Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Learning and Designing

Keeping busy is important. Whether running a small business or working in an office. Now a days with the economy the way it is, working overtime seems to be common place. So for Student it's also as important to stay busy. So what to keep busy with? As students we know that education provides us with information and direction as to what design is about and what we need to do. So...I think there can never be enough of that is. Getting a BA in Graphics is fine and a Masters makes us that much more able to provide and produce.

Technology has given us the internet and with that various platforms and venues to share, create and learn. I'm about to finish an Online program from the Art Institute of Pittsburg in Digital Design as so have experienced learning via internet. A lot different from the classroom. I'm able to have access 24 hours a day to lectures and other class related material. I share documents and compositions with other schoolmates with ease. Because I'm getting use to this it has lead me to look for other things Graphic Art.

 Recently I received an email about a Webinar.  Corel is offering it Tues Feb 23...and there is no cost.

This kind of event is important because it will keep us on the cutting edge and to be able to respond to client needs with the proper solution.  Now we are student so what clients am I talking about?  The clients I am referring to are the ones that will require your services when you graduate or even before.  If you are savvy, getting an internship is a really good way to figure out what's going on and what you have to do.  If you do get one your knowledge of technical things will prove you to be a welcome addition. 
Also YouTube is a great place to find Video Tutorial for most all Adobe Software as well as Web Design tools such as Joomla.  One really good place to find instruction on is LayersTV.  We rarely learn all that there is to know about the Adobe product in the classes we take and so there we are with this powerful application with so many features however only discussing the basics in class.  In my next post I'll be talking about "Filling In" what class work doesn't provide.  I think it is so important because the software offers so much more than we really realize.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Always Sign A Written Contractual Agreement

Before beginning any job that is more than a favor for a friend, please seal the deal with a written contract outlining in detail the job description, all specs, transfer of rights and terms. It is very important to speak to your client and discuss all the details of the job including deadline and their budget so that you can devise a written contract and come up with an estimate for a fee based on their needs. Try not to settle on just a verbal agreement, they do not hold up in court when your client does not pay you. Even saved email messages are better than verbal agreements.

In the contract, note that this is a written agreement between you, the Artist and the Client. It would be wise to outline the following on your company logo, with contact information at top:
The client's contact information, name, address, tele number
Job date, Job number
Job description of kind of project (whether it is a brochure, postcard, letterhead, sign, website, etc.) with dimensions, folding, colors (4/4 or 4/0), on type of paper, amount to be printed
Job deadline and other due dates such as when all supported material will be supplied from client, sketches due, comps due, final due, print date
Fees for each project and how Payment should be made (I like either the 50% upfront, 50% when final is approved or 1/3 payments methods)
Usage and terms: to include copyright transfers, whether it's once, for a limited amount of time, North American Serial Rights, International or all rights (a buy-out, which demands a substantially higher fee from the Client for the Artist), etc.
Terms can include how original files are handled (usually given for an extra cost), how many sketches and revisions are included and the cost for any additional work, additional usage on other materials or media, any expenses related to the job (materials, travel, printing, etc), cancellation terms (usually I take 50% after sketches have been approved and 100% of fee if the project was canceled after the final design was approved no matter what the reason), how the Artist will be credited on the piece, copyright notice, determine the ownership of the designs or illustrations, release of your responsibility towards an lawsuit against your client for any undesirable business practices and arbitration should you take your Client to court if you do not get paid. The amount that you could go to court for varies with each person and situation, however, to me, it is not worth it for me to hire a lawyer for any job under $1,000.
Signatures. Have both you and your Client or representative hand sign the contract in person.

These are the most important features that your contract should be constructed with. For further information on how to set up a contract, look at the most recent Graphic Artists' Guild Pricing and Ethical Guidelines which can be purchased from the Guild or any Barnes and Noble. The PEGs will have samples and also give you rates and prices to base your own rates for many different kinds of projects. Other books are also written specifically for Graphic Designer's, Illustrators or Fine Artists by art lawyer, Tad Crawford and contain many, many sample contracts and letters of agreements that you can base your own from are available in bookstores.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nancy Sampson's Websites

Visit  my official portfolio website
The Nancydraws Shop where I sell my prints and greeting cards:

“In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” —Albert Camus

Monday, February 1, 2010

Apple's Cool New iPad

Love it! Did you see it on It is the combination of a Windows Netbook and a Kindle with all the accomodations of the iPod Touch. Need I say more? Read books, watch movies on a 9.7" screen, listen to music... When it comes to deciding between a Mac and a PC, for me, it is Apple all the way, hands down. A Mac will offer the best in easy navigation through its systems, highest speed and incredible performance and durability. It is very visual and logical, unlike any Windows application. No extra junk or viruses, which means less trips to the shop for restoring the hard drive or erasing viruses which are almost non-existant. I have been blessed with 15 years of quality Apples and no lemons. The design on all Apple products is sexy and cool. And they run so smoothly. Look forward to trying out the iPad, yes! Definitely. Is it a necessity? no, not really - more of a novelty than anything. I need a new Apple laptop and am happy with my iphone (altho can't wait til ATT's contract is up and someone else like Verizon steps in). But if you thought about getting a Kindle and wanted a Netbook or MacBook or new iPod, try waiting for the iPad. At it's introductory price of $499 it is a good buy. Take a bite of an Apple and fall in love...