Archive: Dec 2016

  1. How Much Should You Price For Redesigning A Badly Made Site?

    Leave a Comment 3 min read

    As a web designer you know that redesigning a website can be tricky, but re-designing a poorly made website can be even harder, so it’s only fair to say that your paycheck should reflect your effort.

    However, in any line of business, the topic of money is an awkward subject to approach, even more so when you are a freelancer. Often people who are either not too sure about what they should be charging or a little shy when money is involved are left underpaid and unhappy.

    It helps to know exactly how much you should be paid for a job and the difference in price for various types of jobs.

    In this article, you will see the common traits of a badly made site and how you should go about estimating your fee.

    Content Layout

    Few things are as crucial in determining how much traffic heads towards a website than the content layout. As a web designer, you will know that whenever you are asked to redesign a poorly made website more often than not one of the main problems will be an unorganised content layout.

    To figure out how much you should charge you need to get into specifics because redesigning a website’s content layout can be a vague task. Do they want you to simply rearrange what is already there to make it easier to use? Or do they want you do start from scratch and use their content to build a whole new layout? The latter takes a lot more time, so remember that your payment should reflect that.

    Getting rid of clutter

    Getting rid of clutter isn’t the hardest job for a web designer, but again the specifics are what you need to gauge how much you should be charging. For this, it all boils down to the amount of time you will spend doing the task before you give your client a fee figure out how long it will take you to tidy up one page. Then work out how much you charge for that amount of time and use that number as a basis for each page that you have to de-clutter.

    Fixing the background

    Much like re-organising the content layout, fixing the background of a website isn’t the most difficult task to complete, and it shouldn’t take you a lot of time. However, a common mistake web designers make is having a flat fee for this kind of work when in reality the fee for this job depends on the client. Instead of charging a flat price, ask your client how much they are willing to pay and use their response to gauge how much you are willing to charge.

    Fixing the colour and typography palette

    Another common facet of redesigning a website is making it legible by introducing clear fonts in colors that do not clash with the background. This type of task might not be difficult, but it does take a lot of time, patience, and a keen eye. To estimate how much you should charge for this kind of work you need to focus on time as well as effort. How bad are the pages that you have to change? How much text needs changing? How long will it take you to find the correct fonts and colors? Knowing the answers to these questions will give you a good idea of how much effort is involved as well as how much you should charge.

    Other than considering how much other people charge, how much you would charge if you were taking yourself on as a client and what your capabilities are as a web designer, the above guide gives you a good idea of the questions that you need to ask yourself before you estimate your fee. Take these questions into account the next time you need help figuring out your prices for redesigning a website.

  2. Impressive Brand Identity Designs

    Leave a Comment 4 min read

    Design has come a long way from simple forms of visual expression to one of the driving forces behind every industry. Once upon a time, illustrations served only as decorations for product packages and wrappings.

    Today, however, with the globalisation of different markets, the message sent and conveyed by design solutions is as important as the very quality of products. Since companies that go for unique and attractive design usually have stronger brands, it’s important to look up to the marvels of different industries, so as to generate smart branding strategies.

    Nonprofit niche

    The importance of nonprofit organisations is rising simultaneously as the Internet is spreading. This is why such entities need to emit care and comfort above everything else.

    Amnesty International

    Since yellow is the colour of happiness and optimism, it’s no wonder that AI have yellow and black as main colors in their logo. It reflects their major goals – offering people whose lives are in danger hope and direct solutions for their problems. Also, their website has three simple yet efficient visual solutions that call to action, aiming both at victims of different conflicts and people who are ready to help them.

    amnesty

    Greenpeace

    When you look at the Greenpeace colour scheme, it’s beautiful to see how well they’ve incorporated their mission into their visual identity. This combo of green and white emphasises their desire to preserve the nature and keep it pure and intact. Also, they work hard on increasing ecological awareness through social media campaigns.

    greenpeace
    greenpeace-1

    Due to their non-profit nature, those organisations should always keep their designs simple, but inviting. They will be more efficient in doing good deeds if they send universal visual messages. You can see more examples of how websites can be effective at raising their brand identity.

    Raising awareness

    When the world is as diversified and complex as it is, it’s necessary to divert people’s attention to important aspects of different communities. With the viral nature of the Internet, it’s much simpler to raise social awareness these days, than it was in the past. WWF is an example of an organisation that established its brand identity using highly-efficient campaigns.

    wwf-1

    Another example is the Cystic Fibrosis Trust that launched a successful identity campaign with “hinting at the presence of cystic fibrosis without actually showing or saying it.”

    trust

    Custom handwritten font by Nick Cooke and identity campaign developed by Johnson Banks.

    Small business

    The market of small businesses has undergone the most significant changes in the last few decades. It’s mainly so due to the rapid development of the Internet. Thanks to the availability of modern communication tools, small businesses can nowadays also use creative designers to come up with solutions that used to be reserved only for large companies.

    Treadwell

    the owners of this flooring small business, placed in Kansas City, decided to give their startup a touch of unique branding. Therefore, their designers decided that their logo should be dominated by a roughly sketched buffalo. It sends a clear message that you can rely on this sturdy and reliable flooring manufacturer. Also, the name clearly indicates that you can really walk hard and long on their floors.

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    Honeysuckle Oyster Farm

    When you have a look at the logo of this oyster producer, located in Martha’s Vineyard, you can see how important it is to associate the colors to the type of business. A perfect blend of vintage blue and grey, this rounded logo with a drawing of an oyster in the middle communicates tradition. This generates loyalty in their old customers and invites new ones to get oysters from them.

    honeysuckle

    Also, small businesses should target their local market with leaflets and different giveaways. Most effective are those that are reusable and serve a purpose like high-storage custom USBs, t-shirts, keychains. Of course, with their logos and taglines printed on those freebies.

    Industry marvels

    The need for outstanding branding solutions doesn’t wear off even when you’ve already grown into a global brand and built your identity. On the contrary, industry marvels should continue creating inventive redesigns and campaigns, as well. Often, just a slight logo redesign can help maintain and improve the brand identity of industry giants. Johnnie Walker is the perfect example. This whiskey brand has always aimed at distinguished clients. However, new times dictate new targets, resulting in some logo changes. Johnnie’s tradition is preserved and amplified with the “Keep walking” tagline. What’s different are the figure of the gentleman and the letters. The former is drawn with thinner, sleeker lines. The latter are typed and not handwritten – a move towards the millennial audience.

    johnny_walker_logo_evolution

    Big or small, local or global, you have to make your brand stand out from the crowd in every way possible. Now that everybody uses computers and gadgets, people are mostly exposed to visuals. This is why visual communication is the key feature of every successful brand. Therefore, businesses have to incorporate visual design and brand communication into their business strategies. This will, in return, yield recognition, respect and loyalty.

  3. When to Turn Your Freelance Business into a Web Design Agency

    Leave a Comment 3 min read

    You’ve been a freelancer for a while, things are going well, and you’re contemplating making a big change. Starting your own web design agency is a huge step to take, but if you have the opportunity, it’s certainly worth considering.

    If you see yourself successfully managing a group of people and you feel competent enough in your expertise to guide them, you’re probably considering taking the plunge. Before you do, you need to make sure the timing is right and you’ve satisfied a list of vital considerations.

    When Your Portfolio is Stellar

    You’ve been spending all of this time building a portfolio that will make clients want to work with you. What you probably haven’t thought about is building a portfolio that will make others want to work with you. It’s a vastly different setup. You want other designers to be able to look at your portfolio and appreciate the nuances of your vision. You want them to appreciate your work to the degree that they’d love to be doing the same thing, and they’ll be willing to partner with you in order to do it.

    When You’ve Built Up an Impressive Client List

    All freelancers start out with budget clients. Some of them will go on to do better things, and others will inevitably fold. Look over the list of clients you’ve worked with since you’ve started freelancing – especially your repeat clients. How many of them have gone on to be successful? This counts doubly so for clients that heavily rely on their websites, such as international companies or eCommerce businesses. When you see a fair amount of big names that love your work, you’ll know you have the right connections to branch out.

    When You’re Getting Great Job Offers You Can’t Take

    The budget is wonderful, and you know you’re able to satisfy a client’s criteria. You can’t take the job, because you’re already swimming in work. It’s almost heartbreaking to turn down those offers, but you’d need a 48 hour day to be able to handle that kind of workload. If the business is rolling in and you can’t handle it on your own, hiring subcontractors is a great solution. If you start by doing that and find out that it works well, you might want to become your own agency.

    When You’re Making Ends Meet on Your Own

    Think about your lifestyles. Are all your bills getting paid? Can you afford to treat your friends to a night out every once in a while? Would you consider your financial situation to be stable? Are you satisfied with the way your savings account looks? Ideally, you’ll want to start your web design agency at a time when there’s little financial risk. It could be bumpy for the first few months, and you need to be sure you’re ready to handle that.

    When You Have Enough Designers in Your Network

    It’s all about who you know. In this case, you need to know designers you could actually see yourself working with. Taking it all on by yourself might feel overwhelming. What about using a trusted colleague as a cofounder? Expanding your network to encompass other designers you can vet as potential employees is a great idea. Keep an eye on these designers for a few months before you extend job offers to them. You may not want to risk your reputation by hiring just anyone. Make sure you have a potential dream team.

    Not all freelancers start out with the idea in their head that they may someday found their own agency, but when it happens, it’s one of the most fulfilling things that can possibly occur. Everything starts with baby steps, so take all the time you need to get things in order before you embark on your journey.