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Dear Client,

This page is for you. In order to make your branding or digital project unfold in a breeze, I put together this collection of online articles. They will shed some light on the design process, help you  communicate with your designer and get you in touch with other relevant resources for your endeavor. Happy reading!

If you would like to suggest an addition to this page, please email me.

TIME WELL SPENT

When designing a digital product it’s crucial to carefully consider its impact on individual and societal level. Time Well Spent encourages designers and companies to create applications designed with people’s best interests in mind while inventing a new digital future by re-imagining the attention economy.

Posted In: The Design Process

The Morality of Manipulation

Conceptualizing and building a behavior-changing product costs plenty of blood, sweat and tears. The ever looming vision of fame and fortune might render this worthwhile, but before we embark on our journey, we have the moral responsibility to ask ourselves, “Is changing user behavior in this way worthwhile?”. Nir Eyal, author of “Hooked – how to build habit-forming products” has boiled it down to one must-read article.

Posted In: The Design Process

Junior vs. Senior Designer

There’s more than just a difference in $$ when it comes to choosing between a junior and a senior designer. And that difference is not always obvious for a client who only sees beautiful portfolios right left and center. Luckily Julie Zhuo put the topic into a humorous and very much to-the-point visual summary. Enjoy!

WATCH THE STOCK

 

I can’t seem to stress too much how heavily designs (be it websites or print materials) depend on professional imagery that conveys a very specific atmosphere or message. However, not every client is willing or able to afford a professional photographer or illustrator. Stock images are certainly an option, but one that should be explored carefully and with the awareness of its traps and pitfalls. 52 weeks of UX features a nice little article on this topic.

the power of VISUAL Hierarchy

Why are some designs so easy on the eye (and brain), while others are painful and confusing to look at? I personally believe visual hierarchy is a designer’s most powerful tool to communicate a client’s message clearly. Read 52 Weeks of UX’s article on the topic and make sure to also read the following article on visual weight.

Posted In: Web Design, Print Design

People who
speak branding

On Branding is an interview series dedicated to introduce you to some excellent brand creators, visionaries and experts. It’s a nice and ever-growing online playlist that you should definitely visit if you are about to set out on a (re-)branding endeavour. You can also read the transcript of each interview if you quickly want to scan through the topics.

Posted In: Branding Matters

Product Photography

If you sell a product, professional photography is the key to reach your market and create a brand that rocks your buyer’s world. Vancouver-based design studio Also Known As has written a comprehensive article on how to choose the right photography style for your product and gathered some inspirational examples.

YES, THEY SCROLL!

 
Forget trying to squeeze all important information above “the fold” of your homepage. While users weren’t used to scrolling down a page to scan information a couple of years ago, the rise of mobile devices has trained them to do just that. Need proof? Read this.

Posted In: Web Design

Find the right (web) designer

Finding the right designer for your project can be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating tasks. There are so many online portfolios and options out there, it’s overwhelming. Folyo has written a pretty good post on what topics are important when looking for a (web) designer, with a quick and handy checklist for each one.

Make web fonts fun

Fonts look different in Photoshop (your web designers tool of choice) than in web browsers. As a result, designers often give programmers a headache by asking them to set the font styles on your website exactly the way they intended them to look like. Typecast is a genius little tool that enables designers to set the styles directly in the browser and then send the automatically generated CSS code to their programmer. No more surprises, no more headaches.

Why to say ‘no’ to crowdsourcing and spec work

It’s been a long, ongoing debate: well-trained designers passionately argue against crowdsourcing and spec work while businesses, especially start-ups, often turn to platforms like 99 designs in order to save some bucks on design work. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys” by Doug Bartow very well explains why you should think twice before sitting down to write your call for entries.

An egg that Tracks User Behaviour

How can you not be delighted with a web tool called Crazy Egg? Besides its memorable name, it’s a handy tool to find out how people behave on your site and how to optimize your site’s structure and design.

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CLASSIC STARTUP MISTAKES

 

Business excites me. I love to work with startups as part of their creative process and eventually see how they make their mark. Kathryn Minshew from The Muse talks about the most common mistakes founders make when venturing out into the market. Definitely worth watching before and while you are making your business idea happen.

Proof it right

Before your print project hits the press, your printer will send you a proof that you need to sign in order to move forward. Checking that proof properly can potentially save you a lot of headaches and reprinting costs. Here’s how you properly proof.

Simplicity equals clarity

I firmly believe in simplicity. It’s a sign of knowledge. Knowing your product, your business, your brand. It is and enables direct and unclouded communication with your audience. Joshua Brewer has put this into words better than I ever could.

COPY
RIGHT
ETC.

 

Trademarks? Copyright? Registered designs? Patents? Intellectual property rights can be complicated. Samuel Jesse McCown explains what’s what. Make sure to also check out the Related Articles at the bottom of the post.

Relationship issues?

Let’s be honest: Working with a designer can be tricky. So why do some client-designer relationships work out much better than others? Seth Godin has some thoughts on this.

WHITESPACE

Designers talk about “whitespace” with gleaming eyes, while you wonder why your designer is so obsessed with emptiness! Here is what whitespace can do for your business.

Process vs. Spot

When designing for print, at some point you will need to decide on the printing process that should be used for the project. Your designer will ask “process or spot colors”? Prep yourself for this question by reading CutPasteAndPrint’s excellent post on the topic.

I KNOW IT WHEN I SEE IT

 

There are certain things you should NEVER say to your designer, including this sentence.. Why? Let Seth Godin tell you.

Checklist: Are you a good client?

Designers need good clients. And clients want to be good clients. Good clients get the best work. And the best work makes the best business. Number 17 Studio came up with a handy checklist to make sure you are on the right track.