Search Results for resume

02.27.13

ADVICE / 53

today’s question: “how do you say “no” to friends asking you to work for free?”

KATIE’S ANSWER:
so your friend is starting a new company and needs help with all her branding, website, blog, etc. she knows you’re a kick ass designer and comes to you first because she trusts you… and also has no budget. we’ve all been there. it’s awkward. you’d love to help your friend out but your time is worth something too.

we’ve talked before about trading or giving a friend discount. you could find something between those two, but that doesn’t always work. both sides have to really stick to their side of the deal. if you make a trade be sure to put a time limit on that trade (something i recently learned). a friend of mine wanted to claim their side of the trade before my wedding. in hindsight i should’ve said no because i was in the thick of designing for myself and i was already overwhelmed. i said “sure!” because it was my turn to deliver. i didn’t give it my all like i should’ve and it was so stressful on top of my crazy work load.

if you end up saying yes and doing it for free (you’re a really good friend) still write a contract! tell your friend that you will treat her like any other client when you’re working together. be up front about what you will be giving her, how many rounds of revisions and when everything is due. also ask her to be professional with you.  if she doesn’t take you seriously and wastes your time it could be a disaster. be honest and up front the entire time. if you feel like she is asking for too many revisions or not giving feedback in a timely manner SPEAK UP! you don’t want to let that because you will start to resent taking on the project and possibly your friend. bad combination.

i’ve helped out some friends for free but i made it very clear how much time i could spend with them on their project. so far, we’re all still friends.

BRI’S ANSWER:
this one is hard because i have had some really amazing experiences working for friends at no charge. i considered them fun, creative, easy projects and a lot of them turned out that way. but i will also tell you that some of my least favorite projects have been for friends because it is hard to put boundaries on a project. one of my worst experinces was for a mutual friend that i did a favor for (because i thought “if my friends love this person, so will i!”) WRONG. i wasn’t professional enough from the start, i didn’t have a proper contract, and things turned really sour. endless revisions, she had a really bad attitude and was very needy. but you know what, it was my fault for assuming that things would be just fine. lesson learned.

i have also had friends come out of the woodwork needing free design work (you know, the ones you haven’t talked to in years and then all of a sudden need a favor?) and that’s when i had to put my foot down. it will never be easy to say no to a real friend that needs help. i can sit here and tell you to just give them a discounted rate instead…but i am guilty of doing a lot of free work for friends because i just really like the person. or the project. but when someone you haven’t talked to all year needs you to design their business cards? that i can’t stand behind. people are entitled and i’m not cool with that.

katie’s right. trades should have a deadline. make a contract. be upfront about revisions. and do your best to talk to them like you would any other client. if you’re too busy, just say it! because you really aren’t doing them a favor if you are going to give them half-ass work. refer them to someone that you know will do a good job and let them know you would love to give your opinion about it. it’s really a case by case scenario. i’m still going to help my little sister with her resume design and my best friend with her company if she really needs it. it’s only when you feel like someone is taking advantage of you that the situation is bound to get ugly.

have you had any terrible experiences with doing free work for friends? it’s hard, right?

(illustration by katie evans. read more freelance advice posts are over here!)

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02.19.13

MAKE IT / INTERNSHIP

do you dream in glitter? have a glue gun fused to your hand? you may be just what we’re looking for!
designlovefest is looking for an LA-based DIY intern to assist Natalie with make it blog posts and designlovefest DIY events. we need someone with some spunk!


responsibilities include preparing supplies for make it blog posts, resourcing materials, test driving projects before shoots, and assisting the DLF team with our super fun DIY event nights.
the ideal candidate is a creative thinker with a variety of arts and craft skills and an attention to detail. we’re looking for someone with a good working knowledge of materials, techniques, and basic photoshop skills and a familiarity with popular DIY projects. 5 hours a week, schedule is flexible and a possibility for additional hours that would be paid. an upbeat and adventurous attitude are a must.

to be considered for the position please submit to natalieshriver@gmail.com (with the subject line “designlovefest DIY internship”) the following items…

• resume or bio
• several examples of recent art or craft work
• a list of all applicable skills
• proposal for a DIY project for the blog

we are excited for one of you to join the team! will you be applying? -bri + natalie

 

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01.23.13

ADVICE / 48

today’s question: how do you present your work?

BRI & KATIE’S ANSWERS (mixed together this time!)

in an interview…

when i was about to graduate college i was interviewing left and right. my book was 8.5″ x 11″ (perfect for fitting in my bag) sturdy (it was touched by so many hands) and made of orange plexi with sheet protectors on the inside. it was really easy to rearrange or make edits if i changed my mind later. there was minimal copy in my layouts because i think its better to talk about my work vs. having the interviewer read it. i did have friends that went above and beyond with a printed and bound book. they looked really great, but they would get so frustrated when they decided they wanted to add a project. last year i transfered over to an ipad. it’s cleaner and i’ve found that people love to be able to zoom into projects to get a closer look. i don’t have to worry about getting my pages nicely printed and can update it so much faster. i also got a nice bright red case to match back to my resume and it usually matches something i’m wearing.

and be confident in the way that you speak about the work…you should be able to say a few sentences about each project in case they ask you specifics about them. if you don’t have anything to say about the project, it probably means that you don’t love it…so take that one out. a few things to think about when explaining a project: your inspiration, why you loved it, an interesting back story, the vibe you were trying to capture…

and how about something you can leave with them? we get our blogshop magazines printed at magcloud (affordable & pretty good quality!) you could make a little magazine with examples of your work, a little about you, and your resume in the back. just a fun idea to think about.

to a client…

i work with most of my clients over emails and pdfs. for each round of delivery i place their files on a pdf with my logo and information at the top of each page. i include the date, deliverable round, brief description and my contact info. sometimes the elements need some descriptive copy that i include off to the side. and! i always watermark everything just incase. i’ve never experienced a client running off with my work (knock on wood) but i’ve hear horror stories.

no matter what, always present your best and favorite pieces. it will really show by the way you talk about it or just by how amazing it looks. don’t overwhelm the viewer with too many options.

always remember, you want this process to be a creative experience. you want them to feel engaged and excited when they see an email come in from you! so if that means going the extra mile and photoshopping the logo option that you love on a shopping bag so they can envision it, do it! the 5 minutes that took you to do will often seal the deal!

(illustration by katie evans. read more freelance advice posts are over here!)

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01.02.13

ADVICE / 45

today’s question: i have a job interview coming up. what are some of your interviewing tips?

KATIE’S ANSWER:
i haven’t been on too many job interviews but i have had to meet with new clients. you can apply these tips to those meetings as well.

dress for the job you want, not the one you have. this could all depend on what type of company you’re going for, but dress up! wear heels. put in the effort. don’t wear a lot of jewelry (especially bangles. they’re loud and distracting) and make sure what you’re wearing is comfortable, fits right and makes you feel confident. give it a test run first. how does it feel when you sit? does it wrinkle easy? one time i was interviewing at a company and i chose to wear this new top i had recently bought. i hadn’t worn it before and boy do i wish i could go back and change my outfit. the material was heavy and it was tight in the wrong places. naturally i was nervous and i was sweating. i could see the hiring manager staring at my sweat stains and it totally threw me off my game. i didn’t get that job.

arrive on time. this one seems like a duh, but you never know if you’ll get into traffic or get lost. plan to get there half an hour ahead of time. you can always use the extra time to check yourself in the mirror (no lipstick on your teeth!) or go over your resume.

present yourself at your best. give your hiring manager or new client a firm handshake! nobody likes a wussy one. bring multiple copies of your resume (if they like you immediately, they may want to introduce you to other people). look people in the eye when you talk to them and don’t forget to smile! if you’re presenting a portfolio make sure your nails look nice—they’ll be looking at those a lot!

BRI’S ANSWER: i totally agree with katie’s points. here are a few more…

be prepared but also authentic: the best interviews i have been on in the past i remember feeling comfortable and calm. there is something to be said for being prepared and i am a total nerd about this. i plan my outfit the night before, i prepare questions for them (you have to show interest in the company. even if you don’t have any questions, do your best to think of at least one) and i try to anticipate the questions i will be asked and what i would respond with. but i try not to go overboard with the canned answers because i want to be authentic and in the moment as well. you don’t want it to see like you are just reading off a general answer.

bring something memorable: i remember a few years ago i was going in to meet with the ban.do girls and they were interviewing me about some graphic design work. i had admired the comapany aesthetic and did my research beforehand. i knew the girls loved sweets so i brought some chocolates and a little 3-d card thanking them for meeting with me. i think they still have the little pop-up card at their office. people notice that extra effort. my intern last year, marissa, brought a box of cute treats all in one color. teal scissors, teal string, teal glitter…it made a statement. i interviewed a gal yesterday that gold-leafed her resume…impressive & memorable.

bring supplies: i always bring my business cards, resumes, pens, a journal,  ipad, tick tacks, lipstick, examples of work (either loaded on the ipad or printed). you want to show them that you are organized and prepared.

eye contact & confidence: seems easy, but when your nervous these things are the first two to go. try to avoid nervous rambling, just stick to the point.

follow up: i usually send a follow up email after the interview. let them know you’re interested and excited about the opportunity! as always, try to personalize your emails…mention something you chatted about in the interview, say what excites you most about the position. when i hire someone i am looking for personality!

(illustration by katie evans. read more freelance advice posts are over here!)

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09.26.12

ADVICE / 34

today’s question: “what was your first freelance job and what did you learn?”

KATIE’S ANSWER:
technically my first graphic design job was designing the drink promotion tent cards at the restaurant i worked at in high school. but the one i count was designing a line of stationery cards for a new brand. i think i found it on craigslist. the ad asked for an illustrator with a print background. i sent my portfolio PDF showing the range of my illustration skills and my resume. the owner responded she liked my style and asked to meet me. we met at a bar, had some wine and she told me what she wanted her stationery line to be. it was right up my alley and we clicked really well. i knew what was required of me as a designer, but on the business side i had no clue what I was doing. i charged her $500 for 5 designs, each getting two rounds for revisions. i cringe when i think about how much work went into the designs. you live and you learn right?

what i would do differently today:
• charge $600 per card with two revisions for each design. if you’re new start out charging hourly. you will still be learning to manage your self and working with clients.

• add another $1,000 for all the email correspondence, managing the print vendors, deadlines, and all of our in person meetings.

• save my taxi and supply receipts to write those off as a business expense when i do my taxes.

• our contract would include what would happen if the idea is killed once the work has begun. is there a kill fee? do i get paid for a percentage of my fee? or paid for the hours? my client had changed her mind after two rounds on one of the cards to a new idea and i hadn’t brought that up in our contract. all that work down the drain and i had to start all over again.

• contract would say that if the client wanted more revisions after the two rounds i would charge my hourly rate to finish the project.

• contract would included rights and usage of the artwork. those designs i did now live on a ton of other products. my designs were also manipulated into other patterns and layouts and look really bad (in my opinion). it’s unfortunate because it could’ve been a great piece for my portfolio but now i don’t even want to show anyone. i could always redo it for myself but i guess i’m a little bitter about how the final product came to life.

• contract would say how long the client owns the rights to them. is it a year? 3 years (i’ve learned that 3 is an industry standard for product. it hits a season, goes on sale, maybe moves to outlet), or forever? depending on how long they want to have the rights another fee would be included. more years = more money.

• contract would say how many products each design can live on.

• require approval on ALL products my designs go on before they are put into production.

BRI’S ANSWER:
i still remember that day vividly. i was sitting in the FIDM college study lounge and there was a girl sitting next to me who was really outgoing. she just started showing me her sketches from a little boy’s clothing line she was designing. i liked her energy and thought her clothes were actually pretty good looking. she asked what my major was in school and i told her i was studying graphic design. her eyes lit up. she told me that she was pretty serious about developing this line for real (that was her school project at the time) and that she needed a logo asap. i decided that even though i had never designed a logo for a company, i was going to take the challenge. this was my FIRST paying client!

she asked me to design business cards, clothing labels and a logo. i charged $300. which at the time made me think i was richy rich. i couldn’t wait to call mom ‘n dad and tell them how baller status i was. turns out, like katie, i learned very quickly that $300 was quite low for the amount of work that went into that project. but it’s all good, i definitely needed the experience and i will never forget how excited i was that day.

what i learned from the experience:
depending on your experience with design, and how large the company is, this number will vary. but one thing i can tell you is that logos are worth more than $100. a logo can transform a company! think about when you are driving down the road and see a restaurant with nice signage…or when you are wandering the grocery aisles and see a package that catches your eye. logos are a serious aspect to a company. over time i was increasing my rates till i felt comfortable with a number. i wish i could give you solid numbers, but honestly each logo i do has a different price tag. if you are just starting out, i would say $500 is a good price.

• totally agree about the 2 rounds in the contract (and an hourly rate beyond that). this is one of the most important things to do so you don’t end up doing 30 rounds and wanting to scratch your eyeballs out. people are very indecisive. giving them clear guidelines helps them get their thoughts sorted out in a more organized fashion.

• when designing logos, do your first rounds in black and white. i know you might be excited to introduce color right away but people WILL choose a design based on the color they are drawn to. you want to work out the structure of the logo before you start diving into color. it’s worth the wait, trust.

• save your files on hard drives! i had a computer crash and now i sadly don’t have those files to look back on. and when you save them, be very organized. get a system in place that works for you. i usually name my files (name of company)_(date)_(logo)_(version).ai – you want to be able to easily search for these later!

• don’t send logo options to your clients that you don’t love. they WILL pick them on occasion, and you will have to try to talk them into the other options you actually like. edit down to only what you would want them to pick. it’s better to send 3 solid options than 6 decent ones.

do you remember your first paid gig? do you have any cool stories to share about what you learned?

(illustration by katie evans. read more freelance advice posts are over here!)

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