling was achieved using simple geometry, MoGraph cloners and C4D’s rigging and Xpresso tools. (Watch a project breakdown here).

lottoBallMachine

One of the things he enjoyed most about working on “Airspace” was the chance to use many of the skills, tools and techniques he’d learned over the last few years for one big project. To animate the lottery ball machine, Nosworthy used dynamics and softbodies with spline IK (inverse kinematics) controlling the attached horns “to give them a bit of personality,” he says. Dynamics was also used to fire the ball in the pinball hammer scene in the middle of the ident.

ZBrush came in handy when creating the giant squid creature that appears toward the end of the ident. A fun oddity among the other creations in the sky, the squid was modeled in DynaMesh and then the base mesh was imported into Cinema 4D. Rigging the model with deformers and dynamic joints allowed the tentacles to react to wind and turbulence fields.

gigasquid

ScreenGrab06

Nosworthy used C4D’s cloth for one of the final shot of the sails expanding. An Xpresso rig controls the connecting wires between the sails, allowing them to be blended between expressions and spline dynamics. “I learned a lot about C4D’s dynamics, especially cloth rigging and spline dynamics for this project, and it was a lot of fun to dig deeper into that stuff,” he says, adding that working on an ident of this size was challenging, but a whole lot of fun.

sails

Feedback on “Airspace” has been overwhelmingly positive, which was something of a surprise to Nosworthy and Slover who weren’t quite sure what to expect. “Honestly, there was quite a bit of time during the middle of the project when we were weren’t sure how it was going to come out, but as we got towards the end, with the sound and visuals getting tighter, we were both pleased with the result.”

Meleah Maynard is a freelance writer and editor in Minneapolis.

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100 Top Resources for Typography and Hand-Lettering http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/best-resources-for-typography-and-hand-lettering/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-resources-for-typography-and-hand-lettering http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/best-resources-for-typography-and-hand-lettering/#comments Wed, 12 Mar 2014 13:57:02 +0000 Go Media http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=41545 Some of the questions we hear asked often around the design community are: What is the best way to learn about typography? Where do I find the best hand-lettering/type inspiration? Who are your favorite letterers? What are the best typography and and lettering tutorials? We decided to pull together some of our very favorite resources for you today. Here's what you'll find below: Some of our favorite hand-letterers and typographers (some modern day experts on type, you might say! Online educational resources Awesome type and hand-lettering tutorials Best sources of type and hand-lettering inspiration we've found Super inspirational found-type collection posts Books about type and hand-lettering Off we go! Continue Reading »

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Best Typography Resources

Some of the questions we hear asked often around the design community are:

  • What is the best way to learn about typography?
  • Where do I find the best hand-lettering/type inspiration?
  • Who are your favorite letterers?
  • What are the best typography and and lettering tutorials?

We decided to pull together some of our very favorite resources for you today. Here’s what you’ll find below:

  • Some of our favorite hand-letterers and typographers (some modern day experts on type, you might say!)
  • Online educational resources
  • Awesome type and hand-lettering tutorials
  • Best sources of type and hand-lettering inspiration we’ve found
  • Super inspirational found-type collection posts
  • Books about type and hand-lettering

Off we go!

Talented folks

 

Found on benjohnson.ca | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on benjohnson.ca | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Ben Johnston

found on bryanpatricktodd.com | pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

found on bryanpatricktodd.com | pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Bryan Patrick Todd

Found on christianschwartz.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on christianschwartz.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Christian Schwartz


Cyrus Highsmith

Found on tanamachistudio.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on tanamachistudio.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Dana Tanamachi

Found on youngjerks.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on youngjerks.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Dan Cassaro

Found on darrenbooth.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on darrenbooth.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Darren Booth

Found on yourjustlucky.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on yourjustlucky.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Drew Melton

Found on erikmarinovich.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on erikmarinovich.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Erik Marinovich

Found on MyFonts.com

Found on MyFonts.com

Erik Spiekermann

Found on v4.jasonsantamaria.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on v4.jasonsantamaria.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Jason Santa Maria

Found on jessicahische.is | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on jessicahische.is | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Jessica Hische

Found on joncontino.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on joncontino.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Jon Contino

Found on kateforrester.co.uk | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on kateforrester.co.uk | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Kate Forrester

found on fromkeetra.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

found on fromkeetra.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Keetra Dean Dixon

Found on linziehunter.co.uk | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on linziehunter.co.uk | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Linzie Hunter

Found on lukelucas.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on lukelucas.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Luke Lucas

Found on martinschetzer.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on martinschetzer.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Martin Schmetzer

Found on marykatemcdevitt.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on marykatemcdevitt.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Mary Kate McDevitt

Found on moegly.tumblr.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on moegly.tumblr.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Nicholas Moegly

Found on paulshawletterdesign.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on paulshawletterdesign.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Paul Shaw

Found on ryanhamrick.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on ryanhamrick.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Ryan Hamrick

Found on seanwes.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on seanwes.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Sean McCabe

Found on seblester.co.uk | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on seblester.co.uk | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Seb Lester
Stephen Coles

Found on willco.co | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on willco.co | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Will Staehle
Alex Trochut

Online Education:

An introduction to typography: some basics from our friends at Tuts Plus
Font Shop
: Improve your design skills with typography tips and tutorials.

fontfeedlogo_11

Font Feed: is a daily dispatch of recommended fonts, typography techniques, and inspirational examples of digital type at work in the real world. Eat up.
Fonts in Use: an independent archive of typography
Designing Type Systems – a post by Peter Bilak
Learn Lettering: a course by Sean McCabe
Jessica Hische’s Thoughts: Jessica shares answers to frequently asked questions
Lettering for Designers: One Drop Cap Letterform at a Time: a Skillshare Class by Jessica Hische

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Lettering Made Simple: Efficient Methods for Custom Type: a Skillshare Class by Brandon Rike
Nice Web Type: is one place for web typography, following experiments, advancements, and best practices in typesetting web text. Handcrafted by Tim Brown

Found on seanwes.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on seanwes.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Sean McCabe’s Podcast | Recommended Resources
Stephen Coles Answers to Type Questions: 9 pages of Stephen’s answers to your burning questions about type
The First Steps of Hand Lettering: Concepts to Sketch: a Skillshare Class by Mary Kate McDevitt
Typedia: a community website to classify typefaces and educate people about them.
Understanding The Difference Between Type and Lettering: a must-read by Joseph Alessio on Smashing Magazine
Webtypography.net: the elements of typographic style applied to the web
Woodtyper: notes on large and ornamental type and related matters

Tutorials:

A Crash Course in Typography: The Basics of Type - on Noupe.com
A Crash Course in Typography: Paragraphs and Special Characters - on Noupe.com
A Crash Course in Typography: Principles for Combining Typefaces – on Noupe.com
A Crash Course in Typography: Pulling it All Together - on Noupe.com
DD Tutorial: From Start to Finish: from sketch to vector illustration



How to Design A Font: {Part 1} Get Inspired!
– by Katie Major on the GoMediaZine
How To Design a Font: {Part2} Draw Up A Storm! -by Katie Major on the GoMediaZine
How to Design a Font: {Part 3} Make it Digital! - by Katie Major on the GoMediaZine
How to Design a Font: {Part 4} Finishing Touches! - by Katie Major on the GoMediaZine
How to Make Any Font a Handmade Font on Creative Market
Old School Type – Line Gradients by Jeff Finley on the GoMediaZine
Ornate Lettering Process by Jeff Finley on the GoMediaZine
Typography in ten minutes on PracticalTypography.com
Vintage Typography Tutorial
 - by Bobby Haiqalsyah on the GoMediaZine
12 Sources of Inspiration for Creating Your Own Lettering or Typeface Designs on the Go MediaZine

Inspiration:


Bob Dylan Subterranean Homesick Blues – A HAND LETTERING EXPERIENCE from Leandro Senna on Vimeo.

Found on dailydishonesty.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on dailydishonesty.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Daily Dishonesty: lovely little lies from a hungry graphic designer
Daily Drop Cap
: a font project by designer Jessica Hische
Designspiration: search found type, lettering, script, calligraphy inspiration
FontShop: Improve your design skills with typography tips & tutorials. Free downloads & goodies galore!

Found on friendsoftype.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on friendsoftype.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Friends of Type: original art for inspiration

Found on designspiration.net | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on designspiration.net | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Designspiration: a resource to help discover and share great design
I love Typography: articles, free fonts, found fonts
Fonts in Use: an independent archive of typography
Ministry of Type: a weblog by Aegir Hallmunder about type, typography, lettering & calligraphy

Found on theartofhandlettering.tumblr.com | Pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

Found on theartofhandlettering.tumblr.com | Pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

The Art of Hand Lettering: found type on Tumblr
Typographica: Type Reviews, Books, Commentary

Read me:

pinned on Go Media's Pinterest

pinned on Go Media’s Pinterest

Posts:
FOUNDFONT™ and the Art of Typographic Archaeology - on the GoMediaZine
20 Beautiful Custom Lettering Typography Designs - on BlogSpoonGraphics
30 Beautiful Hand Lettering Typography Illustrations - on BlogSpoonGraphics
40+ Excellent Hand-Lettering Inspirations - on the GoMediaZine
30 Inspiring Hand Drawn Lettering Poster Designs - on BlogSpoonGraphics
34 Inspiring Typography Designs- on the GoMediaZine
Showcase of 20 Inspiring Typography Poster Designs – on BlogSpoonGraphics

Books:
About Face: Reviving the Rules of Typography
An Essay on Typography
Detail In Typography
Fonts & Logos: Font Analysis, Logotype Design, Typography, Type Comparison

Getting it Right with Type by Victoria Squire

Getting it Right with Type by Victoria Squire

Getting it Right with Type: The Dos and Don’ts of Typography
Jan Tschihold, Master Typographer: His Life, Work and Legacy
Just My Type: A Book about Fonts
Letter by Letter
Logo, Font & Lettering Bible
Logotypes & Letterforms: Handlettered Logotypes and Typographic Considerations
Scripts: Elegant Lettering from Design’s Golden Age by Steven Heller, Louise Fili Reprint Edition (2012)
Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works, Third Edition (3rd Edition) (Graphic Design & Visual Communication Courses)
The ABC’s of Bauhaus, The Bauhaus and Design Theory
The Elements of Typographic Style
The Non-Designer’s Design Book (3rd Edition)
The Form of the Book: Essays on the Morality of Good Design (Classic Typography Series)

Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton

Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton

Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students
The New Typography: A Handbook for Modern Designers (1st English translation)
The Typographic Desk Reference
Treasury of Alphabets and Lettering
Type and Typography
Type: The Secret History of Letters
Type, Volume 1: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles
Typographie: A Manual of Design

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Introducing the Dirty Beats T-Shirt Design Pack http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/introducing-the-dirty-beats-t-shirt-design-pack/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=introducing-the-dirty-beats-t-shirt-design-pack http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/introducing-the-dirty-beats-t-shirt-design-pack/#comments Thu, 06 Mar 2014 14:39:27 +0000 Go Media http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=41579 Our buddy Steve Knerem is back! We're proud to introduce his Dirty Beats T-Shirt Design Pack. Steve's pack offers you a killer and quick way to create a rock and roll tee. Continue Reading »

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Design a Killer Rock and Roll Tee

Our buddy Steve Knerem is back!

We’re proud to introduce his Dirty Beats T-Shirt Design Pack. Steve’s pack offers you a killer and quick way to create a rock and roll tee.

You’re $17 away from the tee of your dreams.

awakened-feature-images1

Download the pack, use as is, or work a little of your own magic. The Dirty Beats T-Shirt Design Pack includes 15 vector illustrations, including rock and roll influenced designs, ribbons, badges and bursts.

You’ll also grab a tri-blend t-shirt mockup PSD for use in Photoshop and the original vector design completed as you see it here. As a bonus, we throw in a free chapter of our popular ebook Thread’s Not Dead: The Designer’s Guide to the Apparel Industry.

Check it:

awakened-feature-image_includes

rocktee-vectors

While you’re at it, grab Jeff Finley’s Awakened T-Shirt Design Pack. It is beyond amazing.

So good!

So good!

Until we meet again!

- Heather, here at the Arsenal

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How to Make (and Save) Money as a Graphic Designer http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/how-to-make-money-as-a-graphic-designer/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-make-money-as-a-graphic-designer http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/how-to-make-money-as-a-graphic-designer/#comments Tue, 25 Feb 2014 14:06:13 +0000 William Beachy http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=41246 One question we get asked with great frequency is simple, yet profound: "How do I make money as a graphic designer?" Jeff did a fantastic post about this very topic in September of 2012 called, "Side Income Strategies for Designers." Check it out. Awesome, creative tips there. We thought we'd take a different slant on the post this time, with wisdom coming from Go Media President William Beachy's book, Drawn to Business. While Jeff went into side strategies, we'll discuss strategies directly related to your growing business. If you haven't been introduced yet to the greatness that is Drawn to Business, it's a nuts and bolts guide to how Bill built Go Media from the ground up. In it Bill outlines a 15 year journey, including years of struggle and growing pains, all bringing him to create the best agency in Cleveland web design, custom branding and print. If you haven't picked it up yet, what are you waiting for? It unlocks all the mysteries of our success. Continue Reading »

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One question we get asked with great frequency is simple, yet profound: “How do I make money as a graphic designer?”

Jeff did a fantastic post about this very topic in September of 2012 called, “Side Income Strategies for Designers.” Check it out. Awesome, creative tips there.

We thought we’d take a different slant on the post this time, with wisdom coming from Go Media President William Beachy’s book, Drawn to Business. While Jeff went into side strategies, we’ll discuss strategies directly related to your growing business.

If you haven’t been introduced yet to the greatness that is Drawn to Business, it’s a nuts and bolts guide to how Bill built Go Media from the ground up. In it Bill outlines a 15 year journey, including years of struggle and growing pains, all bringing him to create the best agency in Cleveland web design, custom branding and print.

If you haven’t picked it up yet, what are you waiting for? It unlocks all the mysteries of our success.

I want it now – $37

The Profitability Equation.

First, let’s agree to this. You’re agreeing you actually want to be profitable, right?

As Bill notes,  ”If you don’t accept the perspective of “YOU DESERVE TO BE PROFITABLE,” then you’ll probably give it away. Now that we’ve gotten that straightened out, let’s go.

1. Figure out how to be profitable.

profitability

First, you have to do a budget.

What does it cost you to be in business? For this equation, let’s assume we’re dealing with a one-month time-frame. Most of your expenses are billed monthly, so this should cover most things. Your budget will include things like electricity, internet service, phone line, advertising, your salary (yes, you get to decide what to pay yourself), heat, and office supplies. That’s your monthly operating expense. That’s what you have to earn to break even.

Next we get to decide on the profit you want to make. You simply add how much you want the company to profit to the operating expenses. This is the total that you need to bring in each month.

Now, how do you figure out how much to charge to accomplish that goal? Simple, you need to figure out how many hours you can bill your clients each month. A safe bet is about four hours a day per employee. This may not seem like much, but remember all the things you have to do each day—answer phone calls, write estimates/proposals, design advertising, deal with freelancers, invoice customers, email files to the printer, etc. At the end of the day, you’ll see that four hours a day of billable time is a reasonable goal. Now we multiply that times five to get 20 hours a week times 4.3 (average weeks in a month) to get 86 billable hours per month.

The last step is to divide the total you need to earn by the billable hours you can work.

Simply writing out a math equation on a piece of paper won’t make you profitable. Writing down a salary of $90K in this equation will not make it come true. But this is a handy little way to think through what you’re charging, how many hours you’re working, and if you’re not profitable— why.

dtb_workbook

2. Write up your business plan.

Writing a plan is a great way to get your brain to start thinking about all aspects of your business. If you don’t write a business plan, it might not occur to you to consider how much money you have to pay to Social Security as part of your payroll and you might not consider what will happen if your company scales up quickly. Maybe your office is only big enough for two employees. What happens if you suddenly need to grow in year two? You should be thinking about where you expect your business to go, and develop plans for that.

BUT—and here’s the important part, a business will rarely go as planned, so it’s important to not get tunnel vision. When things start to go in directions you weren’t expecting, you need to be agile and flexible. You need to be able to identify opportunities and run with them. Also, you need to recognize quickly when something isn’t working and make a dramatic change if necessary, and quickly. I suggest writing the plan because it’s an important learning tool. By mapping it out, you’re setting goals and expectations. These are benchmarks that will allow you to make comparisons. You should invest real energy on it.

Our Business Plan Workbook

3. Pay yourself as little as possible.

Obviously, your payroll as owner is an expense to the company. It must be budgeted just like anything else. If you pay yourself too much, you’ll soon find yourself broke. So, for the benefit of the business, it’s important that you pay yourself as little as possible. At Go Media there have been many years where the partners paid their employees more than we paid ourselves. Occasionally when we’ve fallen on extremely hard times, the partners have skipped payroll.

donotquit

4. Do not quit your day job.

If you have a day job and are considering starting a design firm —DON’T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB. Hold onto that day job as long as possible. That’s income. That’s your first client! They might be a bad low-paying client, but they’re still your only source of income. Go to your day job, then work on your business at night. Spend as much income from your day job as possible on your business. When you start landing clients, do that work at night and on the weekends. You should only quit your day job when you’re so slammed with work from your business that it justifies quitting.

Oh, and if you feel like you don’t have the energy to work on your own business after you’ve worked a full day at your regular job, you might seriously consider how committed you are to building your own company. Starting a new business requires well more than eight hours a day.

5. Stay in business.

It doesn’t have to be pretty or comfortable. You don’t need a fancy office or a catering service to bring you lunch. Staying in business means you have electric for your computer and a working phone line. If your idea of being in business means that you have fancy desks, embroidered shirts and a big neon sign, you need to adjust your expectations because things may get tough— very tough. And when they take away your neon sign, If you think you need it to be in business, then you’ll probably quit.

6. Avoid borrowing at all costs.

As outlined, frugality is key to survival in the early years of your business. You want to make it as difficult as possible to spend.

Borrowing does three things. First, it takes pressure off you to sell! If your rent payment is coming up and you have no money in the bank, guess what—you are going to feel a ton of pressure to go sell something. That’s a very good thing! Second, borrowing money makes it easier to spend. As mentioned previously, frugality is key to survival in the early years of your business. You want to make it as difficult as possible to spend. Third, borrowing money puts you in a worse financial position and saddles you with interest payments as well as possible emotional debts. Owing money to your family can be a terrible burden to carry.

“But Bill!” You say. “It does take some money to start a business. If I don’t already have it, how do I get it?”

buyonneed

7. Buy only on need, not want.

It’s simple. Only buy equipment based on need, not excitement. If possible, hold off on buying equipment until you can justify its purchase in the cost of the project.

One word on technology,  I’ve always been quick to make investments in technology and equipment. If some technology or equipment can make your company run more efficiently, I recommend making the investment. If you’re uncertain about the ROI of some new technology or equipment, you can easily do a quick cost vs. benefit analysis. Generally, a design firm’s wages are by far the largest expense. Anything you can do to maximize the efficiency of your staff is typically going to be a winner. I do like to hold off on buying equipment until I’ve landed a project that justifies the purchase.

8. Get slammed. Then raise your rates.

Work hard until you’re slammed, raise your rates, repeat. This is what I did over the first few years of my business. My logo design pricing for instance, went from $300 to $500 to $900. But I was holding steadfastly to my flat rate, upfront pricing system. Admittedly it was becoming more difficult. A customer would ask for a logo design, I would quote $900 and they would say: “$900?!? But I already did a sketch. I just need you to refine this letter ‘C’ I made. It should be very simple. Really? $900? That doesn’t seem fair.” In this scenario it would have only taken me a couple of hours to do what the client was asking for; that wasn’t fair. A flat rate system just didn’t seem to account for the variables in design projects. One price didn’t fit all cases.

For more on our pricing systems, see:
A Designer’s Guide to Pricing
How to Charge For Your Graphic Design Work (&  Get What You Deserve)

keepthefaith

More than anything, remember to keep the faith. Go Media was not an overnight success. Money was terribly tight for at least the first five years. Remember that as long as you are in business, you’re being successful. And so long as you’re learning, given enough time, you’ll eventually figure it out.

Good luck.

For more on how to make (and save money) as a graphic designer, pick up Drawn to Business!

 

The post How to Make (and Save) Money as a Graphic Designer appeared first on GoMediaZine.

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