Watch Me Work: Real Client Design Projects | Dylan Mierzwinski | Skillshare

Watch Me Work: Real Client Design Projects

Dylan Mierzwinski, Illustrator & Lover of Flowers

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16 Lessons (3h 12m)
    • 1. Class Introduction

      1:22
    • 2. Class Project

      0:38
    • 3. Book Cover: Onboarding Pt. 1

      23:39
    • 4. Book Cover: Onboarding Pt. 2

      30:24
    • 5. Book Cover: Skeleton

      19:18
    • 6. Book Cover: Refining Pt. 1

      16:05
    • 7. Book Cover: Refining Pt. 2

      13:43
    • 8. Book Cover: Final Edits & Delivery

      22:40
    • 9. Postcard: Onboarding

      9:37
    • 10. Postcard: Rough Draft

      5:39
    • 11. Postcard: Refining

      18:15
    • 12. Postcard: Final Edits & Delivery

      15:27
    • 13. Web App: Onboarding

      4:38
    • 14. Web App: Refining

      9:31
    • 15. Web App: Delivery

      0:57
    • 16. Thank You!

      0:30
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About This Class

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In this Skillshare class I take you behind the scenes of three real client projects from initial email to final delivery! Unlike my past classes where I focus in on a specific tool or skill set, this class is focused on the process of working with a client to complete a project, though fear not, I do talk about the tools I’m using along the way. I’ll go through both a range of projects: 

  • Redesigning a book cover
  • Illustrating and designing a postcard
  • and Re-skinning a web app 

and tools 

  • Illustrator
  • Photoshop
  • iPad + Procreate  

It’s one thing to learn the technical skills to complete the work for a project, but it’s quite another to learn how to manage the whole project. Take this as your chance to intern or shadow a designer (me!), right from your computer. Some of the things we’ll touch on are:

  • Negotiating quotes 
  • Providing contracts
  • Apologizing to clients
  • Skeletons/rough designs
  • Handling revisions and presenting iterations
  • Making decisions about fonts, color, and layout based on function instead of aesthetic
  • Balancing decision making with letting your client lead the way
  • Being flexible for different types of clients
  • File management
  • Asset Delivery
  • Time tracking
  • and more!

See you in class! Oh, and feel free to stop by my locker (... er Instagram) to chat afterwards if you have time :)

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Transcripts

1. Class Introduction: Hey, guys. I'm Dylan Mierzwinski, Illustrator and Graphic Designer living in Phoenix, Arizona. In this Skillshare class, I'm trying something brand new. Instead of focusing in on a single tool or skill set that you can take with you to your next project, I'm taking you behind the scenes on three of my real-life client projects from beginning e-mail to final delivery. All the contracts, quotes, client work, everything that's in there, I'm showing it to you. I would think when I started off as a designer the one thing I wish I would have known is that design projects have a lot more to them than just design. It's not enough to learn the technical work. You got to have the skills to maneuver a full project. So this class is to help fill in all of those gaps. In the first project, we're going to redesign a book cover in Illustrator. The second project uses Procreate in Photoshop to create an illustrated marketing postcard, and the final project brings us back to Illustrator for a quick web app reskin. Not everybody has the chance to intern or shadow another designer. So, I'm inviting you into my apartment to see three real-life client projects that I worked on. Grab your notebook and your favorite pen and let's get started. 2. Class Project: For this class project, I've given you two project briefs that you can choose between to work on. One of them is more design-oriented with just sort of compiling assets that a client gives you with a certain mission, and the other one has a chance for illustration and it's more you can kind of put your creativity into that one a little bit more. Each project brief comes with details about the project, it comes with the assets that are involved and the freedom to interpret that brief and solve that brief as best as you can. 3. Book Cover: Onboarding Pt. 1: Let's start with the book cover design. This project is interesting, because most of my work comes to me from referrals, so past work or people that I know. So, even if I don't know the client themselves, I usually have a touch point for where they're coming from, or what they're like, or can associate them with another client which helps. But that's not the case here. This project started casually in a Facebook group with a woman that I didn't know, and it blossomed into a really short and sweet book cover project. This project is a great example of how sometimes the work itself, so when I'm actually an Illustrator, doing the work, is the quickest part in the correspondence, and project on boarding, and going back and forth with a client is really lengthy. So, let's jump into this project on boarding, and I'll give you a heads up. There's a lot of back and forth here, and it won't be the case for all three projects that I show you, but I think it's a great example to show you what it's like to go from zero to 100 with a client. On December 4th of last year, Cate Brubaker posted this in a Facebook group that we're both part of, "Does anyone here design book covers? If so, please link two samples of your work and info/prices. I'm looking for someone to upgrade my self designed workbook cover and thought I'd start by looking in this group. Thanks." Almost three weeks later and after a lot of people already replied to her, I decided that I would throw my name in there too, because it sounded like a simple project, and it was around that time that I just needed some extra freelance work. So, I wrote back and said, "You've probably found someone, but if you're still looking, I'm an illustrator, and artist, and I price by the job. You can get a sense of my style from my Instagram." So a few quick points here. You'll notice that I didn't send her samples as she asked for, and that's because first of all, I hadn't designed book covers before, so I didn't have any of that specific project to show her. Also, this was around the time that I was really transitioning from a graphic design to illustration, and was taking stuff down from my portfolio that was traditional graphic design. But I still wanted to show her that I'm not just a random person who's saying I can do design. I wanted her to see that I do, I've got taste, then I can execute this. So, I gave her my Instagram just to give her something. On December 22nd, so that same day, I get an e-mail from Cate that says, "Hey Dylan, I saw your note in the Facebook group. Thanks. Here's a bit about my project. I created a hard copy workbook for people in re-entry after living abroad about one and a half years ago through CreateSpace/Amazon, and I'm now doing an update. I created a simple cover that's gotten great response, and fits my branding color and font wise, but I'd now like to update it, and add a back cover. I'd like to keep the basic front cover design, but I'd like for it to look a bit more polished. I may also change the title/subtitle wording a bit. I also would like to add a back cover that features testimonials, and my photo, and bio. The workbook is US, eight and a half by 11. I need the finished cover formatted for CreateSpace by mid to late February 2018. Please send me a price estimate for this project and any questions you have. Thanks and Happy holidays, Cate." So the first thing I want to take a look at before we move on is, as a freelancer and as a working designer or artist, it's important to be able to pull out the most important information when you're talking with a client. In this very first one, this is an awesome intro email from a client. Very rarely do I get such specific information about what is needed. Usually, because clients don't always know. They don't always work with designers. They may not have worked with them before or maybe they don't understand what your role is in the project. So anyway, let's take a look at this from a who, what, where, when, why situation, because that's whenever I'm getting on board with a client, that's what I'm figuring out is what is the basic project that we're tackling here? So, let's start with the who. The who is Cate Brubaker, the author of this book. The what is, it's a hard copy workbook. The where, it's created through CreateSpace and Amazon and becomes a physical book. The when, she needs it by mid to late February, and the why is it's time for an update. She just feels she needs to polish it up. The how to move forward, is she needs a price estimate to see if we can work together. So, when you look at it that way, it's really easy to boil it down to what is needed here, and this would have been a great opportunity for me to write back, and to get the project going, but unfortunately, it was sent around December 22nd which was around the holidays and I just totally did not see her email. Honestly, I don't know if I didn't see it, or if I saw it and didn't think much of it, because of the holidays, but I did not write back to her. I totally flaked out. A month later on January 22nd, she reaches out again and says, "Hey Dylan, after seeing your note in the Facebook group in response to my book cover project, I contacted you with the details of my project in December. I wanted to check in and see if you got that email. Please contact me at blank if you'd like to discuss the book cover project. Thanks. Cate Brubaker." So there's a bit of telling stuff right here. Even though I just totally flaked out and didn't get back to her, she reached out to me again a month later. That means that she really is interested. She's still looking for a designer, she hasn't found somebody that she's happy with. She didn't eliminate me from the list just from being flaky. I've been given a second chance here with this client, and so I write back to her, and I say, "Hey Cate, I owe you about four apologies. When I saw this email come across, it had already been a while. It was during the holiday shuffle, and I figured you found someone excellent for the job. I'm really sorry for the delay. So glad you followed back up. If you'd like to work together on the book cover, I've attached a quote for what I think the job entails. Pricing is the hardest part of a service and talent based job. so know that this is negotiable. We both have to like and feel good about the investment for it to work. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Dylan." So the first thing here is about apologizing to your client. Honestly, if I were to rewrite this email today, I wouldn't have even put the first sentence in there about it being the holiday shuffle and thinking that she found somebody else, because even a really good excuse, it's still just muddy as an apology. It makes it sound like you're saying, "I'm sorry, but please forgive me because I have this reason." When really, I just want to say, "Oh my gosh, I'm sorry for being a butt-head, and I'm so glad you followed back up." The most important part is to apologize, but then to end on a positive note so it's not just a downer apology. "So glad you followed back up," tells her that I'm excited for this project. You'll notice that I didn't ask her if I should attach a quote. I just went ahead and made one. Because that's what she requested in her very first email if I could send an estimate. So, with your emails with your clients, you always want to be moving things forward. You'll notice in this project that we already, Cate and I accumulate a lot of emails back and forth. All of them I'd say were pretty important. They all have a central stuff in it. So, if you're sending a lot of extraneous emails it's going to add up really quickly. So, I went ahead and attach that quote, and I let her know that the quote is negotiable. It's really, really important that I at least for my branding and my brand that I don't come off as a used car sales person. A really nice shift happens for designers and artists when you get to a point where you no longer have to say yes, and you have a choice to say yes. I really want to have that calm feeling of confidence, come across to my clients so that they feel comfortable to make the decision that's best for them. Because at the end of the day, I'm not the best designer for everybody, and every client project is not the best project for me. So, it's important for me to foster this feeling of positivity with my client, and honesty with them, so that it's just like saying,'' Hey, here are my cards on the table. You tell me where you're at, and then we're going to find the best way forward.'' Let's talk about this quote that I came up with. I'd like to start by itemizing the things that I'll be moving through with the project. It's important to find a balance of making sure that you're not listing out every tiny little thing. I'm not going to tell her working in Illustrator, and formatting type, and finding fonts. Those are all things that I know are part of the work process. So, I like to go through and just nail down what those are. So, the first thing that I put on almost every single design quote, even if I think the project doesn't need it, is a mood board and creative brief. Because those are roadmaps for the project. Now, in this case, Cate has told me pretty clearly what she wants and what she's looking for, and it sounds to me like I really don't need to bring much creativity to the table. I really just need to bring my designer eye and my technical skills at doing layout and everything. However, I'm already emailing back and forth with Cate. There's a lot of emailing that happens, and I want to make sure that any time that she and I spend getting on the same page, is accounted for. So, I always like to give too much in the first quote, and then have to negotiate down, instead of giving them the bare bones and then trying to add in all of this other stuff to make up for all of the time that goes into it. So, mood boarding, creative brief, and 2-3 theme direction pages. Again, I'm not sure that she's going to need this, but even if a client thinks that they know really well what they want, there's still a process of getting that vision from their brain into your brain. So, it's nice to give yourself time. Because that is your time. If you're going back and forth with a client asking them questions about their project, you wouldn't be doing much if they didn't hire you for the project. So, any work that goes into the project that you're doing, because you're getting paid for it, should be considered in the time that you're quoting. So, I've got those in there. Next, the rendering of the final book cover design and three rounds of reasonable edits. This is the actual work. This is one I'm in Illustrator, playing with the type and the colors and the layout, and going back and forth with Cate to make sure everything is perfect. Then print ready files; vendor go-between if necessary. I think of this as like filling in the gaps work. I already know that I need to make sure that this file is ready to go for create space. So, I know that I'm going to be dealing with exporting and making sure that the file format is all set. Anybody that's work as a designer knows that you never export perfectly on the first try. I don't know that I've ever done it. You always read through and find a typo, or you see kerning that's off, or a myriad of tiny little things, and you end up exporting five times. Before you know it, you've spent 45 minutes or an hour just exporting and typing up emails. So, again, your time is very valuable, and you want to be realistic. Just because you don't tell a client about it, doesn't mean that you won't have to do it. So, you want to find that great balance of, ''Hey, here is all the stuff that I need to do to get your project done.'' That helps them know what is going into it. Next, I go ahead and try to estimate how many hours it will take to do this. Now, a little caveat, I do not give my clients an hourly rate. I do sometimes. You'll see that in the third project, that there are some cases where an hourly rate makes a lot of sense. However, for the most part it doesn't. I will link to an article that explains it really well. But the main ideas are this, paying by the hour doesn't award efficiency. So, if a lesser experienced designer and I are doing the same task, and it takes that designer three hours to do it, and it only takes me a half hour to an hour to do it, why should I get paid less when really I'm showing more expertise and more mastery there? So, there's that idea. That it's not a great reflection of what's happening. Not only that, time isn't the only thing that goes in and dictates what you're doing, it's not just time spent. Its time, and talent, and work. So, it doesn't really make a lot of sense to boil your price down only to time. Now, of course the hourly rate can consider all of the work and everything, but still, I think that what it does, is it takes your client and it makes them focus on the time, and I want to negotiate the work with my clients, not the time and not the talent. So, if I give them an hourly rate and I say, "Okay. My hourly rate is this. I think it will take me this long to do it." Then, they might come back and say, ''Oh. Well, why don't you only spend an hour on the mood board instead, and how about you do this?'' Then, they start trying to dictate my time to me. That's not, that doesn't make any sense. I would never hire a plumber to come fix something for me in my house, and say why don't you just spend an hour on the dishwasher and then we'll check in and see where we're at. That doesn't make any sense. There's a certain reality to getting a job done, and so you want to consider that. However, I like to use hourly estimates so that and an hourly rate so that I can just calculate things behind the scenes, so that I know that I have a consistent way to price my jobs. But I'm still protecting myself by not advertising that hourly rate. Because then the other thing is then people start like, ''You think you deserve to get paid $100 an hour, or $50 an hour?'' That just is beside the point. So, I like to keep that all behind the scenes, and then I just give my client an itemized list and one number, and then we can negotiate the work if that's necessary. So, these first two items, the mood board and creative brief, and then the 2-3 theme direction pitches. Those are really just like work that's getting on the same page, and I think that that will take one to three hours with this project. The rendering of the final book cover design, so the actual work. It really is just layout work. It sounds like she doesn't need illustration from me. It doesn't seem like I need to find a lot of even like the fonts and everything, and so I think two to three hours is reasonable. Then, for print ready stuff, I'll do a blanket one to two hours, because there's always filling in the gaps stuff that takes up time. So, what I then do, is I take that hourly estimate, and I have a range of an hourly rate that I typically on average get paid, and that's 50 to 75 an hour. That is not all the time. Some projects if I did the math, I got paid a lot more per hour, and other projects I got paid a lot less. When I was starting off. This is just part of it. You're going to make bad pricing decisions. But when I was starting off, I was pricing way too low, and I would go to look at how much I ended up getting paid per hour, and it was like $5 to $7 an hour. So, you just want to have something that seems like, okay, what do I value my work at. That's a whole deeper discussion. I know Peggy Dean just published a class on pricing your work. I would highly recommend going and checking that out. I haven't seen it yet, but I know everything Peggy does is great, and she's very successful at what she does. So, there are lots of resources out there for valuing your work. But I will say, find an hourly rate that works for you and feels good, and try to stick to that. The reason I have a range is because my work varies. Sometimes I'm doing very technical work like, what I'm thinking I'll be doing with this book cover is more traditional graphic design layout. I'm just her hands, in this case. As the work starts to get more custom, if it's using more of my illustration skills and more of my creativity, that hourly rate is going to go up to the higher end. So, I take that hourly rate, that range, and I take the range of my wage, and I multiply those together to get a range in the quote. So, I estimate that this project will take four to eight hours, so I'm going to multiply the four hours times $50 to get my lower end of the estimate. Then I'm going to take the eight and multiply it by 75 to get the higher end of the estimate, which gives me a pretty big scale of $200 to $600. That feels good to me. That seems like a book cover redesign should fall into that range. Part of that is just experience and being around a lot of design projects so you just start to develop a gut for that. But $200 and $600, those $ amounts are pretty far apart, and so I want to find something. I want to start rationalizing, okay, what number makes sense? For one thing, $200, I know that that's unrealistic. There is never a time where I fall on the lower side of my hourly estimate regularly. So, I just know that I'm not going to be very happy if I give her a price of $200 and it takes me even an extra hour to do it, I'm just not going to be happy. I'm going to be resentful, and that makes the work really, really hard to complete. So, $200 is too low. Six hundred, on the other hand, seems just too high to me. Like I said, I'm not doing custom illustration. I don't really have to bring my Dylan flair to this. I just have to bring my Dylan design technical skills to this. So, I came up with this number of $425, and I feel good about that because if it takes the full eight hours, I'm still getting paid like 53 bucks an hour. If it takes only four hours, I'm getting paid like $103 an hour, so that just is a comfortable range. I feel good that if she says yes to this, I know that I'm getting paid fairly, and I also feel like I'm giving her a really fair price based on all of the things that I'm offering her. So, that's the quote that I went ahead and sent off. Cate emailed back a few days later, and we're still in late January here. She says, "Hey, Dylan. Thanks for getting back to me with a quote. It's unfortunately above my budget at the moment, but I do appreciate the reply. I already have the design, colors, etc., so I wouldn't need the first two items or at least not to the full extent. I really just need someone who can add the back cover, copy and a photo, polish the existing front cover design and put it in the format needed to upload to create space. I'll upload it. I'm considering changing the fonts, so I might also need a suggestion there or at least confirmation that the new fonts work well together. If that changes the quote at all, please let me know." A few things here. I have sent quotes to clients before and then never heard back from them again. So, the fact that this doesn't fit her budget but she wrote back is another great sign that she is interested in working together. I don't know if maybe I'm the only designer that she's got right now or if she's fishing or fishing out with a few others and trying to pick one that's best, but she is still interested. The other thing is she's not saying, "Hey, this is above my budget. Can you do the same amount of work for less?" She's saying, "Hey, this is above my budget, but I don't think I need all of that work you quoted me." So, this is what I'm talking about when I say negotiate the work, not the time and talent that goes into the work. So, I really like this conversation I'm having with Cate. It makes me want to do the project for her because she's being reasonable, because I can tell she's a good client and so I'm surely going to go ahead and take a look at that quote. Also not only that, she told me really succinctly and clearly what she needs here. To be fair to Cate, she's told me that from the beginning she's not surprising me with any new information here. But like I said, even when a client thinks they know what they want, try to overdeliver it first and then negotiate down. It's way easier to do it that way than the other way. Now, I have this confirmation from Cate of, okay, this is truly all she needs. She needs help with layout. She's adding this back cover and she just needs to update the overall design because it's a little dated or it's not doing it for her anymore. So, I'm going to go back to my quote and cross off those first two items because I don't think that they are necessary. Even if there is a little bit of back and forth, she mentioned might needing help with picking up fonts and stuff like that, even if there is some back and forth, I've padded that time into the vendor go between and print ready files. Those one to two hours cover my time there, so I feel good about crossing those things out. So, just like before, I'm going to add up those hours, so now instead of me thinking it'll take four to eight hours, I think it'll take three to five hours, which changes the quote from $150 to $375. Again, $150 is too low; $375, with just these two items seems a little bit high, so I went down to $250 for Cate. I will say knowing now what I do that she and I went back and forth quite a bit and it did take me a little bit longer than I thought, I wish I would have gone up to $300. But at the end of the day, if that would have broken the project and she wouldn't have taken it for $300, I'm happy to have sold it for $250 and have the work under my belt. So, keep in mind that when you're pricing your work you're not only getting the money for it, sometimes you get exposure, sometimes you get to try out something that you didn't do before, sometimes you get to work with a client that you really want to work with. So, remember that the money isn't the end all be all. In my mind, if she says yes to this, I'm getting $250. I'm getting the chance to work on a book design, and I'm getting a chance to work on a book design that's a redesign so I don't have all that pressure of having to come up with something from scratch. So, I feel good about this and I send it off to Cate. I say, "Hey, Cate, that does change the scope of work considerably. I've updated the quote to reflect $250. That's the lowest I can go on it, but if it's still out of your budget, I can probably point you in the direction of some other designers. Thanks, Dylan." So, again I like to train my clients. I like to inform them so that if they need to hire me again or another designer, they have the power and the tools and more knowledge to go at that project in a better way than they did the first time. So, I tell her that does change the scope of work considerably. Again, I'm trying to train her that this price has to do with the work not the time. Then I can probably point you in the direction of some other designers. Again, I'm not trying to sell her on this job, I want to help her. As a designer, I want this client to find a designer who's going to make their book cover look exactly how they want it. So, I don't want her to feel like, hey, you need to say yes to me or this is going to be really awkward. So, I just remind her, look, if this doesn't work, I can probably help you out still. We will find who you need. Thanks, Dylan. The thanks I highlighted just because I know for myself it was so uncomfortable negotiating and talking about money with clients at the beginning that I would find that even my language would start to change and I stopped being as friendly. So, for me, it's really important to still keep up that friendliness. Always say thank you. Use exclamation points because we're not having a negative conversation here. We're having a positive one. We are getting on the same page about how much it will cost for us to do this work together. 4. Book Cover: Onboarding Pt. 2: Luckily, Cate wrote back a few days later and said, "Thanks, Dylan, that's in my budget. What's your availability in late February and March? Once I get the copy, colors, and images, how long do you need to complete the cover? Thanks, Cate." So, this is great. She said yes. This is the first big milestone in a project because, up to this point, even though I've been going back and forth with her, I haven't been paid for any of that. It's very possible that clients will jump ship at that point and that you won't get a bunch of yeses. In fact, if everybody is saying yes to you, you're probably pricing too low. You should be not getting yes all the time. But this is great because I did get a yes, which means my time investing into giving her good information, being friendly, keeping up on email was worth it because now I have this project. So, I write back at the end of January and I say, "Hey, Cate, glad to hear it. I think I'ill only need a day or two, especially if I know when the project is coming. My availability will be able to accommodate the project around that time. I'll prepare an easy to read contract and send it your way. Looking forward to working together." So, if I could go back, I made a mistake here by telling her it will only take a day or two. When I told her it would only take a day or two, I was thinking of it as if you took out all of the time where we are waiting to hear back from each other and all of the time in between the actual work and condenses down the amount of time it took to get that work done, I think it's only a day or two. However, that's not realistic because that's not how things work. You email a client and maybe it takes them a day or two to get back to you, and then you update things, and it takes a day or two to get back. So, I'm just saying this to say, don't put yourself in a corner with clients. Give yourself a little room, and I would also say be vague. You might think it would be better to say, "I will deliver this to you on Friday at 2:00 p.m. because then they know exactly when it's coming. But the chances that you won't be able to deliver it right then or something will come up are pretty high. So, I would rather give my client a good idea of when something will happen and deliver in that window but still give myself enough padding on either side in case something happens, so that I don't have to backpedal and apologize more than I already do. Additionally, "I'll prepare an easy-to-read contract and send it your way." You'll see I didn't wait for her to ask me about that. I didn't ask if she wanted it. I'm moving the project forward. I'm just going to make that contract and send it her way. So, let's take a look at this contract. First, I'll just do a really brief overview of the sections that are in there and then I'll actually open the contract up and we'll go through it. So, first, it starts with a summary, which is just a brief overview of the purpose of the contract, what it is and why it's there. There's a section that's called In Short, and these are all the specifics at a glance, so this is you, legal name, are hiring me, legal name, to do this, at this price. It's just a really nice condensed version of what you guys are agreeing to do. Then, there's the actual What Do Both Parties Agree to Do? section, and this sets the expectations and responsibilities on both sides of the fence. The Design section covers what my services are, what I will be delivering, and any cancellation terms. There's a Deliverables section that goes more specifically into my deliverables and also talks about what the end use is for the client. There's a Photographs section, which I should actually change to a stock media section. It just talks about if I need to go and find stock images. That is an hourly rate that will get charged on top of the quote that I gave you. There's a section on Changes and Revisions, which just talks about our buffer room and how many edits the client gets. Of course, there's a Payments section on how and when to pay. Then, there is the final section of the end of the document where we sign and all final statements and all of that. Okay. So, I have the contract open right here. This is what my documents look like. I've got the quote over here, too, if you want to see that. I like to have things consistent across the board. Also, I just design these in Illustrator and export them as PDFs. I know that some people use InDesign for things like this and that makes a lot of sense, but I'm just quicker at Illustrator at this point, so it makes more sense for me that way. Okay. So, this contract. The first thing is this contract I have cobbled together from resources I found online starting back in 2011. So, this started off as a videographer contract, and then a wedding contract, and all of this stuff. So, I will share this with you and the resources so that if you want a contract that you can build off of, you've got it. But I will say, I am not a lawyer. I did not have a creative lawyer. I give this the golden stamp of approval. It's worked for me. I've never had an issue with this contract, but I wouldn't feel right telling you, "Hey, this is fool-proof and you're all set." You should always make sure that you're covering your butt. If you want someone to take a look at it, you can hire a creative lawyer. But this at least gives you an idea of what people are putting out there. The other thing is you'll notice it's written very casually. I do not want to give my client a 15 page contract that they don't understand, that makes them feel nervous about the project. I want my contract to comfort them. I want them to feel like it's protecting them, and it's protecting the project, and that it's going to make things better from being there. So, first we have this summary. Like I said, this is just going to talk about what the contract is. I'm not going to read this word for word because I've attached it as a resource. I just want to go through it and talk about some of the important things. So, in this In-Short section, you can see that I'm being very specific here, "You (Cate Brubaker) are hiring me (Dmierz Design Group, LLC) to redesign your book cover for the estimated total price of $250, estimated but not final. But as outlined in our previous correspondence, please reference bookCoverQuote2.pdf." So, here, I'm already making sure that we're on the same page. I'm talking about the specific amount that we've agreed upon, and I also say estimated but not final because I want to make sure that I'm protecting myself in case something else comes up. If somewhere down the line Cate wants to totally change and she's like, "You know what? I thought I just wanted to update this cover, but I want something brand new." I don't have to worry about her saying, "Well, you have to do that for $250. That's part of my rounds of revision." It just gives us some padding. What do both parties agree to do? So, this just really talks about deadlines and deliverables. Deadlines and deliverables are on both sides. Me, as the designer, I have to provide things in a timely manner and I have to meet any deadlines, but also so does the client. The client is responsible for giving me any assets that I need. They have to give me approval and feedback. If neither of us are able to do that and stick to the timeline, then the project timeline is going to fall off really quickly. I just say that I've got the experience and ability to perform the services you need and all of that. Next, we get into the Design section, and here I talk about, again, the specific price, and the working file, and what we are actually doing. I talk about what happens if you're not happy with the designs at this stage, you'll pay me in full for $250 for all the work that I produced, and then we can move on from there. So, this is just talking about what this contract covers, the actual work that this covers. Then we get into Deliverables. In this case, I told Cate in the contract I get surprised to see that I said, "I own the rights to the artwork I've designed." Which sometimes that's true. If you're doing branding for a client, this won't be the case. You usually give them the rights to the logo and the images. In this case, I don't think it's actually true that I own the rights because I use an illustration that Cate bought, and it's not really anything that I have put my name to. But it wasn't an issue for this project, but I just wanted to point out that you talk about who owns what and what they can do with it. Also, if you were doing something for a client like in the next project, you'll see that I created artwork for her for a very specific use, and so, I made sure to put that in here that she's allowed to use that for that specific use, but we'll get to that later. Here's that section on stock photos and that it'll cost them more if I need to spend time finding them. Changes and Revisions. In this contract, I gave her three rounds of reasonable edits. Usually, I do two rounds. I don't know if I was just too sounded small or I wanted to give her three or what it was, but in this case, this one says three. It also talks about if the project changes directions or if you want to add additional projects. In the Payments section, I just let them know my personal policy is that I don't like to get paid until the project is done. If I worked on a really big multi-thousand dollar project, then maybe I would want some kind of a down payment, but I've been lucky as a freelancer and I haven't gotten stiffed. So, I prefer to get all the work done and then get paid for it. So, "As explained in earlier correspondence, no payment is due until the services are rendered, in your case, once the final files are delivered." I always make sure to be really specific here. So, once I did a wedding, save the date and invitation, and here I made sure to say, "in your case once the final invitations are delivered," because I didn't want them to think they had to pay after the first part the save the dates were done. So, it's just nice to be specific for the client, so they know this contract was made for them. "You'll receive an invoice based on your earlier quote with the final design, printing and shipping fees, if applicable, and will be expected to pay the agreed upon amount in full within thirty days. Checks should be made payable to Dmierz Design Group, LLC, and sent to my address. So, the nice thing about this is right at the beginning of the project, you're setting the terms so that at the end the client can't say, "Well, we can't pay you in two weeks because actually our accounts payable or receivable or whatever, doesn't process things for another month." You can say, "I'm sorry, but I gave you a heads up that this is how I do it," and everything. So it just protects you. Then that's it. But where's all the horrible small print? I have this last paragraph here that just says that, "Hey, the intentions are serious and this contract is a legal document." Just to make sure that even though I'm being casual, they know that this is real. Then there's a section for both of us to sign. So, I went ahead and sent that off to Cate, and she wrote back and said, "The contract is attached! It will be another 3-5 weeks before I have all of the content for the cover, but I can send you some of the info now if that helps. I'll be able to give you more precise ETA in a couple of weeks. Thanks, Cate." So, really quickly, I want to show you that a smart thing to do at the beginning of each project is to make a client folder. I actually usually have an empty one that is just ready to go that I copy and make for each client. So, it starts with their last name and first name, and then inside of that I have four folders, one that's called Onboarding, so that's where I'm going to put all of the quotes in the contract that we've just been going over. If there are any more documents in that beginning part, I don't know what there would be, but if there is anything for onboarding that I want to be able to go back and look at, I'm going to put that there. I'll also put the final quote and invoice and everything in there, and probably also in the Deliverables folder too. But, this I just think of as these are the documents about the project. I have a folder for assets. So, these are assets that the client has delivered. So, if they send me logos, and fonts, and images, I'm going to put that all in here. My Working folder is where I'm going to keep all of my actual Illustrator files and Photoshop files. Then, the Deliverables are going to be the exports and anything that I'm actually giving to the client to deliver at the end of the project. So, I'm going to go ahead. I will grab these quotes. I'm going to put that in Onboarding. Contract, go ahead and put that in onboarding and then her first quote because there were two rounds. I'm going to put that in there. So, this just helps keep everything all together and so that if six months pass and Kate wants to work on something again I can go back in, let me change this to say, Brubaker Kate. I can go back in and I'm able to find and see, okay, this is where the project started and this is where it went and everything, and it's all in one place. Okay. So, we are now in February. Remember, we originally started talking at the end of December on Facebook. So, we're in February which is around when Kate thought we might be finishing the project, but luckily, she's the one that told me we've pushed the timeline back so I'm not worried about it. I'm not the one holding things up and she's certainly not making me antsy by pushing things back, it doesn't change things for me. So, I write back and I let her know that I have received the contract. I said, "Let's wait until you've got everything so we can keep it all together. I'll keep an eye out for an e-mail from you and if I don't hear anything by the end of March, I'll reach back out." So, it's important to confirm with your clients when they give you something I always like to say, "Hey, I received this. Thank you for sending it along." Then, I want to make sure that I'm driving the train here, so I hope that she'll remember to reach out to me when she's got her stuff. But just in case she doesn't, I want to make sure that I'm proactive about reaching out to her. So, as soon as I sent that e-mail, I went ahead into Google calendar and I set a reminder for the end of the month to follow back up with Kate so that I wouldn't forget. I set a reminder type as an e-mail so, I'd get an email about it too. Sure enough, a month went by, I hadn't heard from Kate and I went to e-mail her. I want to point out that I did e-mail her in the same thread that we had already been using. It's really important to try to keep things streamlined and in one place, otherwise, she's trying to remember, okay, Dylan emailed me back in March but it's not in this thread. What was that subject line? It just keeps everything simple and I just said, "Hey Kate, Whew. March really flew by. Hope it was great for you. Just checking in to see if there's any update on getting started on your awesome book cover. No worries at all if there isn't. Just wanted to make sure you knew I didn't forget about your project. Talk soon, Dylan." So again, I'm not banging down her door asking why she hasn't sent me anything. I just want her to know, "Hey, I'm thinking about you. I haven't forgotten. Where are we with this?" So, Kate writes back and says, "Hey Dylan, Thanks for checking in. I was just thinking that I should update you. It's taking a little longer than expected to finalize the content updates and get the book blurbs. I'm thinking another two weeks or so. So, I'm going to file that back into my head and know that I can his snooze on this project for a little bit. I do have a question though. I've been using these fonts in the workbook, see screenshot. Garamond for the copy in the workbook. Quicksand Bold are headings. Hello sunshine for special pullout quotes. BonivoCF for chapter title pages. Hello sunshine marker for cover and large page quotes in conjunction with the script version of hello sunshine." She let me know that BonivorCF and Quicksand bold are both fonts that she uses on her website which is why she used them in the Workbook. Her questions are, are these too many fonts for one workbook? Do the fonts go together? If the fonts don't blend well, are there other font combos you recommend? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. There is only your point of view as a designer. Just from looking at the fonts that she's sent, my gut says that's too many fonts. However, a workbook is a special end product because they can hold some more fonts. Sometimes you're having people fill things out and workbooks, sometimes you're showing quotes like she talked about showing big pull quotes and things like that. So, although my gut says that it might be too many, I do believe that there is a way that she could be using those that is still fine and is still good. I would even say that the question, do the fonts go together, I don't really know until I see how they're used. So, even though she's explained in this email where everything is used, I still need to see visuals. This is a visual project that we're working on and so I would always rather see the visual from the client instead of read about them describing it. So, I get back to her and I say, "Great question on the fonts. On first glance, my gut says it's too many. However, I'd love to see the context you're using them in" Then I tell her that sometimes people in workbooks use pull quotes and have lots of fonts in there that then aren't used as the main copy. "But could you send some screenshots of some page samples so that I can take a peek? She's sent those along, she said, "Those are attached." So, these are the screenshots she sent me. Honestly, on first glance, I have to give her props because this is a lot better than when I first saw those fonts, I was a little worried like, "Oh, no. Is this just going to be scripty fonts all over the place and is it going to look not quite right?" But, I think she did great. For one thing, this cover on the left hand side, the main part of the text has that nice display font, but then she didn't use that display font again on the cover and that's the balance we're looking for. So, I think that that's really strong. Additionally, on this inside title page she doesn't use it at all, so I can tell that Kate has a really good eye for knowing when to use a display font, which is great. She also sent two interior pages and sure enough, I had a feeling that this is how she was going to be using these display fonts using them for bigger areas that need to be called out. She does use the scripty font for this small quote here. So, all in all, I really am impressed, considering she's not a designer and considering how many fonts that is, she did a really good job putting them in there without making it look overwhelming. So, I went ahead and I let her know that, I said, "Well, I've got to give you props. You used the font in the best possible way so as to not make it too loud and disconnected. The sans-serif you chose for the copy font really helps tie the display fonts in. I think you're all set there. Let me know if you want to see some other font options anyway?" So, a little bit about this, is I'm not telling her my personal opinion, I'm not saying I like this, this is good, this is bad. I'm telling her the thought, the logic behind it. I'm talking about the design that's happening. So, I think that that's a nice way of still offering your expertise without getting into the trenches of trying to give your opinion. Also, you'll notice that even though I talk about wanting to move things forward, in this case, I tell her, "Let me know if you want to see some other font options" instead of just giving her those font options for two reasons. The first is that these fonts mostly have to do with the inside of the book. Those fonts do show up on the outside too so they're not totally disconnected. But, what she's asking about are the interior design pages and that's not really what I'm working on, on this project. The second is, my time is valuable. I have already given her my time estimates and so the clock, the stopwatch has started. I don't want to waste my time finding fonts if she's already happy with that explanation and answer that I've given her. So, I'm going to put the ball back in her court to see if it's necessary for me to spend time on that. That way if it isn't, I didn't just waste my time. She wrote back and said, "Hey Dylan, what do you think of the hello sunshine marker font? So, now she's asking specifically about that font she uses on the cover. I've gotten a positive response about it from readers and I like that it's in-between the script font in the sans-serif fonts, but I wondered if it looks amateurish. "As a designer, is it a font you'd use? If you have a suggestion for something else, I'd love to see it." So, now she is asking me my opinion. Now she's saying, okay, so the fonts are being used correctly but that font in particular what do you think about it? I don't want to put anything down because every designer is so different but this font in particular, the hello sunshine font and the marker font, to me they look very young. So, I did go in to find her some fonts and this is what I told her. Again, this is a very long e-mail, but part of my brand is wanting to inform and teach my clients and so, I want to make sure that I'm not just giving her a short answer. I wanted to see the thinking that goes on behind it so that I can empower her to make the decision, that way she feels better about it. So, here's what I wrote back. I said, "Hey Kate, The good news is no font itself will make or break your book, but the usage of the font well. So, if your whole book, say for the copy itself we're talking headlines, page numbers, chapter, titles, pull quotes et cetera, we're all done with that sunshine marker font, it would be a dead giveaway as an amateur. However, since you've implemented hello sunshine so sparingly and as a display font, it reads well and shows up as intentional well thought out usage, which is not amateurish. That being said, the tone of the font may be what you want to consider. Hello sunshine marker and Hello sunshine read as bright fun, friendly, energetic fonts. I'm weary to use the word young because I don't mean childlike but it does have that younger more feminine feel. If that's what you're going for, then you're all set. If however you want something that's still hand-drawn and down to earth, but maybe erring on the side of elegant or artistic or adventurous then, these are some comparable fonts that could still work with your sans-serif and serif fonts. Be careful in reviewing these to make sure they meet your legibility standards, as scripty and handwritten fonts can be pretty subjective. In the next project, I'll actually show you a process of me going through and trying to find fonts. I'm not going to here because this project is already so heavy on going back and forth, but basically, I went to creative market and looked through all of their script fonts. You can see that what I found, I was looking for that same energy, something that is still exciting and energetic but it's something that's just a little less feminine because the topic of her book isn't geared only towards females. It's geared towards travelers and people who have lived abroad in general and so it's my opinion that if she wants to go in this direction, these two fonts complement these fonts better and I think they do a better job than the one that she chose. So, I gave her all that. I put that in her court and she wrote back and said, "Hey Dylan, thanks for the fonts suggestions. I wanted to give you an update. I should be able to send you the cover copy and images by next Tuesday. I should have all my cover blurbs back by then." I just shot her a quick e-mail back saying, "Woohoo. Really excited about it. Great timing, I just got back from a trip. Looking forward to it." Here we are. On April 24th, 2018, I got a new email thread from Cate. This one the subject line was book cover stuff, and she was ready to deliver everything to me. She said, "Hi Dylan. Hope you're doing well. I'm ready to move forward with the book cover. I have attached my photo for the back, the cover images as EPS and JPEG." She's talking about the illustration that she bought. She's saying that she attached a working file and a flat JPEG, a Word doc with the front, spine, and back cover copy and the cover blurbs I'd like to work with, and a few notes." The current cover image. Note. I've changed this. I'm very open to tweaking the front cover design. I originally used the same color scheme as what I use on my website, but I'm very open to adjusting that too. Mostly, I just want the cover to entice readers to buy it and get excited about using it. I'm often described as fun, creative, personable, and professional, and I'd love for the cover to express that. Let me know if you need anything else or have questions." Again, Cate is on the ball with delivering. There are not many times when a client just knows what to deliver. There are many times when I have to go in and request. Again, this is why I was happy to take on this project for $250 because Cate is an excellent client. She's making my job easier for me. If we take a quick look at what she sent, you can see that's the old cover with the old title. Sure enough, I've got the image that's got the illustration on it. Her head-shot, and then a Word doc with all the information in it. Now, we are at that magical spot where I have collected a lot of stuff from Cate, and she's saying, "All right. I'm ready for you to go." I just like to take a moment and do a project review and pull out all of the necessary nuggets of information and leave all of the fluff behind. If you remember when I was originally quoting Cate, one of the things I included in there was a mood board and a creative brief. The creative brief is actually the client-facing version of this document where we write up what the project is, what our goals are, how we're going to accomplish that. Since she didn't need that, I just typed this up for myself. After all of this going back and forth, it's March or April now that we're talking, and we first started talking about this in December. Here's all that we know. Cate Brubaker wrote a hardcopy workbook called the Re-entry Roadmap. The book currently has a self-designed front cover, no back, that while well-received, needs to be updated. The fonts and cover graphic have mostly been determined though Cate is open to trying anything that will entice buyers to get excited about the content, and her brand which has been described as fun, personable, and professional. She's iffy on the display fonts she's been working with. The updated cover will also have a back which Cate would like to use for her head-shot, bio, and testimonials. The book has been and will continue to be created through Amazon's CreateSpace which Cate will facilitate. The book is eight and a half by 11. She'll need one file complete with the back, spine, and cover to upload to CreateSpace, as well as, the back, spine, and cover as separate images either JPEGs or PNGs for markups and promo pieces. She supplied a lot of copy knowing it wouldn't all fit, and that remaining testimonials can go on the inside of the book. That's important for me to know that I don't have to try and fit all the copies she sent me into the book cover. I've got mostly everything I need. The one thing I know I need to check out is I need to go on CreateSpace. I'm sure that they have printing guidelines. I need to figure out what my document parameters need to be. Also, since I need to make one file that includes the back, the spine, and the front, I won't be able to know the dimensions of that until I know how big the spine is, and so I need to find some information there. Let me show you what it's like to jump into a vendor that you've never used before. In this case, I have not used CreateSpace or Amazon, and I want to try and find their printing guidelines. I'm going to go here. I'm basically looking for any resources that they have. That's the word I'm looking for "resources," or help docs, or FAQs, or guidelines. Right at the top, I can see they have free publishing resources, creating content, formatting files, articles on formatting. Okay. Any time you can search for something specifically it's always better. Cover question. This looks like I'm in the community forums, and I'm not looking for other people's information. I want CreateSpace's information. I'm going to go up to the search up here, and type in "cover." Book cover information. Book cover guidelines. Perfect. Book cover guidelines. This stuff is never hidden in the same place on a website, but it's just good to get in and try and find it. Here we go. It looks like depending on the type of paper we need, we will multiply the page count by a certain number, and that will give us our spine. Calculation. Oh, perfect. Right here, it talks about how you can either calculate the size of file you need yourself or they have cover templates. Oh, perfect. Looks like all I need to get from Cate, I need to know what kind of interior she's using. We already know the trim size is eight and a half by 11, and I need the number of pages. I'm going to send Cate that e-mail asking for that. Now that I've got that information, I know that that's really the only thing I need from Cate. Now, I'm pretty sure, so I'm going to e-mail her, and say, "Hey Cate, I started looking through everything you sent and only have two questions which is how many pages your book has, and what paper you'll be using? I need it to accurately size the cover file to account for the spine. Once I've got that, I'll be all set to get moving." Again, I didn't e-mail her right away confirming that I got all of these stuff from her. Because when I e-mailed her again, I wanted to be able to already have feedback and questions from what she sent. Again, that's just me moving the project forward. She wrote back right away and told me that the interior of her book is black and white. It uses white paper and is 115 pages. Now, I can go back to my project review and I can add in that last piece of information that I needed, and guys we are ready to actually get to the actual work. 5. Book Cover: Skeleton: All right, let's get into making the book cover. The first thing that I need to do is make a skeleton design, and this is a typical first step for me in a lot of projects where I can suspend having to think about the aesthetic of the design and can just focus on getting all of the content that needs to be on the page, on the page. Sometimes this is a client facing step and sometimes it's not. In this case, I will be sending Cate the skeleton design to make sure that the direction I'm going in isn't too far off base of what she is thinking of. Again, I now, am officially in the job, my time is crucial and so, I don't want to spend it doing things that I don't need to be doing. So, let's start by getting everything all set up. So, you can see that I've got Cate's client folder here, and I've got my documents in the onboarding section and then I moved all of those assets that she sent us in the e-mail to the assets folder, so that I'm ready to go. I'm going to open up this document, the word docs so that I can easily copy and paste all of the content from here. What we need to do first is open up an Illustrator file. I'm not worried about the size of the art board right now because I'm about to go in and change that anyway. So, what I'm going to do first is I'm going to hit shift command or control H on my keyboard and that's going to hide my art board. That's actually a custom keyboard shortcut that I use, that might actually hide your edges, so if you want to also hide your art board you can go to view and show or hide art boards, but it just makes it so that I'm zooming out. There's no- you can't see my art board here, it just makes the whole thing white. So, I'm going to go over and grab my rectangle tool and I'm going to start setting up the size of the cover, and then I'll change the art board to match that. So, I'm just going to pick a random color here, and I'm going to click once because I know for a fact that the cover itself, the front or the size of the book is eight and a half by 11. I'm in pixels, so really quickly first, I want to go to my rulers and right click and hit inches, if your rulers aren't open, you can go up to view and rulers. So, I've got inches now, now I'm going to click, I'll do eight and half by 11. So, I just can see, this is the size of the book and I can conceptualize what we need here. So, I know we're also going to have a back cover, that will be over here and in between those we'll have the spine. I have the create space guidelines that we found earlier, and so, we can figure out the size of the spine. We have 115 pages, that's what Cate told us. We're using white paper, and so we're going to multiply 115 by this number. Open up my calculator right on here 0.002252 and I will multiply that by 115, and we get 0.25898. I am going to, with things like this, you don't want to round up at your own discretion, they gave us really specific decimal points here, so I'm going to enter these very specific decimal points into Illustrator. So, 0.25898. So I'm going to copy this rectangle and go up to change the width and we want the width to be 0.25898 I believe. Let me open them, 0.25898, yes. So, that is the size of our spine. So again, I'm just making these rectangles right now so I can conceptualize and make sure that I'm sizing everything correctly. I'll change this to be, the color to be slightly different so we can see it. So, this is the size of the front, back, and spine all together. This is a printed project though, so there's probably going to be a bleed around the outside. Let's see. It looks like we have an eighth of an inch bleed that goes around all sides of the document. So, that means, and if you're not familiar with printing, I have a class on that is called sending your work to the printer and it goes over all of this stuff. But basically, we need a bleed, we need an extra little bit of padding around the side so that if any color or anything needs to go all the way to the edges it won't get cut off, it just ensures that it'll all be there. So, to do that I'm going to, I grabbed my rectangle tool again, and I'm going to click and drag one over that entire size. So remember, this represents the back, spine, and cover and we need to add an eighth of an inch on every side which means we need to add a quarter inch to the width, and a quarter inch to the height. Luckily, Illustrator makes that really easy. I've got this rectangle selected, I can go up to transform and I don't even have to do the math, I can just type plus 0.25, that's a quarter, remember half of that is an eighth, so, it'll add an eighth to each side. I'm going to hit tab, and I'm going to add a quarter inch to the height as well. I'm going to send this rectangle to the back by hitting shift command left bracket, and now I can see that this is what my book cover is going to look like. This is what my file is going to look like. So, I have that all set up. I'm going to, I went back I'm showing my art boards now. Now, I'm actually going to click and drag this art board to match up with the outside of that red. So, now that file is set up. Now the good news is I wanted to show you how to do that manually because I think it's important that you understand what we're looking at here, and what all of these lines mean. But, most places that have consumer printing also let you come up, they'll help you with templates. So, any time a template is available, I would say use it because, it just helps ensure that you are sizing things correctly. It's coming right from the vendor that's going to be printing it, so you know it's accurate. So, we have black and white on the inside, that's what Cate said. It 's an eight and a half by 11 book, we have 115 pages, and she said that she was using white paper and not cream paper, and I can say build template, and it looks like we are going to get a zip folder that has a PNG and a PDF template. I'm going to go ahead and right now I'm going to put that in my asset folder because I'm sure I will want to have access to that later, and I can go back to Illustrator. So, let's take a look. This is the one that we came up with, and now I'm going to place the one that create space gave us. File place or shift command P, and anytime you are placing something in Illustrator, if you just click once to place it, it places it at its 100 percent size which is what we want. The good news is you can see that this lines up with exactly what we had calculated. So, like I said, anytime there's a template available you should use it, but if you don't have one, you need to know how to calculate that. So, I'm going to actually delete all of this, I want to use the one that create space gave us, and I'm just going to move all of this to go onto that art board by using my align tools. You can see that the template tells us, it's saying the dotted line this is where it's going to actually be trimmed, the red area says where we're not in the live so we want to keep any text or anything that's really important within this white area. Then this base that extends past that is the bleed. Then it's nice because it also puts the space in there where that bar code is going to be generated, which is important for us to know. Okay, document is set up. I'm going to go ahead and save, I'm going to save it in my working file and I'm going to call it "The Skeleton Cover." So again, the idea of the skeleton design is not to give Cate a pretty end piece, it's to give her an idea of the bare bones content and where I think it should be, and how it should be laid out, and the various sizes and hierarchy that is created there. So, I'm going to go ahead I'm just going to lock this layer so that I don't mess around with it. I've got Cate's document open here, and what I'm going to do right now is I'm going to read this from top to bottom, and all I'm going to do is copy and paste any content that needs to be in here onto my Illustrator document. Really quickly actually I don't like to have these guides on, they're too distracting for me to see what's happening. So, instead I'm going to drag some guides out so that I can still see the important dimensions but I don't have all of that text and everything that's too noisy in the back. I want to make sure that I know where the spine is going to be, edge of the book over here, and then the base of the book. So, now you can see that if I turn that off I still have a representation of where my covers are and I can keep moving. Really quickly. There are times when I am going to want to center things for instance, I want this text right here to be centered on the front cover, but as you know this is one single art board, so, if I select that and go up to a line and hit center it's going to do it in the center of the art board. So, what I'm going to do is just make some dummy rectangles down here off the art board that represent the width of the covers so that I have something to align objects to. So, if you are unfamiliar with this what I'm going to do now is I can select all of these items by holding down shift and clicking on them, and I'm also going to hold down shift and select the dummy rectangle, and I'm going to click it one more time see how it got bolder, to tell Illustrator that this is what I am aligning all of these objects to. So, everything I've selected should be aligned to this rectangle. So, now when I hit center, it centers to that instead of into the center of the art board. So, that's helpful to have one of those on each side. Okay. So, I've gone through this document and any text that needs to be on the book cover has been copied over. The only thing that hasn't, is she supplied if you remember, more quotes than we need and so not every quote is on here. Instead, I just picked out ones that took up a lot of room because we can always shorten things but it's nice to show her how much the back can hold. So, this is all of the copy and photos that needs to be on there. The other thing we know about is we have this illustration that she used on the first book and we're going to carry that over to this as well. So, I'm going to go ahead and just place this in here. There's some extra stuff in here that we don't need, like this text and I'm going to send this photo to the back by hitting shift Command or Control, left bracket. Again, I'm looking more at real estate here. Again, this does not look good. This is not nice but it's very telling. It tells me how much room we have. One thing that I know right away is that it looks weird that there's just all this type here, that it just starts with a quote. So, I think even though she didn't tell me to put any text here, I'm going to say, "Praise for the Re-entry Roadmap. " Anytime you add in content or I'm changing the copy here and so, I'm going to want to make sure that I tell Cate about this so that she can actively approve or disapprove it so it doesn't just slip through the cracks. I think down here we should have something that says, "Meet the Author." Okay. So, all the content is in there. Whether it looks good or not is another question, but we at least know that everything that has to be on the page is on the page. Now, I'm still not going to go in and start changing the font. I'm going to keep this as the default myriad pro because it's a pretty good just basic unfancy font. But what I am going to do is start creating the hierarchy. You can see I already did that. The title is the biggest thing on the page. The subtitle is the next. On the back, it's her picture and these are the titles. So, I am going to look at the styling of this text, but not in its final, I'm more creating a system here and not the final design. So, for instance, I want her name. Her name will be smaller but maybe bolder and then with quotes, all of this text needs to be broken up a little bit. So, for the quotes, I'm going to go ahead and have all the actual copy be semi-bold and then the quote, their name, and their title can be the regular weight. That will just help us break all of this up back here. One thing I'm noticing, is we have room for all this copy but there is a lot back there and there's a bit of open space here. I don't know if this usually happens, but I'm going to put a second quote on the front just because we have the room and she's got a lot of really great quotes and so, she might like that anyway because it gives more- Okay. I know we said we weren't dealing with the style, but one thing that I noticed right away is this graphic that she picked, gives us this great opportunity to carry this background color into the back of the book. So, I want to do that for the skeleton. I want to make sure it's the right size. I'm going to sample the color by using my eyedropper tool or I on my keyboard and then I'm going to send that guy to the back. That looks good, I need to trim. This illustration has its own white shape in here that I think needs to be trimmed. So, I'm just going to grab both of those and drag them over. So, now we have that clean line there. Again, you can see how I'm not focusing so much on the big design. It's just getting everything massaged into place. Another opportunity I see now that I want to remember for later, is since it looks like this sky continues, I think it would be cute to have some of these clouds and hot air balloons show up on the back cover as well. So, since I'm thinking about it, I don't want to forget that idea so, I'm going to move those over here now. Like I said, since I don't care about getting it perfect right now once I just have these in place, I'll move on and I can always refine it later. So, that's pretty cool, it's not perfect but at least the idea is there so I can remember to play with that later. So, this is looking pretty good for a skeleton. I don't want you to worry and think that I'm thinking this is a solid design. But do you see for Cate, when she looks at this she's not used to having a back cover at all. So, this just gives her an intermediary step to say, "Okay, Cate do you like this general direction? Do you like having your bio back there? Do you like how I've laid the content out?" Then once we agree on that, then I can go in and get more specific with the styling of it. But it's just handling one thing at a time. I'm actually going to lock this by hitting Command or Control two. One thing that I'm going to have to play with is the curve of this image, makes it so that even though this is technically centered right now it doesn't look centered, and it always matters if something looks visually centered over being accurately centered. So, that's something I'll refine later on but when I show it to Cate, I don't want to send her something sloppy. You just because we're sending her a skeleton, doesn't mean she should see something sloppy. So, I'm just going to finesse this last little stuff into place, make sure that everything looks nice. The one final thing that's standing out to me is this rectangular picture of her. It's such a good picture. Her smile is really warm and inviting. So, I think it should be there. But I think something about it being this full rectangle is really obtrusive. So, I'm going to use my lips tool over here in the tool panel, hold Shift to drag a perfect circle, and I'm going to do a clipping mask in a circle for her photo. SO I'm going to grab, I'll select both of those and hit Command or Control seven on my keyboard. Yes, that is exactly. So, that change, even though this is still the skeleton, it gives us so much more real estate for her bio over here and that circle just really opened things up for me. I think it makes it cleaner and we also get this nice space around here. On the back of a book, where real estate is really important, we want to make sure that we're using all of this as wisely as we can. Okay. I've got everything in here. So, the skeleton in my eyes is done. So, let's go ahead and send this off to Cate. 6. Book Cover: Refining Pt. 1: We left off with finishing this skeleton cover, and I did change just a few subtle things. I reworked the text on the back just a bit. I mean, I literally just resized a few things. I didn't change any of the styling except for the names of the people who said the quotes are now italicized. Then, I also added in a barcode where the barcode showed up on the template, just so that Cate could remember that that's back there, and see how close it is to the Meet the Author text and everything. So, nothing crazy there. I accompanied it with a very long email to Cate. I am not going to read this whole thing to you. If you want to see how I phrase things to her and what I wrote, you can pause the video and read that, but I will touch on a few of the main points. The first is that, I educated her on what she was seeing. It's very hard for people who are non-designers. In this case, Cate said that she's a creative person. She has some design chops, so I wouldn't put her in this category. But there are some clients that are truly not designers, or they are truly not creative people, and so they don't always know what they're looking at. They can't tell that something is a placeholder, or they don't know that it's just as easy to change the color of something, as it is difficult to completely redraw something. So, it's really helpful, I found to always educate the client and let them know exactly what they're seeing. So, I tell her what the skeleton deck is. I tell her what will happen after this, that the final design will be refining the type, and the placement, and the color, and that that hasn't happened yet. There is a part where I tell her that I did put her picture in bio on the back. If you remember early on in her e-mail or in the word doc, she said that she was still contemplating if she wanted that to be in there or not. So,I tell her that it's my professional opinion that it should be there because her picture is adorable and welcoming, and it's nice visual interest to break up the copy that's on the back. So, even though I usually like to let my clients make their own decisions, I do every once in a while, like to pepper in my opinion because I am the expert, that's why they hired me. So, I'm not going to force it on her, but I just want to say, hey, I tried it with the picture in the bio and I think that it's a better way to go. But then, right after that I say, I'll move forward however you instruct me to, but I suggest. So, I tell her specifically what I think she should do just so that she doesn't have to try and think of it on her own. But I also let her know, I'm going to move forward how you instruct me to. She's the one that's driving this. So, I let her know that on the back, the quotes that we picked out, I was looking at how much space we can take up. So, I tell her that she should probably pick out three quotes for the back, and at most, five shorter quotes if she does excerpts instead of the full quotes. The other notes, I forgot to get the font files from her in the beginning, and so I asked her to send those along. I told her that in the create space guidelines, they talk about only having text on your spine if your book is over 130 pages. However, there is definitely enough space to get text in there legibly, it's just going to be really small. So, I wanted to give her the option of keeping that text spine on there or getting rid of it. I told her about adding in those "Praise for 'The Re-entry Roadmap"' and "Meet the Author" titles that I put in. Then, I also had the word Re-entry with that hyphen in there. I wasn't sure if I was ever allowed to capitalize that second E, which looked better to me, or if it had to stay lowercase. So, I just wanted to double-check with her on that syntax. Then, I let her know that the barcode is just a placeholder barcode, and that nothing will be printed there when I send her the file, like that's, creates space will add that in. So, I sent that all off to her on May 1st, and actually on that same day right before I could send that email, she had sent me. She said, "Hey Dylan. I just received another cover blurb." So, she was just sending that along. So, at the beginning of that email that I sent her, I told her thank you for sending that along, just to acknowledge that I had gotten them. So, on May 5th, Cate writes back and she says, "Hey Dylan. Overall, looks great." She really liked the Meet the Author part and she enjoyed the clouds and the hot air balloons on the back. Then, she gave us some instructions for how to move forward. She said that she wants one. She said on the front, let's do this, pull quote. So, for quotes, she's saying instead of two pull quotes let's just do one, and she lets me know which ones should stay. Then, on the back, she gives me a nice succinct list of which quotes from the word docs should go on there and in what order. She also includes a new blurb that should be part of those. The second part of the email says to let her think about the wording on the back a bit more. So, I think she's talking about the Praise about The Re-entry Roadmap and the Meet the Author text. She just wants to think about it, that's fine. She's checked with the editor and Re-entry should stay that way, unless it's all caps. So, I need to remember that that's second E. The reason I asked that is because as a designer, I tend to just look at the shapes of letters, to look at how things are spaced, and I'm not always thinking about the actual grammar and syntax behind the words. So, I know it's just important for me to double check that stuff, otherwise, I'll just do what I think looks best and then, that's not always accurate. We want to show that Cate is very competent in the information that she's putting forward. She said that having a small text on the spine is just fine. To make it easier to read, we can just put the title on her last name. She attached those files for the fonts, and she said, "Feel free to play around with the colors and fonts. It doesn't need to be the same colors as my website. Whatever looks good with the image would be great. I'm headed to Canada tomorrow for a conference." So, I'm ready to get in now with and start refining this book cover based on the information we have. I now have the fonts, which I'm going to download. We've got the quotes that we need to slide into place and I have some rough direction on where I can go. I'm probably going to base the colors off of the illustration like she said, instead of going to her website and sticking straight to her brand. Then, as far as the fonts go, I will choose which fonts I think look best and represent the cover best. Before I do that, I do want to do some quick research to look at book covers, to see what stands out to me and if there's anything that I'm forgetting or any ideas that will spark something in me. So, the first thing I'm going to do is, I'm actually going to look for like a book cover creator and see. Yeah. I thought something like Canva would come up because there's lots of things like this. I'm not necessarily going to make my book cover here, but they have templates, and so, I can quickly scroll through a lot of really nicely designed book covers and just get some quick ideas. So, I'll sign in here to start getting a look. Let's see, I'm going to go to create a design, and we'll look and see if they just have a book cover. Here we go. I'm really only paying attention over here. What I'm looking for here is I'm thinking about Cate's book and who it is geared towards, which is not gender-specific, and it's not even totally age-specific other than it's not very young. It's people who are at least in their young adulthood or older. That's what I'm kind of thinking in mind or keeping in mind rather, is what book covers stand out to me, and also thinking about what her book is and who it's speaking to. This book cover stands out to me because there's a lot of contrast, and the type is bigger than the other book covers around it, but this doesn't really have the same feel as what Cate's book is. I don't think it's really relevant. However, this I can see is more of a business book which is more in line with what Cate is doing, and I can see that there is really legible clean text that has a lot of white space, and I think that looks really nice. In fact, in most of these book covers that are sticking out, I'm seeing really clean type and a lot of white space, but also some bold color. I see this teal color is in here a few times and I think that that really catches my eye. It's also a nice color for her audience. That gives us some great ideas just on what I can do when I start refining this cover as far as colors go and typography. I've got the skeleton open back up, and I'm ready to start implementing all the feedback that Cate just gave us. Now before I jump in and start thinking about the style, I want to make sure I go through and update any of the content changes that she told us about. I'm going to do that first. I'm going to go through and add in the quotes that she wanted and change any of the copy. Okay, so all of the quotes have been updated. She just wanted the one on the front, the three big ones on the back, and then this one short one at the top. That's a really nice manageable amount of content. The next thing I want to do is start actually updating the style of this. We've got the content where we think it needs to be, and the first thing is I can start thinking about fonts. I'm going to come off to the side here and I'm going to bring out samples of all the fonts that she uses. I know that there are two Hello Sunshines, which I'm pretty sure I'm not going to use. If I were to use one, it would be the marker font, but I just don't think these have the vibe that go with what she's selling here, and so I'm going to lean on my expertise there. Okay, so Garamond will work for the copy probably, so I'm not going to worry about that for the titles. I'm probably not going to use either of these. So these are the main fonts I'm working with for my titles as of right now. She did say that she's open to new fonts, but considering my time and just considering the project, I don't think that it's necessary for me to go find new fonts for me to work on. These two, you can see the Bonveno and Quicksand Light. They're both like very similar, but not similar enough to use at the same time. That probably means I'm going to rely on the bold version of Quicksand and the regular version of Bonveno to get some nice contrast in there. But it's nice that these fonts are so similar. You can see that their O shapes are both very round, and that's what helps them work so well together. You can see that the height of their lowercase letters, also known as the X height of these regular size lowercases, are almost exactly the same. Those are a few of the things that you want to look out for when you're trying to find fonts that pair well together. It's nice that I didn't have to do that work and Cate already picked out great fonts. There's not a great science here. I just start by trying things out. I'm actually looking at it now. I think the Quicksand might be too bold, too much contrast. Instead, I'm going to play with contrast between these being lowercase and these being uppercase. With some fonts, like this rounded one, you can get away with adding a stroke to it to try and make it bolder. That's not always the case, and it's not always good practice, but in this case, if I just want that to have just a tiny bit more boldness than it does, I can do that. Actually, I'll get rid of that stroke and keep it how it was. I'm just using Illustrator's type tools here to adjust. Right now, this is the letting which is the line spacing. Sometimes, you'll see me play with the tracking which will set the spacing between all the individual letters. Then down here is where I'm playing with it being uppercase and regular case. One thing that stood out to me when I was looking at the book covers was that I didn't see a lot of white covers. If you look at Cate's original cover, you can see that she has this white down here. I think that since I saw so much use of bold color, I think that we could get away with using a bold color down here and putting the text in white. I'm just going to go ahead and sample one of these colors. I'll start with this bright teal in here. It's nice to go with a blue. Blue is such a nice color in general for design because it is trustworthiness and friendliness and calmness and business. It seems like it fits a lot of things. There's not quite enough contrast in that light blue. Also with travel, it kind-that looks really nice. This blue works as sort of the world here now which is cool. Earlier, when I shrunk down this shape to fit to the spine, you can see I threw that off, so I'm going to go in here and fix that so that it looks nicer. I'm going to drag that back out and then I'm going to use the Shape Builder tool to trim off the excess. If you want information on these tools, I actually have classes on the Shape Builder tool. It's 20 minutes I believe, so it's pretty quick. Okay, so I think that looks so sharp. I mean, even that change alone is so powerful, it just looks more professional. You can see that even though we're not using a font like Hello Sunshine that is in-your-face friendly and happy, we're able to convey that sense with less in-your-face. Like this illustration is very happy. The colors are happy. Even though this font is in uppercase and all caps, the shape of the letters is still friendly, it's still fun, and it looks professional. I think that that already is a huge step up for this project. I'm just going to keep going on through and updating it until all the texts fits in with the cover that was there before. 7. Book Cover: Refining Pt. 2: I guess. So, I want to use Garmond for this copy down here thinking that Garmond could be the main copy font. But seeing it just in this sparse, seeing these sparse sections of these fonts together, I'm not sure that it's really the best look for the cover. I think that she can still use it on the inside of the book. But I'm just thinking that we need a different font for the copy and I don't just want to keep using these because the whole point of design is that it's not just picking pretty things, we're picking something so that it has a function, so that it communicates. Right now, I'm using these fonts to communicate that these are titles and important pieces of information. If we use those same fonts all over the place, it's going to be harder for the reader to break that up into intuitively understand that hierarchy. So, I think I'm going to introduce the font Proxima Nova to this cover. It's a sans-serif font and so I think it'll fit better in this case because these are all sans-serifs but it looks like it blends in. In fact, Proxima Nova is sort of a favorite font among designers because it's a chameleon that fits in. I'll be sure to tell that to Cate when I let her know that hey I added in this font. One other thing that I noticed is on the back, I decided to put all the quotes in bold and then have the person's name be not bold and since there's more text in the quotes than there is people's names, I don't think it makes sense to bold all of that. I think it makes it too overwhelming. So, instead I am going to have the quotes themselves be italicized and then I will have the person's name in bold and I'll see if I like that better. Okay so, I've gone through now and I've changed all of the font to either be Quicksand, Bonveno or Proxima Nova. There's no more myriad pro on here, there's no more placeholder text. There is right here. I'm going to quickly change that to this. So, I want to talk about- I forgot these. Okay so I guess I spoke too soon but that's honestly that's what a lot of design work is. Is noticing that you thought you got it all and then there's one more thing to do. One more thing to nudge into place. Okay. So, all I did was I went through and I started playing with the typography. Now this stuff isn't evenly spaced. I have things in roughly the right area but for the most part, I'm just looking at things from a broad strokes perspective. I really like what I see. I think this is an excellent update for Cate already in the little time that I've had to spend working on it. I think it looks fun and contemporary but it still looks very smart and that's important because Cate is a smart person and she has a lot of wisdom to impart. So, now I'm going to get into the finessing. I don't have any like huge things that I want to do before I send this off to Cate. A few things I do want to point out though are this stuff isn't evenly spaced vertically but if you'll notice, the left and right margins, I did use guides here to make sure that things line up so the edge of her picture here lines up with the edges of these quotes and everything is centered within there. That's really nice. Over here, everything is just centered to the center of the cover right now. Like I said earlier, I might need to nudge that to the right so that it's visually centered. But the hierarchy of type sort of goes like this. So, we have the title should hopefully be catching your attention here. Let me get rid of these, I don't need these now. Because it's the thing that has the most contrast and stands out, it doesn't have anything near it so it's got that nice visual impact. Then we've got that other cute font to show the subtitle, Cate's name still stands out from the pack without causing the eye. It doesn't compete with the title itself and then we have the natural progression of the quote down here. One thing that I think could help the centering issue because I would feel better especially with a book, it seems like it would be better for everything to truly be centered and so, I want to find a way to solve the issue that I have over here with this space that makes this look like it's not centered. So, I've got that in there. Then on the back, you can see that I was able to bring in the Quicksand font on the back and bring without wanting to have too much contrast, I brought in this blue color. So, the copy back here is black and smaller and that balances well with this type that is larger and teal. So, that looks pretty nice. I'm going to need to really finesse the line height between all of these. Again, I want it to look legible and airy and not too dense. So, that's what I'm after. I justify these, I center justified these so that the edges look nice and clean. But everything is centered so that I think it just looked like it was weighted too heavily to the left if things were left justified. I think that that's okay with quotes and with the back of the cover. I wouldn't want to write a book that way but since this is a special canvas, that's okay. So, now I'm going to go and know that I have this pretty much how I want it. I think I've got a nice balance of the fonts here and unfortunately, I can't really talk through the decisions further than that, other than just saying I'm overall looking for balance. I want to have use. I want to have function behind this so whenever you see this text, you know that it is a title or something that is giving you information whereas this is actual copy. It's those things, those messages that I'm looking at as a designer to make sure that those things are set. I wouldn't want this pull quote name to be in this font and then this one to be in Bonveno and then this one to be in marker sunshine. That doesn't really make any sense. That's just using a lot of fonts and so, some of this I can't describe because it's just partly being a designer. But the main thing is I'm looking for balance, I'm looking for overall space and legibility and all of those things. One thing I'm changing right now is the color of the quote name, the person who said the quote, the quote author from teal to black and the reason is when I looked at this page before, there was a lot of this teal color breaking it up and it made these titles lose their power. Although I don't want these to steal the whole show, I do want them to stand out as separate sections. So, I'm going to go in and break that up and that already helps visually break that up by changing these to a darker color so that these as being teal and larger have a higher spot on the hierarchy than these ones. What I just did there was differentiate between the size of the Praise for the Re-entry Roadmap title and the Meet the Author title. So, again, these ones still stand out as titles more than these do because they both have that teal color and they're larger. Now, I want to introduce the hierarchy between these two titles to say that this section down here is sort of the secondary section to this one and I'm doing that with size. So, I brought the Praise for the Re-entry Roadmap text size up and I bumped the Meet the Author size down a little bit. Again, they still look like they're related titles because they use the same font. They have the same color and they're larger than the rest of the text on the page, but they then convey another message within them by this one being smaller. So, that's the design that's happening behind the process. Those are the things that are causing me to make my decisions. When I'm looking at the cover from this far back, I'm purposefully not paying attention to the details and it's almost like I'm blurring my eyes in just looking at the space. I'm trying to make sure everything is breathable and makes sense that the space between the sections make sense. That all the space is utilized as best as it can. That there's no weird tension between this barcode and this copy down here. If there is what I can do to fix it and make it look better. All right. I think this is looking great. I'm almost ready to send it to Cate, except for this one thing that just kind of bugging me right here. My eyes can't seem to get away from it. An idea that I had that I think could actually work and remember in design, there should not be anything extraneous on the page, everything should have a purpose to it. So, I think the- I'm not just introducing this as a visual element though it will work as one. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to grab my pencil and I'm going to switch to have a stroke and I want my stroke to be white. What I'm going to do is and if you want to learn more about how to use the pencil tool, I do have a Skillshare class on the pen and pencil tools and you know in maps how like dotted and dashed lines are usually used to show a journey or travel or just distance, I thought it might be cute to not only fill this space with a dashed line that moves around, but it would also bring home that idea of travel. Also, if I do it right, I think it could help bring the eye down from the top of the page down which helps them guide through the content. So, I'm going to use my pencil tool here to make a line. You can see that the smoothing of it helped a lot. It's a little too loopy but that's like the exact, what did that look like? So, one swoop down. Okay, maybe a swoop here and then come over. I'm not going to leave it as a line like this. It's still not quite right. I've got this close. I want to show you what I'm going to do with it though. I want to turn it into a dashed line over here. Yeah, I think I still need to get the curves right. I'm going to have to spend some time on that. But I think that's exactly- I think that's it just needed something. I just have to get the curve right. It's still not taking up the right amount of space but I can finesse that in a minute. But the nice thing is is that sort of solves that issue. I don't want to do too much. That's the other thing. It's so easy as a designer to start doing too much. I have to remember that this is just their first review of the book cover with Cate. So, I'm going to keep working on using that pencil tool to try and get the right curve here. Then I'm going to send this off to Cate. 8. Book Cover: Final Edits & Delivery: So, here is the first rendered book cover design that I sent off to Cate. You'll notice that I spent some more time trying to get that dashed line down, and finally found a curb that I thought was fun and clean, and took up that space in the right way to just fill that space on the cover a little bit more. Like I said, it does, I think from far away, it can help drive home that idea of travel more. So, like I said earlier, it's really important that your design decisions have more to do with just the aesthetic of it. It has to have some meaning and some function behind it. I sent it off to Cate with an informative email, letting her know that I did not use the Hello Sunshine font, and you might think, "Well, why'd you tell her? She'll look at it and she'll see that you didn't use it." But, I want to make sure that she knows that the decisions I'm making are very intentional. I'm not just throwing this up there and saying, "Yeah, that looks good. Let's see if it passes by her." I want her to know that I didn't use it on purpose, and I explain about going in and finding some inspiration that we looked on Canva, and I also let her know about introducing Proxima Nova, so that she knows that that is in there now, and I just tell her that it's sort of a chameleon font and the reasons why I chose it. Then, I also let her know about that dashed line and the reason that I put it on there was the travel and matte fill the book, and it also helps guide the viewer's eye down the content. I sent it off to her and a few days later we get an awesome e-mail like, "This is so great." She's happy about not using the Hello Sunshine font because she actually took it out of the inside of her book, and she likes the cover better without it. The font, she said that sounds good with Proxima Nova, and she might try using it in other places, and the dashed line, she loves it. So, all of those design decisions that I made and the directions that I took were confirmed here and that feels really good. The comments that she has are the spine of Brubaker and the re-entry roadmap are sort of running together, and says she'd love some more space there. She also gives a suggestion if I need to change the copy there. She lets me know that she thinks re-entry should maybe be a little bit bigger. That was a suggestion that she got when she showed it to a few of her colleagues, and she's thinking about it specifically on Amazon, and I think that's a great point. I'm happy to change that. She said that she wants to sit with it during the weekend, so that she can mull over the copy and everything. I was on a business trip at that time to New York, and so I had a vacation responder on and she wrote back again and said, "Hey, I saw that you're out of the office. So, I wanted to take a few extra days to reply. I wanted to confirm that the draft is great. See my previous email below for my initial comments." Again, that's another reason why I love working with Cate. She's very clear. She doesn't let anything slip through the cracks just like I'm trying not to. She lets me know that there are a few slight copy changes. So, extra spaces and commas, and capitalizing, and she also changed the subtitle of the book. So, once I caught up on my email, I did want to send her a confirmation email. This is actually the next day that just says, "Woohoo! I've got these. Thank you so much. I will be sending hopefully the final review tomorrow." She writes back, and she says, "That would be awesome. I'd love to get the new version uploaded to Amazon before I go to my conference and start my new re-entry coaching group on Monday." Then she just asked me again for the type of files that she needs exported. So, instead of sending her another confirmation saying, "Yes, I will send that as you're requesting." I'm just going to go ahead and send it to her the next day, because I would rather as I said move the project along instead of creating a lot of emails. So, I'm going to go ahead and jump in, and start implementing these changes. The first change that she wanted was on the spine. There wasn't enough space between re-entry in Brubaker, and the design problem that I'm up against is I don't want her name back here to just look random, and so I am going to put her full name and title in there, because adding more content doesn't take up more height, so I may as well just go ahead and add that in there. But, I'm still running into the same issue of there, how much space do I put between these? Do I put one at the top and one at the bottom? I think what I'm going to do, remember how I like this dashed line because it offered a theme, and I think that I can utilize this again over here to put a little bit of space between the title and her name, and help that space make more sense. So, I'm going to go ahead and just add some spaces between there, and I'm going to grab my pen tool and make a line. Okay, so we've got the spine updated. The next note that she had was about re-entry being bigger, and so I will just go ahead and size that up. Now, I'm wondering, we can make this bigger, but I wonder if it wouldn't be a bad idea to introduce a version of this where re-entry is uppercase just like ROADMAP, because both of the words are important in the title and she's saying that right now this is getting lost a little bit. So, this might be one of those places where I introduce a choice or a set of options to Cate. So, I made sure to at least enlarge the text here, so I can give her this option which is like the original layout but now the word re-entry is larger but still the same style. Move that down that's better. But, I'm also going to make a copy and try one with it in all caps. But first, before I make a copy of this I want to make sure that this is as perfect as it can be. So, I want to see what her other notes were. She said, "On the back cover in the second blurb-", so, I'm going to go ahead and zoom in to Naomi's quote here. She says, "There's an extra space after the first period, and can you also capitalize global life ingredients?" Here is global life ingredients and she wants each of those words to be capitalized. Okay, that's done. In the second blurb, "Amanda, there should be a couple of commas in the second sentence." Okay, so me in the second sentence. Let's see where those commas need to be. She says, "After fog of home." Probably after re-entry as well. Okay, I need to cheat a little bit, as changing that copy made one word fall down to that third line. You can see I made this one a little bit wider than the others, and actually I might just do that across the board just to make sure that this is still lining up. Sometimes you have to do that when you have one of those. But, what I just did was these are groups, so I stretched all the text. I don't want that. One of the reasons I love Illustrator is the smart guides are really smart. Do you see I'm getting that pink guide and it's saying, "Hey, this is lining up with those." That's exactly what I'm looking for. Okay. So, I've got that copy change in there, and she wants to change the subtitle to find your best next step after living abroad. So, I'm going to go in here and paste that in. Did you see I made a copy so that I can sample this text so that it's the same size as before. Okay. So, I think we are all set to make that copy that I was talking about, so I can play around with the type a little bit more. I'm going to hit Shift+O to open up my art boards. I'm going to hit Option or Alt, Command or Ctrl+2 to unlock anything that might be on these art boards to make sure that everything transfers over, and I'm going to hold down Option or Alt and click and drag this guide over to the right. Looks like everything copied over correctly. Now, I'm just going to play with what it would look like to have both of these be capitalized. Okay. So, I think that changes was a good call on her part. I think that that will stand out much better on Amazon. When you see the cover of a book it's pretty small, and so you can see there is a substantial difference between being able to read that from that small size. Not that it has to be fully optimized for that, but it is good to keep that in mind for legibility purposes. So, I think those are the only changes she wanted me to make. I'm going to take a quick look at both the emails again to make sure I didn't forget anything, and then I'm going to go ahead and get these ready for print to send to her. There is a chance that she'll want some changes but that's okay. This print setup isn't going to be too difficult, and so I won't mind if I have to do it again. But, this cover, I think it looks really great, and if there's a chance that this could be the final, I want to just go ahead and export that stuff right away. All right. I'm feeling confident that I've got everything in there that I need. So, I am going to first of all re-save this, and I'm going to say, "book cover" because I hadn't updated it from the skeleton deck. Usually, I don't actually need a copy of the skeleton cover in this case because we didn't lose anything from that. But, in this case I guess it's good to have a different copy, and I'm going to make another copy of this, and I'm doing that. I'm using the hot code of Shift+Command or Control S to Save As. I'm going and do that again, and this one I'm going to call "print ready". It's always good to save a copy for the one that you're going to print because all of the texts that is on here needs to be converted to outlines. So, if there is a change, if Cate writes back and says, "Hey, I need to change some of this copy, " if I didn't have a working copy with editable text, I'd have to figure out what all that styling is again and recreate that, and I don't want to deal with that. So, now I've got a print ready one that I'm working in and I don't have to worry about ruining any of that. So, the first thing I'm going to do is grab all of the type, and I'm going to go up to type "Create outlines". So, what that did, was that took this from actual editable type to essentially just any other shape that you would find in Illustrator. What that does, is it ensures that when we send this smart PDF to create space for them to print, it doesn't have a font information. Because if it did, let's say that create space doesn't have this font, then there might be substitutions and then the text might shift, and so we always want to send outlines because that ensures that the type is going to show up exactly as we want. Illustrator does a really nice job of converting type to outlines. The next thing I need to do, is I need to get ready to have one of these, to have these all be separate. So, I'm going to create some extra art-boards that are eight and a half by 11 because remember, she wanted to have the covers separate. Since I have two versions now, I'm going to have to export all of these and that's okay. It's not that big of a deal, but I just want to make sure that I do it. So, I just copied and grouped everything that was here on the main cover. Now, the only thing is the cover was setup with a bleed, and so I want to make sure that what I'm looking at is centered and looks nice. So, I'm going to un-group it now, and just try to find some balance on this art-board. It's nice because, I don't need to worry. Cate is using these parts, these separate ones for mockups, and for promotional stuff. She's not actually using these for printing. So, I don't have to worry about bleeds in this case. These ones are just the pure eight and a half by 11 size. The barcode is not part of it. I want to get that out of there. That was just a placeholder, Amazon is going to generate that barcode. So, I want to make sure that's not there. I'm leaving this hanging off, because sometimes when you export a JPEG or a PNG, if you have the background lined perfectly up with that art-board, there can still sometimes be a white line around your design. So, you can see anything that I'm creating a digital bleed even though I'm not printing these. I don't need to do the back cover twice, because that's the same. I really just need to make sure that I export both covers for her. Okay. So, these are all set to go. I'm going to go through the same export process for all of these, but basically remember these top two need to be saved as PDFs as well as PNGs, and actually, she might want PDFs and PNG's of everything. So, I'm just going to go through each one and do this process but I will show it to you once. So, I'm going to go up to file and save a copy. I want to make sure to know what art-board number this is down here, so it's art-board number one, and I'll go back to save a copy. I want to grab the format dropdown, and hit Adobe PDF, and I want to do a range of art-boards and I'll do one to two since I know those are both of the full covers just for now. I'm going to go into deliverables, and I will call this full cover, and do Save. Here's the important dialog box. On the create space site, they said that they prefer PDF/X 1A, and so that makes it so that I don't even have to worry about the rest of the settings, that makes sure that it's going to print how they want it. So, I can go ahead and look in her folder and see what that looks like. Okay. I just remembered, I was like, "Why don't I just export these all the same time?" That's why I forgot. It will export it as one PDF. So, I'm actually going to go in, and do that one at a time. But that's how I'm going to export the PDF. For the PNGs, I can either save for web and devices by hitting Shift Alter option, Command or Control S, which will bring up the save for web dialog box, or I could go to file, export as, and I could save it as a PNG or a JPEG this way. So, I'm going to go through, and I'm going to export these full covers, all of the separate pieces, and I'll do a spine as well. I'm going to deliver those to Cate as both PNGs and PDFs. So, let's take a look at the deliverables folder now. You can see that I have two folders inside of it, one called full cover with bleed, and pieces no bleed. So, within this full cover folder, we have all of the files that have, you guessed it, the full cover. You'll notice there's a difference between the size and the color a little bit, and that's because the PDFs are print ready, and the PNGs are just regular digital files, and so there's a little bit of a difference there. I'll be sure to point that out to Cate, that that's why then I have this pieces folder that has no bleed. Again, I just want to be as clear as I can with Cate, so that she understands if there's size differences, and in here I have a PDF and PNG version of each file needed of both the spine, the two different front versions and then the back cover. What I'm going to do when I'm ready to send this, is I'm going to right click and go to compress, so that it all gets compressed down as much as it can, and then I'm going to change the name to Brubaker book cover, and that's going to be what I'll attach in the e-mail that I send to her. So, when it was time to send that off to her, I sent an e-mail that said, "Hey Cate, I've attached the final review for the book cover. There are two styles, one as was, and the other with an uppercase re-entry. If everything looks all said, there are two print ready PDFs and they're ready to go. The ones with the full front and back cover have the necessary bleed on the edges so the color will print nicely. The files with the cover only have no bleed, and are trimmed to eight and a half by 11. If you notice anything that needs to be nudged into place, just let me know and I'll re-export everything and resend. If we're all set, let me know, and I'll send the final invoice. Thanks." So, again I'm giving her options to move this project forward. I've given her everything she needs, she just has to say go. She wrote back and said, "Thank you, a few more things. Sorry." So, I did jump the gun a little bit. I am going to have to go back in there to the file that I did not make print ready, and she just sent some really small copy changes. So, she said, "From page quote, the can and I can do this should be italicized. So, I've got to change that text. She said, "Front cover same quote, it looks like part of the will is bolded." So, I'll have to check on that, and she said, "Can you send me a JPEG or PNG of the front cover, back cover in spine, and a JPEG or PNG of all three and images in PDFs?" So, basically, she just wants to make sure that it's all in there, and just reiterating herself. Then she says, "Then please do send the invoice, so I can get payment to you." So, let's go in and change those. I have to open up the not print ready file. So, I'm going to find the one that is just the book cover files. So, I've got all my editable text, and I'm going to go in and change those things. First and foremost, we want the can to be italicized, and she said that in that same quote, the word will looked bolded, and I'm not seeing that there. I'm guessing that, sometimes if a client views a JPEG or a PDF within their e-mail client, it doesn't show 100 percent, it shows like a representation of the file, it doesn't show the actual file. So, I'm guessing that was all that is, because I can see that the text is fine, and let me check the print ready to make sure that when I created those outlines, nothing weird happened. No, I can see that it all looks fine. So, I'm just going to guess that that's what that issue is, that comes up sometimes. So, I'm not worried about that. Then, the last thing she wanted was just to make sure that everything was exported. So, that's awesome. Those were the only changes that I need to make sure are up to date on each. So, I need to update it here and then I'll need to re-save a print ready file. Actually, what I'm going to do, I'll show you a little cheat. So, the only thing I really needed to change here, was the word can needed to be italicized. Everything else she said looked good. So, instead of re-doing everything that I just did, just to update those two small things, I'm just going to cheat it. I'm going to go in and grab a copy of this text, and paste in here and create outlines from it, and go in the group and I'm going to delete everything but that word can that I need. Okay. So, that's the only thing in there, and I'm just going to go ahead and place it over this, and delete the other letters. I'm going to do that for each of the covers. Then one other thing I noticed, is that it looks like there's just some weird space between this needs to be fixed. So, I'm going to go through and update that on each of the covers too,. Then I'm going to go through the same process, I'm going to outline, re-export everything in all the file formats that she needs, I'm going to make sure everything is named correctly, and then I'm going to send it off to her. Not only that, but I am going to deliver the final quote or the final invoice to her. So, I'm going to put that in the folder as well, and I'm just going to put it right in the root section of the deliverables. So, right with these two folders, there will also be a document that says Brubaker final invoice, or Brubaker invoice. So, I'm ready to send what I think is the final package. This is awesome, and I'll let her know, first and foremost, she apologized twice in that last email about having changes, and I don't want her to feel like she was bothering me. That was part of her contract to make those changes. So, I say, "No worries, those are easy." I just reiterate the changes that she told me to make and confirmed that I made those, I let her know that I sent her PNGs instead of JPEGs because they have better quality, and then I let her know that that word will that she was seeing bolded was probably because of Gmail or the mail server that she was viewing it through. But that if she doesn't see a difference, let me know. Everything is attached, I let her know again that there's a difference between the PDF and the PDF files, she may notice some color difference and that's totally normal. At the end, I let her know to not hesitate to reach out if she needs anything else, including help with her mockups. She wrote back, and said, "Hey Dylan, I meant to reply earlier but it's been crazy. An e-mail always takes a backseat when I have in-person stuff as I have last week and this week. I got a proof copy of the book and the cover looks great in person. Your check is in the mail, so you should get it in a day or two. Thanks for your design work. It was a pleasure working with you." Just like that, we are set. That's the project. I will say Cate, I believe she did end up emailing a few days later and asked if I could just increase the size of the subtitle a tiny bit, but after that, the project was all done. I got her cheque, I cashed it and I sent her a final invoice that said, "Paid" on it", and I just thanked her again for the project, and that was it. That is the end of the book cover. 9. Postcard: Onboarding: Last fall I went to cool market in hopes of snagging a fabric deal. While I was there I met and befriended Andrea Patton. A very contemporary lady in the world of fabric. Since market she has actually opened up her very own well curated fabric shop called Cottoneerfabrics and she reached out on Instagram this spring asking if I'd be interested in collaborating on a postcard design. I'm excited to show you this project because you'll get to see a totally different client handling. You'll still see the quote and the contractor in there. But I'm a little bit more casual about things. The project is a little bit quicker. There's not as much of a long onboarding process, there's not as long of a work process, and not to mention this project flexes both design and illustration skills and utilizes Procreate and Photoshop instead of Illustrator. So, as I said this started on Instagram and on April 22nd, Andrea and I had been going back and forth. I think I had just ordered, gotten my first order from her shop that day. She said, "Hey, I've been meaning to ask if you do any custom design. I'm looking to get some stickers and a postcard designed." I said, "I'm taking on some projects right now. Do you have direction on what you're looking for and a ballpark number of what you're wanting to spend?" So, the important thing here is at the time I didn't have a ton of availability for project work. So, I needed to be really careful to only take on something that would fit right in. So, what that meant is I needed a client who knew what they wanted and I didn't want to spend a lot of time going back and forth like I did with Kate just trying to get on the same page and trying to onboard. If she thought this could be a short and fun project that she could lead then I would totally be on board. If not then I would probably pass. Luckily, Andrea got right back to me and said, "so, I was thinking like a cute hand drawn version of my logo for a sticker." In the picture you can see how boring my current ones are. Then, I was thinking of an illustrated postcard that says thank you for shopping with Cottoneer. A sweeping retro illustration that takes an entire side of the postcard and I can send inspiration pics. Then, I could with both the bot backside with all the info. I can send a pallet and some inspiration. I'm hoping to work with different artists every few months as a fun little nugget to include and orders. So, I'm really glad I asked because, Andrea is on it. I can tell she knows what she wants. She's ready to go. She's ready to send me inspiration. She knows the creative process. So, I'm feeling pretty good about this. I write back and say "Cute I love all these ideas. Let's hop over the e-mails so I can start keeping track of everything. If you want please send me an email with some inspiration pics and a list of the final deliverables. For example, three sticker options, two postcard options, assistance with printing et cetera. Then, I can give you a quote, my email address is [email protected]" She said, "Okay cool, I'll send you an email tonight or tomorrow." So, again, in this message you can see I'm trying to move the project forward. So, I put the ball right in her court and say, "Cool, if you want to move this forward make sure you send me all this stuff and then I can do my job and get you a quote." A few days later I got that email from Andrea with the subject line, I'm sorry it took me so long and she said, "Hey Dylan, so I sort of just rambled my thoughts out onto a page layout. I was sort of hoping for a thank you art print surrounded in a botanical cotton plant and a small almost hidden cottoneerfabrics.com planted in there somewhere. Thank you for doing this with me. I've attached my own horrible drawing to sort of give a quick idea of the layout I like, as well as my page with colors, et cetera. I found the colors I love already in a couple prints of yours on Instagram. See attached and let me know if you have any questions." So, this just goes to show that how a client sends you information doesn't really matter. If they can get this out of their brain into you. It's going to make your job a lot easier. So, the three images on the left are what Andrea found on my Instagram that resonated with her and she said, "I found the colors I want to use right on your IG feed, love these palettes." So, I'm looking for a postcard that says thank you on the front using a writing style similar to the thank you in orange below. Also cottoneerfabrics.com in small almost hidden handwriting. The bay and the art being a botanical interpretation of my logos / a cotton plant. The idea is to have a beautiful art print on the front and then the thank you for your order and website information on the back. Like the postcard that came with your order. But I think I can fill in the other information. I would just want a couple more assets from you for the back side like thank you for your order written out in your awesome lettering." Looking to change up my website colors a bit to these, so, I'd love to use these colors in the postcard. The acidic almost fluorescent yellow, tobacco brown of my current logo, and sky blue/mint color. So, now it's time for me to take all of this that she gave me and start generating a quote. So, I saw two big areas that I needed to think of for this project. The first was the custom cotton botanical illustration for unlimited use on marketing products. Even though she is only requesting a postcard, she is a small company and I don't want to limit her on this one project. So, I'm going to let her use this on other postcards if she wants to, and two rounds of reasonable edits and I think that'll take two to six hours. Then the design services for the actual postcard layout and the delivery of final working assets. So, this is that filling in the gaps work and also covers my butt for actually compositing everything in Photoshop and I just give that a solid hour. So, with that I think the project will take three to seven hours, meaning 150 to 525 total. I think 525 is too high. I think my illustration work is worth it but I like to think about that end use in the end canvas even though I'm creating custom artwork for Andrea. The canvas is so small and I don't know, I just think 525 seems too high. However, I don't want to go too low even though I'm really excited to work on this project. Because she said that she might work with other designers, this might be a regular thing she does with artists, and I want to keep that designer ecosystem healthy and I don't want to undercut myself and then make it difficult for when Andrea goes to work with future artists. I want to make sure that I'm putting out a number that I would feel is fair to other fellow designers too as if I were praising their work for them. So, I came up with a total of 400. I wanted to go towards the higher end of the spectrum because unlike the last project with Kate, when I was really just arranging all of the assets that she gave me. In this case I am using my own creativity and it is leaning on my illustration style and my specific Dylan look. So, I am going to put a little bit higher price on that. So, I went with 400. But then of course my friends and family discount is 15 percent off and I did give that to her. So, the quote said 400 with a discount of minus $60 with a total of 340. So, I made sure to show her both of those numbers even though she is getting that discounted price. So, on may 3rd I sent this off to Andrea in an email and I said, "I'm really excited about this. I've attached a quote based on the scope of work you laid out. Let me know if you have any questions. Full disclosure, I had a difficult time pricing it because my usual rate seemed too high. But I also don't want to undercut any future artists you work with. I put a number that I'd be happy to do the work for plus my friends and family discount and I'm open to negotiating since I'm not sure what your budget is. We'll make this postcard happen and find a price that suits us both." So first of all this is a more casual email. I'm using smiley faces and also I'm letting her know I'm being transparent and saying hey I want this project to happen. I'm really excited about this so don't let the price be a stopping factor. Let's talk about it. That same day Andrea wrote back and said that the quote looks great and she just wanted to clarify that that quote included the handwriting of thank you on the front side. Thank you for your order on the backside and the cottoneerfabrics.com on the front. She supplied two more examples of what she was thinking from Pinterest in regards to that. I wrote back to her and let her know that "Hey yes, actually that is included in the design price and the reason is, is because I'm not actually a hand letterer." I'm not going to be crafting those letters for her. I use a font and I'm going to draw on top of it and maybe customize it to give it a lettered effect. So, I'm not going to put a premium price on that because what hand letterers do is truly a talent and it takes a lot of work and a craft and so I just want to protect that for them. So, I just let her know, yes, that's all included we're good to go. Let me know if the quote is set and I'll send over a very easy to read contract. So, here she and I are still negotiating the quote. So, even though I like moving the project forward. I also don't want to rush her or inundate her. So, instead of just sending the contract here, I just want to double check with her that she is all set on the quote and then I can supply the contract. So, she wrote back and said it sounds great and I went ahead and attached the contract, very similar to what you saw earlier in the first project with just Andrea's details sprinkled in there and the project details. She wrote back that same day with the signed contract. So, with that project onboarding is done and we were ready to get started. 10. Postcard: Rough Draft: I'm ready to start working on the postcard for Andrea, and I'm going to start the project in a similar fashion to Kate's book cover, and that's by doing a rough draft or a rough sketch, a skeleton that just gets the main content of what has to be there onto the page, so that I can start visualizing it. I used my iPad for this part. I used Procreate, and you can see the time-lapse here of me just trying to get the content on there and starting to play with the idea of what this postcard is going to look like, what the front back will look like, so that I have something to give to Andrea. This is nice because I'm able to have a sketch, but I'm still able to edit it digitally, so I really just like being able to send digital sketches to clients like this. When I was done, all I did was from Procreate, I just went up to my share, and I hit PSD, and then that air dropped right to my computer, so I could bring it into Photoshop to set it up and make sure that it was all right and send that off to Andrea for approval. So, I wrote her an email and I said, "I hope you had an excellent weekend. Attached is a rough sketch for the direction I'm headed in for the postcard. Long stem botanicals do better in portrait, so I thought the front of the postcard could be portrait, and the back could be landscape. Here are some clarifying questions I have for you. First, do you like the balance and scale between "thank you" and the surrounding botanicals? If not, do you want more text, less botanical, or more botanicals, less text? Should the lettering on both sides of the postcard be tilted and scripty? Or would you like the back to contrast as it does in the rough? If you want them to both be tilted and scripty, they will both be made from the same lettering style. If, however you want the front scripty and tilted, but the back to differ, do you want that back to be scripty and/or tilted and/or block lettering? Lowercase, capitalized, uppercase? I know you said that you'd fill in the back, but do you want to provide me with the copy, so I can work out a quick layout? Or would you prefer to handle that? Once I get your feedback on the rough, I'll move forward with getting you a more rendered draft to approve. Once that draft is approved, I'll clean everything up and send you the final! Easy peasy." So, I'm asking her very specific questions about the content here. Do you like the balance? What are you seeing for these specific types of lettering that you want on the front and back? Then, my final offer there of saying, "Hey, if you want to send the copy along, I'll design the back of the postcard." I'm doing that because that's not going to be a lot of time investment on my part for how big of a benefit it could be for Andrea just to have it designed all in one go. So, that I feel like I'm protected by the quote that I gave her and so I want to make that offer to her. Then, lastly, you can see that not only am I moving the project forward, but I'm giving her an idea of where we are on the project, sort of already showing her the finish line saying, "Look. Now, once we can agree on this, the refining is going to go really quickly." So, she wrote back and she gave some great feedback. She said she loves the balance, and she loves the handwriting. "One change though. I love everything and want it to remain almost exactly the same, but just have the front side say Cottoneer Fabrics, and instead of the URL, say Happy Fabrics for the Modern Maker. Then the back side will say, 'Thank you for your order,' in the tilted scripty writing. I'm thinking that may make more sense to me." So, this is exactly why I sent a rough draft along to her because she gets a visual to work with and she can now see, "Oh, maybe it doesn't make sense that we have 'thank you' on both sides of the card. Maybe the art print side should say Cottoneer Fabrics in the back and say thank you'. Now, is the exact time that I want those changes to come through. Since I'm going to be hand-drawing over the font, I don't want to have a lot of last minute copy changes. So, it's nice that she's nailed all of that down now. She lets me know that she wants all of the header like text to be tilted in scripty and she wants to balance that out with all of the rest of the copy being a clean and modern all-uppercase font. She then provides me the copy for the back of the postcard and she said, "Here's a picture that I have attached of what our current postcards look like, just so that you have an idea of what we're working with." So, I shoot her a quick email because, like I said, I want to make sure that I've got the copy down exactly especially for the parts that I'm going to be tracing over. So, I just send her a quick email asking for her confirmation. I say, "Hey, okay, so the front will say 'Cottoneer Fabrics' with 'Happy Fabrics for the Modern Maker' beneath it. The back will say, 'Thank you for your order' with the additional provided copy. 'Cottoneer Fabrics and 'Thank you for your order' will both be done with tilted, scripty lettering, while 'Happy Fabrics for the Modern Maker' will be in a smaller, non-script lettering. All other copy on the back will be a modern and clean, full uppercase font." Then, I asked her if the postcard was going to be a 4 x 6 or a 5 x 7 and to send me a confirmation to make sure I've got it all down. So, you'll notice that I'm being very specific here. I'm asking her only, I'm not adding in any extraneous questions. Each bullet point has a specific point to it and I'm also using her language back to her, so that she knows that we're on the same page, the tilted scripty lettering and all of that. So, I put that out there and she writes back and she says, "Yes. All of that sounds correct, and I think it's a 4 x 6." So, now I'm ready to go in and start refining the artwork, and then I need to bring the artwork into Photoshop and start actually compositing this postcard. 11. Postcard: Refining: So, this part is really exciting because I get to move forward and I get to work on the artwork. But, before I can get into that, I think firstly, I want to start looking for fonts because that's going to really set the tone of the postcard, and to do that, I'm going to use Creative Market. There are a ton of places for you to get fonts. If you just Google 'fonts', you'll find them. I like Creative Market for smaller projects like this because you can get these one-off fonts for a really reasonable price. Full font sets, like if you were to go to Hoefler, Frere, they're like any of those type houses, you're going to be paying multi-hundreds of dollars for full-font kits, and that makes sense because those take a lot of time to develop, and they're full-font systems and type systems. But, these ones, they are still high quality, but you are getting less, and so you pay less. That's really what I'm looking for. I'm going to go to Fonts, in Display, and I'm going to both look through their display fonts and their script fonts. I'm going to do a few searches that are similar, but a little bit different, so that I can make sure that I'm getting a good idea of what I'm looking for. The first is I want to see what they have for retro. Whenever I'm on Creative Market, instead of viewing it like a grid like this, I want to do this list view because then I can type in text, you can see when I was looking for the re-entry road map, you can type in your own text and get a sample of what it's going to look like. So, I want this one. The front is now going to say Cottoneer Fabrics, and so I'm looking for a font that is going to do that well. This one, this is the one that I actually ended up going with. You can see that I liked that, but this one stood out to me right away. As I'm going through here, sometimes I'll just open the ones I like in a new tab, or I'll go through and just hit the heart and like them because Creative Market keeps tabs of all those. Just something to save my place. Something like this could work. Well, I like this. I'm not only taking into consideration the information that she's sent me, but I'm also trying to picture my illustration style, and I want to make sure that this retro font is going to go with my work and the Cottoneer brand. This is all I did. I went through here and I opened them all in new tabs. Sometimes, if I'm testing a lot of these out and I don't know which one I want yet, I'll go down and I'll take a screenshot of the sample text, and then I'll collage those all in Illustrator or Photoshop, so that I can see them all together, and then I'll make my decision, and then I'll go in and actually buy the font and download it. This is the one that I ended up thinking was really nice for the Cottoneer Fabrics and the 'Thank you for your order' for the back of the card. This Voltunes I thought was really nice for the subtext underneath the card. Font buying can be tricky. It can take time to get an eye for fonts. When I started off, I was so annoyed at how bad I was at picking out fonts and that I couldn't seem to see the magic in them. It'll come in time, so don't worry about it. But, Creative Market is a great resource especially for less expensive fonts that are still high quality and give you a contemporary look. Just like with the rough draft, I do have a time-lapse video of me working on that artwork, and you can see that I have that font in there that I bought from Creative Market, and I just took a picture of that and brought it into my iPad to trace over. Then, I used my drawing to render the artwork out and to get those cotton stems in there. You can see I'm already working within her colors. I got the cream and that nice gray blue, and that tobacco golden brown. I think that this is going to look really nice. You can see that even though I'm going to put a font underneath the Cottoneer Fabrics, I did want to put that copy in there, so that I remember to switch it out. I feel pretty good about this. Just like before, I'm going to go up to share from my settings, and I'm going to hit a PSD, and I'm going to airdrop that to my computer. In Photoshop, I'm going to get my documents set up. For one thing, I want to switch to inches. I'm going to call this Cottoneer Postcard, and I want to start with four-by-six. Then, I know that I need to add the bleed in here. She's going to be printing with MOO eventually, and I know that they have an eighth of an inch bleed. I'm going to add a quarter inch to each side to make sure that I'm ready for that bleed, and I'll hit Create. I'm going to open up the Photoshop file that I sent to myself from my iPad, and you can see that everything is in here. Now, the only thing is when I went to make the initial rough sketch, I didn't know if she was having a five-by-seven or a four-by-six postcards, so I did the bigger of the two, knowing that I could always scale it down. I'm just going to have to keep that in mind that as I move this stuff over to the postcard, I'm going to have to resize it. I'm just going to go through here and see what are the important layers that I need to take with me. I'm going to replace this flat layer with an actual color solid for the background, and then I'm just going to grab only the layers I need by holding down Command or Control and clicking on those layers, and then I'm going to click and drag it right over to the tab that has our project on it and drop that in. I'm going to try and size it down because this postcard is a four-by-six and not a five-by-seven, and I want to get as much of the botanical print in there as I can. I put a guide down the middle because this is going to be one of those projects where since the script is tilted, I want to make sure that it's visually centered even if it's not accurately centered. I just want to make sure that I'm following the weight there. Once I get that closed, I want to replace, I'm sick of seeing my handwriting here, so I'm going to slip in that font that I liked. It might be a bit tricky trying to fit this all in here, but that's the role of the designer, is to find solutions where it seems like there aren't any. Let me turn this back on. I'm going to grab my type tool. Happy fabrics. Before I get any further, I'm going to change the styling, so I can actually see what I'm typing, and we'll switch this to raw Voltunes. That's the font that I thought would be nice. Right now, I know you can't see that it looks fully illegible, and that's because my text styling was still stuck on what I was doing before. I'm going to turn off the bolding, turn off the upper case, and yeah, that looks better. Also, I don't want the script the uppercase letters of this font to compete with this, so I want this all to be lowercase. Right now, the tracking is set too far. I hit Command-T to put this into transform mode, and I'm just going to give myself negative eight degree rotation. That is usually the degrees that I use when I want just like a slight tilt to my writing. Okay, happy fabrics for the modern maker. Since she went with a four-by-six instead of a five-by-seven, I want to make sure that I'm considering legibility here. I don't want to screw myself over by making it fit only to find that it can't be read on the front. I might have to find a way to make this work. See how the subtext now makes it look like this is not balanced anymore. So, that's the kind of thing I'm looking out for. We want it to be visually centered even if it isn't fully centered. Then this design I think even though we have this nice cotton bob, I think overall you could frame the center better. That looks super cute. I'm happy with that. Now I want to make sure that I set up the back of the postcard too. So, I'm going to go ahead, and make a new one. This one since it's going to be in landscape instead of portrait, I want this one to be 6 by 2.5 by 4.25. Now we have our landscape. For the back of the card, so the whole point is that this front of the card is supposed to be like an art print. It is really supposed to stand out, and be really beautiful. The back of the card is the secondary side of the card. I think since this one has a bold color background, it would be nice to have a cream background on the back. I'm going to sample this color. I can go in here, and do a solid color fill. Earlier, I also airdropped my tracing that I did on the iPad of the thank you for your order text in the same Chorlton font that I bought for the front, and so I'm going to do the same thing. I'm going to first merge these layers together, and I'm going to click, and drag this layer, and bring it over to my postcard back. I think this is going to look really nice. You can see that that eight percent grade is just enough for it to have that up and right feeling, but it's not too much. That looks pretty nice. You can see that since this isn't editable text, this is just artwork on the page, if I want to recolor this, I can either lock the transparent pixels, and then just fill the layer by hitting alt, option, delete or I can add a color solid right on top of it and then apply a clipping mask by holding down alter, option, hovering in between those two layers, and clicking. If what I just said indeed blew your mind, you can see that in either my first pattern play class or my illustrating digitizing hand drawn sketches. I show that process for both, but basically now I'm just going to get in here, and since she gave me the other copy that I need, I'm also going to start putting all of that text on this page. Andrea mentioned that she was hoping for a modern Sans serif font on the back of the card. What I'm going to do, is just scroll through my fonts here. I have my text layers selected. I'm going to highlight the font in my character panel, and I'm just going to use the numbers on my keypad to scroll down, and go through this to try, and find a modern Sans serif font that might work. Even if it's just a placeholder, right now I'm really just looking for something that will just drive at home so I can start playing with the layout of everything. I forgot she wants it to be fully uppercase, so I want to make sure that I'm looking at the fonts in upper case. Any time that I have fonts in full upper case I always increase the tracking, as it makes it look less severe. It looks less like somebody is yelling something at you, and instead like maybe they're just excited. Sorry, I'm trying to move things around while talking. Move this back down. I think for now Futuro is going to work as my placeholder because even though I offered to design the back of the postcard for her, it's not my main concern. I want to get her a good way of the way there, but I'm not going to waste too much time trying to pick out the perfect font for her in everything. If anything, if I get everything formatted back here, I can give her the photoshop file, and she can always switch fonts out as she wants. I'm going to keep putting content over here all the copy that she sent me. As you can see I'm still in here working on the rough. I have these squares in here to represent where the social media icons could go. I'm just going to keep trying to massage all of this into place. I've come back to the front so that I can grab some of these cotton stems to add to the back of the postcard too. I think it would be cute to just hint at them. To do that, I'm turning off everything except this flower group. Even though everything is on separate layers, what I'm going to do is drag a marquee around the things that I think I want. If I do Shift Command or Control C, what that will do is copy merged. What that's saying is I want to copy everything that I can see all together here. Since I don't have the background turned on, it's going to copy all of that without a background. I can now go to the back of my postcard, and paste that, and now I have these blooms that I can work with. Originally you can see the background was a sample of the color we used on the front. Now that's not going to work because I need that contrast to actually see that cotton. I'm going to go a little bit lighter on the back of the postcard. Yeah, see that little touch was exactly what I'm looking for. I'm still keeping an eye on the clock here. I don't want to waste a ton of time on the back of the postcard because like I said, we're going to be going back and forth on this, and the back of the postcard isn't when I'm fully worried about. It's mostly I wanted to just take care of it for her. I'm going to keep going. Then pretty soon I'm going to be ready to check in with Andrea. The other thing is so far I've been using a gold that is just random, and so I want to make sure that I at some point go in, and sample the color that she gave us in that initial email that had all the information in it, so that I am using colors that fit her brand. I'm pretty happy with this. I'm not sure how she's going to feel about the tilted subtitles here. I think it works because of the retro thing, but I could also be cool with that not being tilted there, but I am going to page it to her that way, and then she can always tell me if she wants something different. Now I'm just going to do the final massaging here of getting everything into place to look nice, so that I can send it to her for the first review. Like I've said, I'm not trying to get the back of the postcard perfect, but I am hoping just to give her something that excites her, and helps drive home the look of the whole postcard. I'm liking this for the back of the card. I'm liking all that I did for the front of the card. Really I try to gauge it, if I'm excited about the project then I feel pretty good about sending it to the client even if they have to change directions. Let me just switch the brown color on this side to the one we used on the front. That all looks good. Here this need to change. I'm going to send this off to Andrea. Now one other thing that's different here is when I send it to her for review, I'm not just going to send them as attachments. When I do smaller projects like this, I like to present them a little bit more neatly to the client. What I'll do is, and I make this document illustrator just like with my quotes, and my contracts. I like to do this really nice review PDF. You can see the cover page just has her name, and the company name, and then in here I get to talk about what the project is, and what she's looking at. I have the color samples here, and then you can see that I give her some options. In this case that we are trying to pack a lot in here. I wanted to show her what it would look like if we had no sub line, and bigger cotton near fabrics or slightly smaller cotton near fabrics writing just to fit the sub line in there. That was just an option that I provided for her. Then I showed her the back of the postcards. After I worked out the Sans serif one that was really contemporary, I also thought it might be nice to show her a bit more of a retro font that is still contemporary. It definitely fits in the contemporary landscape, but it nods at that retro feel a little bit more. I wanted to give her an option on the back too, to see what she thought there. 12. Postcard: Final Edits & Delivery: So I wrote up an e-mail and I said, "Hey, Andrea. Your first review is ready and attached." So even though I've already sent her a rough that wasn't the first round. I don't want her to think that was one of her rounds of edits and so I'm just saying "This is your first review. I went ahead and laid out the back of the card just to give you a starting place. When I sent the final artwork for the front and back lettering I'll be happy to provide the psd file so you can get the back exactly to your liking." So, I'm trying to tell her here, "Hey, I did this. I'm not going to spend too much more time on this but I'll give you the working file so you can edit it. I'm trying to be clear about the work that I'm expecting." I said, "The main things I need your feedback on are the front of the card and the lettering in general. The font choice for the back is only relevant if you like either of the fonts I picked out so I can provide the font file and the final asset delivery." So, all I'm saying is, "Hey, these are the two fonts I found but if you don't like either of them then no need for me to request those fonts" and I'm kind of telling her, "Hey, I'm not going to look any further for fonts. Like this is what I've come up with. Hope you love it and looking forward to your feedback." Andrea wrote back on May 16th and she said, "I'm sorry it took me forever to respond. Data and internet were down in my town all day, no fun but we're back up now. So I got to tell you I love these, so good. I've got a few couple harmless notes. Can we put www.cottonnearfabrics.com on the back?" Yes, absolutely. I'm a little ashamed that I didn't just think to do that but you kind of get tunnel vision when you're working with the copy that they give you. Sometimes it's hard to remember to use your own brain to think of things so I'll definitely put that on. She said, "Can we put the social icons in or can you send me the AI or psd file and I can put them in." So, instead of placeholder she wants to see what it looks like with those actual icons. She said on the frontside she likes the postcard with the tagline and can we edit the tagline a little to say a happy little fabric shop for modern makers? So she's adding in a few words there. I'll have to do some reworking there but that shouldn't be a problem. "For the frontside can we actually see one or two new background colors perhaps a cream and then another version of a blue green? You may have to change cotton your fabrics to the brown color and that's okay with me." So I can definitely give her some background options especially if she is flexible with how everything else is colored on the page. She said, "For the backside I love it. My only change is that I think I'd like to straighten out the got questions and see you again soon headers." So yeah those ones that I put on that eight degree tilt like the other ones. She's not going for that. So she said, "Also I think maybe changing those two and un-swirly font might be nice too but keeping them brown colored." So I can definitely show her an option of what it would look like with maybe the upper case copy font but a little bit bigger and brown instead of black and she said lastly she actually liked the retro vibe font more than the cleaner more contemporary one which is awesome. I actually didn't see that coming. So she said "I think that's it. I love the cotton botanicals, so good. " So I'm really excited about this. I write back to her and let her know that I'm happy that she loves it but before I can move forward if she has social media icons that she likes to use, I want her to send those along. Again, I'm trying to cut down on the amount of time I'm rooting around and looking for things and giving her a chance to supply me with the things that she wants. So she writes back and she says, "So, I just kind of like social buttons that are like this all the same color. These are a bit cut off at the top for some reason but you get the picture. I'd like to have Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest." So, she just wants basic glyphs for those social icons so I can find those and add those in. So first things first, I want to change the copy down here to the updated tagline which is, "A happy little fabric shop for modern makers" and I again I need to go in here and make sure that none of these are uppercase because the font that we want we just want. This font is so cute and the nice thing about choosing a blocky sensor for this part is it's going to be really easy to read at a small size so I'd say somewhere between here and here is actually 100 percent of what it will look like and I can still read that legibly and so I feel good about that. Okay, so we updated the tagline and then she also wanted to see some other color options. So I'm going to group this colorway all together and make some duplicate. So this is the original, when I duplicate it by hitting commander control J on my keyboard and I'll call this one cream. So, I want this cream color for the front and just like with the back we're going to have that issue of contrast. I really wouldn't recommend such a light color for this front but I want to give her, you always want to give the client what they ask for, just let them see it if it's not too big of a deal. The reason I don't like this is any time I just have a thing with light backgrounds, I think sometimes they look incomplete and I'm a little worried about how the contrast will work here with printing wise, making sure that we can see that and so like I said I'll show her this option because I want her to have it but there is a chance that it will make most sense to not use this. I'm going to go a little bit darker on these cotton blooms just for this version. Like I said I'm I'm worried about the contrast there because I do want to go a little bit warmer on the background and I think this brown color I originally sampled the darker one from her document but now I'm going to use the lighter one because I think we don't need as much contrast as we did before. Yeah, I think that looks nicer. Okay, so there is a cream version. I'm going to duplicate the original again. Hit command J because I'm going to give her some dark options too, let me go in here. I think I'm going to change that brown color everywhere, I think this one's just a little too dark. So, I've already used the colors that she sent so now it's up to me to sort of find some options for her. So, sometimes the client is just really right. I'm really happy that she asked for these. Look how much that pops as a dark background. So that's sort of a darker green and then I also want to give her more of a darker slaty blue. Yeah, that looks really nice and it still goes with my kind of dilan and feel. So, I've taken care of the sub line that has been updated and I've also given her, her two different color options so I think the front is updated and ready for the next review and then the back. So, here's the one that has that sort of retro font that she liked in the back and she said that she wanted to add in cottony or fabrics.com. She makes a lot of sense, trying to fit that in at the top there. She asked if I would put these social media icons in but the ones that she sent were just a screenshot. So I'm just going to go and find some quick and simple icons for that. So, Instagram icon png. Let me go in and find a nice line white one. So that looks good, click and drag it to photoshop. Okay. I've got those social icons in there. Now, she said she wants to straighten out these sub-headers. So, I'll just go on here, and rotate those back. She also said that she might be interested in seeing these and not a scripty header. So, let me rearrange these and then I want to make sure that I also give her an option with a different font. Okay. So, I think those are all the updates, I've got to do those other font options. So, I'm going to go into my text layers here where I have the see you again soon and got questions and I'm just going to duplicate those. I'll turn off the first versions of them and then I'm just going to change the font to the same that we're using for the copy, but the color and the size of the font is what will communicate that it's a header. Something that I hope is apparent now is how much of design work is just nudging things around and trying to utilize the space just right. Okay. That looks great. I feel really good about the changes we've made on the back. On the front, we've given her a new color options and so I went ahead and emailed Andrea this new review. You can see just like the last one, I've got this nice cover page but this one actually says design review two, so, I like to be really specific. This has updated now, I actually updated this text to let her know what changes were made, just to reiterate that I got all of her feedback and it's all been implemented and then we started off with the three color options. So, you can see a review like this is really nice because you can control what the client is seeing. I know that she's seeing all three of these all together, and we'll be able to make a really good choice for which one fits the brand best. Then on the back you can see that, the only differences between these two are this header is in the script. The subtitle is in the script and in this one it's in the Bourton Hand font, and I made sure to denote that in the caption so she knows that that's what the differences. So, I emailed that to her and I said, ''Attached is the second review for the postcard! For what it's worth, I would take advantage of one of the color backgrounds to provide contrast between the front and back of the postcard. It's your choice though, and either way, it'll look great! '' So again, I'm doing that dance of trying to sway and trying to put my designer opinion in there, but also letting the client know that, they don't have to listen to me, they can do whatever they want. So, Andrea writes back and she says, ''Oh my goodness! I love the darkest blue background for the front. And I love the second option for the back! So good. I have one last request and then I think we're done. I'd like to put my flower logo somewhere. I am find that we aren't using the actual logo for the front because I think it's stylized, and cheeky and more I'm an art print. But I feel the backside should have the actual logo somewhere. '' Actually she just goes on to talk about the logo and she doesn't have to convince me. The fact that I didn't put the logo on the card is again a little questionable. I can't believe I didn't think of it. So, she sent me a Dropbox link that had the logo in it which I appreciate that she was on the ball and needed to send that to me. You can see that I was given a Dropbox link that brings me to this AI file, and I'm just going to go ahead and download that and add it to the design. So, the one thing that I notice is the logo comes with text at the bottom, and If you look back here we already have a maxed out amount of copy. So, I either have to have that logo big enough that that text shows or we're just going to use the logo mark just so that it's recognizable and we're going to get rid of that text. So, I'm going to open up this logo and what I'm going to do is I'm just actually going to just copy this. You can see I highlighted all of this artwork and I'm going to hit command C and I can go to Photoshop and hit command V on a new layer and it will actually bring that over as pixels and so that's a nice way to work really quickly. I think that I love this logo. I think it's really simple and elegant, and recognizable and I think it would be perfect for right at the top, right where we have this text up here that says, ''Cottoneerfabrics, and enjoy free shipping.'' So, move this down to make room for that. I want to make sure that I let Andrea know that if this is not okay with her branding, if her brand guidelines say the text needs to accompany the logo mark always, then we'll rework this. But from a design perspective to add this logo in without it being overwhelming into make it fit the design I think it should just be small and centered at the top. Okay. That looks good. I'm going to go back to the front of the postcard, and I'm going to make sure that I've got the blue one ready to go so that I knew that that's what we wanted. So, blue background, green background, I just want to make sure that I'm organized here and that I've got the right one. So, this is the final front of the postcard that I'm going to send to her for review, and this is the final back of the postcard that I'm going to send for review. So, I wrote Andrea and I said, ''Hey hey! Wooo!! Alrighty, I've added in the flower mark from your logo at the top of the postcard back. I dropped the ''Contoneer Fabrics'' logo text because it was redundant and hard to see at such a small size. If for branding purposes you want the text in there anyway, let me know and I'll change for the final deliverables. P.s. So glad you thought about to add in the logo.'' I can't believe I didn't ask about it. It's really important. So, I sent it off to her, and she writes back and this is the best email you can get from any client. I think it's perfect. So, I wrote back to her and said, ''Excellent! Please find the PSD working files (in case you need them), hi Res Jpegs, and a final invoice attached. FYI, the postcard was designed with a.125" bleed around all edges, to ensure color printing goes from edge to edge. I'm so glad you asked me to work on this project with you, I love how it turned out! Let me know if you need more work done in the future and in the meantime I'm sure I'll be ordering plenty of fabric for you.'' Andrea wrote back and said, ''Thank you so much Dylan! They're perfect and I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. How shall I pay? By check or paypal? You can bill me at, blank, for paypal." So, she gave me that email address. Believe it or not, That was the entire back-and-forth of that project in under two weeks, Andrea and I were able to collaborate on an illustrated postcard that both marks my style as an illustrator and also compliments her branding as a business owner. 13. Web App: Onboarding: And here we are at the third and final project. The good news is, is I've really already gone through most of the important stuff, both client and workwise. So this last part should go pretty quickly. Most of the work is going to be in time lapse. So you may wonder why I'm even including it. But the reason is it's simply an example of just how much freelance work can vary within a certain skill set. Not only is the work itself changing, but my relationship and the way I communicate with the client is changing. And so I think it's helpful for you to just see that spectrum. And this is just the spectrum of my work. There's even more projects and different types of clients out there than what I'm showing you here. But this project is different in a lot of ways from the earlier ones. For one, I've done work for this company for a long time and I do work on a consistent basis. So I have a set hourly rate that I get paid, and lots of experience communicating and working with this team. So it's a little bit less formal, it's more casual. Getting paid an hourly rate makes sense in this case because the rate is, first of all, fair to me for the work that I perform, and that work is on a regular basis. So it would become really cumbersome to have to try and stop and price each project, especially since each project doesn't necessarily have a clear start and end point. I would share my hourly rate with you, just like I've shared everything up until this point, but that's the other thing. This is a tech company with strict confidentiality rules. And so I can't give away a ton of specifics about the company, about the project, or about my rate. But I don't think it's going to degrade the takeaways. Like I said, most of the demo for this work will be in time lapse because I'm mostly just making rectangles and moving around type while keeping the project parameters in mind. But again, I include this project to show you that freelance work can really vary, both client facing and on the work side of it. And a solid skill set can get you a rainbow of projects. So I don't know where this project started. Really, I've gone back into both of my email accounts, Slack, text messages, and video meeting notes, and I can't find where the first mention of this project is. That's how the work for this company is. The guy that gives me direction, Jeff, is high up on the product side of the company, and therefore very busy with lots of ongoing projects. He's very brief, he's sometimes vague, he's sometimes contradictory, which normally would be very difficult to work with. But Jeff is also the most consistently pleasant and understanding boss I've worked for. He's also a visual person and a creative. So I don't ever have to spoon feed him my designs. I can just plop them in front of him, sometimes with a few notes, and that's all he needs. Since he's so busy and I'm paid by the hour, I often have to use my time wisely and make decisions to get a project to the next step. That's also the thing about this kind of work. It never really starts and ends as neatly as the first two projects did. You always just get things to the next step. So anyway, this project is to re-scan a web app that this company is dealing with. That web app is a point of sale or POS system. The look of the current POS is old school and needs to be polished up. Jeff said, wherever he said it, that nothing in the layout is changing, just prettying it up. So on December 19th, I get a forwarded email with no text, and I scroll all the way down to find a new set of icons to use for the re-scan. Time to get to work. Now, since I'm paid by the hour, I need to be sure to clock every minute that I spend doing something for this project, and that includes reading and writing emails about the projects. After all, I wouldn't be doing that if I weren't hired to do the project. I've gotten pretty good at tracking my time manually, glancing at the clock when I start, and focusing fully on that, and then noting the time when I end. And then I use a spreadsheet that I send into the company monthly with my hours and a description of what I was doing. But extensions and apps like Toggl are great for tracking and detailing time. I used Toggl for a long time. I had just the free version and I thought it was really excellent. So believe it or not, the project on-boarding for this project is done. The only thing that I did is I had to go to Google to find some type of screenshot of this POS system. And again, Jeff isn't worried about the specifics. We're not digging too deep into this app or what it looks like. I'm literally just taking the face value of this screenshot that I find and trying to bring it up to date and make it look like it belongs with the rest of the contemporary web apps that are part of this brand. 14. Web App: Refining: All right. So, I have Illustrator open and I have this rough screenshot that I found that I'm going to use for my reskin. Again, since this is the reskin, I'm not trying to make better organization of this layout. I'm not trying to change the user interface at all. I'm just trying to think about it as like changing the clothes of this app. I want to change the colors, I want to change the gradient that's on here, I want to change the font, and all of that is to try and bring this up to date. So, like I said, a lot of this is going to be in time lapse because I'm going to be making a lot of rectangles, and shapes, and just nudging things, and really really mundane work. But you're going to notice that I have to sort of make a few decisions and there are some things that I'm just going to go with in interest of getting the work done, and like I said, getting it to the next point. So, I'm going to go ahead and jump right in. The first thing I'm going to tackle if you're interested is how heavy this looks. I guess I can talk through some of the things that I know I'm going to be changing and some of the thought process there. So, first of all, the first thing I see is that this is a very heavy design and it's out of date. This type of look that's heavy on gradients and shadows and making things look like they appear in real life, is called skewer morphic design. It was really big before Apple switched to all of their flat designing back in 2013 or 2014. So, this is very old school. The company that I'm reskining this for has a very very very flat, and clean, and light aesthetic. So, one of the things that I'm going to look for is to find a way to unify this layout and use a lot lighter values and less colors. That's the other thing. We like to use the minimal amount of items and elements to try and communicate what's happening. So, anywhere that you see shadows or gradients, you know all of that's going to be flattened out. I'm going to be playing with the types so that the type is cleaner in all of these areas. I'm going to be introducing some breathing room around here. Everything feels very tight and like it can't breathe. There are ways you'll see when it's all done, that I can introduce space while still keeping things legible and keeping all of this stuff on the page. If you remember, I got that mystery e-mail from Jeff that didn't actually have a message from him and it had icons in it. So, I'm assuming that those are going to be flat icon replacements for things like this. So, I don't have to do any illustration there. Again, I don't have a lot of visibility into this project from Jeff. I don't know what development team is working on it. I don't know if I need to provide tech styling. I don't know if they're using our font, or if they're bringing in a font from the brand of this app. I have no idea, but it's beside the point. It's sort of like when I was designing Kate's book cover skeleton and I wasn't actually looking at the font itself, but I was creating a system with the type of boldness for headers or contrast between headers and copy and all of that. So, this is one of those times that I was talking about when I have to decide about how much time to spend and what's important. So, right now, you can see I'm just slowly making my way down the left side of this check. You can see that I've already flattened it out quite a bit and it already looks a lot cleaner. It just feels like it can breathe a lot better. But for instance, you can see that I'm working on adding these check items right here, and right now, it's a lot quicker to just quickly copy all of this text and have each of these items be bud light instead of typing in a different menu item. But sometimes, it's really important to see if what I'm designing can hold what the different limits are of how much content it can hold. So, if this were more of a reskin, more than a reskin, and I were trying to really make sure that the user interface were locked down and it can scale to whatever type of content needs to be in here, then I would probably go in at this point and actually change these items out, and maybe see how on this check over here, this last item has four items. I would probably at some point, flesh that out and have four items. But right now, I'm just trying to get Jeff's eyes on what my ideas are for the overall aesthetic. Right now, that difference in copy isn't going to make a big difference. So, I'm going to save my time and save their money, and I'm just going to copy these so that they can see what it looks like when there's a lot of items over there, and then I'm going to keep going on with the design. Another thing that's cool about working in different design ways is, when I worked full time for this company, I would fight for everything. Every little design thing really mattered to me because I worked for them full time and it was my job to police that. So, for instance, with these icons. I look at these icons and I see a lot of room for improvement in a lot of ways, but that's not what Jeff tasked me with. A different team is working on that, somebody else is already on top of it. So, sometimes it's just a matter of knowing when it's your turn to step in and when it isn't. If I want to say something about these icons, then I have to be ready for Jeff to come back and say, "Okay, do you want to design the new icons?" Right now, I'm not too concerned with that. So, I'm just going to put in the placeholder ones that they gave me for now. I can save Jeff some time and he can always come back later if he doesn't like the icons, and we can work on them in another way. All right. I think you get the gist of what I'm doing here. Another way this is a great example is that, the actual technical work here that I'm doing here is not difficult. Anybody that can draw a rectangle, or use the type tool, or a pen tool in Illustrator, can pull off recreating the work that I've done here. However, the reason this company pays me regularly is because they know that I'm efficient at this work and they can also trust that even though the execution is simple, that I'm doing all of the heavy lifting behind the scenes, all of the thinking. I'm making sure that all of the fonts that I'm choosing make sense, that there is meaning behind what I'm doing. That there is function, that we're actually communicating to the user with what we're doing. So, I kept going on this project and this is eventually what I came up with. You can see when I set it next to the original, that I really didn't move any. I truly didn't move anything around. All the buttons that are there show up as buttons down here. But you can see what changing the design and changing some colors and in text styling can do. I mean this looks like a brand new app. So, I know that this is what Jeff was wanting. You can see that I did go in and I added a few items here because I think it did. Once I started adding in the different length text here, I think it made a lot of sense just to drive home the whole idea of this is what it looks like if it were actually being used. So, now I can send this off to Jeff. 15. Web App: Delivery: Hi guys, are you ready for the big delivery? Here it is. So, again, this is exactly why I wanted to show you this project. Not because I'm doing anything groundbreaking with the actual work, but because all clients are different. This is literally all I had to do when I sent the file off to Jeff. I sent a jpeg, it wasn't fancy. I didn't put it in a mockup. I sent him the jpeg of the one I was working off of and then, the reskin, the version that I ended up with. All I said in the email was, "Here's my reskin. No notes to share. It's fairly straightforward. The original I worked from is attached too, for reference." A few days later, I got a text from Jeff that said, "Woohoo", and that was it. So, that's the nature of some of this work. I think, two weeks later we ended up picking the project back up and we had a few more pages that I had to reskin, but that work was enough to get the project off the ground and moving forward. 16. Thank You!: Thank you guys so much for taking this class. I know it's a doozy. I know it's full of information and a lot of it isn't that exciting. It's a lot of that nitty-gritty that goes into real-life design projects. So, I hope that this helps you on your next client project. If you ever need help, I'm always around on Skillshare and you can always email me at [email protected] Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, that might be my favorite.