- Design pricing for non-profits
- The Fortune Cookie Principle
- One breath at a time
- Double-use billboards
- 15 Years, 115 Projects
- Thoughts on design crowdsourcing
- Paul Jarvis shares good advice for designers
- A billboard that turns air into drinkable water
- More on unpaid internships
- New work: Virtulos
Kim Hatton asked:
"I've read your articles on design pricing but don't see any reference to non-profits. Do you believe that the same design pricing principles apply?"_Photo of Stuttgart's Kunstmuseum, by Ralph Unden_ There are a few options: * Pro bono design, cutting your full rate by 100% for the public good * Non-profit discount, offering a percentage off your normal rate * Service trade, where you do the design work and your client offers a product or service that's useful to you or your business (although this is probably better suited to for-profit clients) * Full rate (we might call them non-profits, but they're still businesses with design budgets, and they need to turn a profit to grow) Most of my clients are for-profit businesses (I take it as it comes), but when the third sector gets in touch, sometimes I'll choose one option, sometimes another. It depends on my workload and how strongly I feel about the cause. When a client needs a reduced rate and I can't deal, I'll always offer feedback on ideas if it's wanted. A quick tip for if you work pro bono or offer a discount: send a full-price invoice as normal, but show the saving, whether it's 100%, 10%, or whatever. It's a little reminder about the value of design so clients are less likely to think, "It's free. It's not that important." Thanks for the question, Kim. Brand Identity Inspiration On Identity Designed.
Bernadette Jiwa has just published her new book, _The Fortune Cookie Principle: The 20 keys to a great brand story and why your business needs one._ It's full of inspiring stories about what makes businesses unique (and successful) in today's supersaturated markets. Here's an excerpt. _Fortune cookie photo via SodaHead_ THE BEST CONFIRMATION EMAIL EVER WRITTEN When Derek Sivers first built his business CDbaby.com, he set up a standard confirmation email to let customers know their order had been shipped. After a few months, Derek felt that this email wasn’t aligned with his mission — to make people smile. So he sat down and wrote a better one.
"Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed on a satin pillow. "A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing. "Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy. "We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Friday, June 6th. "I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDbaby.com!" — DEREK SIVERS, ANYTHING YOU WANTThe result didn't just delight customers. That one email brought thousands of new customers to CD Baby. The people who got it couldn’t help sharing it with their friends. Try Googling “private CD Baby jet”; you’ll find over 900,000 search results to date. Derek’s email has been cited by business blogs the world over as an example of how to authentically put your words to work for your business. _The Fortune Cookie Principle_ is available to buy as a paperback and for Kindle: on Amazon.com on Amazon.co.uk
"This should be the next book you read. Urgent, leveraged and useful, it will change your business like nothing else." — SETH GODINA few other book recommendations here. Brand Identity Inspiration On Identity Designed.
"If cities were smarter, then life in cities would be better. That's why IBM created ads with a purpose. By adding a simple curve, we gave advertising a new function."Great idea. A bit like this from last month. Via @issue (and, after neglecting my feed reader for five days, quite a few others too). Credits: Ogilvy & Mather France Chief creative officer: Chris Garbutt Executive creative director: Susan Westre Art director: Daniel Diego Lincoln Copywriters: Lauren Elkins, Andrew Mellen Concept: Daniel Diego Lincoln, Stephane Santana Photographer: Bruno Bicalho Carvalhaes Brand Identity Inspiration On Identity Designed.
_15/115_ (_15 Years, 115 Projects_) is the second book from designer Mark Bloom of Mash Creative. It features 115 projects spanning a 15 year career to-date, divided into three chapters: 15 x posters, 80 x logos and 25 x case studies. Mark also asked me to write a foreword, which I was more than happy to do (he was one of the kind contributors to my second book). _Royal Mail identity idea (above), previously featured on Identity Designed_ I asked Mark a few questions about his self-published project. _Q/ How much has this book cost to produce in terms of time and money?_ A/ Let's just say it's several thousand pounds in total — it's been a labour of love. Time, probably around six months, but not solid, this was in between client work. _Q/ Why did you choose Screaming Colour as your printer? Did they print your first book?_ A/ They didn't print my first book but I knew they had a good reputation for producing high quality print. The print spec on _15/115_ is quite special so I wanted to ensure the printer I used would meet my high standards. Screaming Colour is only a 10-minute walk from my studio, I went to visit them and was very impressed. They've invested a lot of time and effort into the book, even before the job went ahead, and they've been very hands-on during the whole process. I was initially tempted to get the book printed in the Far East to reduce costs, but being able to meet with the printers, check proofs, etc. has given me far more peace of mind. _Q/ What particular GF Smith papers did you choose, and why?_ A/ Cover stock: GF Smith Colorplan Ebony Black 350gsm with gravure emboss. I'd seen a piece of print that used a gravure emboss and really liked it, I think it gives a nice contrast against the white foil text and internal pages. The black and white colour scheme follows on from my previous book, _14/41_. Internal page stock: GF Smith Accent Smooth Glacier White 135gsm (subject to any last-minute change). The book showcases several projects which were printed in fluorescent inks, so colour reproduction was very important. After some print testing and discussions with GF Smith it seemed like Accent Smooth was the most suitable choice. _Q/ What exposure have the books generated for Mash Creative?_ A/ It's hard to put this into figures but it has certainly helped me gain exposure through design blogs, which in turn has raised Mash Creative's profile, making potential clients more aware of my work. _Q/ Have any clients specifically mentioned your first book when contacting you?_ A/ Yes, in fact even since launching my second book just four days ago I've had several work enquires off the back of it. _14/41_ also helped win new business last year, mainly smaller companies. I also used _14/41_ as a showcase of my identity design work when meeting with two well known London design studios, both of whom ended up giving me freelance commissions. _Q/ Would you recommend that other designers create similar work archives?_ A/ Not necessarily in terms of a book — it's very time consuming, stressful, and not to mention expensive — but I definitely think it's important they keep an archive of their work, at least in digital form. Over the years I've always had an AI file into which I simply copy and paste any logo I design, a simple and easy way of archiving my logo work. This makes it very easy to find older designs without having to go through external hard drives or similar. I also have a folder on my computer called "press images." That's where I keep high-res and web-res images of all the work I've produced since starting Mash Creative nearly four years ago. I'm fortunate enough to get a lot of press requests from book publishers such as Victionary to feature my work, and by keeping a press folder on my system it means I can access all relevant images very quickly. When designing _15/115_ it meant I already had a lot of high-res images close at hand. -- The finish really does look superb, featuring a white foiled cover with a thread sewn spine for lay-flat spreads. I'm looking forward to picking up a copy. * _15/115_ is available to pre-order at the discounted rate of £17.50 (normal price £22.50) * Pages: 140pp, size: 170 x 230 mm, supported by GF Smith Papers * Shipping date estimated at end of June to early July 2013 * Available to pre-order from: http://thisisourshop.com/ See a few photos of Mark's first book, _14/41_, over on Logo Design Love. Brand Identity Inspiration On Identity Designed.
Last year, _Design Bureau Magazine_ asked me a few questions about design crowdsourcing. _Q/ Do you believe that crowdsourcing, aka "spec work" can ever be good? For example, what if it was used to benefit a noble cause for the common good?_ A/ It depends on your definition of spec work. It seems to vary. Donating time and ideas on a pro bono basis is commendable. I recommend it. My issue lies with companies who profit from the efforts of designers who work in the mere hope of getting paid. I ask myself how highly these companies value the time of designers when they expect hundreds of us to compete against each other, with only one person getting paid. With pro bono design, both the designer and client get immeasurably more value from the project. _Q/ Ric Grefe, executive director of AIGA is quoted as saying "crowdsourcing isn’t going away." Do you agree with this statement?_ A/ Yes. _Q/ He also suggested ways in which the model can be modified, becoming "good" as a result. Do you think that crowdsourcing should be transformed?_ A/ It's important to differentiate "crowdsourcing" from "spec work." Some websites sell design contest listings, defining that as crowdsourcing, but they essentially make their profit off people who work for free. Crowdsourcing, as originally defined by Jeff Howe, can work well when used for simple tasks, in a similar way to how focus groups might be useful. For example, a designer creates a number of options around a specific brief. He or she (or the company hiring the designer) then asks the "crowd" to choose a favourite. But an entire design project from start to finish isn't so simple, and although there are always exceptions, crowdsourcing the outcome generates poor quality. _Q/ There were some recent high-profile examples, such as the Gap logo debacle, where during crisis management they almost decided to crowdsource a new logo, and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), where crowdsourcing was averted with AIGA’s intervention. Do you think that companies are learning their lesson? Have they learned anything about design? Or have these strong reactions only reinforced the power of the crowd?_ A/ The fact that some companies see crowdsourcing as a cheap way to harvest ideas is understandable. It costs them very little to buy a contest listing. The bigger cost is time — sifting through hundreds of uploads in the hope of a gem. Additionally, too much choice can greatly hinder the decision-maker because it's easier to choose one from two than one from hundreds. But it's one thing reading about downsides, and another learning from our own mistakes. We rightly don't just believe everything we read. _Q/ I spoke to one of the finalists of the Obama for Jobs poster campaign. It was a student, and she was happy to do the work, it was a good conversation piece for interviews, and good for her portfolio. Given those reasons, do you think that she is naïve? Why or why not?_ Design courses don't have enough teaching about spec work. I remember when I was in formal education and my class had to work on a project for an outside client. The prize was to have your design used. This seems to be a common scenario, although it's slightly different from the Obama gig, because all of my classmates' designs were critiqued by the tutor and by our peers (alas, not the client, which would've also been useful). In any case, we learned something. Not as much as we could've if the project was handled differently, but it was something. I find it tough gauging what value lies behind hundreds, perhaps thousands of poster ideas submitted without feedback, compensation, or acknowledgement. _Q/ Why do you suppose competition work is frowned upon in graphic design, and yet for other creative industries — architecture, for example — it is generally accepted and encouraged?_ A/ For graphic design, the value of the time necessary to "compete" in contests outweighs the potential reward [sometimes the reward isnt given]. From what I understand, architects will add the cost of the pitches they don't win into the invoices of those they do, so their clients compensate them for the time spent trying to win new clients. And when an architectural pitch is won, it could be hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars. There's no comparison against the typical rewards offered in graphic design contests. Brand Identity Inspiration On Identity Designed.
Designer and writer Paul Jarvis has a useful website. Here are some posts and resources of interest, and some thoughts I agreed with. Paul talks about how to build an audience from scratch. Many of you are, or once were in this situation. If I found myself transported back to when I became self-employed eight years ago, this is close to the advice I'd give the younger me. It's important to say no from time to time.
"Saying no sometimes means I get a feeling that the client could be tricky to work with, or not jive with how I work. It’s ok to turn down projects I have a feeling might not go well, because chances are they won’t. And if they don’t, it’ll end up costing more to do the work than if I had just said no first. Not everyone is a perfect fit, and I’m certainly not a perfect fit for everyone."There's a page detailing products, services, and people Paul used to self-publish his ebook. Mailchimp is listed as the favoured email list management tool. I recently signed up with Aweber. More on that later. On a related note is one of Paul's other posts: Sell your digital product. Work better. Good productivity tips. Paul has a couple of WordPress themes for sale. One's free, too. Solid thoughts on how to succeed at anything (posted on the Medium platform — worth a visit for the unfamiliar).
"Pay your dues and if you want something, earn it by doing everything you can while expecting nothing. Acting like you’ve put in your time and now deserve more than someone else will get you nowhere but thought of as an ass pretty fast."A quick bio: He's a "practicing yogi, touring musician, has a tattoo (or two), and is a non-preachy vegan." He currently lives in the woods, on the coast of Vancouver Island, with his wife Lisa and pet rats Ohna’ and Awe:ri. Catch him on Twitter. Brand Identity Inspiration On Identity Designed.
Probably the best billboard I've ever seen. _Photo credit: Draftfcb / UTEC_ Situated outside the small community of Bujama, Peru, it cost around $32,000 to make, and creates approximately 100 litres of drinkable water every day. "It works by condensing vapour in the air (humidity in the region is around 98 per cent) into water, before passing it through a series of filters and running it under UV lamps for further purification. The clean water is then collected in a tank and dispensed through a tap which can be used by anyone walking past." Quoted from Creative Review. The video embedded below gives a bit more detail. The billboard is the product of a partnership between outdoor advertising owner Clear Channel Peru, researchers at the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Lima, and advertising agency Draftfcb. Also reported on the BBC website: Advert turns air into water. Brilliant idea. Let's hope it's not a one-off. Brand Identity Inspiration On Identity Designed.
_Photo by Nick Loyless_ We talked about unpaid internships back in 2011, and the topic generated a fair bit of chat in the comment thread. Here's a question from a recent commentator.
"I worked at a social enterprise as an unpaid intern last winter and my friends all questioned why I would do an unpaid job. [...] "The social enterprise, which is kind of between a normal company and an NGO, aims to hire a large amount of interns for a short-term continuous labour source. They only have several full-time workers. Do you think this plan is sustainable?"I don't. The enterprise seems to be disguising volunteer work as an internship (all too common). An internship is _not_ where the intern does the work of a normal employee without getting paid. It _is_ where the employer devotes time to the individual intern so he or she can learn as much as possible about the chosen profession. Too many companies either don't know the difference, or don't want to. If you're in an unpaid work placement that isn't meeting expectations, and it's not going to change no matter what you say to the employer, get out of there. You're better than that. -- UPDATE: 17 JUNE 2013 A United States court has ruled that unpaid internships where legitimate work is undertaken are illegal, on The Atlantic Wire. -- Brand Identity Inspiration On Identity Designed.