Tag Archives: designer

Well – I got it…

30 Aug

Now I’m just waiting for the actual offer to come through.  Guess I didn’t bomb the interview like I thought I did.  Mind you – there were 7 interviews plus a group portfolio review, so maybe, even though I forgot to say those things (look at previous post), it still must have shined through.  Now fingers crossed that the offer comes swiftly and is a good one.  🙂

So what have you all been up to lately?  Any cool projects you’re working on (either professionally or on the side)?

I had a neat opportunity yesterday to be a guest speaker/guest teacher for a design college here in Seattle.  Had a blast, as I typically do when I get the opportunity to work with students.  But it led me to think about a few things.  Continue reading

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Possible Design Trend for 2009?

2 Feb
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My Building in Seattle 🙂

So I’m on my way into work this morning.  My commute consists of about an hour and 45 minutes of driving at the butt crack of dawn to get to downtown  Seattle by 7:15 am.  But honestly, I love it.  it gives me a chance to wake up, to listen to the radio and hear what’s goin on in the world, and to look at all the ads and billboards and things you see as you get into the big city.  As a designer, I can’t help but look at what forms of communication other designers are making public.  But this morning, was a bit unusual.  Seems just about everybody changed their ads this weekend.  And I’m seeing things up for the Seattle Home Show, for insurance agencies etc etc.  One common theme ?? You bet ya.  Old school.  A bit retro.  And definitely “Homey”.

Seattle Home Show Ad

Seattle Home Show Ad

Then on my radio station they were discussing how tame the superbowl has gotten.  Pregame shows, Half times, the commercials… Now let me add something – i didn’t watch any of it this year – was sicker than a dog.   So… based on my radio station, the superbowl has gone Disney.  They were saying it was a lack of general creativity. … but perhaps the graphic designers, and advertisers are on a different kick.  With the american economy doing what it’s doing, perhaps it’s trying to bring back a bit of nostalgia- the good ol days.  I will be paying close attention to whether this really becomes a trend.. I think it will be interesting

Business Cards : The good, the bad, and the ugly

24 Jan

businesscards

I’ve attended many local trade show for homeowners. I enjoy collecting business cards when I’m there – not necessarily because I’m going to use these companies for their services, but because they can make great inspiration as to what works and what doesn’t with a business card.  I think i’ve got over 2000 that i’ve collected over the years that stood out to me, and have used them in presentations and seminars to show some real life examples of what makes a successful card.  Looking through them, I notice that the majority of them weren’t the greatest cards. So many people have a hard time selling their products or their services to people. Why on earth would you short change yourself by having poorly made or outdated cards to hand out? Give yourself the added confidence when representing your business by making sure that you don’t commit any business card design
[keep reading »]
faux pas.

1. you’re at the end of a stack and you’ve changed your phone number or address… so you cross out the old information and write over the top. (see bottom left)… no no no…. bad idea. I know it’s quick and simple for you… but later, this comes across as sloppy, unprepared and unprofessional. If something changes, so should your card. Period.

2. Overfilling your card(see top left)… ok yea, name, address, phone, website, email address… those are certainly important. But stick with ONE logo and make sure you don’t overfill your card with either information or graphics that are unnecessary. The point of a card is to give information in a clear, clean, short but sweet message.

3. Colors (see top right) – colors are great, but be careful. Not only will you up the printing costs, but if you clash as well as these guys, you’re not doing yourself or your profits any favors. Stick to two, maybe 3 colors when printing… unless you include a well thought out photo (do not stretch, do not pixelate). Also keep in mind that by adding color, you’re giving your card a better chance at being noticed.

4. Cost – going for the cheapest you can find. Yea when you’re starting a business, you try to keep costs down. But this is something you’re giving to a client. It is a direct extension of who you are and what you’re business can do for them. If you give out a flimsy card with a poor design, what are you saying about your business? Paper quality, gloss, even specialty cuts are the added things that will cost money, but are definitely worth it. They help your card stick out among the others.

A business card is your business’s identity… if it’s bland, boring, or poorly designed you end up losing the appeal and therefore losing a sale. A business has a personality, a feel to it, and your identity should reflect that.

Now does that mean to go and make the snazziest best design EVER?!  no – not exactly – you can certainly overdo it.  And an overly designed card can backfire just as bad as a poorly designed one.  Keep your audience in mind – what will attract THEM?

How to establish Business Credit

5 Jan
How to Establish Business Credit

How to Establish Business Credit

Establishing Business Credit

Establishing business credit is tough, especially for a new business. But remember: It CAN be done, and it’s easier than you think. Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to an excellent credit profile.

Here is what I have learned:

~Set up a Corp business. Smart to protect yourself and the only type of business that allows you to keep your business credit and personal credit seperate. LLCs and Sole are okay for contract work or property investment, but you still should get a Corp to manage them.

~Once you get your EIN, through registrastion, set up your business phone. You will need to make sure it is at an address not the same as your home (because it is not looked upon favorably by the lending world) and the phone will need to be registered in the 411 directory. Quite a few have had success with calling the local phone company and getting a call forwarding number. It is a business number that automatically forwards to any desired phone. Make sure it will list with 411 before signing up however.

~After receiving your first phone bill, go to http://www.staples.com and fax in copy of application along with copy of phone bill to apply for business credit. Use professional letterhead for coversheet. You should receive the standard $750 credit line with no personal guarentee (herein referred to as “PG”).

~Also during this time go to http://www.dnb.com and register your business to receive a D&B number. It will take 30-40 days to receive it in the mail. If you want to establish business credit sooner, you can pay for the credit builder ($399), but it’s not required. After you have at least 5 business accounts reporting, you’ll receive a paydex rating (similiar to FICO for personal credit).

*REMEMBER – a paydex score will only take into account your payment history. Unlike personal credit, this is counted in days. For example, if you pay your invoices 14 days late, it will be reported as such. If you pay your account off before the statement or invoice comes, it will be reported as such. The bottom line: Pay your invoices on time, and you will get a better paydex score.

~Set up the following business accounts, and make at least one purchase, you want to pay this off BEFORE the first statement hits:

*1. UPS – http://www.ups.com

2. FedEx CONTACT Revenue Services Department 1-800-622-1147 press 4 then 1

3. Barnes & Noble CONTACT Purchase order department 1-212-414-6000

4. Quill Corporation 100 So Schelter Lincolnshire, IL 60069 CONTACT Credit Department 1-8…

*5. Viking 8200 East 32nd St No. Wichitas, KS 67226 CONTACT Credit Department 1-8…

6. Rapid Forms 301 Grove Rd Thorofare, NJ 08086 CONTACT Billing Departement 1-80…

*7. Nebs – http://www.nebs.com

*11. Office Depot http://www.officedepot.com Apply online

(*- Really easy to get)

~Need a cell phone? Once you have a EIN and D&B# apply for a business account. Usually T-Mobile is the easiest to get credit with, but I’ve heard that Sprint, cingular, and Verizon are easy to get as well. Nextel? Good phone, but you have to jump through a lot of hoops, and you usually have to put down a deposit.

~If you have at least 30-45 days to use, the following companies automatically report to D&B creating your business file:

-FedEx

-UPS

-Staples

-Viking

-Nebs

-Office Depot

~Once you have a paydex score of 75+, you can apply for Lines of Credit (herein referred to as “LOC”) or business Credit Cards without any sort of PG. The cards/accounts desired are:

Enterprise Rent a Car (Corp. Rental) http://www.enterprise.com

Wells Fargo Bank (Visa/Mastercard) http://www.wellsfargo.com

Bank of America (Visa) http://www.bankofamerica.com

American Express (Green/Gold) http://www.americanexpress.com

Chevron http://www.chevron.com

Mobil http://www.mobil.com

MBNA Bank http://www.mbna.com

Wells Fargo (Line of Credit) http://www.wellsfargo.com

Bank of America (Line of Credit) http://www.bankofamerica.com

Union Bank (Line of Credit) http://www.unionbank.com

Cal Fed http://www.calfed.com

United California Bank http://www.unitedcalbank.com

Most companies will not ask to see financials for loans of 50k or less.

I hope this helps, and I wish the best of luck to you in your pursuit of credit

Best Buy – Status; 1-800-811-7276
Borders (734) 477-1039 – Fax Application (877) 254-9229 – Status Update
BP/Amoco Status Update (800)365-6204
Chevron/Texaco Business Card Status Update (888) 243-8358
Citgo Fleet; (734) 477-1039 – Fax Application (877) 254-9229 – Status Update
Citi AA: 888-662-7759
Citibank Status:800-645-7240, 800-288-4653, 800-750-7453
Conoco – Status Line, automated 1-866-289-5622
Experian Business:888-211-0728
ExxonMobil Business Card(800) 903-9966
HD Commercial800-685-6691
HDMC Sondee 877-969-9030.
Home Depot MC:877-969-9039 (Sondee/Sedonia?)
Key Bank:800-254-2737
Lowes – Status; 1-800-445-6937
Lowes – Underwriter;1-866-232-7443
Lowes Fraud/UW: 800-444-1408
MBNA – 1-800-673-1044
Meijers MC (801) 517-5560
Office Depot – Staus Line, automated 1-800-767-1358
Office Depot;800-767-1358, 800-729-7744 automated line to check status.
Office Max – Status Line, atomated 1-800-283-7674
OFFICEMAX STATUS: (800) 283-7674
Philips 66: 866-289-5630, 800-610-1961
Phillips 801-779-7369
Radio Shack;1-800-442-7221
Sam’s UW:800-301-5546, 866-246-4282
Sears – Status; 1-800-599-9710
Shell Fleet Card Status Update(800) 223-3296
Shell: 800-223-3296, 866-438-7435
Shell; 800-377-5150
Staples – Status Line, automated 1-800-767-1275
Staples: 800-767-1291, 800-282-5316
Sunoco Corporate Card(800) 935-3387,(800) 278-6626
Sunoco: 800-310-4773
Target: 800-440-5317
Tiffany:800-770-0800
VALERO (800)324-8464 ACCOUNT STATUS
Valero;1-877-882-5376
Walmart;800-301-5546, underwriting 877-294-7548
Wright Express; 888-743-3893

These links will take you to the application page, or a page that has the application link on it.
• Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com
• Best Buy – http://www.bestbuy.comhttp://www.bestbuybusiness.com
• Citgo Fleet – http://www.citgo.com
• Conoco / Phillips 66 / 76 – http://www.conoco.com
• Dell Computers – http://www.dell.com
• FedEx / Kinkos – http://www.fedexkinkos.com
• Home Depot – http://www.homedepot.com
• HD Expo – http://www.expo.com
• Home Depot Master Card – http://www.homedepot.com
• Lowes Commercial – http://www.lowes.com
• Nebs.com – http://www.nebs.com
• Office Depot – http://www.officedepot.com
• Office Max – http://www.officemax.com
• Quill.com – http://www.quill.com
• Rapid Fuel – http://www.rapidfuel.com
• Shell Fleet – http://www.shell.com
• Staples – http://www.staples.com
• Sunoco Corporate – http://www.sunoco.com
• TechDepot – http://www.tectdepot.com
• TigerDirect – http://www.tigerdirect.com
• Uline – http://www.uline.com
• Wright Express – http://www.wrightexpress.com

The value in learning how to recieve a critique…

29 May

ART

As a designer, and an artist, I get asked all the time to critique other people’s work.  I enjoy doing it.  But the one thing I have learned over the years… if you ask someone for a critique.. do yourself a favor and ACTUALLY listen to what they have to say.  Now that doesn’t mean that a critique should be taken as gold… it is an opinion.  The best way to handle critiques.. listen, don’t argue and don’t offer excuses.  Thank the person who’s advice you were given and go home or take a break and filter through it.  If they offered you 5 things to fix.. that doesn’t mean you need to fix all 5 things, but you should at least TRY to consider 1 or two..especially if you’re hearing the same critiques from multiple people.

I can’t tell you the amount of times i’ve had people offer excuses, arguments etc etc.  Now of course there is a fine line to this… as artists, we all have our own style, and maybe the person who’s just critiqued you doesn’t have the same style or taste as your own.  So keep that in mind.  When you’re looking for someone to critique your work, make sure to look at their own work, figure out what styles they like.  I am not a pink fan.. so anyone coming to me with a pink project they want critiqued will probably get less enthusiasm than if it were another color.

I hope you all have been healthy, happy and well…. will probably post up some of our latest works in a little bit.

Have a good one!

Jen
JW Design Center
http://www.jwdesigncenter.com

It’s not personal… it’s Business.

3 Mar

blue-business-man.jpg  There is not another line out there that is more bullshit than that. And i’ve heard it more times than I can count. My business IS personal… i don’t care what anyone says. And it darn well should be! Where, as entrepeneurs do we pour our hearts, souls, sweat, blood, tears, TIME? Into our business. Our businesses become our babies. We become instinctively protective over them. We become proud of them… they are like children. So WHY would we say something like business is NOT personal? Continue reading

A Legion of Gamers and a world of art…

11 Jan

Ok, I know.. this is a little out of topic for me, but it’s caught my interest and I wanted to blog about it.  Gamers.  The whole gaming industry is huge.  Many designers hope to brave that world and have the opportunity to work on something.  And yea, we get to know the games, but how often do we really get to know the gamers themselves?  I’ve taken on a pro-bono case at work, my first probono case ever let me add 🙂 and it’s been a lot of fun so far.  The site.. http://www.legiongamers.net (still under construction so be careful).  It’s a group of guys and gals who are getting together to build a playground for gamers.  It’s a forum for all games where people are there to help eachother.  They cover new games like Hellgate London to console games and even some of the older games.  They hope to become a team.  A legion.  I’m sure it’s been done before, but the heart and soul that streams from these folks is really evident when you talk with them.  I feel for them too … as starting a forum can be tough!  You have to not only bring in traffic but you also have to get people talking!  It’s only been up for a day and a half (http://www.legiongamers.net/phpBB3/index.php) but the forum already has a bunch of members.  I’m excited for this group of gamers… I hope very much that their site succeeds and that they share that heart and soul with the rest of the world as they grow.  They really made my day.

I’m their designer.  The site is a work in progress… so keep that in mind if you do decide to visit 🙂  I’d love suggestions add on’s and thoughts too!

J.