How do I get myself known?


New Member
Hi guys! I'm new all this forum business so I'll start by saying my name is Abiee Lucas and I am a graphic design student with the hope of becoming a freelance graphic designer. I was just wondering if anyone could give me any tips on getting myself out there and getting people to look at my website?
My twitter is @vita_designs
I would also appreciate it if anyone could give me any feedback on my work!
Hi Abiee,

Welcome to the forum. Great to hear you're pursuing a career in graphic design.

Always hone your skills; great designers produce great work because they love what they're doing and constantly experiment with new techniques and develop creative concepts. Half of the work in design is in understanding the brief in front of you, researching every aspect of it and then getting all the ideas from your head down on paper. Remember that no designer should have a "style" - illustrators & artists are defined by their styles, designers should be able to apply their skills & knowledge to tackle a wide variety of briefs in a wide variety of ways. The best start for new designers to develop conceptual and design-thinking is to move away from a computer; take a sketchbook on a walk, get down to the library or a gallery or go and speak to relevant people to do some research, when you have a brief always start by drawing/sketching, never start your actual design process on-screen, it might be that your final response doesn't even need a computer!

On the reverse of that, the modern world also demands that designers have web-capabilities too, so get stuck into writing some code, Code Academy is a great (and free) place to start learning and designing & building your own portfolio website is a perfect first web brief (because you'll be the client!) Whatever you do, push the boundaries and step out of your comfort zone.

In terms of portfolio/website advice, I'd say look at moving away from a free web-service as soon as you're ready to. There are some low-cost alternatives that will showcase your work (and yourself) a hundred times better. Try to build a portfolio that demonstrates clever design-thinking (in response to a set brief) as well as technical ability - there are always old design briefs floating around the D&AD or ISTD site if you need to set yourself some restrictions, I'd tackle one of those and include the information in your portfolio: What was the brief? What did you do to respond to it effectively? Why does your response work? Design can be subjective but the basic formula I apply is:

Great idea + good execution = Good design
Good idea + great execution = Good design
Great idea + great execution = Great design

The chronology of that is also accurate, the idea for your design always has to come first before you can execute it.

In terms of getting yourself out there as a freelancer, start small. Approach local businesses and introduce yourself; don't necessarily ask for work, but attend networking events with your business cards at-the-ready and go and meet some local entrepreneurs, you'll be in their mind the next time they, or someone they're talking to, begins to think about design work.

Another little tip would be to approach print-houses, either independent companies or the local branch of a big chain, as they might have overflow work that they need doing, but it might not be feasible to hire someone full-time. Arrange an hourly rate with them and start building a relationship by handling each project pushed your way on an ad hoc basis, the work will be far from glamorous but it will be a start, and you'll get paid for the work you put in! - If you are still studying at the moment remember that has to come first, but try and supplement it with "real-world" experiences too. When you eventually strike out as a freelancer there will be much more to consider in terms of effectively running your own business, but look into that nearer the time.

In terms of getting web-traffic, I wouldn't overly concern yourself with it. You'll find that most commercial jobs you get are from recommendations from previous jobs or from actually meeting people. Very few clients will do a random search for a designer and those that do are usually looking for the cheapest solution they can get. The majority of traffic you'll get will be from other people working in the creative sector, the other small bit will be from prospective clients directed there through recommendations.

This is all tip-of-the-iceberg stuff too, there's plenty of other hints, tips & advice all of the 'net, but I hope it helps =)