How to Develop a Graphic Design Portfolio A graphic design portfolio is the best way to display and showcase your past projects, creativity, and talent. A graphic design portfolio is vital when trying to pursue opportunities as a graphic designer within a company or as a freelance graphic designer pursuing clients. The graphic design portfolio can contain any number of items, in several different formats. The first important step in developing a graphic design portfolio is deciding what work to include. You should only include your highest quality work in your graphic design portfolio. If you include mediocre work in your graphic design portfolio simply because you are concerned about not having enough pieces in your graphic design portfolio, you will lose important job offers and clients. It is better to have a few pieces in your graphic design portfolio that really showcase your talent and creativity than have many pieces that do not help you build a solid reputation as a graphic designer. The next step in developing a graphic design portfolio is deciding what type of graphic design portfolio you want to create. There are four main types of graphic design portfolios: printed pages in a binder, an online graphic design portfolio, images placed on a graphic design portfolio CD, or a slideshow of images placed on a graphic design portfolio DVD. Really, it is best to create one of each type of graphic design portfolio so that you are fully prepared to offer whatever your prospective employer or client is prepared to look at to judge your talent and creativity as a graphic designer. To create a graphic design portfolio of printed pages, you should choose only your best work, and only the best quality printed copies. If you are unsure of the quality of your home printer, put the images on a disk and have them printed for you at a print shop. The best quality and most creative pieces can look mediocre if not printed with high quality printing. You should then present the pieces in a professional manner. The best color for a graphic design printed portfolio is black, and the most professional style is leather. This should be something that is spiral bound, a book, or a case so that you can add or remove pieces from your graphic design portfolio easily as you progress in your graphic design career. To create a graphic design portfolio online, you will first need web space. Website hosting and domain registration has become very cost effective. Most websites also give you free website building tools so that you don't have to know HTML. However, make sure that you sign up for website hosting with enough bandwidth to handle all of the images and potential traffic. Once you have your website set up, you'll want to choose your pieces carefully. Display them as thumbnails on one page, with each full scale piece appearing on another page when the thumbnail is clicked. This will give people with slower internet access easier access to your online graphic design portfolio. To create a graphic design portfolio on DVD or CD, you must have a computer with a DVD or CD burner. To make really professional DVD or CD graphic design portfolios, you will want to get a CD or DVD burning kit that allows you to burn images onto the top of the CD or DVD and create labels for jewel cases. You can either save individual pieces on the CD or DVD, or you can simply save a copy of your website on the disc. Where to Find Graphic Design Jobs Whether you are just out of school or simply feeling ready for something new, good graphic design jobs abound. We are living in a visual society; most of us spend hours on the internet perusing site after site. Every one of these sites has visuals, and those visuals were designed by someone. That someone could be you. And even if you don't want to explore graphic design jobs centered around the web, there are so many other areas, packaging, print design, advertising, marketing and within all of these areas there are graphic design jobs that you may be able to fill. Where do I start? Start looking on the internet. Enter "graphic design jobs" into your favorite search engine and start exploring. You'll find many different types of sites -- almost all involve job searches by type of job and location. If you want to apply for any of these jobs you will need your resume and portfolio. So be ready. Some will be standard job search sites and others will be professional organizations. Spend some time just looking through the sites and saving sites that you will want to return to. I recommend making a "graphic design jobs search" folder in the "favorites" or "bookmarks" section of your browser. Use this when you save the links you want to return to. If you are a member of a professional organization this is a great place to go first. As a student you can join reasonably. Often there are o associate memberships that are also economical. Being a member of a professional organization also looks good and adds credibility on your resume. Preparing for your graphic design jobs search. You know where you want to go. Now you need to get ready. Is your resume ready? You can find sites on the internet that show you how to write resumes and give you guidelines for assessing the one you currently have. If you think you need more experience to include in your resume, volunteer to do some jobs for non-profit organizations. Make sure you do an excellent job and ask them if they will be a reference you can include on your resume. You will also need a portfolio in your search for graphic design jobs. There are several kinds of portfolios -- paper, web and DVD/CD portfolios. Again, you can learn a lot about refining your portfolio by searching the internet for information about designing a portfolio. Many of the job search sites, especially professional organizations allow you to upload your portfolio to their site, along with your resume. With others you can post your resume, but not the portfolio. It may be worth the time and money to have your own web site so that you can put a link to your portfolio in your resume. If your search for graphic design jobs includes web design, then make sure that your web site is a reflection of the work that you can do in this area. Take time with it. Keep refining and changing it. Ask people to view it and give you comments, especially past instructors or mentors. In fact, it's a good idea to have your present or past instructors or mentors review all your job search materials, resume, portfolio, DVD/CD, and web site. Now, you are ready to find graphic design jobs that fit your skills and talent. Doing Pro Bono Graphic Website Design There are many reasons to do pro bono work as a graphic website designer. First, beginning graphic website designers or graphic website design students can get valuable experience from doing pro bono graphic website design work for non profit organizations and low budget organizations such as Boy Scout troops, Cub Scout packs, and Churches. Another reason to do pro bono work as a graphic website designer is tax breaks. The hours you spend working on graphic website design for free can be deducted from your taxes at the end of the year as a charitable donation. Check with your accountant or tax preparer to determine the most reasonable rate, but highest rate, that you can get away with charging per hour for your tax deductible hours so that you can claim them as a charitable donation. The other reason to do pro bono work as a graphic website designer is experience and to build your portfolio. If you are a graphic website design student or you are just starting your graphic website design career, this can be a fantastic opportunity. Build your graphic website design resume with work that shows not only your talent but your big heart and community spirit. Build your graphic website design portfolio to increase career opportunities. And build experience and education with on the job training and experience in graphic website design. With the internet growing daily by leaps and bounds, it is no wonder that everyone wants a professional graphic website designer on their side to create an awesome website with even greater graphic design so that they can compete with larger organizations. With all of the churches, cub scout packs, boy scout troops, school activities, day cares, home businesses, small businesses, and children's organizations out there today, the average graphic website designer should have no problem finding pro bono graphic website design work. Once you have found pro bono graphic website design work, you need to treat it just as you would any other freelance graphic website design assignment or project. That means you have to find out what the client wants in their graphic design website. Create a creative brief so that you and the client are on the same page with where you are going with their graphic website design project. You also need to set up a work schedule and time line for the client so that an expected completion date can be given to the client for completion of the graphic design website. Once the pro bono graphic website design project is completed, follow up with the organization to make sure that they are happy with their graphic design website. Then, keep in touch with the organization in the future. This will open up networking possibilities for graphic website design freelance projects in the future with paying clients. It will also open up possibilities for more pro bono graphic website design freelance projects for that and other charitable organizations. Overall, doing pro bono graphic website design work is a great, fulfilling, rewarding way to gain additional experience, graphic website design samples for the beginning graphic artists portfolio, and tax breaks for the freelancing graphic website designer. Making Your Graphic Designs Stand Out and Shout The multiplicity of graphic designs and the elements that make up the designs themselves sometimes seems overwhelming. How can you make your graphic designs stand out and shout. Yes! Shout! Shout to the customers they are supposed to reach! If your graphic designs shout, then they attract attention in an already over advertised world. Today every prospective customer sees at least thousands of messages a day. Which one will they remember? The one that rises above the others, the one that has be most to say, the one that speaks the loudest to them. And once it has their attention, the one that engages them the most. Shout it out! Use visuals that make a lot of noise! The human brain is visual, so visuals are crucial to making graphic designs that have a built-in megaphone. The best visual megaphone is color. Wild vibrant color attracts the eye. Use visuals and color to make a statement that is loud and bold. Visuals come in a lot of forms -- original hand done illustrations, stock illustrations, original digital illustrations, stock digital illustrations, original photography and stock photography. The first question to ask yourself when choosing visuals for your graphic designs is, "Is it bold?" The Second, "Does it say what I need it to say?" The third is "Does it stand out?" Be careful of the use of Stock Photography and Illustrations and don't use images that have been overused. Be aware of what looks and images are being used in the graphic designs you see around you in books and magazines and on the web. Try to stay away from those looks and images, or you'll blend in with the rest. And you want to Stand out, Shout it out! Ask bold questions in your graphic designs. Questions engage the mind, pull people in, and bold ones stay in the memory. Loud, memorable, engaging -- that's what you are going for. Engaging questions often remind the potential client of their pain, the problem they need to solve. Of course the solution is the product or service for which you are designing. Speaking of what you need your graphic designs to say, be sure that your end statements are benefits, benefits, benefits. What's in it for the customer or viewer. That's what the whole game is about. If you don't speak to how you can solve the customer's problem, how you can bring the client value, then no matter how loud it is, they won't remember or pay attention. It just won't interest them. And use bold and relevant type to ask the questions or provide solutions. Make it easy to read, and be sure that it visually and emotionally matches the message, the audience you are attempting to reach and the product or service that is being sold. Don't use garbage type in graphic designs intended to speak to a more sophisticated audience, and don't use sleek elegant type to talk to the younger crowd. So in summary, design to have your graphic designs Shout to their prospective audience. Make sure they can be heard above the visual and verbal din of today's commercial world. Be bold, use color to make noise, engage the mind and talk benefits, benefits, benefits. Graphic Design that Sparkles Sparkle! Shine! Be noticed! Attract customers! That's what you want for your product or service. But how do you attain that? Great graphic design is the key! Graphic design that creates sparkle and pizzaz and magnetizes your target clients to you is what you are looking for. When you begin to look for the right graphic designer, it can seem that there are way too many to choose from. Most will have a graphic design portfolio on line. This is the place to start. What is it that sets one apart from another? How do you judge graphic design for yourself? It's not an easy task, because it also involves personal taste, but here are some basic design elements that will help as you look at their portfolios. Emotional Response. Take the time to look at their work and see how it affects you. Do you like it? Does it make you want to know more, buy more? Do you respond in some way? It is usually an effective emotional response that make us want to act or buy. In the graphic design you are reviewing you want to assess the degree to which the pieces initiate an emotional response. Use of White Space. Probably the first and foremost consideration is the use of white space in the graphic design. Is the message presented simply with lots of surrounding space, or is the space cluttered and you don't know where to look next. Examine a number of the graphic design pieces in the designer's portfolio. Knowing how and when to use white space is a talent and an art. Does this designer have it? Simple Easy to Understand Message. Just like white space, the message should be simple and easy to understand. Competing messages don't make for sparkle and notice in graphic design. Meaningful Unique Bold Graphics. Our brains process visually, so the visual message is very important, often more important than the words. How clear and bold are the graphics in the work of the design you are considering. Do you get the message immediately? Are the visuals different and unique or do you have the feeling that you've seen them before. Is the designer using the same "stock" images as everybody else or do they find new and unique ways to present their message. Effective use of Type or Fonts. Does the type style match the emotional feel of the piece? Does is help the message to stand out. Is it readable? Benefits. While benefits are a selling point and not really a part of the design itself, they are a very important part of what makes a piece sizzle and sparke, because it's the benefits that magnetize clients to you. So be sure your designer has included benefits in their design pieces. Drama. Does their graphic design work have drama? Drama engages the reader, involves the reader, keeps them looking and then remembering long after they've seen the piece. This is another part of what creates magnetism. Spend some time with each online portfolio. Talk to the graphic designer. As for references and then, talk to their clients to get a feel for how well their work has produced results. How happy were they with the graphic design services they received. Would they use the designer again? With all this information, finding the right graphic design firm to create sparkle, sizzle and magnetism for your product or service should be a cinch. Getting Into a Graphic Design Firm So, you have finished your college education or are close to getting that Bachelor's Degree in graphic design completed, and you're looking to get your foot in the door at a good, stable graphic design firm. But, you don't know where to start. Getting into a graphic design firm can be difficult or easy, depending on your luck and the resources available to you. The best way to get your foot in the door at a graphic design firm is through an internship program. Internship programs with local graphic design firms should be available through your college or university internship programs. If you are not sure if this assistance is available for graphic design firms in your area, ask your graphic design university or college department head. When all else fails, you can contact graphic design firms on your own to request interviews and information about possible internship programs. When looking for an internship in a graphic design firm, you need to consider several things about yourself and what you are looking for in an internship at a graphic design firm. Are you willing to work without pay or with little pay? Many internship programs at graphic design firms do not pay their interns. If you have a hard time finding an internship program in a graphic design firm, you can always check out graphic design departments in other types of companies, such as advertising agencies. Using an internship is not the only way to get your foot in the door of graphic design firms. You can talk to your academic advisor or career counseling center within your college or university for help and options. If you have an instructor in a graphic design course that you have impressed, you might find that he or she has contacts with designers or management at local graphic design firms. Alternatively, you may be able to get involved in a professional association based on your credentials and references from your college or university academic advisor, department head, or instructors. Contacts in these professional associations can easily help you get your foot in the door of a graphic design firm. Once you have your foot in the door, you have to impress the decision making or hiring managers within the graphic design firm. This requires showcasing your best work. If you are doing an internship at a graphic design firm, do your best work while you are there, and you might get a job offer. If you are going to an interview that you've gotten through contacts at a graphic design firm, make sure you come prepared with a professional graphic design resume and a graphic design portfolio that showcases your best work. As more and more people become interested in graphic design as a career, it will become harder and harder to get into a good graphic design firm. However, with careful planning, networking, and the help of your college or university departments, getting into a graphic design firm should become a fluid transition from education to experience. All About Graphic Design Companies Just as there are different areas of the graphic design industry, different graphic design companies deal with different types of graphic design. The type of graphic design that graphic design companies do depends on the type of clients that the graphic design companies take and the audience for the graphic design projects that the graphic design companies take. Digital design graphic design companies use computers to design images, or graphics, and manipulate them to create graphic design print images that are then used in advertising, marketing, magazines, newspapers, and other media. Typically, it is digital design graphic design companies that students have in mind when pursuing an education in graphic design. Multi media design graphic design companies create graphic design in various forms of media for the internet and computer software. Multi media graphic design companies often design websites and other computer related informational media using graphics, digital film, digital photography, and type, manipulated into eye catching and visually explanatory information sources. These graphic design companies and the jobs they offer are also some of the most sought after opportunities by graduating graphic design students. Type design graphic design companies manipulate type setting into new, creative, and innovative designs that catch the eye and grab the attention of readers. These companies typically produce type design for magazines, websites, newspapers, and other print media and advertising. Film title design graphic design companies design film titles and the ways that they appear on the screen in movies. The appearance and transitions of film titles and opening credits often set the mood and emotional setting for the film. Little thought is given to this area of graphic design companies, but it is a very popular and necessary industry. Many people do not realize that television uses graphic design companies to create openings to television shows, certain television advertisements, and other television media. Somewhat like film title design, television graphic design companies create type and graphics whose design sets the mood for television shows or catches the eye for television promotions. Exhibit graphic design companies design graphics and manipulate images for posters, movie posters, sales posters, art openings, and other large print media. Signage graphic design companies create similar graphic designs for stores, company vehicles, and other business related signs. Package graphic design companies create the graphic and type designs for products, and are important to the marketing mix that is involved in selling products and services. As you can see, there are many types of graphic design companies, and many areas of graphic design to choose from. Before beginning education or a career in graphic design, you should research the areas of graphic design and local graphic design companies to determine what classes you should take and what skills you need to develop. Often, the best way to determine these aspects of graphic design is to visit local graphic design companies or their websites. You can also get information from your local college or university, your local department of labor, your local chamber of commerce, your local better business bureau, or your high school guidance counselor. Which of the Many Graphic Design Studios is A Fit for My Firm? Your goal is to find just the right graphic design studio, so here's a plan. Do a search for graphic design studios, and even localizing it for your area, there will the tons of responses. And, in today's internet world, it's not necessary for the firm to the local. That only broadens the scope of what's available to you and increases the difficulty of making a decision. So, how do you choose? Look first at what you need and it will be much easier. Being clear about what you want and need, and able to clearly communicate that, will make it much easier to see which of the graphic design studios is a fit. Are you looking to focus your marketing efforts on print or the web. Do you already have a logo or do you need one? What about CD or DVD production? Make a clear list of what you want. Who are your customers? Perspective graphic design studios will need to know all about your target audience, so be ready to answer the "who", "what", "where", "why", and "how" questions about them. Define your potential and current clients in terms of their demographics such as age range, income range, ethnicity, lifestyle, professional focus (if applicable), education, home ownership, and mobility. What are the reasons they buy your product or services. What pains or problems do they experience and what solutions does your product or service offer? What are the inherent benefits to the customer of buying your product or service? How does your target audience use your product or service? What were your past marketing efforts? Why did your past marketing efforts work, and why not? If you don't know, that's okay. Bring along your past marketing materials and ask your candidates what they think. This is another way to assess whether or not you want to work with a particular studio. Knowing your product or service, your market and what it is you want is just half the equation. The other half is what you are looking for. Here are some simple questions. You can rank the candidates on each of these on a 1 to 5 scale where 1 is "not at all" and 5 is "Yes, absolutely". Do they have access to all the services I need? You might want to make a list of the services and then rate the graphic design studio on each one. Does the style of their work meet my taste criteria? Do they have experience with my product or service? Do I think I'll enjoy working with them? (This may not seem as important until you're in the middle of a project. Then it will be crucial.) Will they give me references? Are the references happy with the work they received? Okay, now you are armed and ready to choose from among the bounty of graphic design studios. Remember the ones that come up first in your search know how to optimize their web sites and if you are working on a web site, this may be important to you. Relationship Building to Market Your Graphic Design Studio You've optimized your web site, tuned up your web page so it's stellar, and still you want more business for your graphic design studio. Where do you go? What do you do? Go out and meet your potential clients in person! Many of your potential clients are people oriented. They want to feel that they have a relationship with the person with whom they do business. That personal connection is very important so these particular clients would never dream of doing business with someone just because their web site came up on the first page of the search engine. These are the people who want personal contact, to meet you in person, talk with you on the telephone, and get to know who you are. It may take some time and effort to build these relationships, but once you do you'll be very happy you did. With clients where you've built a personal connection, the loyalty factor is much higher. They'll stick with you, giving you repeat business over the years. But, you ask, "How do I meet and attract them to do business with my particular graphic design studio?" Networking. Depending on the area of the country where you live, there are numerous ways to meet potential clients in your area. Larger cities have a lot of different networking groups. Even smaller towns and communities have clubs and organizations which can be productive networking opportunities. Below are some of the places you can find networking groups and the types of groups you may find. Chamber of Commerce -- Usually local chambers have networking events -- breakfast, lunch or evening cocktail mixers. You can come as a visitor the first time and sometimes more than one time. After that they may require you to join -- which is not a bad idea, if you want to build credibility for your graphic design studio. Being able to say you are a member of your local Chamber of Commerce enhances your credibility to people who find you via the web as well. Business Networking Groups. These are groups that meet for the express purpose of giving and getting business. Some of them meet weekly and some meet monthly. Usually the ones that meet weekly are "exclusive" meaning that if you join as their graphic design studio, no one else in the group will be doing graphic design. The monthly meetings are often non-exclusive meaning that more than one graphic design studio can join. Other Networking Opportunities. The Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs and other humanitarian organizations provide excellent opportunities to network while contributing something back to your community. Alumni organizations, political and school organizations also are excellent fields for networking. Remember though. Relationships are usually not built overnight. They take time. So, don't expect to show up once and go home with immediate business for your graphic design studio. It may take several meetings for people get to know you and what you do. So while it takes some effort on the front end, the clients you'll get, will stay with you longer, because they know you and see you on a regular basis. Graphic Design Software -- The Battle for King of the Mountain Long gone are the days when a graphic designer's tools were pen, pencil, brush, exacto knife and illustration board. Today's designer relies almost exclusively on graphic design software which is both expensive and constantly changing. At some point or other, the designer has to decide to upgrade his or her present software or change to another brand. And, then the designer must learn all the new functions of this version of software. If the program interface changes then the learning curve for the design professional can be very steep and costly. On top of that, there's different graphic design software for desktop publishing, web design, illustration, and photography. For much of the last decade, the desktop publishing arena was ruled by Quark Express. (Before that Adobe's PageMaker had been King of the Mountain.) Over the past few years, Adobe has been making a serious bid to regain its preeminence in desktop publishing with In Design. If Adobe squashes Quark it will pretty much have a monopoly in graphic design software, having already swallowed up Macromedia and much of its other competition. At the end of 2005, Adobe concluded its acquisition of Macromedia which made it the owner of Dreamweaver -- usually acclaimed as one of the best (and sometimes the most difficult to use) web design software available. Dreamweaver has few challengers in the arena of professional web design. Microsoft's Front Page still provides services for non-professionals and some professionals who are old-time PC users. Mostly though, Adobe, with the acquisition of Dreamweaver, has attained a semi-monopoly here as well. In graphic design software for photography there's only one acknowledged leader -- Adobe Photoshop. While other programs exist for the casual user, for the professional photographer Photoshop is the digital darkroom. Other companies exist by producing "plug-in's for Photoshop, until Adobe buys them. What about graphic design software for illustration? Again, Adobe is the leader. With Adobe Illustrator used and recognized by the most professionals it usually wins hands down against the competition. And, it's not always which program is the easiest to use or has the most functions. It is which one is the most compatible in the most places. Corel Draw, Canadian illustration competitor to Illustrator is acknowledged by many to be easier and have more functions -- but the files are hard to use anywhere but with Corel. So that limits across program functionality and thus its popularity. One of the reasons InDesign is gaining so much ground is the ease of use with all of the other graphic design software programs in the Adobe family. You can move between them quickly and smoothly. Adobe now packages them as its Creative Suite and so it becomes one-stop shopping. But, what will happen if Adobe becomes King of the Mountain? Without challengers, will it maintain the same quality and drive for excellence? And what will happen to the price? Will it even out or just continue upward. If you're the only ballpark, you can charge whatever rent you want? About Graphic Design Schools Once you have decided that you would like to become a graphic designer, you need to get a college education. Without a Bachelor's Degree in graphic design, you will find it extremely difficult to start a graphic design career. Finding the graphic design school that is right for you can be difficult, because there are a lot of graphic design schools to choose from. Some graphic design schools offer certificate programs rather than degree programs. These graphic design schools can be great if you need a quick education. However, many graphic design firms look for graphic design resumes that list education from prominent graphic design schools, colleges, or universities. Therefore, these graphic design schools are not likely to be your best option. Most colleges and universities now offer graphic design schools or graphic design programs. Community colleges will be less likely to be considered as graphic design schools. Rather than picking a college or university by location or cost, you should research graphic design schools in your area by requesting graphic design degree program information and course catalogs. These materials can then be compared so that you can choose the graphic design schools most likely to help you succeed as a graphic designer. You can also research graphic design schools in your area through professional associations, your local chamber of commerce, and the better business bureau. These resources can help you gain a better understanding of the differences between the different graphic design schools. There are also a lot of websites available online that offer free peer and alumni reviews of graphic design schools, giving you an inside look at what the various graphic design schools in your area have to offer. Another option for those wishing to enter a career as a graphic designer is online colleges, universities, and graphic design schools. American InterContinental University Online (AIU) and Kaplan University are two of the most prominent and widely known online graphic design schools. Online graphic design schools have the advantage of flexibility in scheduling which can be great for parents or working adults. However, it is important to understand that degrees earned from online graphic design schools are often viewed as being lower quality degrees than those earned from brick and mortar graphic design schools. Additionally, online graphic design schools are not for everyone. If you learn better by seeing, writing, reading, and doing, then online graphic design schools may be a good choice for you. However, if you are learn better by listening, hands on instruction, and over the shoulder instruction, you are better off attending brick and mortar graphic design schools. Most often, brick and mortar graphic design schools are best. But in situations where going back to school is a difficult decision, and time and scheduling are an issue, the flexibility available with online graphic design schools can be quite beneficial, and is often the only reason some people are able to go back to school at all. Overall, the decision of graphic design schools is up to you. The best advice is to do your homework, research all options, and work with your high school guidance counselors, instructors, and your parents to help you choose the graphic design schools that will be the best fit for you and your future career as a graphic designer. Why Graphic Design Resumes Get Tossed Many talented and capable graphic designers find their resumes filed in the circular file bin, otherwise known as the trash can or recycling bin. Why do these educated, talented, and worthy graphic designers get their graphic design resumes tossed out? Typically, graphic design resumes get tossed due to simple, avoidable mistakes that are made by many beginning graphic designers. The first mistake that many people make when looking for their first job as a graphic designer that gets their graphic design resumes tossed out is that they try to display their talent within their resume, not through description, but through vivid graphic design. Graphic design resumes should be simple and professional. Fancy fonts, graphics, and page borders do not belong in graphic design resumes. While they will grab the attention of the hiring managers, these graphic design resumes will be promptly laughed at and tossed away. The second most common mistake that many people make when creating graphic design resumes is that they do not proofread their resume before sending it to prospective employers. When there are mistakes, or even one obvious mistake, in graphic design resumes, hiring managers automatically assume that the graphic designer lacks attention to detail, and regardless of the qualifications that the graphic designer may possess, these graphic design resumes also end up tossed aside. The third most common mistake that people make when creating graphic design resumes is that they do not accurately showcase their abilities, skills, and strengths in their graphic design resumes. Your employment history should not only include dates and job titles, supervisor names and company names and locations, but it should show your duties, accomplishments, and major achievements. If your employment at a graphic design firm, or your efforts in an internship, resulted in a benefit to the firm, you should include that information in your employment history. There are many other reasons that graphic design resumes get tossed aside in favor of other, less qualified graphic designers. Listing employment history that does not qualify you for the position sought is a common mistake. Listing interests, hobbies, and other personal affiliations that do not have anything to do with graphic design will also get graphic design resumes tossed out. If you have a college education, belong to professional associations, or have other certifications in graphic design you should list them in your graphic design resumes. Be sure to include any detailed information that highlights your skills and talents that were exhibited in your educational track. Graphic design resumes that have little or no experience and do not include this type of information will promptly be tossed out in favor of better qualified candidates. However, you should not list your high school education on your graphic design resumes unless you have not yet completed your college education, or if you obtained significant skills or awards related to graphic design while in high school. Finally, make sure that your graphic design resumes do not contain any falsified, fraudulent, or exaggerated information. Not only might this unethical behavior get graphic design resumes tossed out, it could lead to termination from employment gained through falsified or exaggerated graphic design resumes. Creating a Perfect Graphic Design Resume In addition to your graphic design portfolio, you will need to create a graphic design resume to outline your skills, experience, and education for prospective employers and clients. The most important thing to remember when creating your graphic design resume is that your portfolio is a separate item. Don't try to showcase your skills as a graphic designer within your resume by using fancy fonts, graphics you have created, page borders, or graphic page dividers. Keep your graphic design resume simple, professional, and organized. Your graphic design resume should be tailored to showcase the skills requested for the opportunity or job offer that you are seeking. It is okay, and actually a good idea, to keep a stock graphic design resume on hand, updating it whenever you change positions or complete a significant freelance assignment. However, be prepared to make changes to the organization of your graphic design resume if it seems warranted by the opportunity you are seeking. There are many things you should be sure to include in your graphic design resume. Make sure you list all of the computer software, technologies, and skills you have acquired, your level of expertise, and how long you have been familiar with the skill, software, or technology. You should also list any certifications or degrees you have received. If you do not have a college degree but do have professional certifications or awards, you do not need to list your high school education on your graphic design resume. Your graphic design resume should also include information about your previous employers or projects. This may sound obvious, but many graphic designers are not aware of what information should be included in their experience. Any significant freelance assignments and any industry related work experience should be included in your graphic design resume. Do not list jobs like fast food or retail in your graphic design resume. It should be geared to showcase your talents in the graphic design field, and other jobs you have held on your way to your chosen career as a graphic designer are unimportant. Your experience section of your graphic design resume should show the month and year of employment or the freelance assignment, and the month and year that the employment ended. Your graphic design resume should also highlight specific achievements at each position, or ways that the work you did or the freelance assignment you completed benefited the company you were working for. Make sure that in addition to any educational references and mentions that you list all of your academic and professional achievements, significant projects, awards, and certifications on your graphic design resume. Many graphic designers neglect to include specific information in this section of their graphic design resume. Finally, the best thing you can do to make sure that your graphic design resume is perfect is to proofread your graphic design resume. If you're not sure that you have caught everything, have someone else proofread it as well. If you submit a graphic design resume with errors of any kind, you will be labeled as not being detail oriented, and you will not get the job or project that you are applying for, regardless of your skills or talent.
Popular Graphic Design Magazines Any serious graphic design student or graphic designer should subscribe to at least one graphic design industry magazine. Graphic design magazines give graphic designers and graphic design students the ability to keep up with current graphic design trends, learn about new or coming graphic design technology, and discover new graphic design opportunities. Graphic design magazines can also give graphic design students information about graphic design scholarships and graphic design compeitions. One of the best graphic design magazines is HOW Magazine. This graphic design magazine allows graphic designers to find information about graphic design technology, freelancing as a graphic designer, and graphic design career opportunities. Students of graphic design will find this graphic design magazine helpful in its showcases of graphic design career opportunities, graphic design schools, and graphic design events. Of interest for all graphic designers and graphic design students is the stress that this magazine puts on not just the how, but the why and the creativity of graphic design. Graphic Design USA is another fabulous graphic design magazine. This graphic design magazine has technology information for serious graphic designers to keep up with industry news. Graphic Design USA magazine also has resources for students of graphic design, as well as contests and scholarship programs. The online version of Graphic Design USA magazine also has opportunities for free graphic design stuff, and a graphic design online newsletter that can be emailed to your inbox weekly. Print Magazine is yet another great graphic design magazine. This graphic design magazine seems to tend more toward the creativity side of graphic design. With regional and nationwide graphic design contests, student graphic design contests, and other graphic design competitions, this graphic design magazine is a must for students of graphic design or those just starting a career in graphic design. The online version of Print Magazine offers graphic design forums, a free graphic design newsletter, and other free graphic design stuff. DT&G, (Design, Type, and Graphics) Magazine is an online only publication for graphic designers. This graphic design online magazine offers the option to read on the web site, or on a text only email edition that is sent out around the first of every month to subscribers. Not only does this online graphic design magazine offer industry news, graphic design technology information, and other graphic design features, but it also offers reviews of graphic design software, graphic design books, and other graphic design resources. Anything graphic design related, big or small, might be included in this online graphic design magazine. There are many other graphic design resources and graphic design magazines that can be found both on and off of the internet. Serious graphic designers and graphic design students should subscribe to at least one graphic design industry publication in order to keep up with the latest graphic design industry news. If you would like to find more graphic design magazines and resources, do an internet search for graphic design magazine and be amazed at the wealth of graphic design information available to you in this type of graphic design forum. All About Cyprus Graphic Design Cyprus graphic design is becoming increasingly popular in the graphic design world, especially in web graphic design. Cyprus may be an out of the way country, but Cyprus is the home to some of the best and most talented web site graphic designers in the world. Cyprus graphic design is becoming so popular, that when first researching the topic one might think that Cyprus was some type of graphic design software! Most Cyprus graphic design web site design has to do with e-commerce web sites, business web site graphic design, and shopping cart graphic design. Cyprus graphic design web site designers have discovered new and innovative ways to organize business web sites, including shopping carts, queues, catalogs, and other business related online graphic design solutions. The best business web sites are created and designed by Cyprus graphic design professionals. Doing a search for Cyprus graphic design will bring up hundreds of companies that offer web site and graphic design services in Cyprus, and over a million total search results will appear for Cyprus graphic design. Therefore, this article will touch on the most popular web sites and web search results for Cyprus graphic design, saving you the time and effort of sifting through the massive amount of Cyprus graphic design information to find what you are looking for. The most popular Cyprus graphic design web site designer is Idea Seven. This company provides all types of scripts and other fancy web site business site enhancements like shopping carts and online catalogs through innovative graphic design technology, creativity, and ability. Cyprus graphic design web sites created by Idea Seven include some of the leading companies in the small business and graphic design world. Cyprus Web Design Company goes one step further than Idea Seven. Cyprus Web Design Company not only utilizes the most up to date business web site graphic design technology for your business web site, but they also handle web site domain hosting, web site domain registration, and web site promotion. However, do not let the fact that Cyprus Web Design Company is so versatile. Cyprus Web Design Company is still one of the very best graphic design web site design companies available through the internet today. Due to the vast number of Cyprus graphic design companies, Cyprus graphic design firms, and Cyprus graphic design freelancers, there are many directories on the internet that can help you find information about Cyprus graphic designers. One of the best Cyprus graphic design directories is Design Firms.Org. This organization lists a great range of Cyprus graphic design companies, Cyprus graphic design firms, and Cyprus graphic design freelancers. Design Firms also offers a rating and review system for the Cyprus graphic design resources listed there. As you will find when you begin your own Cyprus graphic design research, there are a vast number of Cyprus graphic design resources available. There are Cyprus graphic design companies. There are Cyprus graphic design firms. There are Cyprus graphic design freelancers. And, finally, there are numerous sources of general Cyprus graphic design information. Available Graphic Design Books There are many graphic design books available for those interested in graphic design, students of graphic design, and those in a graphic design career. Books for graphic designers that are starting out should not try to keep up with books for experienced graphic designers. You should keep in mind your level of expertise in graphic design, as well as your level of interest in graphic design, when deciding what graphic design book to buy or check out from the library. Those looking for information as a student of graphic design will wish to seek out more specific information than those who are seeking knowledge of graphic design as a hobby. Student Graphic Design Books A great graphic design book for students wishing to pursue a career in product graphic design is called Design Secrets: Products: 50 Real Life Projects Uncovered. This graphic design book analyzes product graphic design for various projects. It includes information such as the graphic designer's motivation behind the project, client specs, and other information. This graphic design book is a great way for graphic design students to learn more about product graphic design. Universal Principles of Design: 100 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach Through Design (long title, I know) is another great graphic design book for students of graphic design. This graphic design book gets back to basics, leaving the technological and creative aspects of graphic design behind in favor of looking at the general purpose of graphic design. It is a must for starting graphic design students, or those interested in pursuing a career in graphic design. Hobby Graphic Design Books A new book called Take Control of Fonts in Mac OS X, Tiger by Sharron Zardetto Aker is a great graphic design book for anyone using a Mac OS X computer operating system. This new operating system makes dealing with fonts very difficult, and this graphic design books gives you hints, tips, and tricks to manage your fonts in this computer operating system more effectively. The Non-Designers Design Book by Robin Williams (not that Robin Williams!) is another great graphic design book for hobbyists and those in other professions that find themselves using graphic design for work or play. This book has a wealth of information that can also make it a great candidate for students interested in pursuing a career in graphic design. Graphic Design Books for Extensive Study The Complete Guide to Digital Graphic Design is a great graphic design book for beginning, student, or experienced graphic designers that are struggling with the technological aspect of graphic design. This book is a must for experienced graphic designers and students of graphic design alike. Overall, there are so many graphic design books available that it would be impossible to list them all here. If you would like to know more about graphic design or would like to get a graphic design book, check your local book store, your local library, online library catalogs, and online book stores for more graphic design book options. Careers in Computer Graphic Design Careers in graphic design are expected to be one of the largest and fastest growing job markets through 2014. Most careers will be in computer graphic design, website design, and computer animation design. Competition will continue to be steep, even though a lot of jobs are available for someone pursuing a career in computer graphic design. This is because computer graphic design is a popular area of study, and many people pursue computer graphic design as either a career, a hobby, or a part time freelancing gig. Careers in computer graphic design require a four year college degree, or Bachelor's Degree. Some technical positions can be obtained with only a two year college degree, or Associate's Degree. However, these computer graphic design careers will not go far without further education. It is important to understand the need for formal education if you want to pursue a career in computer graphic design. About thirty percent of those in a computer graphic design career work independently as freelancers. About have of computer graphic design career seekers who work as freelancers are also holding steady jobs in computer graphic design or other computer related careers. Freelancing is definitely a viable option for those pursuing a career in computer graphic design, as small businesses and individuals continue to have more need for computer graphic design services, but cannot afford the rates of computer graphic design firms. There are many other careers in computer graphic design. You can seek a career in computer graphic design in print or audio advertising, television or film media, and book or magazine publishing. You can seek a career in computer graphic design in large or small computer graphic design firms, giving you a wider variety of work, but a steady stream of work. Or, you can seek a career in computer graphic design as a freelancer, giving you a wider variety of work, but the need to work hard to keep clients coming so that you have a steady stream of work. If you wish to pursue a career in computer graphic design, a college degree, desire, and knowing where you want to go is not enough. You need to develop skills in computer graphic design software and other computer related skills. You will also need to develop a portfolio, which is a collection of your best computer graphic design work. These computer graphic design portfolios are often the deciding factor on who gets a job and who is still waiting to start their computer graphic design career. Once you have completed your education and you know where you are going, the next step in your pursuit of a career in computer graphic design is to find that first, entry level job. Computer graphic design jobs can be found through online job boards, classified ads both in print and online, and through your college or universities job placement center. Freelance computer graphic design jobs can be found through online job boards, classifieds, and work for hire job boards. Work for hire job boards work much better for computer graphic design careers than other careers, because everyone understands that computer graphic design is an expensive endeavor. Good luck in your computer graphic design career! Graphic Design Firms Can Make a Difference There's a lot of focus on the need for change in the world. More and more our attention is turning to helping those in more need than ourselves. A number of millionaires have been in the news with their funding of good works around the globe. The Gates have set up a foundation to help with AIDS in Africa. Warren Buffet donated billions to the Gates Foundation. Oprah has started a Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa and now she's doing a reality TV show creating a competition of multiplying people's efforts to make a difference. These are just a few examples. Have you been wondering how you can make a difference in the world? Do you have a desire to contribute, but not the budget that would make that possible? There's plenty of ways you can make a change in what you see around you. Donating your time and skills is one of those ways. Graphic design firms all over the country are seeing that their skills are an important donation. Non-profit organizations are very much in need of graphic design. Firms like yours are signing on to provide all the skills that non-profits use to get their message out -- logos, print advertisements, posters, invitations for fund raisers, multi-media presentations, newsletters, photography and other needs. Do you have skills you are willing to donate? How do you decide who, what, where and how? First answer this question. What's important to you, what would you like to see change. Is literacy important to you? How about finding homes for the homeless? Or, making sure people have enough to eat? Providing job training for homeless people or ex-addicts trying to get back on their feet might be another cause you feel strongly about. (You do need to feel strongly about it, or you're not going to like the hours you're putting in without pay.) For every idea mentioned above there's probably at least one and more than likely several non-profits in your community providing these services. And, most of them are operating on limited budgets. Their flows of Federal and State monies have been cut dramatically in the last few years and more and more they need to depend on private donations. Decide what you are willing to do and how much time you have. Be sure to be realistic. This is one area where you don't want to back yourself into a corner. Think you don't have enough time? Put together a consortium of graphic design firms to make the contribution. Each one of you can take a different piece of graphic pie that needs to be produced. With multiple skills from several graphic design firms you'll be able to make a substantial contribution to a non-profit of your choice. And, you'll likely multiply the value of our contribution. Especially if that contribution involves the design of invitations for a fund-raiser, or a multi-media presentation designed to raise funds for the organization. See, you and other graphic design firms like yourself can make a huge difference in the world. So, what are you waiting for? Who's going to receive your volunteer services? How Can I Be Sure I'm Hiring a Professional Graphic Design firm? "I need a professional graphic design firm to do my logos, stationery, web design and brochures. I've met several graphic designers at networking groups. I've looked at a ton of web sites. How can I be sure I'm hiring a professional graphic design firm that can meet all of my needs?" A professional graphic designer will have a full range of services available to meet your needs. These include print and web design, Flash and video work, photography and illustration, resources for quality and affordable printing, and other marketing services. The professional graphic design firm also uses professional tools, like Adobe In Design or Quark, Photoshop, Dreamweaver or Cold Fusion to just name a few. Look at the firm's clientele. What size firms are they servicing? What services are they providing for those companies? Do the services they provide cover a full spectrum of graphic and marketing services? Professional graphic design firms will have access to and be using a wide variety of resources. You can ask for the full list of their services if they aren't already included in their on-line web sites. Once you've narrowed your list down to two or three firms, ask for references and call each one of them personally. Getting your business off on the right foot is at stake here. Take the time to really understand what their clients think of them. Here are a few questions you might ask. This is not an exhaustive list, so before you start calling add any additional questions you can think of to it. Did the services they provide include the following: logos, stationery, business cards, marketing post cards, advertising concepts and print advertising, brochures, newsletters, press releases, marketing CD's or DVD's, web design, web optimization and market research. For each of the services that were provided ask how happy the client was with the end product. Was it delivered on time and within budget? Did it produce the desired results? What were the downsides of working with the firm from this client's point of view? What were the upsides? All in all, how happy were they with the products produced? Would they call this firm a professional graphic design firm? Why or Why not? Once you've made the reference calls, take the time to look at the results of each interview. If you rate each of your potential firms on a 1 to 5 scale on the above elements, you'll find on that a leader begins to emerge. Then ask yourself some additional questions as well. Which of the professional graphic design firms you are considering has experience in your field? Which one does work that you like and feel is effective? It's time for your personal taste to be brought into the decision making considerations. On a more personal front, which of the people do you think you'll like working with more? Once you've considered all of these factors, a clear decision should emerge. If it doesn't, take the top two and -- flip a coin because you've done all the relevant homework. Medical Graphic Design - A Specialty That Covers a Lot of Territory You have a new company or new product focused in the medical and health field and you want to do the best possible job of marketing it. How do you do that? You can go the traditional route and find an advertising agency or graphic design firm to assist you with getting your message out. Or, you can find a firm or studio that specializes in medical graphic design. They will have both a depth and breadth of relevant experience that will give you an edge in crafting your message and creating visuals that attract appropriate clients. What services do I look for? Medical Illustration. A key component of medical graphic design is medical illustration and the presence of a certified medical illustrator or an illustrator that is a member of the Association of Medical Illustrators. If it's not online, ask to see their illustration portfolio. Medical Animation. Telling the story of what your product or service does may require animation -- either using Flash for your web site or 3-D Animation. Expertise in on-line rapid downloads, as well as producing CD's and DVD's for marketing and sales purposes is something you want to be sure of. A good medical graphic design studio will have either in-house ability or an on-going connection with medical animation resources. Medical Web Design. Today, one of the most important marketing tools is your web site. And not just the design, but the optimization as well. The medical graphic design studio you are looking for will have success stories and their clients will fare well in internet searches. As part of your evaluation, assess if you like this medical graphic design firms web site, and then do the same assessment of their clients. Medical Print Design. To go from web to print, the studio must show experience in translating 3-d explanations into 2-d graphics that focus on communicating the benefits of your product to your target audience. Benefits is the key word here. What's in it for your potential client? Examine their portfolio. The work of a good medical graphic design studio will focus on benefits. If the brochure you see makes you want to know more or to buy, you have the right firm. Photography for the Medical Graphic Design Field. Again, medical photography is a specialty. Does the studio have a medical photographer in-house or a relationship with one they use often? Check the portfolio. Look at the clients that have used their work. Ask for References. Finally, pick 2 or 3 firms that you like and ask for references. Then call the clients and ask about the firms services. - How satisfied were they with the services they received - Did the medical graphic design studio deliver on schedule - Did the web site, brochures, etc. deliver the promised results - Would they use them again? Why or Why not? - Were they easy to work with when there were changes? Rate each of the firms on a 1 to 5 scale. Putting your impressions into numbers often assists in becoming clearer about what you've learned in your interviews. Graphic Design Networking in Boston If you are a graphic designer or graphic design student in Boston, you will want to network with other graphic designers. Networking with other designers in Boston will allow a student of graphic design to gain insight into their graphic design education. New or up and coming graphic designers will benefit from networking by landing new jobs, freelance gigs, and finding new insight into their graphic design career. More experienced graphic designers in Boston will benefit from networking by advancing their careers and keeping up on the latest graphic design technology. Finding networking opportunities in graphic design is Boston can actually be a very easy thing to do. You simple need to know where to look to find fellow graphic designers and graphic design students. This may include graphic design clubs, graphic design professional associations, and graphic design groups. One such graphic design group in Boston is called the Boston Graphic Design Meet Up Group, easily found on the web. In addition to online resources, The Boston Graphic Design Meet Up Group meets once per month to network, learn from one another, keep up on graphic design technology, and just have fun. This is a great networking opportunity for graphic design freelancers in Boston, graphic designers in Boston, and graphic design students in Boston. BostonWorks is another great resource for those involved in graphic design in Boston. BostonWorks offers graphic design job listings in Boston, networking events for graphic designers in Boston, and graphic design job fairs in Boston. BostonWorks also provides listings and open houses for graphic design schools in Boston and graphic design newsletters. Especially for graphic design students and those just starting a career in graphic design, BostonWorks can be a great opportunity. The Boston Business Journal can be another source of networking and graphic design information. Since graphic design is becoming one of the biggest industries in the Boston area, the Boston Business Journal has a section specifically for graphic design networking information, graphic design school information, and graphic design technology updates. This can be fantastic graphic design information, especially for graphic design students and those just beginning careers in graphic design in Boston. The American Institute of Graphic Arts, while located in New York, has excellent online and off line networking opportunities for graphic designers in Boston. The American Institute of Graphic Arts holds a graphic design convention every year, in different locations. This year's graphic design convention will be held in Denver, Colorado. The American Institute of Graphic Arts has many online networking opportunities for those involved in graphic design in Boston, such as message boards and directories. The resources for Boston graphic design listed here are just the beginning. Performing an internet search for Boston graphic design networking should give you even more information and opportunities for networking in Boston. The graphic design industry is booming in Boston these days, and anyone serious in graphic design, graphic design students, and anyone wishing to extend their graphic design careers should not have any trouble at all finding networking opportunities in graphic design in Boston. Austin Area Graphic Design Freelancer Resources Working as a freelancer in graphic design can be very challenging. Not only do you have to find your own graphic design clients, do all of your own graphic design work, and handle all of your own graphic design office tasks, you are also on your own with keeping up with graphic design information, technology, and resources. The best way to keep up with these types of information about graphic design is through networking. There are many networking and client finding resources for graphic design freelancers in the Austin area. Freelance Austin is possibly the best available resource for the graphic design freelancer. This organization offers a graphic design freelancer directory for Austin business owners to search and locate a graphic design freelancer. There are also many graphic design networking events, and various freelancer meetings and events. While Freelance Austin is not specifically for graphic design freelancers, it does put the graphic design freelancer in contact with other industry professionals as well as potential clients. This Austin freelance organization is, if nothing else, a great way to generate referrals for clients for the graphic design freelancer. Publishers Resource Group is a great resource for any freelancing graphic designer to be aware of. Rather than a networking organization or graphic design professional association, Publishers Resource Group is simply an organization that routinely, and preferably, uses freelance graphic designers for all of their publishing needs. Based in Austin, this curriculum designing company hires freelancers for type design, cover graphic design, and all other graphic design projects. Creative Freelancers online is another great graphic design freelancer resource. Carefully screened graphic design freelancers are listed in a graphic design freelance directory. Clients then look through the available graphic design freelancers, go through online graphic design portfolios and resumes, and then contact the graphic design freelancer through the Creative Freelancers web site. This is a great way to get qualified clients and leads for your graphic design freelancing business. Best of all, there are not many listings in the Austin area, so anyone looking to get in on the ground floor of this web site in the Austin area should get themselves listed as soon as possible to take advantage of the many Austin graphic design freelancing opportunities that may become available. The Oasys Network is another great online graphic design freelancer resource. This web site allows all graphic design freelancers to post their talents and graphic design portfolios. The web site has numerous options and opportunities for gaining exposure as a freelance graphic designer as well as generating leads for potential clients for a freelance graphic design business. Open to all graphic design freelancers, this web site is much like Creative Freelancers, but much less restrictive on what Austin graphic design freelancers can take advantage of the web site. As you will undoubtedly find, there are many resources, both free and inexpensive, for graphic design freelancers. The best way to find these resources and take advantage of them is to simply research on the internet by searching for Austin graphic design freelance resource. You can also check with your local Chamber of Commerce for information about Austin area graphic design professional associations. Finding a Kansas Graphic Design Firm Finding a Kansas graphic design firm can be difficult, whether you are looking for someone to handle your graphic design needs for your business or you are looking for a Kansas graphic design firm to begin your graphic design career. There are many methods that you might use to find a Kansas graphic design firm. First, there is always the yellow pages. However, the yellow pages only gives you contact information such as company name, address, and phone number, and possibly a website address. How do you choose one Kansas graphic design firm from all of the options available without any additional information? The fact is, choosing one Kansas graphic design firm without any additional information is near to impossible. Another option is online yellow pages or websites such as Google Local or Yahoo Local, or community websites and business directories. These websites give you a little bit more information about Kansas graphic design firms. Many of these websites have the ability to rate a Kansas graphic design firm, but most consumers do not take advantage of the opportunity to rate them, so you really don't have that much information on these websites, either. The best option is to visit an online directory of Kansas graphic design firms and do your research. One such online directory of Kansas graphic design firms is ITWebRelated.com. These online directories offer contact information for Kansas graphic design firms, website links, and detailed reviews and ratings of each Kansas graphic design firm. This gives you a better idea of what you can expect from each Kansas graphic design firm, which, in turn, gives you a better chance of finding what you need in a Kansas graphic design firm. Once you have narrowed down your list of possible Kansas graphic design firms, you will need to choose just one Kansas graphic design firm to handle your graphic design needs. This can prove quite difficult. However, you have many resources to help you choose the best Kansas graphic design firm for your company's needs. Check the Kansas graphic design firm in the Better Business Bureau (BBB) online or via telephone to see what the status and rating of the Kansas graphic design firm is. You can also visit the Kansas Chamber of Commerce for information about the Kansas graphic design firm's ethics and business practices. If you still cannot decide on a Kansas graphic design firm, you may want to just call around, visit websites, and check pricing. Sometimes talking to people at the Kansas graphic design firm can give you an idea of whether or not you can successfully work with a Kansas graphic design firm. Overall, there is no easy way to find a Kansas graphic design firm. It takes effort, comparison, and doing your homework. However, once you have put in the time and effort to make sure that you pick the best fit for you in a Kansas graphic design firm, you can be sure that you will have few issues throughout your graphic design project. Choosing a Jacksonville Graphic Design Firm So, you live in Jacksonville and you're looking for a local Jacksonville Graphic Design firm. Right? Well, you're lucky. There are lots to choose from. It's a vibrant and dynamic scene. But that also poses a problem. How do you choose? Follow the steps below and you'll have no trouble. First, know what you are looking for. What is it that you want the designer to do for you? Do you need a logo? And where are you going to use the logo? Brochures? Business Cards? Stationery? Print Ads? Web Design? CD's? DVD's? Who are your customers? Is your target market local to Jacksonville? Graphic design firms will need to know all about your target audience, so be ready to answer the "who", "what", "where", "why", and "how" questions about them. Do you know who they are in terms of their demographics such as age range, income range, ethnicity, lifestyle, professional focus (if applicable), education, home ownership, and mobility, What are the reasons they buy your product or services. What pains do they experience and what solutions does your product or service offer? What are the inherent benefits to the customer of buying your product or service? How does your target audience use your product or service? How have you focused your marketing efforts on them in the past? How successful was that focus? What do you think worked and what didn't work? Why did your past marketing efforts work, and why not? If you don't know, that's okay. Bring along your past marketing materials and ask your Jacksonville graphic design firm candidates what they think. This is another way to gage whether or not you want to work with this firm. Where do your customers find you? If you don't know some of the answers to these questions, you may need market research. Ask each of your Jacksonville Graphic design firm candidates whether or not they can do market research or recommend a good market research firm. This can be an important element in making your final choice. While the firm may not actually do the market research, it is important that they have a relationship with an affordable solution for you. Knowing your product or service, your market and what it is you want is just half the equation. The other half is what you are looking for. Here are some simple questions. You can rank the candidates on each of these on a 1 to 5 scale where 1 is "not at all" and 5 is "Yes, absolutely". Do they have access to all the services I need? Does the style of their work meet my taste criteria? Do I think I'll enjoy working with them? (This may not seem as important until you're in the middle of a project. Then it can be critical.) Will they give me references? Are the references happy with the work they received? Okay, now you are armed and ready to choose your new Jacksonville Graphic Design team. Just head to your local internet and do a search for Jacksonville Graphic Design. Remember the ones that come up first, know how to optimize their web sites and if you are working on a web site, this may be important to you. Happy choosing! History of Graphic Design The actual terminology surrounding graphic designers has come into being in the twentieth century. However, there are many events that led up to graphic design that could be considered a part of the history of graphic design itself. Graphic design has its roots in the same rich cultural history of all art. Art has been a part of cultures since before the written word. The history of graphic design stems from these ancient beginnings. The history of graphic design is, in a sense, the history of art and its applications and methods, as well as a history of graphic design reproduction techniques and technology. Like all recreational and applied arts, graphic design got its real beginning with the invention of the printing press. Previously in the history of graphic design, art and other creative works had to be hand copied. The ability to print copies of art and other creative works was a huge step toward the graphic design that exists today. Another large step in graphic design history was the development of photography, and later film making. These important steps at the end of the nineteenth century were the stepping stones to creating the graphic designs that we have today. This era also marks the beginning of the separation of creative art, or art for entertainment, from applied art, or art that was used for a purpose such as conveying a message, advertising, and other graphic design purposes. The next largest step in graphic design history was the development of the computer, and more significantly, the technological wave that led to a personal computer in every home as we have today. Graphic design would not be as popular, nor would it be as effective, creative, and reproducible without the invention of computers. Therefore, the history of graphic design is closely tied with the history of computers, computer software, computer imaging software, computer scanners, computer printers, and digital photography. The internet and graphic design software are perhaps the most important of these technological advances that are a large role in the history of graphic design. Without all of these important technological advances, graphic design would not be what it is today. There are many other important landmarks in graphic design history. In 1919 the first union of art and industry was put into place. In 1929 commercial artists, advertising designers, and illustrators became common place. In 1970 mega computers allowed for more advances in graphic design with companies like IBM. The development of the micro processor, allowing for personal office and home computers, came in 1980 and was marketed with Apple computers in 1984. Finally, the now common place technology of internet access in 1993 tops off the graphic design history that has lead to the graphic design industry we know and recognize today. To learn more about the history of graphic design, you can search the internet or your local library. Many colleges and universities offer arts classes and history of graphic design courses. Community education programs also often offer summer classes or work shops on topics of interest such as the history of graphic design.
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