Thanks to the guys at “Freelance Switch”, here’s a freelance “hourly rate” calculator! http://freelanceswitch.com/rates/

WHERE WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO VISIT ON YOUR PLANET?

On my planet? Ooo, really limiting my options. Honestly, anywhere that’s worth photographing. As long as I’ve got my camera, I’m set.

how much for a logo

That depends on a lot of things, most specifically be the amount of epic you’d like me to push into it.

Branding & Rebranding: A quick “how to”.

Branding is a big deal. So big that it’s not only the first thing others will most likely see of your company, but more likely the last if it isn’t up to par.

That being said, forget everything I just said.

So many designers and cinematographers get so caught up in the weight that branding holds, that they simply don’t do it. The common misconception is that once a branding is in motion, it can’t be shifted or changed. Not true.

There are a lot of great examples of this, but just to prove my point, take a look at Abduzeedo.com

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Started by Fabio Sasso, abduzeedo was nothing special. It had a few cool tutorials, but it was so confusing to find them that I often felt less creative, and more annoyed after visiting.

After a hard look at what he wanted, Fabio completely changed the tone of the webpage and brought a modern, easy to use design to backup his rebranding.

The result of this rebranding was amazing. Within months, Fabio now gets over 100,000 viewers a day, and nearly 3 million views a month. I was going to show before and after shots, but the rebranding was so effective that I can’t even find the old webpage design in Google.

That may have felt like a tangent, but it’s entirely relevant. The deal is, without rebranding, many would wait so long to ever attempt a brand in fear of being stuck with it that they might never attempt on at all.

So now that you’re over your fear of branding, let’s take a look at how to go about creating one!

  1. Do it.

    The end. Not really, but seriously, this is where most of you are going to get hung up. As humans, we procrastinate (and by humans, I mean me). Getting started is a huge leap closer to getting branded. 

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What you’re looking at is my first attempt of a brand, ever. In fact, I made this while I was just starting out in Photoshop; less in the designing stage, and more in the messing around stage.

I used to think this was the coolest thing with pixels… until I started to see other’s brands. That’s when I mashed it up a bit, and came up with the brand you see on this webpage (at the current time).

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After I got my feet grounded a bit more on what I wanted the design to look like, I changed the font and orientation to a less structured (straight alignment), to a more fluid look. It was a small step, but it did what I needed at the time.

Here’s the tricky bit. If you’re anything like me, then you’re consistently getting bigger and better ideas, and your learning should be growing to match your craving for more creative design. This slight change in design didn’t stray so far as to completely break the brand I had already established, but instead improved on it enough to show that my brand was evolving as I evolved as a designer.

Is completely changing a brand a bad thing though? Not if it’s going to be for the better. A change in design is usually needed if a company isn’t doing well, which might be a good time to look into an entirely new look.

Who knows, perhaps a complete re-branding is in my future as well.

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"10 Awesome Youtube Channel Designs!"

To most people, stardom is basically impossible.
Unless you’re a junior high school male with an un-naturally high voice that every young girl would (and do) go to concerts for in the hopes that you’ll reach out and touch their “fever”ed hand, then you’re probably just straight out luck.

However, with a little luck (and the ability to read the title of this post), you might have already figured out that everything before this statement was, yes, just a lewd into the ever popular video sharing media site, Youtube.

If the fact that YouTube just so happens to be the largest source of video content anywhere comes as a surprise to you, then now would be a prime-time to stop what you’re reading and go get a laugh or two. Not in the mood for a laugh? With over 200,000+ videos being uploaded daily, there’s a fairly good chance that one of them just might tickle your fancy.

As it just so happens, this is a design blog written from a designer’s perspective. As such, I’ll be talking about the, you hopefully guessed it, design in YouTube. Fancy that! It is not the design of the webpage itself that intrigues me however, but rather the many uploaders and their respective channels.

With billions upon billions of views, a fight for views can seem more a fish in a shark tank than an aquarium. The difference between being a fish or a shark depends on your appearance.

Just as you wouldn’t (or rather, shouldn’t) trust a poorly designed website, the same is true for your channel. Using presets, or worse still, not changing your layout at all, can often lead a loss in viewers.

Remember: Your YouTube channel should reflect your videos.

If your channel is boring, then viewers will assume your videos are boring.

The best way to win over the competition? Know your enemy. Look up good channels, learn from their designs, and re-hash your own design for a new look that will bring in new viewers.

"But Jate, I don’t use Youtube enough to know where to look for good design *sadface*".

Aww, don’t feel sad! I (being the grade A Youtube time waster that I am) went out and found some examples for you!

I present to you,

"10 Awesome Youtube Channel Designs!"

…in no particular order.


Charlie Is So Cool Like

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Charlie is, well, cool! A 20-something, Charlie just so happens to have a rather light-hearted channel layout. A bit of scribbles on the sides, a bubbly title, and a fabulously English accent to top it all off. While it’s not the “coolest” of the designs I’ve seen, it fits Charlie’s free-spirit and happy-go-lucky attitude. Whatever it is, it must be working, because Charlie is ranked #1 in the United Kingdom at the time of this post!

4OD

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"4OD" is probably the highest quality Youtube page I’ve ever come across. Loaded with a fancy flash scrolling internet web thingie (that should be its official name), there is a reason for the flashy (no pun intended) landing page. 4OD is no other than "Channel 4 on Demand".

Mike Diva

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In with a “wild card”, Mike Diva is not really that popular. However, I have a feeling he will soon jump in the ranks as one of the top viewed in the near future, as his productions have only increased in quality over the course of the last year or so. His channel, however, is absolutely beautiful. Right from the start, it shows the audience that Mike Diva is going to bring a certain standard to his videos, as well as bring a futuristic feel to the mix.

MysteryGuitarMan

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MysteryGuitarMan is no newbie to Youtube. Since his early videos of stop motion productions with a guitar, Joe (mystery ruined!) has brought simply amazing effects with a sophisticated, time appreciative feel and a channel design to match. Good illustration and a 3D title let the user know a lot of work goes into these videos, as well as that he is taking advantage of YouTube’s new 3D options (you can even by his special edition 3D glasses!)

Pepsi

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Who? Seriously though, everyone knows Pepsi! What you might not have known is that they are advertising geniuses. That’s right, this company doesn’t take a backseat like some of the other companies on Youtube. Instead, they know their audience and bring it to them what they want, while branding every second of it with a name people can relate with. A simple layout, Pepsi’s Youtube page is simple and modern. What’s amazing is that rather than just post the latest Pepsi commercials, they get amazing footage from famous actors or athletes to bring quality footage any Youtube would be proud to brandish.

Motorola

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And then there was Motorola. Now I felt I should add these guys because I’m talking simply about layout design, and as far as that goes, Motorola brings a beautiful layout that tells the user what their going to get out of their videos. However, that’s where it ends. Motorola has nothing but their latest commercial on their channel, and the cool devices on the side are obviously there for marketing. As far as the layout side goes though, they get a plus in my book.

RayWilliamJohnson

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Ray is the host of Equals Three. A funny, witty commentator, he essentially reviews other Youtube videos that his viewers send him to watch. His layout makes subtle use of this special Youtube standing as a Youtube Producer to bring clickable titles at the top bar next to his head. I added Ray into the mix, not because it’s the greatest thing I’ve seen since the coza asy video, but rather because it’s so simple. It’s his face, and the title of his channel. That’s basically it. However, the initiative to do this simple little layout is worth its weight in gold (especially since you can’t weigh a channel). Out of the millions of Youtube Users, only a select few ever do this much with their channel. Be one of those people if you want to make it.

FreddieW

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Freddie and his friend, Brandon work together to create some of the coolest video effects on Youtube. Everything from video game reenactments to guns that shoot flowers, these guys pack as much awesome into their layout as they do into their videos. At a glance, you can see that these are effect specialists (aka, youtube producers with great ideas and the know-how to do them) and you get easy access to all of their social networking options with easy to see blocks at the top of the page.

Tobuscus

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Tobuscus, aka, Toby Turner is a guy who is just all around hilarious. Best known for his “Intro of darkness, then redness, then whiteness”, he’s brought many a phrases into existence and pop culture via his channel. To couple his random, funny videos, his layout is equally random and funny. It also features previously mentioned easy access to social networking options via the top-bar.

ThatGuyFromTwitter

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…Yeah, it’s mine. Whatchagonnado? It’s not the greatest, and it’s not even close to popular, but I figured that if I was going to call you out here to have a gander at the above listed popular channels, that you would throw the “but they have support ‘cause they’re popular!” card. The thing is, it doesn’t take much, just a little bit here or there to show that you tried. I don’t claim to have one of the best channels on Youtube… actually, I guess I just did, didn’t I? Well, I’m taking it back. Just know that even if you don’t have access to the Youtube Producer Advanced Settings options, you can still make a page that lets your viewers know you’re doing the best with whatcha got. Also, fun fact, the background has my face on it, and there are secret o . o faces hidden at the bottom of the channel (zoom out).

And there you have it! An imperfect list of some of my personal favorites.

If you’ve got a cool YouTube page you’d like to show off to the world (or at least a few of the people living on it), write a little post about it and send it in using the “Submit A Post” button on the side bar to the right of this post!

Product design, and why product comes before design.

Creativity can, and often does, come from just about anywhere. For me, listening to different musical artists generally produces different digital art. Be whatever your tastes may be, this rule should definitely be applied especially when producing CD covers for a band.

If you’re just starting out in the graphic design field, offering free help to local bands that you actually believe in is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door. As an added bonus, you never know when you’re favorite band might become your favorite world wide band, effectively spreading your CD album to later paying customers in the process!

That’s all good in theory, but how does one know what kind of CD cover to produce? Especially with so many different types no a days.

Brilliant question!

As I mentioned earlier, the best way to make a CD cover, is to drawl inspiration from the music itself. Listen to the band, go to a show, talk with the producers.

Remember, you’re goal is too effectively visually represent the music, long before it’s ever downloaded, copied, or stuck in the cd player.

To get you started off, here are a few examples that I took just browsing through a local CD store:

Most of the above CDs are indie bands, with the exception of the Fray and Deftones which I added because… well, those albums are really just awesome and deserve recognition.

Remember, if looking for inspiration, checkout other bands in the same genera! Competition is a great way to gage your work, and to make sure that your’s is always a step ahead.

Oh good, you made it!

I made this blog template to match my branding of “JateDesigns” a while back using wordpress and never did much with it. In fact, I remember tumblr giving me a hard time when I tried to get it to upload, and eventually had to cut it up into pieces and run it through a blank template that way.

"Why did you go to all that trouble and not use it until now?"

 Hmm…good question.

The thing is, I’m multitrack minded.

That is to say that I don’t look at things like a road or highway; one direction until I get there.

Rather, I think more on the lines of a tree with many branches. I start at the base, but with so many off-shoots, I don’t commit to one road. Instead, I work on many different things at once hoping that they will eventually meet up with another branch and be of some help down the road.

Rather you understand that line of thought or not, simply put, I like to learn. I learn new things without expecting any end goal other than knowledge of a new subject or idea I have never tried or learned before.

In this way, I have learned how to do Photography, Photoshop, Illustrator, Cinema4D (mostly for 3D typography), and the many branches that draw from them.

"Is it effective?"

 Well, that depends on who you ask. For me, very. Like I said, I’m currently exploring for knowledge, which this method gives me the ability to be open in my production ideas, programs, and techniques.

For more information about me and what I expect to post here, checkout my “About Me” page; link located on the sidebar.

Thanks to my friend and roommate, Brantley (@BrantRecon) for the awesome faces.

Thanks to my friend and roommate, Brantley (@BrantRecon) for the awesome faces.

Canon T1i, a Softbox, and Photoshop CS4.

Canon T1i, a Softbox, and Photoshop CS4.