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A place that I write to about the things that I love and are interested in.

What-this-freelance-designer-wished-her-clients-knew

Like any relationship, romantic or family, the relationship between client and a freelancer designer can be fantastic, but also full of annoyances.

In nearly all the cases I have experienced, these annoyances have been due to miscommunication and a lack of understanding of where the other person is coming from.  A good freelance designer will make an effort to research what their client needs, but it’s not always the case that a client will reciprocate.

So with that in mind, here are my tips on what makes for a good working relationship with your freelance designer. Read more…

Keywords are an important part of your website

When it comes to optimising your content for search engines, the aim of the game is to modify page or pages to send a strong keyword signal for one keyword or phrase. The key to optimisation for SEO is to match one keyword to one page on your site in a manner that ensure overall you have covered all your relevant keywords. Read more…

change your domain name

Changing your domain name is scary!

There are many reason why you might need to change the domain name for your business or blog. Maybe you are re-branding, or maybe your blog is taking a new direction? Whatever the reason, changing domain names can be scary.

This week I wrote a guest blog post for Brisbane Freelance Copywriter, Dr Lara Cain Gray. Lara’s blog called Charming Language is full of book reviews, writer chats and randoms rants. She knows well the stress of migrating blogs to a new domain name. We were please to help her migrate her blog over this year with great results.

If you need affordable copy created for your project, be sure to check her website out.

Why-copywriting-matters

I often get asked why copywriting matters to a new clients site. The simple answer is, your website copy attracts the search engines that drive traffic to your site. It’s the vehicle that converts a prospect into a customer. If your copy is not relevant, the customer will leave the site.

Good content is a necessity if you want to be found in search results.

I recommend all my clients hire a copywriter for their web projects. Over the years, web design projects that stall, always get stuck on copy. We can make your site look amazing, but it’s the copy that sells it.

But I just want images on my website

Image this, you’re an architect, your website contains a pictures of the latest building you’ve built. The materials in the image look beautiful but you need words to describe why they look so good, and why they were the prefect choice for this building (eg, easy to clean, affordable etc). Without the words, its just a pretty picture.

Finding the right copywriter

Before heading out to find a copywriter, I would recommend you do the following;

  • Figure out what you want – copywriter have specialties, so be sure to find out if they have experience in the areas you want.
  • Hire an copywriter who knows SEO – but make sure the focus is on the content, no on keywords.
  • Ask for client before & afters – it’s always great to see previous work

The most important part of writing copy, is to make sure you write it for humans! Don’t bombarded your copy with sales and advertising. No one wants to read a website full of bullshit, so keep it real and make it sounds like your brand!

tips from a graphic designer on how to build your brand

A designers tips on how to build your brand

How to build your brand. Branding is more than just your company’s logo. It’s your image and the story that your image tells to your customers. With the rise of social media, a brands image has never been more important. Company’s now post material to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and many more platforms. But how do you ensure that what you are sending out there represents your brand and attracts your customers?

Who are you?

To understand your customers need, you need to know who you are, and what you have to offer them. The real point here, is understanding what your unique selling point is. What services do you offer, that are different to your competitors? Are you a fitness coach that is also a trained Doctor? Whatever it is, you need to find that connection that makes your different. One of the easiest ways to find that difference, is to make it personal. Now I am not saying your business needs to be just you and your head on everything. By being personal, I mean communication in a way that makes your customer feel special.

Create your perfect client / customer / audience

Now that you are clear on who you are, you need to work out who your dream customer is.

  • Are they: young, old, male, female, rich, busy, working?
  • Where would you find them? Online, bricks and mortar shops, in groups?
  • What do they need? What is exactly that you think your clients are after?
  • Where do they shop now? Where do you customers currently get the same service from?
  • Why would they switch? Think about why they would take the time to switch to you.

Once you know who your market is, you will know how to collect to them. You will know how to start a conversation with them, to engage them to move.

Let your personality be part of your brand

You are your brand. This means that your brand should be you. Customers want real people they can relate to. You need to embrace all those elements that make you different and use them to form part of your brand. This can be done via the language you use. A really awesome example of this is Fuck you Friday. The lady behind this brand is Far Kew, and as you can tell from her name, her language forms a big part of her brand. If she was to suddenly start writing blog posts that contained no swearing, it would not work with her brand and her customers would be confused.

Commit to it!

Once you have answered all those questions above, it time to commit to your brand. If you want you customers to trust you, then you need to look professional. Hire a Graphic Designer. Hire a Website Designer. Don’t try and do it yourself. Putting something out there, that is just not right, will do your brand more harm than good.

We have all heard the expressions about how first impressions count! This is true also for your branding. Make it right the first time!

So….are you ready!

Don’t wait any longer, tackle it one step at a time, hire a professional (we can help with that!) and get cracking.

Stock Images, the good, the bad, the ugly

At some stage in a project you may need stock images. It’s very easy to purchase them now-days off various stock websites, and later I will list some great ones.

When it comes to stock images, there are a few thing you need to take into account. Read more…

Who does a yearly round-up in January!!!! Me, that’s who!

December was nuts for us, there were alot of client projects to get completed before our Summer break so a round up was the last thing on my mind. 2015 was busy and filled with lots of changes. Renee left to join the Flight Centre team where she is kicking butts, her spot was quickly filled by the lovely Trish. Trish was with us on a short contract until she made the big move to Sydney. It was something she had wanted to do for ages and I was really happy for her to finally make it.

This year we have worked on some really lovely projects. Firstly we did a rebrand for Seafarms Group.

Seafarms_FA

Over a few months we work hard with Seafarms to get the right look for their new logo. This project also included the redesign of the stationery and other business collateral. Finding colours that worked well for their brand but that were not your typical blues and greens was a real challenge. I’m so happy with the final outcome. We also updated the Crystal Bay Prawns website for Seafarms.


 

Earlier in the year we undertook a fun graphic design project for Swim Solutions. They wanted some new designs for their swimming caps.

swimming-cap-graphic-design


 

We completed some animated GIFS for Veneta Blinds that appears on The Design Files and Interiors Addict.

The-Design-Files_GIF


 

Website Updates

We also worked on updating the design of some of our long term client websites. Newlands Group got a new one, along with Balance Dance School. Still based on WordPress, both sites had a complete design and content overall. The previous sites were only 3-5 years old, but with web design changing so quickly they both really needed an update.

how-to-become-a-freelance-graphic-designer

This is a question I get all the time from young students about to finish university. They are wondering what it takes to become a freelance graphic designer. Anyone can be a graphic designer, but it takes some extra skills to be a freelance graphic designer.

My advice on being a freelance designer is this;

  • Get a formal education – this does not have to be a University degree. Get some training either via a private collage or TAFE. If all these are out of reach due to cost, try platforms like Lynda.com, Skillshare, Creative live etc.
  • If you don’t yet have experience in a studio, get it. There are so many parts to being a designer. Most you cannot learn at University, being in a real studio is the best place to learn these!
  • Pick a design niche – design on what you are good at, and stick to it.
  • Keep reading, Keep learning – just because you are now out on your own, does not mean you can drop the ball when it comes to your personal development. If you want to stay competitive you need to stay up to date with your skills.
  • Keep up to date with tools and technology – keep your programs up to date, and ensure when new verisons are realised you find out what is different and what you might be able to change in the way you work to save you time.
  • Start small. Don’t think that to be a serious freelance designer you need some city office, start at home to save costs or looking into a co-working spot if working from home is not an option. Make sure you setup up a dedicated work space.
  • Market yourself – tell everyone and anyone what you are doing and ensure you have an online portfolio for people to view your work.

Photo by Ilya Pavlov.

Emily Hogarth is a Scottish Designer and Illustrator living and working in Edinburgh. I lived in Edinburgh from around ’99 until 2001, and it is still to date the place I loved living the most when I was overseas.

Emily does the most amazing paper cuts. The moment I saw her work on Instagram I knew I wanted one for my little family, so about 6 months ago I contact Emily and booked a spot in her busy schedule. Emily was so awesome to deal with, I sent her a short brief of what I wanted included and about 6-8 weeks later our original one off design arrived on my doorstep! To say we were excited is an understatement. It now is hung proudly in our kitchen where I look at it daily.

emily-hogarth-paper-cutemily-paper-cut paper-cut-scotland

rio-logo-design

I think being asked to design the logo for the Olympics would be just as exciting as being picked on an Olympic team. The designers create everything from the logo to the tickets, the mascots, medals…the list goes on. Generally the Olympic collateral is outsourced to various local graphic design companies to ensure it is all ready in time.

Read more…