5 Unusual Ways to Use Your Digital Design Skills to Make Money

If you’re a self-proclaimed graphic designer, chances are freelancing is no new territory for you. From infographics to logos, you’ve helped companies achieve a look for themselves unlike any other. And there’s definitely a feeling of deep satisfaction that comes along with that.

But now, maybe you’re ready for a change or just want to branch out (especially if a $5 Fiverr gig is making your hard earned efforts feel underappreciated). If so, here are a few ideas for ways you can employ your talent creatively – and make a tidy sum in the process if you do well.

  1. Email marketing designer ($51k/year)
    Usually every week – sometimes every day – companies are sending out emails to their subscribers or customers to promote products or keep users engaged on their website. But as with all kinds of branding, email is something that many businesses want to look professional and consistent with their other materials.
  2. Virtual architectural design specialist ($83k/year)
    A more obscure (but definitely well-paid) position, virtual architectural design specialists have the unique ability to construct a home out of thin air using highly sophisticated software. Combine the digital models with 3D printing and you can open up even more possibilities – maybe even working for a custom constructors like Creative Building.
  3. Multimedia Animator ($68k/year)
    This can include anything from flash animation to video game design. It has a very promising job outlook, as multimedia is only going to get bigger as I think we can all agree.
  4. Product packaging design expert ($45k/year)
    Physical goods sold online or in the store require talented and eye-catching packaging to do well. As a packaging designer, you can represent the brand in a creative way for their product.
  5. Book cover art creator ($48k/year)
    Working for authors to help design book covers can be a great opportunity to display your work with impact. You could even end up working for Barnes & Noble, if they don’t go out of business first.

Resources:

http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/design/blog/8-types-graphic-design-jobs-you-may-not-know-about/
http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271024.htm

The Battle Behind the NBA Logo

Vicious rivals – the American Basketball Association vs the NBA – were at each others throats, each trying to top the other in the war to become the most popular basketball league.

With this battle in mind, the NBA turned to Alan Siegel for a branding project that would blow the competition off the court.

The goal?

A logo that was “instantly iconic, patriotic, easy to market.”  They wanted something that mimicked the striking red, white and blue logo of Major League Baseball.

But it wasn’t until Siegel stumbled on this photo of Jerry West that the breakthrough came. It was the photo that embodied the agility and intrigue of the sport.

“So I took that picture and we traced it. It was perfect. It was vertical and it had a sense of movement,” Siegel told the L.A. Times.

And it would change the identity of the league forever.

It’s meaning is known to the whole world. It sums up a large part of American culture. It generates more than $3 million a year in licensing.

The weird part?

For being the man in the icon printed on countless heaps of sports memorabilia, Jerry West doesn’t receive a penny of it.

That’s because the NBA refuses to acknowledge it as such, saying “There’s no record of it here.”  (Despite the fact that the NBA’s website features a video of Jerry West titled “The Logo.”)

Read the full story at the Siegel+Gale website.

Featured image via Pixabay.

Inspirational Urban Logos

Here are some urban logos to share with everyone.

 

Logo Source: logofury

 

Logo source: spirit-of-metal

Logo Source: 2expertsdesign

Logo from: brandsoftheworld

Logo from: floormag

Logo source: depositphotos

 

 

Logo from: static.vecteezy

Logo source: vectorlogofree

 

Logo Source: designrfix

 

Logo source: designrfix

 

Logo Source: logo-designer

Logo Source: shutterstock

Logo from: cultureworks

Logo from: merchantcircle

 

Logo source: deviantart

 

 

Logos source: vectors1

 

An Interview with the Design Team of Cymax Media

Yesterday we had the privilege of being able to take an exclusive peek into one of Denver’s fastest growing web design firms: Cymax Media. Their seasoned outlook on digital design as well as their one-of-a-kind team dynamics offer interest to those who might consider pursuing a career in the industry, or just wants to hear about like-minded artists and their story from a small-startup to a quickly scaling and award-winning agency.

As a bit of background, president and founder Daniel Clawson founded the company in 2000, his goal being to switch careers from that of a music producer who was always on the road to being closer to his family as a work-at-home web designer. A graduate from Colorado University with a degree in business marketing, he paired his credentials with a desire to learn after the birth of his first daughter. Through much research and self-study, he was able to develop a solid understanding of programming languages such as PHP, HTML, Jquery and CSS. He also began to dabble in graphic design work, back when Adobe Flash was the most advanced technology in the industry for motion graphics. Daniel then partnered with several other designers to launch Cymax Media, the business’s website, which quickly grew to be one of the nation’s top websites for Denver web design gathering clients from around the world.

For over 16 years now, Cymax has been offering graphic and logo design modeled after the latest trends in the field. Talking with Mr. Clawson about this brings up some interesting points.

Is it interesting to see how design has changed over the years?

Absolutely. The funny thing is, while technology is getting more and more advanced and complex, design has kind of gone in the opposite direction. The gradients, the busy layouts, the Flash intros [laughing] all have gotten more “basic.” Clients no longer want the letters in their logos to look like gunmetal, well, most of them anyway. Maybe the older ones still go for that, but people who are younger, we’re talking early 20s to mid 30s, they want simple. Fresh. Crisp. I will say though that special effects are still a major part in design. Take parallax scrolling, for example. [Check out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallax] It actually started with the gamers, and probably will look dated in the near future but right now people drop their jaws at it. There are even more advanced effects that focus more on making the user feel like they are in another world, and that no doubt is complex, but still – the layouts remain clean and relatively organized. Lots of photos, and graphics have to be convincing. No clip art, right?

What do you think about these changes?

They’re here and they’re gone. That sounds kind of cold, but it’s true. With design, it’s always the next big thing, who can look the most cutting-edge, who can do things better and look more cool. It’s probably the only constant, that superior marketing take on things. That’s why, you have to stay flexible. Don’t get too caught up in mastering one thing because as soon as you do, it’s time to start over and learn something completely different. It can get frustrating honestly.

What is the most rewarding part of your career in web design?

Oh, that’s a hard one. We really like to start on a project, and see it evolve. Truth be told we sometimes spend more time perfecting things than we should. But the finished product, when it blows you away – it just makes everything worthwhile. And there’s always that moment of apprehension, showing the client the finished product and hoping that they don’t want the whole thing redone.

What programs most influence your creative process?

Photoshop, Fireworks and Illustrator are the major staples around here, although Fireworks is starting to go out the door. Like Flash. Creating a live demo is actually pretty simple, and requires more skills in the graphic design programs.

Are there any tips you would give out to aspiring designers?

Don’t give up. Everyone has failures, people make mistakes, and sometimes you have a client that is just hard to deal with. But learning to be creative within the confines of what they want – that’s the art. There’s always times when you can do your own thing, and some people really do let you have free reign, but ultimately you don’t want to be a know-it-all. Which is easy to be when you’ve gone to school and worked for big names. Try to be open to trying something new, if it fails it fails. But if it works, you can really take yourself to that next level.

To see examples of some of Cymax Media’s graphic design work, you can visit here.