angry graphic designer

8

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theghostbat  asked:

Hi, I plan on opening a small business in the not so distant future and I was wondering if you might have any advice?

Constantly experiment and do not look back in regret. You won’t know what you’re doing 100% of the time. No one does. Every business is unique and every business goes through unique periods. Sometimes it is a day, sometimes it is a year. Learn, grow, try things, keep what works, remove what does not.

Spend money wisely. Tech first. Then design. Then better tech then polish your design. Every time I say this I get angry graphic designers arguing with me and I literally do not care. Maybe this will be the golden moment when I do not.

Open Program, Type Your Company Name, Pick Helvetica as the font. You have a Logo Version 1.0. If you do not have Helvetica, use Arial. When you have money, get Logo Version 2.0.

Have an idea what you want and what you can do. Are you building the next corner shop that makes neat stuff? Are you making the next Amazon.com? Both are valid, but the trajectories are entirely different. I struggled with this a lot for a pile of years. “We should be doing XYZ! Because! It is a thing?” Do what is right for you.

Be straight forward with your vendors. They’ll screw up. You’ll have miscommunications. Be straight forward. Get things in writing, get comps before you outlay cash, if something goes wrong – speak up. Politely but firmly. Build relationships. Give them realistic timelines and budgets. If you cannot, adjust your projects.

Pay everyone. If you do not have cash, find something of equal value you can do. The equal evaluation is based on what they consider “equal,” not you. Practice does not count. Exposure does not count. The barter system is alive and well and works if everyone gets something of greater value than they are giving up.

Do not work for practice or exposure. Ever. For anyone. Cash or goods or services only. You decide what is equal because you’re the one working sans cash.

If they have a thing you want or can do a thing you cannot and need – this is valuable. If not, this is not a good transaction.

Cut throat competition is bullshit. FRIENDLY rivalries are good. Friends are better. You may someday be a captain of industry looking to slaughter your enemies for a 0.001% of the marketshare but right now you are not. Ergo, you and everyone who Does Things Like You are all competing for slices of a gigantic pie. There is enough for everyone. And if there isn’t, diversify your offerings until there is.

Practice.

Have fun.

Remember why you’re doing this. “I want to work for myself,” cool you’re going to have to work Z hours. “I want to earn some extra cash,” cool you’re going to have to earn 50% of Z hours. “I want to make neat things,” cool you’re going to make things when you want. Your goals will change (see above EXPERIMENT).

Your timeframe is your lifetime or until you say “nope” or “pause.” Sometimes an idea takes 6 months. Sometimes it takes 20 years. It doesn’t matter.

You’re making a thing that has no roadmap. If it feels like it is taking too long to do, what are you comparing it to? That other thing you made from nothing?

Take a lot of notes. Rewrite them so the pieces that make sense weave closer together, file away the pieces that do not.