Mastering the Art of Asking for a Raise as a Graphic Designer 

Are you a talented graphic designer who’s been putting in hard work and delivering exceptional results to your clients or employer? If so, it’s only fair that your efforts are rewarded with a raise that reflects your skill and dedication. However, asking for a raise can be a daunting task for many, and graphic designers are no exception. In this guide, we’ll explore the art of asking for a raise as a graphic designer, providing you with the strategies and confidence you need to make your case effectively. 

Know Your Worth 

Before you even think about asking for a raise, it’s crucial to understand your own value in the market. As a graphic designer, your worth can be determined by factors such as your skills, experience, portfolio, and the local job market. Here’s how to assess your worth: 

1. Research Industry Standards 

Start by researching the current industry standards for graphic designers in your region. This involves checking salary surveys, job postings, and speaking with peers in the field to get a sense of the typical compensation for your level of experience and expertise. 

2. Evaluate Your Skills and Experience 

Take an honest look at your skills and experience. Have you acquired new skills or taken on more responsibilities since your last salary negotiation? Are you consistently meeting or exceeding your goals and deadlines? The more you can demonstrate your value, the stronger your case for a raise. 

3. Review Your Portfolio 

Your portfolio is a reflection of your talent and the quality of your work. Examine your portfolio and identify projects that showcase your skills and growth as a designer. Being able to point to specific achievements can bolster your argument for a raise. 

4. Consider Your Location 

Salaries can vary significantly by location. Be sure to take into account the cost of living in your area, as this can influence what is considered a fair salary. For instance, the salary expectations for a graphic designer in New York City will be different from those in a smaller town. 

Choose the Right Time 

Timing is essential when it comes to asking for a raise. You want to bring up the topic when your achievements are fresh in your employer’s mind and when the company is in a financial position to consider raises. Some opportune moments include: 

1. Performance Reviews 

Performance reviews are a natural time to discuss your salary. Typically, employers will evaluate your performance and may consider adjusting your compensation accordingly. If you’re confident in your accomplishments, this is a great occasion to discuss a raise. 

2. After a Big Achievement 

Did you recently complete a major project that received accolades from clients or colleagues? Or maybe you played a crucial role in a successful campaign? Capitalize on your recent successes to make a compelling case for a raise. 

3. Company Financial Health 

Keep an eye on your company’s financial health. If the organization is doing well, they may be more willing to invest in their employees, including you. Conversely, if the company is going through a tough period, it might be wise to wait for a more stable time. 

Prepare Your Pitch 

To ask for a raise effectively, you need to prepare a persuasive pitch. Here’s how to do it: 

1. Gather Your Data 

Assemble all the relevant information, including your research on industry standards, your accomplishments, and any additional responsibilities you’ve taken on. Having concrete data to back your request is critical. 

2. Practice Your Pitch 

Rehearse what you’re going to say. You want to come across as confident and well-prepared. Be ready to discuss your achievements, responsibilities, and the value you bring to the company. 

3. Consider Your Wording  

The way you phrase your request can make a significant difference. Instead of saying, “I need a raise,” try saying, “I believe my contributions and the market value for my skills warrant a salary adjustment.” The latter is more professional and demonstrates that you’ve done your homework. 

Schedule a Meeting 

Once you’ve prepared your pitch, request a meeting with your supervisor or HR department. It’s essential to have a face-to-face conversation or a video call rather than relying on email, as it shows your commitment and seriousness. Be sure to provide ample notice and explain the purpose of the meeting. 

During the Meeting 

When you’re in the meeting, keep these key points in mind: 

1. Remain Calm and Professional 

Approach the meeting with a positive and professional demeanor. Avoid becoming emotional or confrontational. 

2. Present Your Case 

Start by discussing your accomplishments, skills, and any added value you bring to the company. Be specific and use concrete examples to support your claims. 

3. Be Open to Discussion 

Listen to the response from your employer. They might have questions, feedback, or counteroffers. Be prepared to engage in a constructive conversation. 

4. Be Willing to Negotiate 

While it’s great to have a specific figure in mind, be open to negotiation. Your employer might not be able to meet your initial request, but they could offer other benefits or a compromise. 

Follow Up 

After the meeting, follow up with an email summarizing the discussion and any agreed-upon actions. If the outcome is positive, congratulations! If it’s not what you expected, consider your options. This might include asking for a follow-up discussion in the future or exploring new opportunities elsewhere. 

Promote Your .design Domain 

Speaking of new opportunities, as a graphic designer, having a professional online presence is crucial. One way to do this is by securing a .design domain. A .design domain is a unique and memorable web address that immediately conveys your profession to potential clients or employers. It can help you stand out in a competitive field and make it easier for people to find your work online. 

Whether you’re a freelance graphic designer looking to showcase your portfolio or a job seeker aiming to impress potential employers, a .design domain is a powerful tool. It’s a small investment that can yield significant benefits in terms of visibility and branding. 

In conclusion, asking for a raise as a graphic designer involves thorough preparation, research, and a well-structured approach. By knowing your worth, choosing the right time, and presenting a compelling case, you can increase your chances of securing the compensation you deserve. And, while you’re working on your career, don’t forget to enhance your online presence with a .design domain to further establish your professional identity in the world of graphic design. Good luck! 

Designing Tomorrow: What Graphic Designers Need to Know About Artificial Intelligence

The world of graphic design is evolving rapidly, thanks to the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI’s impact on graphic design is profound, ushering in a new era of creative possibilities and efficiency. In this article, we will explore what graphic designers need to know about AI and its influence on their field, and we’ll also introduce the benefits of using a .design domain to showcase your work to the world. 

AI and Graphic Design: A Game Changer 

Artificial Intelligence is transforming graphic design in several ways, making it an essential tool for designers to understand and incorporate into their work. Here’s what graphic designers need to know: 

1. Automation of Repetitive Tasks: AI can automate repetitive and time-consuming design tasks, such as resizing images, generating layouts, and formatting text. This allows designers to focus more on the creative aspects of their projects. 

2. Predictive Analytics: AI-driven analytics can provide insights into user behavior and preferences. By analyzing this data, designers can create more effective and engaging visual content tailored to their target audience. 

3. Image Recognition and Tagging: AI can analyze images to recognize and tag objects, colors, and even emotions. This feature streamlines the process of cataloging and organizing visual assets. 

4. Customization and Personalization: AI enables designers to create highly personalized designs, tailored to each user’s preferences and interactions. This personalization can significantly enhance user engagement and satisfaction. 

5. Generative Design: Generative design powered by AI can assist graphic designers in exploring multiple design possibilities based on defined parameters. This opens up new creative avenues and accelerates the ideation process. 

Leveraging AI Creatively 

AI is not here to replace graphic designers; rather, it’s a creative ally. Designers can use AI to spark creativity, streamline their workflows, and optimize their designs. Here’s how: 

1. Creative Inspiration: AI-powered design tools can generate ideas and inspire designers with unique visual concepts and suggestions. 

2. Efficiency and Productivity: By automating routine design tasks, AI allows designers to allocate more time and energy to conceptualizing and refining their creative ideas. 

3. Data-Driven Design: Designers can use AI insights to make informed decisions about design elements, colors, and layouts that resonate most with their target audience. 

4. Prototype Testing: AI can help designers create rapid prototypes for A/B testing and user feedback, enabling data-driven design improvements. 

Ethical Considerations 

While AI offers incredible potential for the graphic design field, there are important ethical considerations to keep in mind: 

1. Bias Mitigation: AI algorithms can inherit biases present in the data they are trained on. Designers need to be vigilant about mitigating biases in their designs to ensure inclusivity and fairness. 

2. Privacy: When using AI to personalize content, it’s crucial to respect user privacy and obtain proper consent. 

3. Transparency: Ensure transparency in design choices involving AI and clearly communicate when AI is involved in user interactions. 

You can learn more about AI and IP here.

Learning AI for Graphic Design 

To effectively incorporate AI into graphic design, it’s essential for designers to invest in learning and development. Consider courses, workshops, and tutorials that focus on AI applications in design. Understanding the fundamentals of AI and machine learning can open up new creative possibilities. 

Promote Your Work with a .design Domain 

As a graphic designer, your online portfolio is your digital business card. It’s crucial to showcase your work in a memorable and professional way. That’s where a .design domain comes in. 

A .design domain instantly communicates your profession and passion, making it easier for potential clients, employers, or collaborators to find you online. It sets you apart in a competitive field and helps your work stand out in the digital landscape. Whether you’re a freelance designer, a design agency, or just want to create a personal portfolio, a .design domain is a perfect choice. 

The integration of AI into graphic design is not a threat but a boon for designers. By embracing AI’s capabilities, graphic designers can unlock a world of creative potential, streamline their workflows, and create more personalized and engaging designs. Stay informed, keep learning, and make AI your creative partner in shaping the future of graphic design. And don’t forget to use a .design domain to showcase your incredible work to the world. Your digital canvas awaits! 

Transforming Dreams into Reality with A Journey of UX/UI Design and Career Success  

In the midst of the pandemic, Kendall Smith made a life-changing decision: to return to school and pursue a career in UX/UI Design. For Kendall, this choice was not just a career pivot; it was a journey towards personal growth, creativity, and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Kendall’s portfolio website,, emerged as a pivotal tool in this transformation, ultimately helping Kendall to secure her dream job.  

Brand Mission: Showcasing Work, Personality, and Storytelling 

Kendalls’s brand mission was clear from the start: to create a portfolio that wasn’t just a showcase of their design work, but a platform that exuded personality and told a story. As Kendall eloquently puts it, “My goal was to create a portfolio that of course showed my work and design process, but also told a story and had personality.” 

Kendall’s website perfectly encapsulates this mission. It’s not just a sterile collection of projects but a narrative of Ken’s creative journey, complete with a personal touch that’s evident in every corner. 

Biggest Obstacle: Crafting the Perfect Portfolio 

Kendall’s journey was not without its challenges. They recognized the enormity of creating a portfolio, understanding that it can make or break one’s job prospects. Kendall mentions, “I struggled with deciding what or what not to include a lot, and made a lot of revisions to it before it was finalized.” 

Many aspiring designers can relate to this struggle., however, stands as a testament to the dedication and hard work put into overcoming these obstacles. It’s a living example of how perseverance pays off. 

Company Pride: A Rewarding Journey 

For Kendall, the effort paid off handsomely. After presenting the portfolio on, Kendall landed the dream job. The journey, though challenging, was immensely rewarding. Kendall reflects, “Getting my current job was such a satisfying thing!” 

This experience serves as an inspiration for anyone facing challenges in their career transition. showcases the beautiful outcome that can result from hard work and determination. 

Company Advice: Embrace Challenges and Keep Learning 

Kendall’s advice to fellow designers is simple yet profound: “Keep on pushing forward, don’t be afraid of hiccups, embrace challenges and accept that we are all always learning.” 

This mantra is not only evident in the words but also in the portfolio itself. The website is a living testament to the spirit of continuous learning and improvement. 

Setup Recommendation: Uniqueness Matters 

Kendall’s recommendation to aspiring designers is clear: “Do it! Recruiters like to see your unique URLs, and it gets to the point that you’re a designer.” 

In a competitive field, having a unique domain like sets you apart. It’s an essential step in the journey to becoming a recognized designer. 

Why Personal Connection and Identity 

Finally, the choice of the .design domain is deeply personal to Kendall. As she explains, “My family and friends have always called me Ken, and we have this joke because every voicemail my mom has ever left me is ‘Hey Ken, this is your mom,’ so heyken just made sense.” 

The domain name isn’t just a website; it’s a part of Kendall’s identity, a representation of their journey, and a platform that uniquely embodies their personality and creative vision. 

In conclusion, Kendall’s story of personal growth, creativity, and career success, as told through, is a testament to the power of determination, creativity, and a unique web presence. Visit to witness how a .design domain can transform a dream into reality. 

Freelance Design Contract Must-Haves

When opportunities arise for contract workers, a well-drafted contract signed by both the freelancer and the firm will benefit and protect both parties.

The gig economy is growing faster than ever. According to the Freelance Forward Report from Upwork (the most comprehensive study of the US independent workforce to date) 64 million Americans performed skilled freelance work in the past year. This is an all-time high, representing nearly 40% of the US workforce. The World Economic Forum  predicts that more than half of the global workforce will be part of the gig economy. Some projections expect contractors will outnumber traditional 9-to-5 workers in their respective fields.

This shift is a win-win as it gives businesses the opportunity to tap workers from more diverse backgrounds, geographies, skill sets, and talents. But it also calls for both parties to professionalize how they engage in business.

Whether you’re a legal counsel, accountant, a creative web designer or storefront muralist, consider creating your own freelance contract template that you can customize for each job. This document will streamline how you establish yourself with each new client. For the client side, a solid contract will ensure business owners are engaging in a professional partnership that will deliver results, and within set deadlines.

Here is a guide for creating a freelance design contract, paving the way for a harmonious and productive work experience. 

What goes into an effective freelance design contract?

A freelance design contract is a legally binding agreement between a contract worker and their client (be it an individual or a company) to complete the obligations listed in the document. It lays out big-picture responsibilities, as well as detailed terms and conditions. Key components include project introduction, timeline, copyright ownership, and payment terms. Most importantly, it outlines how and when the freelancer gets paid.

Here we’ll walk through every part of the contract and help you understand why each section matters.

  1. Outlining the Scope of the Project

Start by clearly defining the project scope, including the specific tasks and deliverables, the client’s expectations, requirements, etc. The more detailed this section is, the less room there is for errors and misunderstandings. Most importantly, include the start date and estimated completion date that both parties have agreed upon.

2. Payment Terms: How and when
This is one of the most important sections in the contract. Specify the terms, including how and when the payments will be made. When drafting this section, consider the following:

  • How much will the project cost? 
  • What is the payment method? PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, cash, checks, etc.
  • If the payment is delayed, will there be any late fees or interest charges for overdue payments? 
  • If the freelancer works with international clients, what is the currency for the contract?
  • How and when should the freelancer invoice the client? 

To make sure payments are on time, consider drafting a detailed payment schedule to smoothen the transaction processes and prevent miscommunication.

3. A comprehensive list of Products & Deliverables

This section clarifies what your client will receive upon project completion. Create a comprehensive list of the deliverables, including nitty-gritty details such as file formats and design variations. You may also include the delivery dates for each asset (e.g. logos, banners, animations, etc) .

This level of detail may seem unnecessary and more beneficial to the client–but keep in mind that a solid contract will also protect you from unexpected tasks that make you work countless hours for free. It is never too late to add a payment condition for any additional design products that your clients might request along the way. 

4. A set number of Revisions or Changes

For creative freelancers, like web designers or advertising consultants, offering a set package of design services should include a set number of revisions. Make sure the contract includes the maximum number of changes and edits to a project. This protects the freelancer from an endless merry-go-round of back and forth revisions.

5. Copyright ownership and Intellectual Property (IP) protection

Many agencies and freelancers unfortunately find this scenario all too familiar: You pitch a client with your proposed designs, but they reject it and you don’t get the job. Weeks later, you find that the client used elements or completely copied your original designs in their live campaign.

This is where a freelance contract can protect you. Copyright ownership in the contract refers to the allocation of intellectual property rights of the work created by the freelancer. If a freelance designer drafts a logo or banner that goes unused, who has the rights to the drafted artwork after the project is completed? This prevents disputes and ensures both parties are on the same page regarding the distribution, use, and control of the design work. 

6. Confidentiality agreement

Similar to copyright agreements, terms regarding confidentiality should also be outlined. As a contract worker, you are an outsider working on the inside, getting access to a client’s creative ideas, passwords and other personal data. Reassure your clients that their information is in secure hands.

7. Methods of Communication

This might seem like a minute and easy detail but the methods of communication can make or break how a freelance partnership plays out. Some prefer calls and text messages, while others prefer strictly email. Further, with communication tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Zoom, it’s important you are both on the same page when it comes to how you will meet. Last but not least, there are project management platforms like Asana and Trello–be sure that both parties are trained on and can access these accounts.

8. Get local with Legal Compliance

To make the contract legally effective, it’s important that the contract complies with relevant copyright laws and regulations in your jurisdiction. Consult with a legal professional to make sure your contract aligns with the legal requirements in your state. 

9. Rightful Termination

Not all partnerships are meant to be, especially in the design realm, where creative differences can arise. You should always clarify the conditions under which either party cancels the project and terminates the contract. Make sure to clarify who will own the copyright of the work produced thus far, if any, and whether any termination fees are involved. 

10. Make it Official: Signed and Dated

Last, make sure to ask your client if they have any questions about the contract. In other words, confirm that they have actually read the document thoroughly and carefully to avoid any surprises. More importantly, make sure both parties have signed and dated the document to ensure that the freelance contract is legally binding. Some freelancers are so excited to get started on a project that they eagerly get to work before the contract is signed and dated.

Other notes to keep in mind

When you finish the very first meeting with your client, aim to draft the contract right away and send it to the client before you start your design process. If you are new to the freelance world, or need help writing a freelance design contract, there are some model templates from platforms such as Bonsai, The Contract Shop, PandaDoc, etc.

Transforming Brands with Passion and Purpose: the Journey of Usul Design

In the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, Usul Design is making waves in the world of branding and design. Their mission is as clear as their vision: to transform new or existing businesses into living, sustainable brands through look, voice, and feel. But their dedication goes beyond the ordinary. They aim to resonate and thrive within the health and wellness sphere, aspiring to be a widely respected and loved design agency.

“Our core values are reflected in the very meaning of our name Usul, an Arabic term for foundation, base, cornerstone, as in, the beginning of something fascinating,” comments Don, Usul’s Founder and CEO. “We are unified by our fundamental belief of making meaningful connections, providing quality experiences and lasting relationships. Decisions are motivated by emotions, therefore image is essential, no, rather, fundamental to a brand’s voice, look, and feel.”

While an intimate design agency, Usul.Design specializes in growing companies that wish to perfect their branding, marketing, digital, and social presence – with special expertise in strategy. Having worked with brands like Caravan Café, Noah’s Smoke House, and Athletica, Usual shows off their diversity in varying industries and proves that a great user experience also needs great design.

“Our passion is to develop a lasting identity through a process of ideation, creative design and brand development,” said Don. “Every touchpoint exuding the confidence and polish of a brand customers just have to know.”

Every journey has its hurdles, and for Usul, the biggest obstacle has been establishing connections with clients who truly comprehend the significance of exceptional branding and possess the necessary budgets. The team at Usul believes in the potential of every business, irrespective of its size or financial standing. They strive to assist remarkable yet smaller businesses by accommodating their budgets and providing expert branding services.

What sets Usul apart is their unwavering pride in each branding project they undertake. Every project becomes a learning experience, enabling the team to constantly evolve and enhance their expertise. The passion they inject into every collaboration not only benefits their clients but contributes to their growth as designers and strategists.

In the words of the visionary minds at Usul, their advice to fellow creatives is clear and motivating: they emphasize the value of hard work, but also stress the importance of working smarter. They encourage individuals to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and to constantly educate themselves, not only in their area of expertise but also in crucial business skills. This fusion of creative passion and business acumen, they believe, accelerates the journey towards success.

For Usul Design, the domain isn’t just an address on the web—it’s an integral part of their identity.

“Choosing .design for our web domain was easy. Our business name is Usul Design, so making it was a given. Also, we love the uniqueness and directness this domain offers. It’s clear communication to our audience and it can be a point differentiation from our competitors.”

As the story of Usul Design unfolds, their success is propelled by a deep-rooted passion for transforming brands and a commitment to seamless communication. Their journey, powered by creativity and a unique online presence through the .design domain, showcases their relentless pursuit of excellence in every project they undertake. Join them in the quest to transform your brand into a living, sustainable entity with Usul Design—where passion meets purpose and design reigns supreme.

Unveiling Creativity and Passion: a Journey Showcased Through Dhruvi Patel’s .design Portfolio

In the vibrant realm of digital design, showcasing creativity and passion is paramount. Dhruvi Patel, a product designer, exemplifies this ethos through her portfolio at Driven by curiosity and empathy, she offers a glimpse into her digital design journey and presents a platform that encapsulates her love for innovation.

The Vision: Fueled by Curiosity and Empathy

Patel’s mission is clear: to exhibit her digital design prowess through her carefully curated portfolio. She has passionately embraced digital design for an extensive period, and her website stands as a testament to her dedication and skill.

“My passion for design grew from my curiosity to know the “why” behind everything,” Patel notes on her website.

The desire to share her creative journey with the world motivates her to present the cool and innovative projects she has worked on – with things like designing a mobile app for Perpay and Aging in Place, web and mobile for Amtrak, and conducting user research for the HCIM website.

Overcoming Obstacles: The Battle Against Time

Every masterpiece has its challenges, and for Patel, time was a significant hurdle. Balancing a full-time job and various side projects, finding the time to create her portfolio was a struggle. Despite the simplicity of the website’s appearance, it conceals the immense effort and time dedicated to its creation. Each project featured on the site is unique, crafted with meticulous thought and care.

The Triumph of Effort: Reveling in Positive Feedback

The pride of showcasing her work on is amplified by the positive feedback Patel has received from her network. People appreciating her portfolio validates the effort she invested in the project. The accolades and admiration have made every moment spent on creating the website immensely worthwhile.

Guiding Light: Wisdom for Aspiring Designers

In reflecting on her journey, Patel offers valuable advice to fellow designers—time, she emphasizes, is the key.

“Even if it’s just 20 minutes a day, be consistent and all the efforts would be paid off in the end,” says Patel.

For a UX designer like Dhruvi Patel, selecting the perfect domain is pivotal. The decision to choose a .design domain was deliberate, and beautifully complements her craft and adds a professional touch to her portfolio, solidifying her presence in the design world.

Patel notes, “I am a UX Designer and there was nothing better than a .design domain to reflect my journey as a designer.”

Patel’s portfolio is more than just a digital exhibition—it’s a reflection of her passion, creativity, and dedication. Her story underscores the significance of time and effort in achieving professional milestones. For aspiring designers looking to make their mark, Patel’s journey is a beacon of inspiration, urging them to embrace their creative calling and showcase it through a .design domain, a canvas that speaks volumes about their design voyage.

It’s Time to Give Your Website a Year-End Design Audit

As the end of the year approaches, many entrepreneurs might feel the need to assess all aspects of their business, including the state of their website. But a web design audit involves much more than a spruce-up. A year-end review of your business website should be a thorough analysis of the look, feel and overall functionality of the site. It takes into account visual design, UX, and most important, whether your website still aligns with the identity and mission of your brand.

There are many ways to measure the state of your site, from whether it is current with the best SEO terms or technically up-to-date on the backend. Just as you would give an employee a year-end performance review, consider conducting an annual review for your website. Here’s a step-by-step guide for auditing the digital headquarters of your business.

Outline your website review goals

In many cases, your business website is likely the most centralized storytelling platform for your company. It can house your company identity, brand voice, founding story, and every single product or service offering in one place for the entire world to see. There can be many areas that need redesign, be it the graphics or the messaging.

When auditing your site, have a clear objective of what you want to achieve. Be clear on how much time, money and resources you can dedicate to this project. Are you looking to just update some online text or do you envision yourself hiring a web designer to completely revamp the site? Budget appropriately for any professionals or consultants you might need to hire, be it a web designer, e-commerce consultant or a copy editor.

Conduct a visual audit

Allocate an hour of time to simply sit down and review your website’s overall appearance. Go on a browsing-spree of your own site! Think about your web design and how its interface speaks volumes about your business. Browse your own site thoroughly to evaluate visuals, including colors, layout, graphics and other imagery. Do all the elements still accurately reflect your brand?

A company can evolve overtime, and it’s important to make sure your website still connects to your target audience, echoes to your company culture and conveys your unique value proposition. For example, are you isolating a large part of your audience by being too gender-centric? Does the lead homepage feature your bestselling product? Does the About Us page need a little more soul?

Conduct a UX audit

Looks are one thing, functionality is another. Is your website intuitive and easy to navigate? Test your website to ensure your web design is contributing to the best online user experience. Check for loading speed as well as whether the website works across different browsers and on mobile. Test the user flow, interactions, and responsiveness from different devices including desktops, tablets and cell phones.

Conduct a content audit

It’s time to play editor. Review each sentence and description on your website, from the tagline to the fine print. While a proofreader or copyeditor can help your website’s written text shine or pack a punch, it’s your job as the business owner to make sure all the content aligns with your organization’s mission and voice.

Equally important, ensure your website is up to date with all the keywords relevant to your product or service. Ensuring your SEO strategy is up to date will help your website gain more visibility and reach your target customer.

Follow the data

Is your website giving you the data and stats you need to assess online sales performance?For beginners, Google Analytics is a free and easy tool to help you gauge your website traffic, where it comes from, and which pages are performing best. Are there pages with certain designs that are resonating well with your audience? Is there a webpage that is getting zero love? If so, it might be time for a redesign.

Review latest design trends

Check out your competitors, the latest ventures, as well as brands you admire. Are there design trends that should be on your monitor? While you should be authentic and never play copycat, it’s great to be in-tune with what is trending, and draw inspiration from what can help propel your brand identity.  

Experience your website from the customer’s POV

Allocate a separate time to review your site from your customer’s perspective. Consider doing a test-purchase of a bestselling item from your website. From typing in the URL to landing on the homepage, and getting to the checkout page—was the e-commerce experience seamless and intuitive? Or, were there many glitches that made your website difficult to navigate? Does the look of the website seem consistent and engaging throughout the entire buying journey?

Get feedback

At the end of the day, it’s difficult to completely remove your bias as the business owner during a website review. Consider starting a conversation with your top customers or trusted associates to also give you feedback on your web designs and user experience.

A web design audit empowers business owners to have a thorough understanding of how a website performs and contributes to business growth. It identifies technical issues as well as whether certain areas are off-brand. Launching a managing a website in itself can be a tedious task, so having to revisit the though of redesigning can seem overwhelming. The key is to conduct a website at least annually so that your company site is always in top condition and positioning you for success.

Streamlining the Web Design Process

Design projects can be time consuming and complicated, and oftentimes require professionals to seek out help from skilled designers. This is where Prabal – or – comes in. Founded in 2017, Prabal is an Indian-based company which offers a wide array of design services, from product strategy to UX/UI design, in order to help make the web design process easier and more efficient for companies. 

“We are a strategic design and innovation agency,” comments Srinivas, Prabal CEO & Chief Designer. “We help startups, as well as enterprises, stay emotionally closer to the users through immersive and sensible design experiences.” 

Prabal’s process begins with discovery. By hosting stakeholder workshops, conducting user research and gathering competitor data, Prabal is able to understand their client’s market and get their user’s “pulse.” Next, Prabal defines the project: by building a design strategy, making a model of the task and information flow, and defining the communication structure, this step in the process enables the Prabal team to streamline their design process to ensure they understand exactly what their client wants, in coordination with creating a unique experience for the end-user. Finally, the Prabal team designs: wireframes, visual design, and click-through mockups pulls the whole project together before the website goes live.  

“The beauty of our process is we follow the element of its adaptability to the context,” the Prabal team says. “We understand your process and seamlessly fit ourselves into it without defeating the primary purpose of our design process.” 

Having designed for top companies like Infosys, Tata-Cornell, and Tetrasoft, it’s no wonder that Prabal has found great success since their inception. Prabal’s proudest moment, Srinivas tells us, is when they created strategy and design for a food company:  

“When a bigwig from the finance domain was impressed with our strategy and design created for a ‘food’ company – this was our proudest moment. He in fact referred us to multiple people afterwards, going out of his way.” 

An empire isn’t made overnight, so Prabal shared their fair share of obstacles along the way – including difficulties during the Covid pandemic.  

“We have had our share of struggles with delayed payments, scope creeps and so on, but the one that shook us completely was when COVID hit us all. A couple of projects that are totally intertwined with the aspect of people meeting in person were completely stalled. We had to adjust our financial projections, resource allocation and of course budgets. Besides that, we had to build our home-grown operations methodology to beat the issues that crept up with working from home. Nevertheless, we weathered the storm and are in a happy space now with a 100% work-from-home style of functioning and newer people joining our journey.” 

For other designers looking to start their own companies, Srinivas says to “Go for it!” 

“Be judicious and cautious with your investment of time in building relationships. Meticulously plan and strategize your progress. The entrepreneurial journey is all about surprises, be prepared with a smile, and focus on your goal while being practical.” 

The website is clean, easy to use, and truly is catered to the user experience. But what we love most about Prabal’s website is that it’s on a .design domain.  

“When I read somewhere about the domain, I felt it perfectly matched what we do and think. “How thoughtful of someone to think about such a domain,” was the first thing that came to my mind. It was kind of a pleasant surprise. Thus, it was an easy and logically sensible decision to go with .design.” 

Interested in learning more about Prabal? Check out their social channels below! 

Website LinkedIn Twitter Instagram Facebook 

How Often Should You Rebrand?

Rebranding is a natural part of business evolution. Knowing when to rebrand is less clear. Experts say it’s all about timing and reading the signs for when the time is right for a brand refresh.   

In 2010, global fast-fashion retailer the Gap launched a brand redesign in response to declining sales and a plummeting stock price. The rebrand came without any warning and consisted of little more than a new logo. The backlash was severe. Thousands took to social media to mock the change, and within a week the Gap had reinstated their prior, 40-year-old logo. The blunder is among the shortest-lived rebranding efforts and is estimated to have cost the company $100 million.  

A company’s brand is much more than its name or logo. It is a message about identity and value. It influences action. Geoff Wasserman, CEO of The Brand Leader, writes that a brand is the “promises made between a person or organization and its market(s).” Those markets naturally include customers, but it also factors in vendors, employees, media channels and more. Effective branding helps move people closer to becoming a user of or contributor to a brand. It also can invoke a strong emotional reaction and foster brand loyalty.   

Rebranding is a natural part of business evolution – even for companies with iconic recognition. Apple, for example, has rebranded three times since its founding and Pepsi has made changes eleven times. Knowing when to rebrand is less clear.   

There are no standards or rules for how often a company should rebrand. The timing and frequency will vary depending on industry, existing competition, and how well a brand is already established. That said, branding experts state that most companies will undergo at least a refresh every seven to ten years. But it must be consistent across packaging, signage, social media, multi-channel advertising, and, of course, the company website.  

Regular brand audits and reliable feedback from key stakeholders can help companies know when it might be time for a rebrand. There are a few signs:   

To attract new customers and contributors  

A good brand will clearly let consumers and contributors (vendors, employees, etc.,) know exactly the sort of company with whom they are dealing. And more than ever, people want their work and spending to align with their values. Additionally, a clear brand message can help a company differentiate itself from its competitors to attract new customers and talent.    

The existing brand image is wrong – or negative.   

Overcoming an image problem can include simply refreshing an outdated look to a complete name change and reputation management campaign — particularly after a scandal or bad press. For example, in 2015 Volkswagen underwent a major rebranding effort after the “Dieselgate” scandal, which involved the manipulation of emissions tests. The new branding emphasized transparency and honesty, which helped restore trust in the brand.   

Take note, however: no rebranding effort will overcome a failure to address and correct real operational/product/service issues. Fix the problems first and let the rebranding effort communicate a new and improved company.   

New ownership or management  

Mergers, acquisitions, and even just new management can all drastically change a business such that it necessitates rebranding. 

A business model, offerings, or strategy has evolved.   

Businesses change. The iconic cookware company Pyrex, for example, originally produced glass for railroad lanterns. Product lines grow, services become more specialized and niche. Companies expand to new markets or pivot altogether. These changes and others can be communicated through rebranding efforts or even through the creation of sub brands that are either clearly linked to an established brand or that merit branding of their own.   

Wasserman suggests that branding is best considered the “process of rediscovering a core, authentic personality.” Performing regular brand audits and soliciting feedback from key stakeholders (i.e., customers, employees, etc.) helps companies know whether their image and message still reflects who they are, what they do, and who they serve. If the image or message is at all out of sync, it may be time for rebranding.  

Learn something from The Gap though: make sure the change has substance and purpose — and give your existing customers and contributors a heads up.  

.design Success:

Greeted with an explosion of color when entering their website, creating cool stuff is what does. Based out of Canada, this marketing and design firm has a strong expertise in branding (including corporate identity, product packaging, website and app design, and marketing materials), content creation, and digital marketing.  

Mimo’s mission? To help clients create strong brands and products that are creative, engaging, and fun. 

Having worked with high-exposure brands like Walmart, Volkswagen, and Coca-Cola, it comes as no surprise that Mimo has been in business for over 15 years. Their attention to detail, quality, and craft brings a bold and unique offering to their clients, which keeps them coming back for more.  

“One of the hardest parts of starting a creative business is building new and consistent relationships with clients,” said Michael Kirlew, owner and founder of Mimo. “From getting your first customer, to keeping them coming back, is something that takes time. Our key to success has been quality. Both in the service we provide and the work we produce, quality is always at the top of the list. It impresses your clients. It keeps them coming back. And more importantly, it generates organics referrals. As you grow your business, you start to create a reputation, and that reputation is what starts a snowball effect of new business.” 

As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and has experienced those growing pains alongside the ebbs and flows of global economic struggles throughout the course of their business.  

“After operating our business for almost 15 years, the most challenging part in our journey has been the most recent Covid Pandemic. We initially saw a huge drop-off in business as most of our clients pressed paused on their own companies.  

“As doors began to open back up and companies started to re-engage with the world, we questioned if our business would ever go back to the heights of success we achieved prior. Will our clients still be around? If so, would they continue to see value in what we do? Do we have to start all over again and rebuild a new client base? Those questions were constantly in our minds.  

“But believing in the quality of work we produce and the reputation we have created, we did see our clients come back. And surprisingly, they also brought their friends. Knowing that our clients continued to return and even referred other companies to do so as well, showed just how valuable we were and validated to us that “yeah, we’ve got this”.” 

Having run such a successful design company for so long, we had to know Mimo’s secret. Their advice? Don’t skimp on quality.  

“People pay for quality. Don’t undervalue what you do, but don’t overvalue it either. Find that balance and always produce the best work you can. Your talent will attract clients. The relationships you build will keep them.” 

Our fascination with’s website starts before you even enter the page; with their long-term success and high-exposure clients, what attracts individuals to go to their website to begin with starts with their unique domain name. So we had to know – why .design?  

 “.COM domains are hard to come by these days and usually the only want to get one is to make some long elaborate domain name. Most companies are starting to use different domains which are more personable, and also explain your business – that’s one of the best reasons we transitioned over to a .design domain. Ditch the long complicated .coms and go for a more purpose-driven domain like .design. 

“ is a domain we love. It represents everything we are. It’s purposeful, creative, simple, and easy to understand. Choosing to use .design rather than more traditional methods makes us standout, hints at our ability to creatively think outside the box, and shows a bit of fun while we’re at. I wouldn’t change it for anything else!”