David Sherwin

HOW Design Live Is Coming, HOW Design Live Is Coming

Every year our sister pub, HOW magazine, throws a big party event for designers called the HOW Conference. Thousands of eager creative minds gather together to listen, learn, and commune. And then take the streets by storm to protest the unfair conditions… oh, wait, different thing, sorry. Regardless, the HOW Conference is fun and...

DesignBiz: The Tipsy Triangle of Software Startupdom

In talking with entrepreneurs of many stripes over the past year, I’ve heard the following hypnotic refrain repeated over and over again: “If we design a beautiful user experience, we’ve got what we need to launch a successful business.” Whether uttered by corporate executives or designers fresh out of school, I’ve been surprised by...

DesignBiz: Conducting Post-Mortem Project Evaluations

The website went live last week, and the entire staff is throwing a party to celebrate! The developers are huddled in the corner with some microbrews, plotting how they’ll splice into the agency intranet to add a virtual dartboard. Designers are mingling with the copywriters and account people, clinking wineglasses and bonding over the...

DesignBiz: When to Diversify Your Client Base

No single client should account for more than 25% of a studio’s business. When it happens—and it will!—immediately draw up a list of new potential clients to call. Here’s a brief personal story that explains why. In the late 90s, I worked at a design studio that had a major telecommunications client. More than...

DesignBiz: When Should I Decline Client Work?

The failure most of us frequently face in the business of design? The failure to recognize that a client project is something you should decline. Here are common situations where working designers fail to decline an opportunity that may be a poor fit. The client thinks you want the work they’re offering, no matter...

DesignBiz: Creating a Risk Assessment

When taking on projects with hairpin-turn deadlines, high levels of technical complexity, and large cross-disciplinary teams that function across silos within a large organization, designers often have to assume risk. This risk is often codified in a series of assumptions or contingencies that serve as part of a proposal, and take on the form...

DesignBiz: Take Client Confidentiality Seriously

Client confidentiality and intellectual property rights must be respected. Even if you haven’t inked a formal agreement with a new or existing client, be very cautious what information you disclose, even over coffee with a close friend. There’s nothing worse than watching years of confidential effort evaporate in a single post on Gizmodo. I’ve...

DesignBiz: How to Proofread Like a Pro

No one likes a typo. Especially your client clicking through the website you just pushed live. When it’s the 14th time we’ve made revisions on the 128-page magazine and you need to get the files off to the printer, it’s inevitable that a typesetting error or grammatical mistake is still lurking somewhere in the...

Introducing DesignBiz: Top Design Business Failures

I bet you thought when you first began working as a designer, you would have uninterrupted time—full days, if not complete weeks—hunkered down at your desk, dreamily scratching away at what would become your next breakthrough creative execution. Perhaps you work in a creative company, where the halls are ever-filled with sidebar conversations spawning...

This Week's Challenge: The Grand Finale

The heavy red curtain comes down with a crash, and the applause is deafening. Walking back to their dressing rooms, the actors and actresses give each other high fives and smiles, proud of their three hours walking the boards. After wiping away the stage makeup, they will slip out the back door of the...