Category Archives: Rants & Ramblings

LogoGround

It’s finished.

LogoGround.com

Well, “finished” is relative. It’s live. Launched. Shipped, as Seth Godin would say. Like any web site, it will never be completely finished.

We have been getting many requests at Biz-Logo from designers wanting to sell their pre-designed logos there. I didn’t want to bite. Biz-Logo has always showcased our own pre-designed logos exclusively. The logical progression was to create a service specifically for crowdsourced pre-designed logos. Anyone can sign up and upload logos, but each logo will be approved individually before it’s available for sale on LogoGround. At the time of writing, LogoGround takes a 15% cut, the rest belongs to the designer.

Pre-designed logos crowdsourcing-style have been attempted before, but not very successfully. Biz-Logo’s 8 years experience selling pre-designed logos puts us in a good position. We understand and love the concept of pre-designed logos. LogoGround was built on that experience – as our idea of the perfect pre-designed logo world.

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Note To Self

Dear future me,

Unhappy?  I’ve figured it out for you. The key to happiness.

1. God. You need Him. When doubts creep in and you question everything, like you do from time to time, you still need Him. This is part of who you are. If this part of you is a mess or if you are ignoring it, you will not be happy. Make time. Sort it out with God.

2. Family. Leave your work, irritations and moods in the office. Family is what it’s about here on earth. It’s the earthly reward for all your toil. And for crying out loud, kids wanting to talk to you is more important than following the TV program which will air every night this week. Don’t shush them.

3. Passion. You have to be passionate about what you are doing with your life. If you are not passionate anymore it’s time for a change. Don’t be a sissy. Change.

4. Exercise. It’s tough and it gets tougher as you get older, but just sitting there watching your belly grow bigger each year is not you. Besides, exercise is a great cure for sleeplessness.

5. Sleep. It’s not only for sissies. When you are tired bad things seem bigger and good things seem smaller.

That’s the lot, in order of importance. Money, you may have noticed, is not on the list. It’s not unimportant, but making it is relatively easy and it contributes relatively little to your happiness. It may even be detrimental to your happiness.

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Just Another Nut

– Coherent navigation.
– At least some thought process behind the design and layout.
– No 404’s or “under construction” notices.
– Look up the difference between “its” and “it’s” already!

Otherwise you are just another nut with something to say. There are millions like you. I don’t care how important your message is, I simply cannot take you seriously.

My gripe is really with Christian web authors who seem to think that the Message alone is important and that the appearance of the site is completely irrelevant. I know how important the Message is, but shouldn’t that motivate you to do your best? It’s like the bulk of gospel music – beautiful lyrics, but the “music” part of “gospel music” seems to have been lost somewhere – as if we’re not allowed to criticize the music because it is religious in nature. Come on. If you’re designing/writing/singing for God, you really need to do better than “good enough”. The work you do is important. Take some pride in it.

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Catastrophic Data Loss

Most businesses that suffer catastrophic data loss don’t survive. These are businesses that were doing well, making money, expanding, no time for backups, hard drive fries, business unable to recover. Of course they fight hard to recover, but usually the hole that the data loss punches in the boat is just too big to plug and they sink.

Where do you store your critical information? Do you *know* that you have an off-site backup of that information or do you assume/trust that your IT guy or admin assistant has a backup somewhere?

Considering the amount of time, money, effort and sacrifice required to build a business, you’d think we would spend 5 minutes a week on backups. Buy an external hard drive with a USB connector. Do it today. They are cheap. Plug it into your PC. Run your backup utility of choice (I use the free version of SyncBack). Unplug your external hard drive and take it with you when you leave the office. When you get home, make a backup of your backup on your home PC. This entire process takes me about 5 minutes and I run through it every Friday.

(SyncBack is great because you create a profile once and then just run that profile whenever you want a new backup – or set it up to run automatically at scheduled intervals.)

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Vent Disorder

(Seth Godin made an interesting remark about this. I’m adding my voice.)

Dear client, when you work with a designer you work with a real person. Like other real people, we all have quiet days and busy days. You may feel that you have the right to insist on getting that design RIGHT NOW, but as designers we need to take pride in our work and we refuse to rush something if the quality will suffer as a result.

You have the right to post a bad review on some consumer site because that awful design company took an extra day to make sure that your designs were as good as they can be – or you can stop badmouthing honest companies that do their best and instead direct your rage at someone who deserves it. How about the company that blatantly misleads people? How about the politician with the broken promises? How about government corruption? Don’t you have something better to do with that energy? I know you do. I know that if you point that rage in the right direction you can make your world and mine a little better. Badmouthing honest companies will eventually achieve the opposite.

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3.5 out of 5

A friend’s employer awards a score of 3.5 out of 5 on his performance appraisal if he does everything he is supposed to do. That’s if he is never late, gets through all his work every day and always delivers on time. Only 3.5! The remaining 1.5 can be earned by doing more. Coming in to sort out a crises on your off weekend, working late to over-deliver, finding a way to improve the service – that sort of thing. Anything he’s not getting paid for.

I was glad to hear it. I though it might be only me expecting more from my team.

If you only do what you are supposed to do, you are not doing enough. Look for opportunities to make the company you work for better/stronger/more profitable. It’s called loyalty. As a graphic designer this might be as simple as aiming for “brilliant” with every design – not being satisfied with “good enough”.

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End of the World!

The end of the world!

Not.

The world did not end on May 21 as was predicted. There are predictions like this every year. Someone somewhere is convinced that the world will end and finds/manufactures “evidence” from Scripture or from  some archeological dig. I read that the first known apocalypse prediction was a couple of hundred years BC. A pottery shard containing a prediction that the world would end in their near future. And there have been thousands of these predictions since.

Considering the fact that not one has come true – not a single one – why are there still suckers every time? It can only be because a percentage of us WANT to believe that it’s all over. Want to be done with this life. Want it so badly that we are willing to simply ignore the zero percent success rate of these doom prophets. It’s a “get-me-outa-here” mentality.

According to the Bible, the world will surely end, but it is not for us to know when. The message is: Be ready, but don’t sit around waiting for the end. Get on with it. You can only make a difference if you do something.

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Do More and Tell Nobody

Jesus says it best in Mat. 6:2 “Therefore when you do your merciful deeds, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may have glory from men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward.”

The world can use more anonymous good deeds. Do more than the client paid for and don’t tell her. Why not? What if everyone had this attitude?

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No Thanks

As a designer, do you sometimes say “no”?

Do you draw the line with a difficult client?
Do you admit defeat if you are asked to build a site that you can’t really build?
Do you say “no” when the project doesn’t sit right with your morals/beliefs?

You’ll sleep better.

Say “no thanks” and tell the client exactly why. Be nice, but be honest.

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Dear Employee

1. Come to me when there is a problem, but please come with a possible solution as well. If I had all the answers, I would not need you.

2. When you can’t see a logical reason why I want something done in a certain way, please assume that I do have a reason.

3. Loyalty means doing more than you’re expected to. Loyalty is expected.

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