Writing

Curated design articles to help you be a better profesional designer

words about design.

Building Domain Expertise in what you do.
Building Domain Expertise in what you do.

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 th...

Design Principle 4 — Typefaces and how to use them
Design Principle 4 — Typefaces and how to use them

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 cho...

The compass guide to designing your own custom lapel pins
The compass guide to designing your own custom lapel pins

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 say...

Switching to value base pricing
Switching to value base pricing

by — Darian Rosebrook

What I have learned so far about implementing value based pricing.

How to find the access point of your niche
How to find the access point of your niche

by — Darian Rosebrook

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...

How to find and access your niche
How to find and access your niche

by — Darian Rosebrook

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

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

by — Darian Rosebrook

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...

How I build the UX of my Projects
How I build the UX of my Projects

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 th...

Design is better with friends
Design is better with friends

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 ...

Quick update for those interested in the Community
Quick update for those interested in the Community

by — Darian Rosebrook

We’ve been having a lot of great conversation in the community about client work, web design layouts, and paths to take in our design career. Things have been going well for those involved in the c...

Rise of the T skill designer
Rise of the T skill designer

by — Darian Rosebrook

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.

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

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 ...

Typeform & Squarespace — Do they work Together?
Typeform & Squarespace — Do they work Together?

by — Juliane Bone

Typeform is such a great innovation. I won’t get into form-building here as articulation and explaining how is kinda their bag, so check out their Help Center here. Now, if you happen to be working...

A Compass guide to designing custom stickers - Vinyl Stickers
A Compass guide to designing custom stickers - Vinyl Stickers

by — Darian Rosebrook

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.

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

by — Darian Rosebrook

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, mark...

Redesigning Twistle– a health communications platform
Redesigning Twistle– a health communications platform

by — Juan Valera

Twistle is a communications app that enables providers, their services, and their patients to communicate through text messages, photos, and more. Twistle (rhymes with whistle) approached me with a...

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

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 a...

Getting your feet wet with microcopy
Getting your feet wet with microcopy

by — Darian Rosebrook

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...

Great Brands & their Makers — Starbucks
Great Brands & their Makers — Starbucks

by — Juliane Bone

Brands that transcend their visual presence and embed themselves squarely in culture

Why letterpress is my favorite printing method
Why letterpress is my favorite printing method

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 stand...

Print Design Tips for the Digital age
Print Design Tips for the Digital age

by — Darian Rosebrook

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.

The secret heroes of UX Design
The secret heroes of UX Design

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 V...

Adobe Portfolio Form Hack Embedding forms to on-board clients in Adobe Portfolio
Adobe Portfolio Form Hack Embedding forms to on-board clients in Adobe Portfolio

by — Juliane Bone

Adobe offers a no-brainer solution if you’re a creative just looking to show work. Adobe Portfolio honestly couldn’t be simpler. It integrates nicely with Behance and even allows for timely and has...

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

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 i...

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

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 fr...

Designer Crimes of the 21st Century
Designer Crimes of the 21st Century

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 ju...

Stop getting stuck on your digital design concepts.
Stop getting stuck on your digital design concepts.

by — Darian Rosebrook

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...

What if you actually do 100 days straight of UI prompts?
What if you actually do 100 days straight of UI prompts?

by — Michael Weibel

I had this thought in my mind for a long time  — write about my experiences and perceptions from the Daily UI Challenge. It all started around the last week in June when I finally decided to start ...

How do you say “No” to a client?
How do you say “No” to a client?

by — Darian Rosebrook

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...

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

by — Darian Rosebrook

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...

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

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 ...

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

by — Darian Rosebrook

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...

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

by — Darian Rosebrook

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’l...

Networking as a designer — Stop trying to shake trees.
Networking as a designer — Stop trying to shake trees.

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 sha...

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

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 ...

Creating the perfect team
Creating the perfect team

by — Tyrel Chambers

What could single-handedly make your company difficult to operate? A poor team. I was recently talking with a friend of mine, a podcast will be releasing on this subject soon, about the current sta...

Onboarding new Design Clients — How to deliver the design proposal
Onboarding new Design Clients — How to deliver the design proposal

by — Darian Rosebrook

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...

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

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 u...

Onboarding new Design Clients — Position yourself as a professional designer
Onboarding new Design Clients — Position yourself as a professional designer

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 accountabili...

Onboarding new Design Clients — Asking the right questions
Onboarding new Design Clients — Asking the right questions

by — Darian Rosebrook

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...

What is the fastest way to learn something?
What is the fastest way to learn something?

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 sim...

Crafting a portfolio that converts
Crafting a portfolio that converts

by — Darian Rosebrook

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...

Building your personal brand
Building your personal brand

by — Darian Rosebrook

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.

About the Compass of Design
About the Compass of Design

by — Darian Rosebrook

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, ...

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

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 ...

Marketing yourself as a designer
Marketing yourself as a designer

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 t...

Design Principle 3 — Design Codex
Design Principle 3 — Design Codex

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 p...

Design Principle 2 — Scale and Proportion
Design Principle 2 — Scale and Proportion

by — Darian Rosebrook

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-bal...

Design Principle 1 — Guides, Gutters, and Grids
Design Principle 1 — Guides, Gutters, and Grids

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 i...

Systems in design
Systems in design

by — Darian Rosebrook

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...

Idea-Catalysts
Idea-Catalysts

by — Juliane Bone

I found myself once aimlessly clicking links in an effort to find visual inspiration for an upcoming project. Around that time, my brain began to fire off numerous images of illustrators, designers...

The hustle and the grind
The hustle and the grind

by — Darian Rosebrook

Like the tortoise and the hair, but told in a way that helps you actually move forward in life, not burn out in a year.

Automating Your Product
Automating Your Product

by — Andrew Krause

Why should you develop a product that you have to update every few months? For example, you have to update your copyright every year, but with a few lines of script you can do that yourself.

Should Designers “Course”?
Should Designers “Course”?

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 ho...

Designer’s Stack of Tech"
Designer’s Stack of Tech

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 ...

Are we asking designers the right questions?
Are we asking designers the right questions?

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 conten...

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

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 sinc...

Iterate in public - closing the gap from idea to execution
Iterate in public - closing the gap from idea to execution

by — Darian Rosebrook

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...

Finding your anchor in design
Finding your anchor in design

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 prescribi...

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

by — Darian Rosebrook

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...

Writing more effective case studies
Writing more effective case studies

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 a...

Year Zero — My journey as a designer
Year Zero — My journey as a designer

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 res...

Handling expectational debt and falling behind.
Handling expectational debt and falling behind.

by — Darian Rosebrook

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 prote...