So you want to start your own design firm?

CONGRATULATIONS This is the most exciting time in your design career. For one or more reasons,you know (or think you know) that you want to have your own design firm,with your name on the door—a place where you control the design decisions, where you work with the clients, and where you get the credit, reward, and satisfaction of making it on your own. As designers,we have all invested many years in our education and in our internship, training to become licensed certified practitioners. Many of us have spent ten, fifteen, maybe twenty to twenty-five years working in a firm or numerous design firms.We know how to design, we have the knowledge of the building codes, we know how to put a project together.We love our work.

The bottom line questions to be asked, though, are,“Can I be a businessperson?” “Am I entrepreneurial?” “I am passionate about my design capabilities, but can I be passionate about running a business?” Sadly, most designers are not trained for business. Most college curriculums are silent on the topic, except for maybe one course on “Professional Practice.”The common thought in the profession is that we are trained how to think and use our imaginations in college, but we are to learn from others after the academic experience about the reality of design and maybe, just maybe, some business skills.

For most of us, after graduation and experiencing our internships, the business side of the design practice is shielded from our view by the leadership of the firm. It is a mystery. If we progress, and portray the proper organizational qualities expected by the firm, we are promoted to project management and, maybe for the first time, exposed to time management expectations to generate a profit for the firm. Profit—what is that? There is usually a requirement to fill out time sheets to track our efforts on the various projects that we will work on. There is a person in the accounting business office of the firm who is responsible for collecting, maintaining, and reporting on the status of efforts on a project.  

Why do they do that?
One of the most difficult transitions for any designer to understand, accept, and practice is the translation of design efforts into a business language that is measurable and meaningful. As designers, what is our value system? Is it great design? Is it being successful in business?

 In my mind, successful designers must create and maintain a “balance” in their professional efforts at their design firm.We all know that we can create great design. But can we all be great at business? Understanding that we need to balance our design ego with a time schedule to produce a product in a measurable time frame is the ultimate challenge in creating a successful, profitable design practice.

3D Sketching Tools

Some of the tools you can use to create 3D sketches include:
  • All arc tools
  • All circle tools
  • All rectangle tools
  • Lines
  • Points
  • Splines
Spline on Surface is only available in 3D.
Additional tools include: 

Tool_Centerline_Sketch.gifCenterline : Creates construction geometry.

Tool_Convert_Entities_Sketch.gif Convert Entities : Creates one or more entities in a 3D sketch by projecting an edge, loop, face, external curve, external sketch contour, set of edges, or set of external curves onto the sketch plane.

Tool_Face_Curves_Sketch.gif Face Curves : Extracts 3D iso-parametric curves from faces or surfaces.

Tool_Sketch_Fillet_Sketch.gif Sketch Fillet : Rounds the intersections of sketched lines.

Tool_Sketch_Chamfer_Sketch.gif Sketch Chamfer : Bevels the intersections of sketched lines.

Tool_Intersection_Curve_Sketch.gif Intersection Curve : Creates a sketched curve at intersections.

Tool_Trim_Entities_Sketch.gif Trim Entities : Trims or extends a sketch entity in a 3D sketch.

Tool_Extend_Entities_Sketch.gif Extend Entities : Extends a sketch entity in a 3D sketch.

Tool_Construction_Geometry_Sketch.gif Construction Geometry : Converts sketched curves in a 3D sketch to construction geometry.

You cannot use:
  • Patterns
  • Offset

true colors - infographic

what your brand colors say about your business? Integrade your brand colors across the board.

color psychology in logo design - infographic

Our minds are inherently programmed to respond to color. They shape our thoughts and emotion.

The Psychology of Color (infographic)

Choosing right colors in web-design is an important part when you make something new. As usual, people rely on their own subjective thoughts, without thinking how important color is. Actually, every color has own associations. I think that this is very interesting and useful to understand the psychology of color.

Original source: The Psychology of Color

How To Create an Infographic

Here we go....

1. Collection: Collection of all the raw materials for the infographics – such as PowerPoint slides, White Papers, face-to-face interviews (multiple sessions), network diagrams etc. The more details you dive in and expand on in this phase, it’ll make it that much easier for you to develop the infograpahics in the later stage.
2. Identifying the objectives: Who are the target audience? What’s their range of technical knowledge? What are their main pain points? What we want to highlight to them? Its great if you can sketch a persona.
3. Classification: Grouping the infrastructures into physical spaces. Grouping can be done by process phases, physical locations, activities or be cause-effect based.
4. Blueprinting: Time to draw individual groups (pencil sketch) with the technical details. It’ll also give you a rough idea about the space you’ll have for textual description or labeling.
5. Space planning: Basically – doing a collage i.e. sticking together different A4 size papers – the photocopies of the individual groups.
6. Planning the interrelations: Between the groups. How the groups will be connected? The best way is to work with a theme.I choose the theme of a laboratory, then defined each group (process phases in this case) according to the theme in different visual metaphors.
7. Go digital: time to draw the infographic on the computer; we used Freehand and Flash. Any Vector graphics editor should do the job.
8. Integrate: the purpose of any infographic is to bring everyone to the same page and tell a complete story. Integration of different elements to tell a coherent story is the most vital step in the creation of an infographic.
9. Optimize detail: Add in the useful details, get rid of the extras, work out the balance between aesthetics and usability.
10. Labeling: Copywriting and inserting the labels; this is a tricky part – you need to be specific and clear whilst avoiding big chunks of text.
11. Coloring and Typography: Effective typography is not only for corporate identity or enrichment of visual appearance, it also helps you to represent the bound emotions of your graphics.
12. Iteration: Varying the colors, reducing the saturation of what is less important and increasing it for the most relevant data, modifying the typography, the size of fonts, eliminating everything that doesn’t contribute to showing and clarifying the data (irrelevant grids, redundant data, and unnecessary labels) without losing relevant information sometimes provides surprisingly improved results.


Always remember that you need to work within health and safety guidelines when using materials. Scalpels and razor blades should always be used with care, and when they are not in use their blades should not be left exposed. Note too if any of the fluids you use are flammable or toxic. Bleach, for example, is a very handy and cheap method of removing waterbased ink, but it is very toxic and must always be handled with care.

Things you need for Oil Painting

1. Oil paint:
Obviously the first thing you’ll need is oil paint, and lots of it. For beginners, I’d suggest Winsor & Newton oil paint. It’s a less expensive brand of oil paint, but the quality is fine. As far as colors go, here’s a list of the must-haves:

Titanium White, Ivory Black, Cadmium Red, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Pthalo Blue, Cadmium Yellow Light, and Cadmium Yellow. Buy each of these colors in 200 ml tubes except for Pthalo Blue—Pthalo’s pretty powerful so you probably won’t need as much as you do with the others.

Technically those are all the colors you need, but you should also get a few greens and browns until you learn more about mixing colors. Pick up some Permanent Green Light, Viridian, Burnt Umber, and Burnt Sienna to round out your palette.

2. Proper painting brushes: All you really need is a few natural bristle brushes in different sizes. I‘d suggest six: two small, two medium, and two large.

3. Turpentine (AKA paint thinner): Unlike watercolors or acrylics you can’t clean up oil paints with water. Instead, you’ll need to use turpentine or mineral spirits to get the paint out of your brushes (and off your skin).

4. Newspaper: Newspaper is handy to have around when you clean your paint brushes at the end of the day, but it’s also good to use WHILE you’re painting. Because it’s important to clean your brush every time you start painting a new section or switch colors—and that‘ll happen a lot in every painting. There’s no need to use turpentine for a full cleaning, just grab some newspaper (cut 4 inch squares ahead of time if you feel like it) and quickly squeeze all the paint out of the bristles. That’ll keep your colors from contaminating each other throughout the painting process.

5. Linseed stand oil: As you’re mixing colors you’ll find they’re easier to mix when you add a little painter’s medium. I usually pour out a few tablespoons of medium every time I sit down to paint. You won’t need much—just dab your brush into the medium before mixing colors. Medium is made by combining linseed stand oil with turpentine.

6. A charcoal pencil: Before putting any paint down, I’d suggest sketching out whatever it is you’ll be painting. Charcoal works pretty good on the texture of canvas (better than graphite, anyway) and it doesn't have to be perfect, just an outline drawing so you can see your composition ahead of time.

7. A “palette”: When it comes to palettes, you don’t have to be fancy. For a while I used a big piece of glass. To clean it, I just took a flat razor blade and scraped all the old paint off. Palette can be cleaned using wax paper.

8. Comfortable, messy clothes: If your clothes don’t start out messy they’ll get that way soon. Every painter needs a few painting outfits that they can get paint on, but make sure they’re comfortable too.

9. A painter’s easel: Every oil painter needs an easel but you may not need an expensive one right at first. At the very least an easel should be adjustable to your height (whether you like to sit or stand) and securely hold your paintings, whatever size they may be.

10. Canvas (or other painting surface): Canvas is great for painting on but if you’re just starting out, why not use paper? At least to practice on and get a feel for the paint. If you do use paper (or wood, or masonite, or any other surface) you should probably coat it with Gesso first, using a big house brush. When you’re ready to buy canvases, get a pre-primed canvas and you won’t have to worry about any preparation at all.

That’s the list! Good luck and happy painting!