You are previewing Talent Is Not Enough: Business Secrets For Designers, Third Edition.
O'Reilly logo
Talent Is Not Enough: Business Secrets For Designers, Third Edition

Book Description

The best business guide for design professionals just got even better! This revised and expanded third edition includes everything designers need–besides talent–to turn their artistic success into business success. You’ll find information on key issues facing designers from freelancing to managing established design firms. A strong visual focus and to-the-point text take the fear factor out of learning about thorny business realities like staffing, marketing, bookkeeping, intellectual property, and more. These smart business practices are essential to success in graphic, Web, and industrial design. Here are just a few of the things you’ll learn:


• How to get on the right career path

• The best way to determine pricing

• How to avoid common legal pitfalls

• How to manage large projects

• The secrets of efficient design teams

• How to forecast your workload and finances

• Dealing with international clients

• The merging models of ad agencies and design firms


Talent Is Not Enough provides a big-picture context for these and other challenges and shares practical, real-world advice. Since its first publication, the book has become an essential resource for both students and working professionals in these areas and more:


• Design planning and strategy

• Corporate identity development

• Publication and editorial design

• Brand identity and packaging design

• Advertising and promotion design

• Marketing communications

• Environmental design

• Industrial design

• Motion graphics

• Interaction design

• Information design


“It is rare to find one individual with such a wide range of knowledge in the design-related fields. And, because of his experience as a designer, Shel brings a sensitivity and understanding to administrative issues while still respecting the artistic side of our industry.”

–Frank Maddocks, President, Maddocks & Company

 “Now that design skills have become a commodity, you need business skills to focus them. Shel has written a crackerjack book that will be on the shelf of every ambitious designer.”

–Marty Neumeier, author of The Designful Company, Zag and The Brand Gap

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Table of contents
  4. Preface to third edition
  5. Introduction
    1. The structure of this book
    2. A resource for your career
  6. Career options
    1. Chapter 01. Making a living as a creative professional
      1. Creative careers
      2. Design skill sets
      3. Range of design disciplines
      4. Different team roles
      5. Potential employers
      6. Staying flexible
    2. Chapter 02. Job hunting
      1. What are you looking for?
      2. Preparing for your search
      3. Conducting your search
      4. Next steps
      5. You’re hired
      6. The transition from school to the professional world
    3. Chapter 03. Independent contractor issues
      1. IRS 20 common law factors
      2. Your small business
      3. Benefits you have
      4. Benefits you don’t have unless you provide them
      5. Independent contractor agreement
      6. Work-for-hire
      7. Form W-9
      8. Purchase orders
      9. Invoices
      10. Form 1099
      11. Recap
    4. Chapter 04. Sample independent contractor agreement
      1. Exhibit A
      2. Term
      3. Fixed Compensation
      4. Invoice schedule
      5. Payment schedule
      6. Accepted
    5. Chapter 05. Income taxes for freelancers
      1. Estimated tax payments
      2. Business expenses
      3. Deadlines
      4. Be sure you have the cash
      5. Business versus hobby
    6. Chapter 06. Calculating a freelance rate
      1. Add up your expenses
      2. Estimate your billable hours
      3. Know your break-even rate
      4. Bump it up to a billing rate
      5. Look for industry comparisons
      6. From the buyer’s perspective
      7. Stay competitive
  7. Small business
    1. Chapter 07. Becoming a business
      1. Advisors
      2. Choosing a Legal Structure
    2. Chapter 08. Pricing models
      1. Time and materials
      2. Fixed fee
      3. Licensing: use-based
      4. Licensing: royalty
      5. Hybrid
      6. Free
      7. Trade-offs
      8. Terminology
    3. Chapter 09. Setting rates for a firm
      1. One rate for the entire firm
      2. A different rate for each staff member
      3. A different rate for each role on the team
      4. A different rate for each task
      5. A multiplier that is applied to base salaries
      6. Project planning
      7. Methodology
    4. Chapter 10. Marketing
      1. Positioning
      2. Promotions program
      3. Mailing list
      4. Sales process
      5. Relationship management
      6. Some final advice
    5. Chapter 11. Proposals
      1. Initial steps for you
      2. Proposal document
      3. Negotiation issues
    6. Chapter 12. Project management basics
      1. Getting started
      2. Keeping records
      3. Progress reports
      4. Managing changes
      5. Common problems
      6. Staying on track
    7. Chapter 13. Bookkeeping basics
      1. Business Records
      2. Business Procedures and Systems
      3. Internal Controls
    8. Chapter 14. Cash flow
      1. Short-term cash flow projection
      2. Long-term cash flow projection
      3. Cash flow statement
      4. Using these tools
    9. Chapter 15. Insurance basics
      1. Insurance Basics
      2. Employee Benefits
      3. Basic Business Insurance
      4. Additional Business Insurance
      5. Liability Issues that are Specific to Design Firms
    10. Chapter 16. Facilities planning
      1. Finding the right space
      2. Configuring the space
      3. Staying flexible
  8. Legal issues
    1. Chapter 17. Intellectual property
      1. Copyright
      2. Trademarks
      3. Patents
      4. Trade Secrets
      5. Moral Rights
      6. Issues on the Internet and in Global Trade
    2. Chapter 18. Defamation, privacy, and publicity
      1. Defamation
      2. Privacy
      3. Publicity
    3. Chapter 19. How contracts work
      1. The essential elements
      2. Oral contracts
      3. Statutory law
      4. Common law
      5. State and federal issues
      6. Court cases
      7. Guidance for the courts
      8. Get smart
    4. Chapter 20. Understanding terms and conditions
      1. How to use it
      2. Notes on Basic Terms and Conditions
      3. General items
      4. Notes on Schedule A: Intellectual Property Provisions
      5. Notes on Discipline-Specific Supplements
      6. Final Checklist
    5. Chapter 21. AIGA Standard Form of Agreement for Design Services
      1. Basic Terms and Conditions
      2. Schedule A: Intellectual Property Provisions Option 1: License for Limited Usage
      3. Schedule A: Intellectual Property Provisions Option 2: Exclusive License
      4. Schedule A: Intellectual Property Provisions Option 3: Assignment of Rights
      5. Schedule A: Intellectual Property Provisions Option 4: Work Made for Hire
      6. Supplement 1: Print-Specific Terms and Conditions
      7. Supplement 2: Interactive-Specific Terms and Conditions
      8. Supplement 3: Environmental-Specific Terms and Conditions
      9. Supplement 4: Motion-Specific Terms and Conditions
    6. Chapter 22. Motion design business practices
      1. Film and television industry
      2. Advertising and games
      3. Common ground
      4. Important differences
      5. Subcontractors
      6. Direct to client
      7. Entertainment contracts
      8. Design contracts
      9. Sorting it out
    7. Chapter 23. Ethics and social responsibility
      1. Professional behavior
      2. Professional expertise
      3. Values
      4. The designer’s role
      5. For more information
  9. Large firms
    1. Chapter 24. Successful design teams
      1. Clarifying each person’s role
      2. Dealing with people problems
      3. A job well done
    2. Chapter 25. Using student interns
      1. Definitions
      2. Federal requirements
      3. State requirements
      4. Paid employees
      5. Mutual benefit
      6. For more information
    3. Chapter 26. Working with a sales rep
      1. Update your overall marketing strategy
      2. Clarify the process that your firm uses for identifying and pursuing opportunities
      3. Set specific, realistic goals for new business development
      4. Make sure your sales materials are current and complete
      5. Write a detailed job description for the new position
      6. Decide on a sales compensation structure
      7. Give yourself enough time to find and hire the best candidate
      8. Take the new hire through a formal orientation period
    4. Chapter 27. Large projects
      1. Planning basics
      2. Planning on a larger scale
      3. Implementation
      4. Watching the budget
      5. Earned value management
      6. What about quality?
      7. Wrapping up
    5. Chapter 28. Financial management
      1. Weekly reports
      2. Monthly reports
      3. Balance sheet format for design
      4. Percentages
      5. Additional financial issues for design firms
      6. Benchmarks
      7. Solvency
      8. Efficiency
      9. Profitability
      10. Labor
      11. Some suggestions for staying on track
    6. Chapter 29. Forecasting
      1. Prerequisites
      2. Short term
      3. Long term
      4. Reaping the benefits
    7. Chapter 30. Business planning
      1. Planning process
      2. Business plan contents
      3. Executive summary
      4. Values statement
      5. Vision statement
      6. Mission statement
      7. Goals
      8. Description of services
      9. Business environment and market trends
      10. Client profile
      11. Evaluation of your competition
      12. Sustainable advantage
      13. Marketing plan
      14. Operations plan
      15. Human resources plan
      16. Technology and physical facilities plan
      17. Financial plan for the next three years
      18. Revisions and refinements
      19. Small business resources
      20. The business planning cycle
    8. Chapter 31. How advertising is different
      1. Advertising teams
      2. Definition: “The Law of Agency”
      3. Financial implications of the law of agency
      4. Above the line/below the line
      5. Agency gross income
      6. Copyright implications of the law of agency
      7. Media commissions
      8. Media buying “unbundled”
      9. Advertising agency contracts
      10. Appointment as agent
      11. Services to be provided
      12. Duration of agreement
      13. Compensation
      14. Supplier contract issues
      15. Financial liability to media
      16. Legal liability for claims made in ads
      17. Handling of competitive clients
      18. Renewal or termination of the contract
      19. Holding companies
      20. Landing new accounts
      21. Government restrictions on advertising
      22. What overall impression is being created in the minds of consumers?
      23. What are the individual components of the campaign?
      24. Which consumers are being targeted?
      25. What are you selling?
      26. For more information about government restrictions
      27. Industry self-regulation
      28. Lobbying
      29. Recap
    9. Chapter 32. Coping with downturns
      1. Contractions
      2. Expansions
      3. Full cycles
      4. Phases of your career
      5. Keeping your firm healthy in a downturn
      6. Get back to basics
      7. Pump up new business development
      8. Cut costs
      9. Labor costs
      10. Space costs
      11. Manage cash
      12. Lessons learned
      13. An opportunity to rethink
    10. Chapter 33. Exit strategies
      1. Reasons to sell
      2. Potential buyers
      3. Not a sale
      4. Manage with exit in mind
      5. Build value
      6. Advisors
      7. Valuation
      8. Selling prospectus
      9. Special issues for professional services
      10. Timing
      11. Negotiating the deal
      12. Many variables
      13. Closing the deal
      14. Successful transition
    11. Chapter 34. Special challenges for in-house departments
      1. Working in-house
      2. The big picture
      3. Skill sets
      4. Resource planning
      5. Internal marketing
      6. Your process
      7. Project planning and agreements
      8. Customer service
      9. Team issues
      10. Selecting appropriate tools
      11. Benchmarking
      12. For more information
  10. Afterword: Crossing borders
  11. Index
  12. Acknowledgments
  13. About the author