pinterest perks and perils for designers

pinterest perks and perils for designers

I will be the first to tell you that I looooove pinterest. This post isn’t meant to be an assault on pinterest, but rather just a few considerations for use as a designer and/or clients of a graphic designer.

I use pinterest for work a lot. Every time I start a new logo/branding project, I create a secret pinterest board and invite my client to pin with me. We share inspiration, color palettes, patterns, existing logos they love, etc. It’s an efficient way to interact with clients spread out across the globe in a way that makes me understand what they want to accomplish aesthetically. It works really well, BUT…

Pinterest creates unrealistic expectations. I don’t think this is a problem exclusive to the graphic design community. It’s a problem for moms trying to plan the perfect birthday party, families who hire an interior designer to spruce up their space, etc. etc. 10 years ago in design school, I would buy Lurzer’s Archives or Print magazine and drool over the high quality creativity and design featured on each page. I aspired to be that great, knowing that sleepless nights and  and an army of design professionals were likely behind that work. Your clients just can’t appreciate how much time, thought, effort and research goes into such a project, yet pinterest shows them that caliber of design with the click of a button.

Expensive print techniques are the norm on pinterest. I find that my clients usually aren’t aware of the cost of print production techniques. It’s not that I expect them to be well versed in the differences between embossing and letterpress, but people are often disappointed when you explain to them that they can’t get the same effect from their office inkjet printer.

Styling and exquisite photography play a big role in what clients see on pinterest. The carefully arranged props and photo editing might be playing just as big of a roll in your client’s adoration as the design itself. If they’ve spent months admiring business cards on pinterest before they hire a designer, It’s hard to make a design comp emailed via pdf seem nearly as exciting. It’s difficult for non-creative people to imagine the final result when they’re staring at a flat document on their computer screen.

My main advice is to be sure that when a client send you inspiration found on pinterest, you’re clear on what it is they like about the images. Communicate with them early and often about their expectations for the project, and how much they intend to budget for printing. If there’s a technique that you’d really love for them to see in action, mock it up! Pixeden has some great cheap or free mock up tools for you to use. Pinterest can be a very valuable tool for understanding your client’s vision, but make sure your client understand what’s realistic for their project and what isn’t. Have a great weekend!

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lessons learned: how to keep clients from wasting your time

how to keep clients from wasting your time

The past 3+ years have been an incredible learning experience for me. I’d gone from working at ad agencies where I had little to no direct exposure to clients (account executives and creative directors were always the go between), to a world where I’m the one and only person doing the designing, billing, project management, and client relations too! I’ve definitely made some mistakes along the way, and continue to refine my process (and contract) as I go. I hope you can take advantage of this experience and avoid making some of these mistakes on your own. Mind you, the vast majority of your clients will not waste your time on purpose, but setting clear expectations and boundaries can really help. Without further adieu, the cleanline studio list of time saving client tips, after the jump…

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lessons learned: credit where credit is due

properly crediting images, image credits, how to credit images online

This series has in the past been more about lessons I have personally learned as a creative entrepreneur/small business owner, but I think I’m going to expand it a bit to include lessons that I have learned as a blogger too! There are a lot of little things in the blogging world that aren’t set in stone. It’s an ever-growing and changing community, and not everyone does things the same way or even agrees about what the right way is. So, please realize that this is just one bloggers opinions and take it for what it’s worth!

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Philly creatives feature on fleurishing

FLEURISHING Hey guys! With all the giveaway excitement yesterday, I neglected to tell you about another exciting thing that happened! I’m featured on fleurishing as part of a series called philly creatives. For those of you who aren’t familiar with fleurishing, you’re in for a treat! It’s written by Susan Hitchinson, a Philadelphia-based interior designer, francophile, mama, and fellow redhead. She has fantastic taste and her blogs is one of my absolute favorites, which is why I am so honored to be included in this series. Check out the article right here!

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logo case study: hallie henley design

halliepattern
I’ve been meaning to share more of my work lately, and today I’m fiiinally making that happen! I’m sharing the branding and identity system for Hallie Henley Design, from start to finish. Hallie is an award-winning interior designer who is just starting her own company, and was an absolute dream client for me. See the moodboard, and design process after the jump!

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Big News! Announcing Philly Calligraphy Brunch!

Philly Calligraphy Brunch

UPDATE: Due to the overwhelming popularity of this series, we will be hosting another series on February 7th and 8th, 2015. Registration is now open! For more information go here, or head here to register!

BOTH CLASSES ARE SOLD OUT! Thanks to everyone who has already expressed an interest in this series! If you’d like to be added to the mailing list for future classes, please leave a comment below!

Heeeeey, I’ve got some super exciting news today! I am finally getting around to announcing this project that I have been working on for many months. I’m partnering with Christie of bedsidesign to bring you Philly’s first ever calligraphy brunch! I’ve got a pretty sweet studio and a knack for throwing parties, and Christie’s got some serious calligraphy skills and a desire to share. It’s pretty much a match made in heaven. All the details, and a few teaser images are after the jump…

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Lessons learned: identifying problem clients

identifying problem clients at www.blog.cleanlinestudio.com

Hi there, happy Friday! Today I want to talk about a clients, rather potential clients, and how to know when things aren’t going to work out. When you get that initial inquiry from a potential client, it usually feels pretty exciting. You’re eager to hear about their project, and psyched to work out an agreement with them. If you’re a new freelancer or are going through a dry patch, you may be anxious to get started. I caution you to step back, take a deep breath, and follow your usual protocol. I never do work for a client before a contract is signed, and a deposit check is in my bank account. Any good, professional client will respect your policies, and follow through in a timely manner. Below is a list of warning signs that a client may be difficult, or one that you shouldn’t proceed with at all…

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afl turns 2!

aflturns2

I’ll be honest you guys, I almost let this momentous occasion slip away. By now, blogging is so engrained. I feel like I’ve been doing it forever, and it’s a bit surprising to me that it’s only been two years. In the past two years I have learned and grown so much. Partly from my career as a designer, and partly because of this blog.
I am so proud of this space, and of everything I’ve accomplished as a result. It’s been a lot of hard work and learning, but I’m so happy to be doing it. I hope that someday, blogging may become my full time job. In the meantime, I’m happy to keep plugging away, and learning and growing with each post.
With this anniversary in mind, I could really use your help. I’ve put together my first survey, to get a sense of how I can improve afl. I’d really appreciate it if you could take the time to complete it for me, it should take about 5 minutes or less.
I thank you so much for your support and encouragement. There have been a few days along the way where I’ve felt discouraged, but your sweet comments and emails always help me to persevere. I’m excited for the future of this blog, and many more years of blogging to come! Thanks for sticking by me!

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these are a few of my favorite things

office inspiration and tour from blog.cleanlinestudio.com

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens…Is that song stuck in your head now too? Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself. Eva likes that song so it’s perpetually rolling around in mine. By now you’ve seen a glimpse at my studio, but today I wanted to share a few more images of my desk setup, and my favorite things to have about while I’m working.

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