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Burn Your Portfolio: Stuff they don’t teach you in design school, but should

Book Description

It takes more than just a design school education and a killer portfolio to succeed in a creative career. Burn Your Portfolio teaches the real-world practices, professional do's and don'ts, and unwritten rules of business that most designers, photographers, web designers, copy writers, programmers, and architects only learn after putting in years of experience on the job.

Michael Janda, owner of the Utah-based design firm Riser, uses humor to dispense nugget after nugget of hard-won advice collected over the last decade from the personal successes and failures he has faced running his own agency. In this surprisingly funny, but incredibly practical advice guide, Janda's advice on teamwork and collaboration, relationship building, managing clients, bidding work, production processes, and more will resonate with creative professionals of all stripes.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Praise for Burn Your Portfolio
  4. Dedication Page
  5. Contents
  6. Burn Your Portfolio...Really?
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Section 1: Human Engineering
    1. 1. The Big Fat Secret
    2. 2. The Extra Mile
    3. 3. Soak Up Advice
    4. 4. You Are Not Your Work
    5. 5. Be Nice to Everyone
    6. 6. Drama Is for Soap Operas
    7. 7. No More Flying Solo
    8. 8. Gripes Go Up
    9. 9. The Stress Bucket
    10. 10. Two Types of Grandpas
    11. 11. Be a Wall Painter
    12. 12. Every Position Can Be Electrifying
    13. 13. Lead or Be Led
    14. 14. Half the Victory
    15. 15. The Value of Downtime
    16. 16. I’m Not a Writer
    17. 17. Toot Your Own Horn
    18. 18. Don’t Work in a Vacuum
    19. 19. The Graphic Design Megazord
    20. 20. Live as a Team, Die as a Team
    21. 21. Everyone Does Something Better Than You
    22. 22. You Are Responsible for Your Own Time
  9. Section 2: Art Smarts
    1. 23. OCD Is an Attribute
    2. 24. Polishing Turds
    3. 25. Hairy Moles
    4. 26. This Is Not Verbatimville
    5. 27. Shock and Awe
    6. 28. Art Is Meant to Be Framed
    7. 29. It Is Never Too Late for a Better Idea
    8. 30. Filler Failures
    9. 31. A River Runs Through It
    10. 32. Comps or Comprehensive?
    11. 33. Design Like the Wind
    12. 34. Type Fast
    13. 35. How to Eat an Elephant
    14. 36. The Venus Initiative
    15. 37. Process-a-Palooza
    16. 38. Hiking Your Way to Successful Projects
    17. 39. Solving End-of-Day Rush
    18. 40. Why Projects Blow Up
    19. 41. The Lo-Fi PDA
    20. 42. Bring Out Your Dead
    21. 43. Shake the Bushes or Get Bit
    22. 44. Red Flags and Extinguishers
    23. 45. Brainstorms Are 90 Percent Bad Ideas
    24. 46. The Communal Brain
  10. Section 3: Two Ears, One Mouth
    1. 47. The Ultimate Email Formula
    2. 48. Beware the Red Dot
    3. 49. Email Black Holes
    4. 50. Even the Lone Ranger Had Tonto
    5. 51. Canned Communication
    6. 52. Tin Can Phones
    7. 53. Vicious Vernacular
    8. 54. An Army of Support
    9. 55. Friendly Updates
    10. 56. Deadline Ballet
    11. 57. Big Brother
    12. 58. The Domino Effect
    13. 59. Avoid the W.W.W.
    14. 60. Be Afraid to Click “Send”
    15. 61. The Tragedy of Time Zones
  11. Section 4: Happy Head Honchos
    1. 62. Designers Are from Mars, Clients Are from Venus
    2. 63. Let Your Client Leave Their Mark
    3. 64. “Forgiveness” Points
    4. 65. Let Your Client Be the 800-Pound Gorilla
    5. 66. Do Your Genealogy
    6. 67. Never Give Your Client Homework
    7. 68. Assume That People Are Clueless
    8. 69. Long-Term Relationship Value vs. Single Transaction Profit
    9. 70. Oddities at the Start Mean Oddities at the End
    10. 71. Don’t Be the Desperate Girlfriend
    11. 72. Stand in Manure, Smell Like Manure
    12. 73. Never Fire a Client?
    13. 74. “We Decided to Go Another Direction” Means “You Suck”
    14. 75. There Are Such Things as Stupid Questions
    15. 76. You Can’t Get Mad at Math
    16. 77. You Have 65 Seconds to Land a Job
    17. 78. How to Ask for a Raise Without Asking for a Raise
  12. Section 5: Mind Your Business
    1. 79. Do What You Love; the Money Will Follow
    2. 80. A Business That Looks Orderly
    3. 81. Making Cents of It All
    4. 82. How to Calculate a Burn Rate
    5. 83. The Fixed-Bid Pricing Dartboard
    6. 84. Beware of Line-Item Pricing
    7. 85. “No Charge” Doesn’t Mean “Free”
    8. 86. How to Flush Out a Budget
    9. 87. Twenty-Piece Chicken McNuggets
    10. 88. Nonprofits for Non-Profit
    11. 89. The Code of Fair Practice
    12. 90. Contractual Mumbo Jumbo
    13. 91. “Etcetera” Has No Business in Your Business
    14. 92. You Don’t Have to Sign Off on This
    15. 93. B.A.M. Lists
    16. 94. One Line That Changed Everything about Collections
    17. 95. A Business Is an Organism That Wants to Die
    18. 96. If I’ve Got a Dollar, You’ve Got a Dollar, but No Partners
    19. 97. If You Want to Win the Game, You Have to Know the Score
    20. 98. There Is No Such Thing as a “Meet and Greet”
    21. 99. How to Make a Capabilities Presentation
    22. 100. Floods Happen
    23. 101. Flexibility, Not Freedom
    24. 102. Never Do Undocumented Work
    25. 103. Next Worry Date
    26. 104. Nickels and Dimes Are for Lemonade Stands
    27. 105. Only Terrorists Like Hostage Situations
    28. 106. Oh Where, Oh Where Has My $100k Gone? Oh Where, Oh Where Can It Be?
    29. 107. Don’t Do Anything You Can Pay Someone $10 Per Hour to Do
    30. 108. “Skin in the Game” Usually Means “Free”
    31. 109. Three-Month “Lifetime” Guarantee
    32. 110. “Being Your Own Boss,” Whatever That Means
    33. 111. How to Bite the Bullet
  13. Index
  14. About the Author