Over the past 10 years there have been hundreds and possibly thousands of new web design blogs launching online. A small handful of these blogs are still online today, and an even smaller number are still publishing great content. As we move into 2013 it seems like a good idea to dig into the design industry and collect some of the best resources for helpful information.
In this gallery I have put together the top 100 online magazines & blogs for web designers, in no particular order. The topics range from web design to Photoshop tutorials, freebies, user experience design, and even web development techniques. I do sincerely hope this gallery may be useful for many years to come these blogs grow in popularity.
In my list of all-time favorite blogs 24 Ways has my top vote. Many of their articles focus on obscure web development techniques which are not handled in depth anywhere else. Think of topics such as character encoding, Bootstrap tutorials, complex CSS3 media queries, and lots of other good ideas. Definitely recommend skimming their headlines because you may be surprised at the high-quality content in their articles.
Put yourself in this scenario. You are invited to several job interviews, much of them for the kind of jobs you have only dreamed about getting. The kind you jokingly told your friends about when you figured out what you wanted to be when you grew up. You want to impress your future clients. Personally, you are filled with confidence for what you do having been to the best schools, and have spent many years perfecting your profession. You eat, sleep, and breathe the job that you do. Getting ready for the interviews, you realize you haven’t been to anything formal in a very long time. Your old moth eaten clothes wont come back into style for a few more decades. Money has been a little tight right now, I mean lets face it, schooling is expensive. That’s why the thought of washing your dandruff salt and pepper hair, getting a haircut, and buying a nice quality suite are things you are more than willing to do, because if you get this job, it will set you free financially. And you know if you show up looking like old, smelly, Rip Van Winkle, you will get escorted from the party faster than it took you to find directions on Google Maps. The only thing your potential employer is going to know of you is your lack of personal hygiene, not your outstanding qualities for the job he was going to offer you.
To most of us, we know the importance of first impressions, and going to a job opportunity under dressed is something we would never do. However, did you know if your website is dressed with an ugly out of date, eye sore logo design, you are in fact showing up to many job opportunities like the man from the scenario? Everyone who visits your website, could be that one contact that would be able to give you the job that you have always wanted, but at the same time could immediately be turned off from their first impression your logo gave about your business. Whether your business is a multi-million franchise, or your basic ‘Ma and Pa’ family company, it always helps to look professional in all angles of your profession. Here are some quick basic, yet vital tips to know about what makes an attractive logo design. We will compare them with logo’s that don’t have these elements, you be the judge!
Sometimes less is more. Most great logos are very simple.
One of the benefits of working as a freelance designer is that you can work with clients all around the world. Location isn’t the same type of barrier that it is with most traditional businesses. However, because of the possibility to work with clients in just about any location, most designers do not market themselves to clients in their local area.
With the amount of competition that exists from other freelancers and design agencies, one way of standing out and potentially increasing your workload is to specifically target clients in your local area. This can be effective both in terms of offline marketing as well as search engine optimization.
If you would like to pick up more clients in your local area here are some tips.
1. Make it Evident on Your Portfolio Site
Having an effective portfolio site is an essential contributing factor to the success of almost any designer or design business. If you are targeting local clients, in order for your portfolio site to be effective it must address the needs of this audience. One of the first steps towards attracting more work from local clients is helping them to feel comfortable with you and showing them that you are interested in working with them.
For targeting local clients your portfolio site should clearly state where you are located and what services you can provide to clients in the area. Some clients will not care where you are located, but others will feel more comfortable with a designer that they know lives and works nearby. When these people arrive at your portfolio site they should clearly see that you are interested in working with local businesses.
Last week we published the post Keys to Getting Your First Web Design Clients. As I was writing that post a while ago I was thinking back to my own experiences and wondering how the experiences of other designers compared. I decided to reach out to a number of designers and ask their input about how they landed their first clients.
For those of you who are just getting started, I hope this will serve as some encouragement as you will see that a successful design career can start from very humble beginnings. In total there are responses from 18 designers to the question:
How did you find your first client?
Danny Outlaw – Outlaw Design Blog
Being the cereal entrepreneur that I am, I was probably my own first client. Rather then building dummy sites to add to my portfolio when I first got started, I built websites for my own little online projects. As far as real first customers go, I got mine from browsing Craigslist. At the time, I didn’t really know where else to look for entry level design projects. It isn’t the ideal place to find design work from, but it is one of the places where many of the people looking for designers are on a tight budget. This translates to mean that they are usually much more willing to try out new talent.
Ryan Putnam is an amazingly talented designer and illustrator. Many of you are probably familiar with his popular Illustrator tutorials at Vectortuts and his own blog, Vectips. Ryan also provides services to clients through Rype Arts, and I recently had the opportunity to ask him some questions about design and business.
I recently had the privilege of interviewing Daimon Caulk, Principal of Modal, Inc. Daimon and his team produce great work and his responses in this interview provide excellent insight for the rest of us. I hope you find it to be helpful and that you enjoy getting to know more about Daimon.
Most designers and developers follow at least a few blogs from the design industry, but podcasts and video podcasts offer even more opportunities for learning and for staying up-to-date in the industry. In this post we’ll feature more than 30 podcasts and video podcasts that are excellent resources for designers, developers and freelancers.
A popular weekly podcast from Paul Boag that covers a variety of topics relevant to designers and developers.
Freelance designers are faced with the challenge of constantly finding new work and converting inquiries into paying clients. There are plenty of different ways that you can market your services, but sometimes the most effective ways involve passive marketing.
In this article we will be looking at ten different ways you can passively market your services to potential clients. This includes some methods that involve work up front and then little to no work to continue marketing your services, as well as some methods that are passive in the sense that you are not actively pursuing clients or trying to advertise your services.
1. An Effective Portfolio Site
The portfolio site is a critical aspect to marketing for freelancers. One of the reasons that a great portfolio site can be so effective is that it will always be there to market your services to potential visitors. Regardless of what time of day it is or where the potential client lives, a strong portfolio site will promote your services for you. The portfolio site should showcase your best work, clearly communicate to visitors what you can offer, and allow them to get in touch with you about their project.
For more on portfolio websites, please see these resources: