Updates

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28 May 2018

Building Domain Expertise in what you do.


Article Description

My personal goal as a designer is to become a master of my craft. I’m a brand identity designer who focuses on mapping business goals to design strategy. I help businesses reach their goals with their communication and products to craft the visual approach to their brand.

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20 May 2018

Design Principle 4 — Typefaces and how to use them


Article Description

What I will be covering in this guide is not about specific typefaces, which typefaces are better when paired, or choosing what font files to use. We are talking about being able to effectively choose what typeface you want to use solely by the characteristics of it.

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19 May 2018

The compass guide to designing your own custom lapel pins


Article Description

A few months back, we had a chance to look at the ways that you can design and order your own custom vinyl stickers. Now, though I’m not a print designer by trade, a lot of you messaged me back saying that it was “Super helpful” for them.

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14 May 2018

Switching to value base pricing


Article Description

there are very few businesses that actually value design. What they value is achieving their goals and getting business results, with some widely unaware what good design (or any effort towards design at all) can do for their business.

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06 May 2018

How to find the access point of your niche


Article Description

Last week we took a better look at how you can find a unique market for the work you do. Hopefully, that post was able to drum up some ideas of what audiences you are most equipped to work with out there

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30 Apr 2018

How to find and access your niche


Article Description

A two part series of how to figure out who to market your skills to as a freelancer or agency.

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23 Apr 2018

Changing the question of — “how do I find better clients?”


Article Description

Finding great clients has never been easy I’ve been riding my third year of freelance design. With nearly fifteen clients that I’ve worked with over those two “completed” years, I have learned that finding great clients is not easy.

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19 Apr 2018

How I build the UX of my Projects


Article Description

This documentation is just part of the initial first steps of the UXdesign process, so you should know that what you see here today may be different tomorrow which will be rebuilt and refined to the final product.

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16 Apr 2018

Design is better with friends


Article Description

Just a lighthearted talk today about the connections we make as designers. We started talking about this a few weeks back in the design community and I figured I’d share my experience with you all here too.

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09 Apr 2018

Rise of the T skill designer


Article Description

While we have been fighting over whether or not to become a specialist or a generalist, there’s been another designer that’s been taking the cake.

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02 Apr 2018

Design is “about the details,” just don’t ignore the bigger picture


Article Description

Details are a huge part of what makes a design go from good to great and from great to excellent. We love to be meticulous about the smallest details of our designs. But after spending all of that time going over everything, it feels “off”… Ever wondered why your designs just don’t look right?

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26 Mar 2018

A Compass guide to designing custom stickers - Vinyl Stickers


Article Description

One of the fun things about being a branding designer is that not everything has to be so literal, or even formal, when designing the brand of a company.

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18 Mar 2018

The power of consistency in branding design Defining the experience of your products and services


Article Description

Branding starts happening when you take the brand’s Visual Identity, Messaging, Activity, Products/Services, and Name and give it meaning. Your collection of previous work, products, services, marketing efforts, and different social media accounts for your company become a part of your brand.

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08 Mar 2018

Defining the brand experience through the user experience roadmap A look into user flow charts


Article Description

Recently, I announced to the members of the community that I’m building something pretty intense for them in the background. Both the front end and the back end of the website are in dire need of an update, so my plan is to get a more permanent design solution for the site.

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22 Feb 2018

Getting your feet wet with microcopy


Article Description

A few weeks ago, I released an article going over some simple steps of UX design that people often overlooked. And though parts of these areas of the user experience may feel like basic rules, they can be severely passed over. One of which is being the microcopy, or the text that we use in our UI designs.

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15 Feb 2018

The art of Letter Press Printing


Article Description

I love-love-love letterpress prints. It leaves an impression (literally) when you give or receive something that gets put through this print process. It takes a business to a level above what standard printing could do.

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05 Feb 2018

Print Design Tips for the Digital age


Article Description

You control the cost for printing through your designs, so having as much knowledge about it can help you and the businesses you design for control budget for years of ongoing work.

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24 Jan 2018

The secret heroes of UX Design


Article Description

The width that this design discipline can span is insane. Throughout the rise of UX Design, there have been very specialized fields pop up within the discipline. UX has also cannibalized the Data Visualization, Information architecture, and User Interface design fields along with things like wayfinding and architecture.

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26 Dec 2017

What is design strategy? Why we need to opt for a more professional process


Article Description

This term means a many different things to designers nowadays. What design strategy sounds like to one might be completely different to the other. The thing to understand about strategy in design is that we are all a part of it, in both large an small forms, with different roles along the process.

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07 Dec 2017

I just completed two years of moonlighting as a freelance designer.


Article Description

Here’s what building two design focused businesses at the same time looks like. Two years ago in this first week of December, I started learning to code websites. I had my eyes set on becoming a freelance web designer. The glam and glory was appealing, meaning that I was able to do something that interested me (finally) and get paid handsomely to do so.

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03 Dec 2017

Designer Crimes of the 21st Century


Article Description

As we continue to improve our design skills, we train our eye to notice really good design. One side effect however, we tend to not look for the things where we might be creating bad designs. It just happens that eventually you learn to avoid these mistakes with time, practice, and dedication to getting better (which includes seeking feedback on your work).

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29 Nov 2017

Stop getting stuck on your digital design concepts.


Article Description

Often, I am trying to finish a logo design or branding project with a lot going on. There’s a certain project that I have been trying to finish, but I have very little time during the day right now to do work. However, this project is special. I wanted to make sure I had the opportunity to use my “more professional” process. Unfortunately, I forgot a crucial part of the design process.

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18 Nov 2017

How do you say “No” to a client?


Article Description

You might eventually find yourself in a position where you need to say “no” to a client. Here’s how to do so professionally. We’re designers because we’re good at making things. We use a lot of our head-space to think of creative solutions to your client’s problems. We use art, math, time, and resources to create something that gets our clients closer to their goals. The thing is, the world is scarce with people who value the work we do, or even understand what we do and what it achieves.

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13 Nov 2017

Design bound by ethics — Being able to sleep at night after work.


Article Description

Design is a beautiful thing. You have the ability to take an idea effectively make it a great experience for another person. In other words, your design has the power to affect the people that come face to face with it. When you have that type of role in the design process of these ideas, you are bound ethically to how your design helps or hinders someone their goal.

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01 Nov 2017

Please mind the gap. The gap of where you are now to where you want to be


Article Description

Have you felt recently that there’s a gap between where you are at now and where you want to be? I tend to have this feeling a lot while I’m working on my businesses for So Magnetic and Compass of Design. I see a huge gap between where I want everything to be and where it’s at now.

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20 Oct 2017

Overthinking things? Here’s some help with all of the mental overwhelm.


Article Description

I’m going to (probably incorrectly) guess that you don’t deal with being stressed out over all the design work you have to do, the emails coming in, the phone calls you miss, the family time you’re running late to… You probably don’t deal with being overwhelmed at all.

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15 Oct 2017

Finding the best design resources — And having a gold-miner’s mindset


Article Description

It always seems the more you read into someone or something, the more you’re able to find things that you don’t agree with. Just think of all the talk with politics or healthcare. (or don’t, that’ll get you sidetracked). Everything out there has things that you have to tune out to get to the good stuff.

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14 Oct 2017

Networking as a designer — Stop trying to shake trees.


Article Description

Let’s talk about your heroes. Boy, wouldn’t it be nice to be noticed by big name people every once in a while? You follow them and see their name all over on the internet getting interviews and sharing awesome design work. It’s like there’s some type of inner circle where every big name person on the internet knows each other.

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08 Oct 2017

Do I use my name or a business name to freelance?


Article Description

One of the things that you begin to wonder when you’re starting out as a freelance designer is whether or not you should choose to brand what you are doing. I’ve had really good conversations with members of the Compass of Design Community about branding their freelance business that led to some interesting discoveries. The choice of what to brand yourself as is never an easy one. You want to connect your heart and soul to what you do.

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01 Oct 2017

Onboarding new Design Clients — How to deliver the design proposal


Article Description

You’ll only need a proposal if there’s a client you’re trying to secure. For most of us, we write proposals to help with onboarding the client. It’s a part of the process that may seem tedious, but you’ll thank yourself later on for using one.

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18 Sep 2017

Onboarding new Design Clients — Win your next client in 15 seconds


Article Description

Sometimes we’re forced into gatherings to socialize with other people. We as creatives can be very introverted sometimes, thinking that all we have to focus on is doing good work. Sometimes these uncomfortable social situations come when you are returning from college for the winter, or it’s one of your friend’s baby showers, or you just got done at some design meetup and now you’re at an after party.

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13 Sep 2017

Onboarding new Design Clients — Position yourself as a professional designer


Article Description

A professional is someone who holds themselves to a high standard AND can achieve those standards of their industry. A professional recognizes where the responsibilities lie and taking accountability for them with their actions. You must make deliberate choices as a designer from your own evaluations or you’ll have those choices made for you.

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08 Sep 2017

Onboarding new Design Clients — Asking the right questions


Article Description

A great designer can be measured by the quality of questions they ask. It’s not the defining characteristic, but having an arsenal of great questions to ask helps ensure that you are able to do the best work you can possibly do and have the client on the same page as you.

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05 Sep 2017

What is the fastest way to learn something?


Article Description

Having that much to say about something shows that you either know it so well you could write a book, or that you really don’t know it well enough, otherwise you’d be able to explain it in it’s simplest form.

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27 Aug 2017

Crafting a portfolio that converts


Article Description

Recently, I shared an article about Marketing Yourself as a Designer. The article dives into the various ways that you can make sure that your skills as a designer don’t go unnoticed. Because let’s face it… Unless we’ve studied it in depth, marketing our skills is one of the hardest challenges that we have as a designer.

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22 Aug 2017

Building your personal brand


Article Description

We artists and designers alike love to create visual gold. We find the things we create to be small extensions of ourselves. We’re very emotionally attached to our work.

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20 Aug 2017

About the Compass of Design


Article Description

Sometimes we forget what it was like to start out in the design industry. For some, it’s a rude awakening when the things we were taught in college aren’t how it actually is out there. For others, it could be heading into the void when teaching yourself all the aspects of a new career choice. A lot of us are thrown into the ecosystem with no idea how the design world

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18 Aug 2017

Is it Better for a Designer to be a Generalist or Specialist?


Article Description

When you start to focus on growing your skills, you poke around and borrow styles from all over the place. Borrowing ideas as a designer is a good way to figure out your own style. You may work on figuring out new tools, software, new material, or messaging. As your skills begin to improve, you may be wondering

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06 Aug 2017

Marketing yourself as a designer


Article Description

Marketing is that topic that gets you added by a bot to all those lists on Twitter, or followed by fake accounts on Instagram, or shunned completely by your friends on Facebook for asking them to try your new (*insert thing here*). Why do we need to add it to our design career?

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01 Aug 2017

Design Principle 3 — Design System


Article Description

How can our role in design create a common language that is used throughout any department? What you see above is another micro part of the design process. It is both jam packed with other design principles and part of a bigger picture. We’ve been talking about systems for a few weeks and today we are wrapping the series up with my favorite system. The design system.

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30 Jul 2017

Design Principle 2 — Scale and Proportion


Article Description

Both scale and proportion have their place in visual hierarchy. If you didn’t set this up at the beginning of your work, how would you know what size to make something? If you’ve just been “eye-balling” your size, does something about it just seem “off” with the design?

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24 Jul 2017

Design Principle 1 — Guides, Gutters, and Grids


Article Description

Grids are one of the best systems you can use to guide people through content. To use them, you have to have a good understanding of lines and shapes and their usage in design (we’ll go over this in depth during the Designing with Confidence course). They take the content that you are designing for and helps you arrange things in logical order and logical divisions.

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23 Jul 2017

Systems in design


Article Description

It’s a sticky place to be when you only have a few hours to get some design work done. You might have been procrastinating or busy with other parts of your process. Either way, you’re running short on time and you haven’t even started on the design.

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15 Jul 2017

The hustle and the grind


Article Description

I thought about quitting design, my last effort I had to do something great for my family before I give up to work my “regular job” like my family raised me to do. You know, the kind of day job that supposedly gives you $20 an hour and a pension for working 35 years straight, along with side bonuses and profit sharing, 2 weeks paid time off with insurance and family leave?

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08 Jul 2017

Should Designers “Course”?


Article Description

It has never been easier to set up an online course. Places like Skillshare, Coach, or Gumroad make it insanely easy to put content up in this manner.We hear all the time about crazy launches of how you can earn tons of money and revenue from launching them. While it has worked for plenty of people, I feel like the buzz of getting content out for the sake of “creating my first course” will cause a lot of people to burn out from the idea of paying independent creators for in-depth material that they are willing to share.

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02 May 2017

The 50+ tools that I use as an independent designer


Article Description

The past two years have been crazy busy in my development as a designer. I wanted to run through all of the equipment, services, and other tech I am using to create all of my work. You would think that the role of a designer was just creating small mockups or sketches and editing them in Adobe software to make it look pretty.

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03 Apr 2017

Are we asking designers the right questions?


Article Description

We all love clickbait. There’s some sort of unsatisfying feeling where the shot of dopamine hits us before we even open the article. What we get in return is a let down or repurposed garbled content that spew out from the community faucet.

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06 Feb 2017

Cut the Fluff — You want more confident communication? Cut out the filler in your sentences.


Article Description

Strong communication stems from brevity. Brevity is a concise and exact use of words in writing or speech. With the art of language, having the exact choice of words to say more with less is a sincere form of mastery. Though you may never scrub your verbal dictionary perfectly clean of filler words, you can make a serious change in improving how you communicate your ideas to other people.

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31 Jan 2017

Iterate in public - closing the gap from idea to execution


Article Description

Having a great idea is worth very little unless you plan on executing it. You could have an idea that would change the way clean water is spread through disparate countries, but unless you have the confidence to seek out how to execute it, that idea is just another passing thought. Once you act on that those thoughts, even a rudimentary execution starts to increase the value of your idea. Start iterating your ideas out in public.

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19 Jan 2017

Finding your anchor in design


Article Description

All the pains and challenges one faces now are not going to be the same ones they experience 3 to 5 years down the road. As I am going through my second year, I aim to help these pains by prescribing my own experience and research in writing and collaboration.

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09 Jan 2017

5 tips for setting the right tone with your email list.


Article Description

What do you remember about the last person you met? Usually the first meeting you remember if they seemed like a trustworthy person or not. Were they clumsy? Were they suave? Your first interaction with others is important on setting the right tone of any relationship. The same can be said for email marketing.

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26 Dec 2016

Writing more effective case studies


Article Description

Writing case studies is a difficult task for many beginners. Some people claim that a case study doesn’t have to contain a lot of info and that you only need to show what you did, add a paragraph and call it good. Some people say you don’t even need to write case studies for everything, that you should use a dribbble.com account, or a Behance account and post you work there.

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04 Dec 2016

Year Zero — My journey as a designer


Article Description

This is a post for the beginner, the fresh meat, and the starry eyed out there who are getting their hands dirty with design as a self taught designer. *Fist Bump to You!* (I’m packaging up the resources that helped me get where I am towards the end)

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02 Feb 2016

Handling expectational debt and falling behind.


Article Description

Time is a commodity. It is both finite and infinite. We only have 24 hours to use and it does not replenish until the following day. We have to protect our use of that time just as much as we protect the use of our money. When we say yes and commit to things, we are spending some of the expectations held for that day.

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