250+ Lines Brushes for Photoshop

Photoshop brushes can be a great time saving resource an they can make it much easier to create attractive designs. From time-to-time we showcase the best Photoshop brush sets of various kinds, and today we’re focusing on lines brushes. This post features 16 excellent, free sets totaling over 250 brushes for creating lines.

Distorted Lines Brushes (1 brush)

Distorted Lines Brushes

Showcase of Big Typography in Web Design

Typography is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of web and graphic design. A current trend in web design is to use oversized text, often in headers. In this post we’ll showcase 30 websites that make excellent use of big, beautiful typography.

Jon Brosseau

10 Steps to a Stronger Professional Network

Networking is a critical part of building a successful freelance business. A strong network can lead to more referral business, better recognition within the industry, new opportunities, and much more. Although it isn’t the type of work that directly produces income for a freelance designer, networking should be a priority that warrants some time and attention.

In this post we’ll look at 10 things you can do if you’re looking to improve the strength of your network. This may be helpful for those who are just getting started in their careers or for people who simply want to make more of an effort to build a better network.

1. Know What You Have to Offer

One of the most common mistakes made in networking is only focusing on what you can get out of the relationship. Networking is a two-way street and must be beneficial for both people in order for it to have any long-term success. If you are focused only on what other people can do for you and on getting connected to people that can help you, you’ll be missing out on great opportunities to build strong relationships by helping others.

As you work to get to know other professionals and build your network, be sure that you know specifically what it is that you have to offer other people. As a web designer you have valuable skills and experience that many professionals would like to have as a part of their network, and your existing connections may also be very valuable to the people that you meet.

30 High Quality Illustrator Icon Design Tutorials

Well-designed icons can make a website more attractive and easier to use. While there are a lot of quality free icons available and stock icons that can be purchased, there may be situations where you want or need to design your own. In this post we’ll feature 30 tutorials that show you how to create beautiful icons in Adobe Illustrator.

How to Create a Vector Sketchbook

How to Create a Vector Sketchbook

Guide to Localizing Your Design Business

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.

25 Flash Portfolio Sites for Your Design Inspiration

Portfolio sites for designers and photographers that need to showcase their best work and land new clients. The level of  creativity is often higher on portfolio sites as it would be on other types of sites, and Flash-based sites allow many designers to explore their creative ideas.

Recent improvements in the SEO capabilities of Flash, along with improved connection speeds of the average internet user, have made it more practical for designers to use Flash-based sites for their portfolio sites.

In this post we’ll showcase 25 Flash-based portfolios for your design inspiration, plus a few Flash portfolio templates.

Thom Bennett

Thom Bennett

Comment to Win a Free License for FlashMoto CMS

FlashMoto has offered to give a free license of their CMS to one lucky DesignM.ag reader. If you’re not familiar with FlashMoto it is a Flash CMS that allows users to easily manage the content of their Flash website. You can edit existing pages, add new pages, insert and manage image galleries, video and more.

FlashMoto

Group Interview: How Did You Find Your First Client?

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.