#The50 things every creative should know (part 2)

#The50 things every creative should know (part 2)

If you’ve read part one of #The50 things every creative should know, you’ll probably want to read part two. Unless you like cliffhangers?


26. Network

There’s some truth in “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Talk to people, send emails — at the very least sign up to Twitter. #the50

Network

27. Dress smart, look business like

Take your work seriously? Then take your appearance seriously. Clients are more likely to deal with people who look like they care. #the50

Dress smart, look business like

28. Never work for free

Working for free not only devalues the profession, but it makes you look weak. Even a “nice” client will take advantage of this. #the50

Never work for free

29. Negotiate

If you really have to work for nothing, negotiate. Clients and studios have access to many resources that can be viewed as “payment”. #the50

Negotiate

30. Read contracts

Never sign a contract before reading it. Subsequently, don’t begin any job without a contract — you may have to write one yourself. #the50

Read contracts

31. Make your invoice stand out

Businesses are deluged with invoices. Make yours stand out with colour or shape and it’s likely to rise to the top of the “pay” pile. #the50

Make your invoice stand out

32. There’s no such thing as a bad job

Always push yourself to do your best. Logically, there’s no way you can be dissatisfied with “having done your best”. #the50

There’s no such thing as a bad job

33. There’s no such thing as a bad client

The onus is on you to make a client relationship work, not the other way around. If it’s not working out, “fire” them as a favour. #the50

There’s no such thing as a bad client

34. Embrace limitations

Limitations are invaluable for creating successful work — they give you something to push against. From this tension comes brilliance. #the50

Embrace limitations

35. The environment is not a limitation

The environmental impact of your work isn’t a fashionable consideration — as a creative, it’s your most important consideration. #the50

The environment is not a limitation

36. Boring problems lead to boring solutions

Always interrogate your brief — redefine the question. No two briefs should be the same — a unique problem leads to a unique solution. #the50

Boring problems lead to boring solutions

37. New ideas are always “stupid”

New ideas are conceived with no context and no measures of success — this often makes them feel silly, awkward, or even impossible. #the50

New ideas are always “stupid”

38. Do not underestimate self-initiated work

Clients get in touch because of self-initiated work. Ironically, business is excited by ideas untouched by the concerns of business. #the50

Do not underestimate self-initiated work

39. Justify your decisions

Clients fear arbitrary decisions — they want problem solving. Have a reason for everything, even if this is “post-rationalised”. #the50

Justify your decisions

40. Show sketches, not polished ideas

Clients often mistake “rough” digital work for the final design. Show sketches for as long as you can, it makes them feel involved. #the50

Show sketches, not polished ideas

41. Work with the client, not against them

You may think you’re right, but look at the client’s solution along with yours. Occasionally you’ll be surprised. #the50

Work with the client, not against them

42. Don’t always take no for an answer

Fight for superior solutions. Demonstrate your thinking to your client, take them through it — it’s hard to argue with logic. #the50

Don’t always take no for an answer

43. Pick your battles

The creative industry is often infuriating, but not every argument is an argument that needs to be had. This takes time to learn. #the50

Pick your battles

44. If you’re going to fail, fail well

Being ambitious means you have to take on things you think you can’t do. Failures are unfortunate, but they are sometimes necessary. #the50

If you’re going to fail, fail well

45. Be an auteur

Regardless of who you’re working with, speak up if something’s not right. Take it upon yourself to be the barometer of quality. #the50

Be an auteur

46. Take responsibility for failure

If a job’s going wrong take responsibility. It feels counter-intuitive, but responsibility means you can do something about it. #the50

Take responsibility for failure

47. Share your ideas

You’ve nothing to gain from holding on to your ideas — they may feel precious, but the more you share, the more new ideas you’ll have. #the50

Share your ideas

48. Get out of the studio

Good design is crafted from understanding the relationships between things. These connections can’t be found when locked in a studio. #the50

Get out of the studio

49. Awards are nice, but not vital

Awards look good on the shelf, but clients seldom pick up the phone because of them. Solid work encourages that. #the50

Awards are nice, but not vital

50. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Take your work seriously, take the business of your craft seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously. People who do are laughed at. #the50

Don’t take yourself too seriously

Previously: #The50 things every creative should know (part 1)

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#The50 things every creative should know (part 1)

#The50 things every creative should know (part 1)