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Category Archives: Design Helpers

Posts that can help you on your way as a designer.

College, is it right for you?

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“The beauty of our site is that it doesn’t matter if you have a degree from the Rhode Island School of Design or if you’re a grandma in Tennessee with a bunch of free time and Adobe Illustrator If the client likes the grandma’s work better, then she’s going to get the job.”

This is a direct quote from a co-founder for a crowdsourcing site. The quote came from the Forbes website on “The Creativity of Crowds” article.

Having a college degree means you at least have a good solid foundation to work with clients. You know something about the market and how to attract people to a business with design. You have some know-how when it comes to doing research, and you can smash everything a company wants to share with the world into a logo. Even after all the experience, if you don’t have a job working for a company or studio, it will be very hard to pull in money as a freelancer. The median salary for a graphic designer is about $40,000, and that would require some form of higher education and experience.

When you can’t seem to enter the field, you may turn to freelance. This market is by far the most competitive in graphic design. We have sites offering a logo for as low as $50. I mean come on. That’s really low. No major corporation in their right mind would do that, but they would go through a crowdsourcing site. For a mere $200, a multimillion dollar industry could get hundreds of designs form a lot of designers willing to compete for the prize. Does that even sound like a good idea, placing the corporate identity of you’re huge company in the hands of possible amateurs? I guess it wouldn’t matter since the client owner would be the one choosing the design. But that again doesn’t make any sense. Why even go to a designer if you will be telling them what’s best for your company? Isn’t the whole point of hiring a designer to have confidence in the fact that they know what to do for you? It all seems a little odd.

You could really just come up with an idea, find someone who’s good with a vector program, and hire them for $50.

In the world today, with crowdsourcing and the economy, it’s almost impossible to get a decent design job as a freelancer. It was hard enough to begin with, but now it’s almost impossible. And when you can’t look to freelancing, you most likely look to a job, which again, is almost impossible to get. Hey, nobody ever says a graphic designers life is glamorous. My advice to anyone looking to get into the field is to test out crowdsourcing first. I mean getting a college degree will help a lot, if it’s a master’s, or if you’re some kind of prodigy. Let’s face some hard facts right now. Because of things like crowdsourcing, it almost eliminates the need for a real graphic designer, almost.

Logo Lounge Books

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I have a few Logo Lounge books by Bill Gardner and Catharine Fishel. I have to say that these are great books for inspiration. I have Logo Lounge 4, Logo Lounge 2,000 International Identities, and Logo Lounge 5. There are 2 main parts to each of the books. The first part of the books have a portraits section that shows a little about how some popular brands were created. It’s a nice little intro to the rest of the books. The second part is just a nice collection of logos. The logos are categorized in groups like initials, display type, people, shapes, transportation, to name a few. The logos are laid out very nicely, and they are very easy to look at and study.

I believe the main purpose of these books is not only for inspiration, but also to study logo trends. I wouldn’t think to follow the trends in logo design, so seeing what other people are doing, and what is popular really helps a lot. If anything, the books are great to help you with ideas. If you work alone as a freelancer, coming up with ideas can be tough. If you take a look through any of the Logo Lounge books, you will have many ideas from other companies, and this can help you to push your own ideas further.

One of my favorite things to do is look and see what is common. I think the people section does this the best. There are so many logos with abstract people and hands, and since these books lay several ideas out all on one page, it’s easy to see what’s common. You may even see common designs from one book to another. This is a useful tool in helping you push your creativity further. If you have an idea you think is unique, chances are that someone somewhere already though of the same thing.

I suggest that you buy the most recent Logo Lounge book first, and work back from there. Having a library of these books would be ideal, as they layout the trends and commonalities of logos through several years time. You should check logolounge.com for the most recent news on trends in logo design, and the most recent book release date. This is a valuable tool, so use it when you can to help you develop your ideas into something unique and memorable.