Blog into Christmas

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Just a quick blog to revive the brief mention I gave to one of my existing clients’ interest in bringing me on board for another project. I’ve just received some more in-depth details for this, and have been given the go-ahead to start templating and wireframing ASAP. This should be another great project to develop to be a part of the portfolio.

I also met with the food-based venture, for which I’ve been asked not to disclose any specific details of for the time being, but this is also all go, need to get back to them with three mood boards by the end of January.

Have sent a two quotes for the PHP-based system for myself and Toni’s projected time spent, based on a basic layout and more in-depth (dependent on accessibility to the existing system’s code), we’re waiting to hear back for a go-code.

No rest for the wicked.

Humbug.

Festive <nobr> time.

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Catherine has informed us we’re not allowed to do any work whatsoever over the Christmas period. So that’s nice, but it won’t happen as I’m busy as ever. No speaker this week, there’ll be a review of all my colleagues’ blogs on here in the near to distant imminent future, I will of course be very nice so as not to have tomatoes thrown at me, and with a bit of luck will give me some inspiration of even more to ramble about. I’m near the middle-ish end bit of drafting an article on the progressive uses of typography from the dawn of the webpage, which will also be posted for anyone who’s interested in that kind of gumph. *tumbleweed ensues*

Business cards need printing ready for my new-year-networking-resolution, the usual projects will of course continue, along with all the uni assignments due in January, and in addition I’ve just been called in by one colleague to assist with styling a part PHP-based system, and another to do final tweaks and complete coding for a band called The Hovercraft Pirates. I also have a meeting this friday for a corporate branding job for the launch of a mysterious new food-based venture.¬†Sometime in the new year I shall hopefully be spending some time with the visual marketing team at O2, so that should be something to look forward to as well – apparently my area manager is always keen to help employees advance to different sectors within the business, so that’s some potential financial security options when branching out on my own come the end of this year.

That’s a non-breaking-space tag in the title, by the way. The first rule of design club, is you do not talk about design club. The second rule of design club, is no smoking (unless you hang your head out of the window).

Merry non-breaking Christmas.

Dan Brown – Bath In Time

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

This week’s guest speaker was Dan Brown, photographer and ‘web entrepreneur’ (not the writer).

He started up and still runs Bath In Time photography as a one-man-band, and reinforced some of the things other speakers have been saying. Being passionate about what you do is key, and will lead to success, even if it sounds clich√©, he says. It’s really hard starting up by yourself, but a lot of fun having the freedom of doing it that way. It’s all about being lucky with who you meet and networking (his Flickr helped him alot with this); being the guy who ‘knows everyone’ can never hurt, meeting people, and just seeing them around again can sometimes be enough.

I’m now 99% certain I’ll be attempting to go into industry with an FdA rather than sticking around for another year for the BA, strategy being keeping up part time work to pay the rent and bills, and hitting the freelance work as my own small business hard along with networking hard to be able to afford food.

Good news on the networking front; I chased up Keir Whitaker of Carsonified who I met over the summer, who will be able to offer me a work placement sometime in the coming year; really looking forward to meeting the team, it seems like a company who I could learn alot from.

Also got the draft of my upcoming essay/rant/blogXL finished, so that’ll probably get posted on here once it’s all shiny and polished. I figure my blog might have some sort of home environment for a good old ramble about web typography with a hint of CSS3 love/IE hate thrown in.

The cake is a lie.

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Just had a talk with Bella Gingell, a local businesswoman. Some fantastic advice focused more around starting and running a business, and really motivated me to get certain rear regions in gear as well. Lessons learned include:

  • Do written quotes – protect oneself; don’t get shafted by clients who don’t want to pay
  • Put aside for VAT
  • Be careful choosing clients – see above
  • Find an accountant who can be bribed/blackmailed – a good one, and stay friendly, they’re worth the earth if you’re not good with numbers. (Think I’m alright on this one for the time being)
  • ‘Expenditure up, profit down’ means paying less for the taxman, but less luck with bank loans. Plan ahead, and work out if the business can be self-sufficient.
  • Get a business bank account, keep things separate
  • Keep receipts for everything.

Oh, and offers of cake can be seen as a distraction from not actually being very good at what you do. Show off and be memorable with work, not with unrelated gifts.

Definitely one of the most valuable sets of advice from a guest speaker yet.