I get a good deal of messages from people asking me questions about design. I try to answer as many as I can, but I’m unable to get to all of them. So, here’s a roundup of my answers to some of the most common questions I receive.
What typeface should I use?
Should I use a grid?
Yep. 12 columns.
How much should I charge for my work?
What’s wrong with my portfolio?
It doesn’t say what you want from the viewer. Ditch the meaningless “I create bold experiences for a new world” copy at the top and replace it with something more direct like “I’m looking for a senior designer job at a publishing company” or “I’m looking for new clients who make sustainable vehicles” or something equally specific. If you want something, you gotta ask for it.
Do I need a design system?
If you work at an enterprise: yes. You’re probably reinventing the wheel more than you should.
If you work at a startup: no. Your time is probably best used creating more value for your customers and your investors.
I work at an enterprise and am reinventing the wheel more than I should. I need a design system. Where should I start?
That’s the most successful way I’ve seen to start a design system.
How do I get promoted at my job?
Work on something that directly makes your boss or your company more money. Then tell them often that you did/are doing that and that you could do more of that if you get a better title, more money, and a company credit card.
How can I tell if my startup/product idea is any good?
Put up a landing page this weekend, ask all of your friends to tell their friends about it, and see how many email signups you get.
What colors should go in my color palette?
Black, white, and one strong accent color.
Can the answers to these questions really be so simple?
I mean, most questions can be answered with, “It depends,” but I hate giving that answer. I’d rather give you a definitive starting point even if it’s wrong, because it’s easier to revise than create.
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