4 Things to Check Before Sending Any Files to Your Client

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As a freelancer, any project is important. It doesn’t matter who the client is, it doesn’t even matter how much it pays you. We invest a considerable amount of time, resources and all the creativity we got for every step of the design process. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been haunted by a couple of questions long after I pressed the “send” button; Was that design the best I could do?  Was my concept exactly what the client needs and was it perfect for his business? Will I be proud of the graphic made when seen by the general public?

How do I know when my files are ready to be send for review?

As struggling with my inner doubts, I put together a list of 4 things to check before sending any files to the client. I hope it helps in your workflow as it did in mine, but also it aims to minimize the threats before sending anything though email or any other platform you work with. So, here they are:

  1. Review your research if necessary and read your brief carefully one more time. Read it again before sending the files because it might be surprising how you missed adding some mandatory details that could make you look like an unprofessional graphic designer in the client’s eyes)
  2.  Create more than what you are supposed to send. If you are asked to work on three versions you should definitely try out several more in your sketchbook/workspace, and if you consider to send an extra version to review..oh well, I haven’t heard anyone complaining about receiving more than it was expected.
  3.  A stressed mind never helped anyone or extended any deadlines. Besides the short breaks we take throughout the workflow, don’t forget about the absolutely necessarily break before sending the files (don’t play on the phone during the break but look outside, walk through the room, go through a magazine or drink water. Avoid any other displays) When you come back, you might see the design from another perspective.
  4.  When you reached to the final concept, before sending anything to the client, make a last tryout, something crazy you wouldn’t usually do. Be creative until the last seconds. Change the font to something bold or add some flashy colors. It doesn’t have to be included in the files set for the client. It’s more like a check point where you make peace with yourself and totally agree the designs prepared are the best you could come up with.

If this helped you get rid of the thoughts who kept you awake by night, now it’s the time to clear your mind and wait for the feedback and of course, embrace any request/change with an open heart.

Be flexible, creative, kind, and all the odds will be on your side on developing a long term relationship with your client.

THE ONE THING YOU SHOULD BE DOING TO BECOME A BETTER DESIGNER

A couple of weeks ago I’ve been asked by a girl what she should do to become a professional graphic designer like me. She said she learned Adobe Illustrator but,  what’s next?

How do you get projects, then how do you get MORE projects, how do you perfect your skills, how do you market yourself or how do you keep yourself inspired? There are a lot of questions and I have read many different answers along the years.

My conclusion? All the solutions provided have a common denominator: LEARNING.

I’ve understood that the learning process is never over. Learn and practice. These two goes hand in hand to perfect any skills you have. But learning is the main one. You know how to draw? Learn how to draw better! You know Adobe Illustrator to perfection? Learn how to emphasize your vectors with Photoshop effects!

As a beginner in graphic design, first of all you should accept your status and prepare for the worst. Prepare to make mistakes, to design badly, to receive discouraging feedback. Prepare to learn from your mistakes.

Be updated

Be up to date with any website, blog, platform, event, release or software related to the industry you are part of. You should be the first one to find out for example a new pen for the craziest graphic tablet is released. You should meet people like you, go to meetings, conferences, or a friendly lunch with creative people. Be kind, share your work, accept feedback, learn how to ask useful questions to the right people and most important, learn to listen.

Your Facebook, Twitter, Behance or any other social platform should be used to accomplish your dream.

Learn how to improve your skills from any opportunity given and practice everyday, everywhere with anything you have in hand. Learn how to spend your money on quality software, quality tools, books or courses (online or in class), invest time in friendships with smart and creative people.

Create a habit

Make a habit of practicing everyday. Exercise your skills and always try to challenge your mind to do more than what you are comfortable with. Take a break from time to time to look back and see the evolution. Feel proud of yourself and then do more.

Here is a short list of creative websites I’m following that may help you get started in the graphic design business or creating inspiration boards:

Behance

Dribbble

Pixel77

EnvatoMarket

Pinterest

FromUpNorth

millo

blog.invisionapp

DesignByHumans

CreativeMarket

 

Thank you for taking time to read my article. I hope it helps you make an idea of what an artist should do in the first years of work as a graphic designer. Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I had a great year. I’m not bragging about it but it was definitely full of surprises. I traveled to Dublin, Venice and Crete. I found friendly and talented people (as Alfredo Sacco from Venice) and I learned a lot about their culture. This helps me keep creativity at a high level. With ups and downs I managed to stay inspired and work as a freelancer almost everyday. I have somehow found the joy of classic painting again. Recently I’ve started to supply my old painting kit and I was surprised to find some great new shops in Bucharest. The most exciting thing I learned this year, besides the calligraphy writing skills, is the Adobe Premier program. I’m still a beginner in video editing but I’m proud of what came out of my summer holiday to Crete.

You can watch it here: https://vimeo.com/150055562

I wish you a very very very happy and joyful New Year, full of achievements, great friends, improved skills and lots of sweet new memories!

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Calligraphy Experience

Four weekends spent in a room with two professional calligraphers learning about writing skills. It was the most wonderful thing I discovered in the last 6 months. The teachers, Georgianul and Sorin are the kind of creative people that helped us get the right information with kidness and patience. I learned how to write foundational hand and gothic style. I laughed a lot and I have to say it’s a good vibe at these sessions. It was so great that no one wanted to take a break between the two hours. It felt like every single one enjoyed every minute of it. I uploaded a couple of photos I’ve made with my phone during the course.

I really wish to see everyone again and practice our writing skills together. Oh! and I brag about being among the three winners for good skills on calligraphy homework!IMG_2747 IMG_2769 IMG_2774 IMG_2874 IMG_2941 File 02.12.2015, 18 27 27 File 02.12.2015, 18 27 44 File 02.12.2015, 18 28 06 File 02.12.2015, 18 28 58 File 02.12.2015, 18 29 35File 02.12.2015, 18 31 15 File 02.12.2015, 18 29 53 File 02.12.2015, 18 30 04

IOR Map Design for 50 Years Anniversary

Long story short: Got a call from district 3, City Hall. 50 Years Celebration of the I.O.R Park – they are in need of a graphic designer to create the map with all points of interest. The map is going to be printed and posted on the main entrances of the park, on their website, on flyers etc.

I said YES of course because this is a great chance to show my skills in this area giving the fact I haven’t worked on many maps in the past. I spent almost a week drawing and I ended up sending a lovely design, colorful and ready for print. You can see the full project here: https://goo.gl/vlTW5N

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