Work Blog

  • Started
  • Last post
  • 22 Responses
  • canoe

    Discuss design, branding, advertising, marketing...

  • canoe6

    After a recent zoom, the PR company responded with a proposal that was... unchecked AI.

    Three paragraph intro about the history or our product that was absolutely grueling to read. A short bullet list of deliverables that had a human touch, which was nice, but they couldn't take the time to end it without a cheesy, embellished sign off that only AI can execute.

    To be on the receiving end of AI, from a PR company, felt all kinds of gross.

  • cherub0

    Any self taught designers here? How do you know when you're ready to start taking clients? I've designed a few wordpress sites and I'm starting to like it but I don't think I'm 100% ready.

    What's the barebones minimum to be a real designer?

    what core skills you must have?

    • masochism_niko
    • Honestly the only core skill you need is sales (ie convincing someone to pay for your design services)nb
    • you can take on clients today. Wordpress clients are not shy about telling you how to design.hotroddy
    • that's pretty funny hotroddycherub
    • nb is right if you're thinking about the biznez side of things. You only need to know how to sell.palimpsest
    • As in regards to design itself I think it's more how you approach it (and your motivation) rather than your current skillset.palimpsest
    • This is someone from our generation, listen to the interview and see if you can relate or find an angle that works for you:palimpsest
    • https://scratchingth…palimpsest
    • YWFT! Can't wait to check this out...canoe
    • Nice, I also gonna check that out. It looks like the other Michael (of Designgraphik) is the one who's still running YouWorkForThem.yuekit
    • I wonder if what cherub is trying to ask is that there are certain fundamentals of design and you might not know them without formal training.yuekit
    • In the past people would recommend books like "Grid Systems" or "The Elements of Typographic Style" and while those are still worth reading,yuekit
    • it seems increasingly difficult to draw a straight line from there to the current world of digital design where there are about a million things to learn.yuekit
    • But ideally you'd start with these fundamentals and then learn the technology and principles specific to the web.yuekit
    • If you are working with pre-built wordpress templates, most clients you will encounter will want more than the template offers.microkorg
    • So you have to either find or build solutions. So having good knowledge of how these templates are put together technicaly is prob a must.microkorg
    • And branding. Because most of the "I'm looking for a WP site" clients also need a whole slew of help. SEO, messaging, lead gen strategy, digital marketing, etccanoe
    • And, I assume, creating your own vertical strategy will help train your eye. So pick a few industries and study their aesthetic, branding, nuances, positioningcanoe
  • cherub0

    Or to word it a different way, complete the following sentence.

    "That Liam claimed to be a designer but he didn't know how to ___BLANK_____. We had a good laugh!"

    What goes inside the blank?

    • Mentoring is great for young bucks! You should find one to work with. Otherwise it's books, books, books.canoe
    • there is no right answer. problem solving, colour theory and typography is a good start._niko
    • listening to your clients needs, coming up with a solution for their problems in the most precise, efficient and aesthetic way_niko
    • I'm taking my notes from niko.hotroddy
    • If had to be boiled down to one word/idea - being able to handle type in all it's applications - sign of a serious designer.canoe
  • canoe1

    @mono - can you recommend legit companies who supply event collateral - media boards, signage, etc?

    • Not the creative side, just the furniturecanoe
    • Yes. I am a fan of C2 Imaging.monospaced
    • For furniture I’m usually at the mercy of a rental company like Cort. Let me know if you need contacts for custom fabricators for anything else.monospaced
  • canoe3

    The irony of a few people coming in here and downvoting everything is so QBN 2024. Most everyone comes on here to talk about everything but work, and when you do it, a few vindictive trolls gotta try and ruin it.

    • Maybe same creep with two accounts smhcanoe
    • Do you feed on just the upvotes or don't you think people might not like your post aka not agree with you but still like you, so don't take it personal.Wordsworth
    • at least a couple of mornings a week i come on here theres a load of downvotes. it's like background noise. if qbn displayed downvotes i recon a +3 would oftenkingsteven
    • be (-2) +5. always corrected a few hours later when people start waking up.kingsteven
    • The irony.palimpsest
    • The irony because QBN was originally about the work. And now, all the topics are... not about the industry.canoe
    • @Words - they downvoted everyones contribution.canoe
    • QBN is about the work, the work is not about QBN.palimpsest
    • The shoe is not on the other foot, the foot is in the other shoe.canoe
    • Walk a mile.palimpsest
    • I know Canoe, I was there 3000 years ago. But shrug it off, adapt and overcome.Wordsworth
    • You have a total positive vote count on your posts.
      People are interacting with your thread.
      Things are going to be alright.
    • Because... the kids are alright!canoe
    • Yep yep! This is the way.Wordsworth
    • adults are affected by downvotes?imbecile
    • Non visible ones, even.palimpsest
    • I wasn't taking it personal. I was stating the sign of the times. Take it for what it's worth and stop insinuating shit.canoe
    • And palimpsest, not sure if you were here when it started but the site was 90% design industry material. So, yes, irony.canoe
    • You were before me.palimpsest
  • canoe-1

    The Super Bowl ads were "star lit", more so than I ever remember. I can't say that the mainstream actors really brought much to the table. It all was very distracting watching them do their bit for a product. I can't imagine the budgets of some of these ads, and was it a waste of money?

    It's always shitshow of capitialism, and felt even more so with the actors involved in 75% of the ads. I would've been fine with just the Christopher Walken bit alone, that was pretty great. But again, the actor is remembered, not the service or the brand, which is not the point of advertising. But, 'it sure is cool'. And it seemed like the brands were trying to one up each other, why would there be so many actors in so many commercials for one event. Seems like the advertising agencies on these spots relied completely on borrowed interest...

    There was also a 3-4 episode commercial that was hard to follow from the get go. Homes something dot com.

    • I'd wager very few ad agencies came up with concepts for the ads. These are mostly reasons for execs to claim bragging rights at the country club. It's not..Morning_star
    • ...dollar for dollar effective advertising but it does bring kudos if the audience can remember your brand.Morning_star
    • Absolutely, I recall the Chrysler Pacifica launch with Celine Dion being an insider job decided during a weekend at the Hamptons. Nobody cld say otherwise.canoe
    • Fuckin' Celine Dioncanoe
  • cherub-1

    "I wonder if what cherub is trying to ask is that there are certain fundamentals of design and you might not know them without formal training."

    That's exactly what I was trying to ask. And this thread 100% nailed it.

    I mostly understand what is expected of a freelance designer now.

    Not only do you need the design, but also if you're freelance you'd be expected to:

    -have professional communication skills which will be needed for closely working directly with clients, and convincing them you're the right designer for them (nb)
    -be patient with the client as they try to micromanage you (hotroddy)
    - be able to reverse engineer the wordpress templates (microkorg)
    -help new startups figure how to "be a business" by helping them generate leads and so on (canoe)
    -random problem solving (_niko)
    -typography (canoe)

    What triggered me asking to begin with was once I had the unpleasant experience of working with SSL certificates, and add-on domains, it occured to me... what the fuck does this have to do with kerning and layouts??! This is really part of design?

    I think I had it wrong. It's not part of design, but if you expect to resell some web hosting on the side, you need to know it.

    Feel free to correct me on anything.

    • Being a well-rounded web consultant means you know how to deal with SSL, and all the backend headache. Even going the xtra mile problem solving too.canoe
    • Yeah and come to think of it, I guess "designer" isn't a big enough word to encompass all of what you lot do. Maybe better to say "tech ninja" or something.cherub
  • canoe-1

    Has anyone lived in Dhaka? Or have insight on what the local Trip Advisor or Yelp is for Bangladesh?

    There's a high-end restaurant downtown that's looking for digital strategy. We met, great people, and they don't mind that I've never visited... but I kinda do.

  • Salarrue-1

    Expect co-creation, clients, or team members will have access to Figma or equivalent and will want to join into some of the previous designer only space.

    I believe that design today is more of a rhetorical discipline that consists of defining the problem and proposing a clear explanation of the designed solution. Then for sure, the more technical skill sets will give you more options, but at the core a Designer should draw the scope of the project or at least be part of the project overall guidelines, including the business goals that are in play.

    • Agencies that keep their graphic designers in a closet, and account-driven creative strategy is such an unhealthy place. Designers need to be in the know.canoe
    • ^ The truth. If you can't get in front of the client and listen to what they want then the solution is likely to fail. Client Services do not hear the same...Morning_star
    • ...things a creative would.Morning_star
  • cherub0

    I am constantly losing track of what fonts I used. Now I understand the need for all the "what da font" sites lol

    So many... and some of them I end up falling in love with.

    Lately I've been really digging helsinki for social media. Weird thing is I found it by accident while searching for helvetica.

    • Collect working files including fonts when a job is done. Never wonder again.i_monk
  • PonyBoy-1

    I've been working through an agency handling a bunch of work for a well known hardware store chain here in the States. Months now we've gone back and forth working on a storyboard for a video to introduce a new product, a landing page to house it online and all the background nonsense involved w/such a simple project.

    I just got this text:
    "KR I have annoying news. Xxxxx loves what you have done so much that they want to take all your stuff in house and finish it."

    Huh? That's just straight-up smoke being blown up my ass... yes? They DID ask for my files but I've never had a client do this who 'liked' the work... those that like what I'm producing usually keep me on it.

    I really needed this work too... Fuckers.

    • Zero respect. Sorry for it :(
      Be polite, send files and mantain the client vs be rude, invoice a nice extra an run?
    • yeah... I'm playing 'nice' :/PonyBoy
    • This has happened to me before, just with much smaller projects/campaigns. I ended up just putting a really big price tag on the working files.monospaced
  • cherub-2

    Are any of you tasked with running the social media campaigns for the companies you work for? I think it's a long shot, I don't think anyone wants to admit to posting on social media as a job.

    However, IF anyone is doing that... I found a really useful tool to solve a very specific problem.

    These days, if you post on social media, the thumbnail is everything. If the thumbnail is missing, or it shows up black, people won't click. Just that simple.

    I had a problem with tiktok thumbnails not showing up on facebook, and I used this tool to fix it. Don't laugh, this is high technology for me. I'm not a developer or a designer.…

    From the article, "Why Your Thumbnail Doesn’t Show?
    When you first paste your link into Facebook, it goes to the website and pulls the metadata for your link. One piece of meta-data it pulls is the thumbnail photo for that link."

    And, if you create a social media post and try to cross post it to facebook too soon, the thumbnail is not yet generated = failed thumbnail. BUT THERE IS A FIX

    You put the direct link to your social media post in the Facebook sharing debugger tool,…

    and VOILA! you can hard force a re-scrape of the metadata and your newly minted thumbnail will populate in the preview. That way you can know how your post will appear BEFORE u look foolish on social media.

    For the record, I dislike facebook but this debugger tool probably exists for the other social networks who knows...

    Come to think of it why doesn't QBN give such a metadata scrape preview so we don't look stupid when our links don't work...

    QBN makes u raw dogg it. no condom, click broadcast and cross your fingers

  • cherub-2

    I was searching for the most ideal time to post on social media, and I came across this reddit thread,…

    which led me to social pilot (again). I say again because I've used their cheat sheet before, it's very handy.…

    Then I said to myself, hey maybe I ought to fork over the $5-$10 or so they're gonna want to join their site, and give them some business. I click on the signup link, and I see this

    Holy crap. Are you seeing what I'm seeing? Surely I'm not their target audience, if their CHEAPEST tier is $25 (and that's if u pay yearly)

    So what we have here, is business to business. They aren't even targeting me (I'm a cheap fucker), they're targeting other businesses.

    Their mid tier is called "agency" and costs $85 per month.

    We all know the power of social media and the reach it provides, and how, if your business wins at social media that does translate into new clients/sales.

    Is $85 too much? In this country(usa) we can afford it, but what about Brazil, India, countries like that?

    Their businesses pay another business $85 per month to handle social media marketing? Is this normal?

    Excuse my rambling. I'm just trying to wrap my head around it.

  • cherub-2

    Why does installing wordpress plugins put pop up spam all over my wordpress admin page?

    You install 1 questionable plugin and it nags the fuck

    Stop dammit I'm trying to get work done.

    • because you're using a free version of that plugin. pay to play.sted
    • How many plugins do you *need* for wp to run properly besides loginizer, akismet, and w3 total cache? How many do yours have?cherub
    • oh great, now I"m getting "Failed to update the database error. My site won't update at all"cherub
  • cherub-3

    Is it normal to be repulsed by the serif fonts?

    I try over and over to make myself use them and I never can.

    • The world of the serifed font is glorious, inspiring and challenging. It's a bit like blue. cheese, some folk just don't have the palate to appreciate it.Morning_star
    • I mean, there are designers who made careers only using sans serifs, but yeah, it's weird to be repulsed by them to the point you can't design with them.monospaced
    • I always associate serifs with uptight, conservative, boring.

      So, no. I don't use them.
    • With all due respect, you could make a strong case for sans serifs being the same.monospaced
    • ^^They give the same impression on me. Especially the uptight part. I get it tho, in a business context I guess that's the point.cherub
    • Serif fonts have started making a come back in the tech worldduckseason
    • Only lazy designers use fontsnb
    • New serif fonts are pretty exciting.Frosty_spl
  • Nairn-3

    I think this thread is a perfect example of why we don't tend to discuss actual design work on QBN.

    • Are you a fan of serifs? My bad. I love serifs, they rock.cherub
    • I like serifs but it's like any other design element that has to be used in the right context.CyBrainX
    • This is why we can't have nice things.palimpsest
    • woim sowwy pawwiNairn
  • hans_glib-1

    i use both serif and sans serif fonts all the time. not too sure what the issue is, unless you're trying to imitate "neue" (aka shite swiss knock-off) design

  • Ianbolton7

    Spent all week designing infographics about health, money, nature and whatever else this investment firm want to go on about. This morning, at 7am, I drove my girlfriend across the Pennines to Manchester airport as she's gone to Australia for 3 weeks. It took me 6 hours due to awful traffic and weather.

    Not sure what to do with my existence, as I'm now sitting here feeling tired and edgy as fuck staring deep into the abyss of QBN.

    • and we stare back into you, hun

    • Some meat, a bottle of wine... And voilà!!

      Take rest, man
    • Beer & weed is all you need!

      ; )
    • Have fun!stewart
    • GTFO of the flat and do something spontaneous - lively up yourselfcanoe
    • I feel the airport drive pains. Last time I dropped the missus off at SEATAC. 4 hour round trip. I LIVE SEVENTEEN MILES AWAY.garbage
    • Plenty of time to think about how productive this staycation will be. Ended up doing fuckall for 8 days. I'm sure the next one will be a creative storm.garbage
    • Oh, and icing on the cake: After several of these trips, her boss is like "You know we'll comp all of your airport Ubering, right?"garbage
    • Me:…garbage
    • Make a big list of shit you've been wanting to do, tick em off.garbage
  • dyspl3


    I remember being back from CDG airport after dropping my then girlfriend as she had a 9months contract in Singapore.
    I had quit my job and had zero money saved, zéro network, and zero free-lance coming my way.
    My GF mom called me a few days later to tell me she had cancer and not to tell anything to her daughter.

    I had those moments contemplating what to do with my life.

    Fast forward 15years later, we’re married, living together, her mom is doing good, and I have a job I love. It gets better eventually... we just have to eat our fair share of shit sandwich to get there.

  • nb0

    I need to teach Siri to pronounce a brand name correctly.

    Can this be done? I don’t need it for me personally. I need it for everyone. The brand has a unique spelling, it’s not a word in the dictionary

    • Sounds like you need a consultant with a PhD in Linguistics!canoe