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! 

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.  

2023 Design Trends to Inspire Your Small Business Website

As you browse blogs and brand sites, you might notice familiar features and patterns as you navigate across the web. That’s because – like fashion, beauty and decor – even web design follows the ebbs and flows of popular trends. And right now, as our Internet browsers improve their capabilities and our computers begin to emulate the functionality of our smartphones, the look and feel of the Internet is in a constant state of change. Here, we’ve rounded up a few of the trends you’re likely to see more and more of in 2023. 

One-page websites 

Maybe our attention spans are shorter, or maybe there’s just more competition and a need to get to the point faster – spreading out who you are and what you do over several pages has been on its way out for a while. Many brands have made it incredibly easy to understand their mission statement, business practice and how-to-buy, all without more than a scroll down the page. Great examples include intimates brand Harper Wilde, Cook Collective, and Sakari Sake.   

Fewer hero images, more typography 

For a quite a while, a lot of the web has been dominated by hero images that conquer web pages, a minimalist-friendly way of visually capturing the user, setting a tone and showcasing a brand through photos. But we may have become oversaturated with the style, making the effect a little less striking than before.  

Instead, some sites are leaning on the creative use of beautiful typography to become its own eye-catching introduction to a brand’s identity and online experience. Fonts are their own artistic medium, able to capture time and place, as well as leverage psychology and brain mechanics to guide your reading experience. Fonts can even be altered or custom-made to best fit your brand. Often channeling print magazine design, the font-forward web design approach can be minimalist or maximalist, it can use design and creative copywriting to capture users, and it can even incorporate motion graphics and user interaction into the web experience.  

Check out examples from the innovative commerce company Radar, Jomol Design, or Azzerad Studios.  

Tasteful motion graphics 

Like with some of the font examples above, motion graphics can add a touch of delight or usability to a website. We’ve already seen the rise of parallax scrolling to create motion on web pages across the Internet. And as computer and web browser capabilities improve, and motion design tools become more available to the average user, adding interactive touches can boost your site experience, rather than weigh it down. 

Great use of motion design on the web is actually a category at the annual Webby Awards – take a look at their collection of winners and nominees to inspire your own site’s possibilities. 

App-like experiences 

Web designers are charged with the task of creating not just one beautiful website, but also a version that works well on mobile. This is a problem often solved by responsive design – websites detect your device and screen dimensions and adapt accordingly – but as  more than half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, the mobile version is beginning to take priority, potentially bringing the mobile experience to your desktop, rather than the other way around.  

As mobile experiences increasingly become the default, we may begin to see the principles of app design applied to web design, altering the desktop user experience. 

Greater accessibility and inclusivity 

A detail overlooked by many U.S. companies is that their websites are actually not usable for many people with disabilities – a 2020 report shows that 98% of US-based web pages fail to comply with accessibility requirements, which is actually a failure to meet standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act and puts companies at risk of legal action. Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Domino’s Pizza in 2019, website accessibility lawsuits have increased significantly, and the DOJ has released guidelines for businesses and governments to reference.  

These fundamental changes don’t stop at compliance. The last few years have shown us that brands are not immune or exempt from waves of social change, whether that’s by making diversity and inclusion statements, offering employee benefits, or making public shows of support. On a website, this can play out through the faces users see, word choice like inclusive language, and even the design elements themselves – examples include throwing out gender-coded color palettes, offering increased gender options for user profiles, and focusing inventory categorization by product, rather than gender.  

The Internet changes every day, and we’re in a period of endless possibility for brands to create exciting experiences that engage users and keep them coming back. There’s no time like now to step out of conventional design and into a new online identity. 

Launching a Website in 2023? Let these design trends inspire you.

It is easy to think of design as something purely aesthetic. We are, after all, initially attracted to the way something looks. However, good design is more than just a visual offering. It considers function, it evokes emotions, and ultimately elevates an experience.   

Trends in design are largely driven by the public’s general mood at any given time, but are also influenced by world events and new technologies as well as our political, economic, and social climates. As a result, trends can change overnight.   

Keeping up with trends is not always easy, but doing so is important to ensure customers are getting the experience they both need and desire. Whether you are designing furniture, clothing–or creating a whole new brand or business website–here are a few trends worth considering in 2023. Let one or more of the below inspire your vision:   

Interactive Design   

Innovative technologies are driving the trend for more interactive design, which will continue to gain momentum. As an example, last October, attendees at the Coperni fashion show watched in awe as model Bella Hadid had a dress spray painted onto her body using a new fabric technology. Prospective home buyers are now able to tour homes remotely using virtual reality headsets. Elsewhere, touch screens, augmented reality, and 3D technologies are providing designers with new avenues to create interactive experiences and products that engage and delight users.  

Inclusivity & Personalization   

No, those two things are not at odds with each other. Consumers are looking for increased access and broader representation in their products in 2023. How that is accomplished will depend on the sort of product or service you design. It could mean adding more inclusive sizes to a clothing line or having more diverse casting in marketing materials. People want to be able to see themselves using a product.  

Personalization can help people feel a product was intended for them. It can be as simple as monogramming clothing to using data and AI technology to curate a shopping or user experience that caters to the unique preferences of each user. Both will likely result in more diverse products that cater to the individual.   


Consumers are increasingly discerning about the products they use and brands they support. They are actively seeking to support those whose values align with their own.  Transparency is about more than the use of sheer fabric in clothing (though that is trending in 2023 as well). Consumers are looking for brands that are authentic, honest, and transparent in their messaging.   


With increasing attention on environmental issues, sustainability continues to be a driving trend in 2023. Consumers and businesses alike are seeking out more eco-friendly and sustainable materials and modes of production. Innovative ways to reuse or repurpose materials are generally well received.  


Minimal, streamlined design has been popular for a while and will continue through 2023 as people continue to simplify their lives. Minimal design is simple and uncluttered and focuses primarily on the essential elements with minimal but impactful color elements.  

Minimalism can exist in the digital realm as well, from web design down to one’s small business URL. If you’re leading an artistic venture, consider a .design domain to not only simplify and convey your mission, but to also stand out from the crowd.   

Deep, Saturated Color  

And while we are talking about color, the neutrals that have dominated design in recent years are making way for eye-catching pops of bold color in 2023. Pantone described their color of the year, Viva Magenta, as an “animated” and “electrifying” red that “promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration.” There were lots of poppy reds on the Spring 2023 runways, but the strongest color to come out of that season was a vibrant cobalt blue. At home, the colors hues are leaning warmer (so long pale gray!) and deeply saturated to invoke comfort and anchor a space.   

Continually Use Design to Reinvent Yourself  

The design landscape is continually evolving, and new trends and technologies are emerging all the time. By keeping up to date with the latest trends, you can stay ahead of the curve and add experiential value to your customers and audience that will keep them returning for more.   

Should You Join a Professional Design Association?

If you’ve ever considered joining a professional design association, you may have questions about whether it will pay dividends, and ultimately level up your career. It certainly helps to network, and a personal reference can be the difference between getting the gig or not. But paying association fees may not seem worth it if you already have a full client list or are unsure of what benefits a membership can ultimately provide. For many professional associations, the benefits go well beyond networking.  

We’ve rounded up a few of the biggest ones here: 

Professional tools 

One of the greatest benefits of joining a professional design association is having access to critical resources. Contract templates, advice for freelancing, best practices for bidding on work, budget planning guides, tax help, and even legal assistance are all services that may be available for members. Additionally, discounts on design software, equipment, hotel stays, gyms and more may be available to members. 

Having these available in an industry-specific venue that understands the unique needs of designers – who often work in a freelance structure – can be an invaluable resource. While access may not replace your need for an accountant or your own legal professional, they can help you set up a framework for daily operations that’s easy to manage, track, and customize for your business’s specific needs. 

Other critical resources 

In addition to the basics of running a business, a professional design association may be able to connect members with the vital services that are absent if you’re self-employed. Member benefits may include help finding affordable health insurance plans, navigating COBRA, access to mental health resources or even hardship assistance. Some associations even provide their own health insurance and car insurance plans for members. 

Professional development 

Networking comes with opportunities to meet mentors and collaborators who can help you grow. Some may invite you to join them on projects you’re well suited for, while others may teach you a thing or two about their own specialities. Likewise, you may meet someone who can benefit from your insights! 

These memberships often come with access to seminars, workshops, conferences and other tools for further developing your skills, as well as discounted rates for members.  

Social events 

Running your own business can get lonely. Well-organized professional organizations often have a social calendar that might include virtual events, in-person hangouts, round table discussions, or collaborative engagements like art shows. These can provide a great space to connect with people in your field, who often share similar experiences. It’s tough to make work friends when you work from home, but connecting to people who can provide mutual support, encouragement, tips, tricks, and strategies is a great way to spark renewed creativity, find new interests and maybe even make a few friends. 

Power in numbers 

As user-friendly design platforms, stock design and AI continue to grow, designers have had to advocate for their own jobs and rates. Being part of a professional group helps empower a formal group that can argue and advocate for designers and artists across many industries, disciplines and communities. And if you find yourself in the position to fight for a fare rate or chase unpaid invoices, you’ll have an organization of thousands of colleagues who can provide you with resources and support. 

There are many professional design associations out there, from small, local organizations to global operations with tens of thousands of members. And they all have unique offerings, different fee structures, and a range of benefits. Finding the ones that are best suited to you can take a bit of research, but it starts by knowing what you would most benefit from as you work to grow your career, your skillset, and your professional network.  

How to set up an art fair station: Build an art booth that allows your work to shine, and entices visitors to purchase your artwork.

Written By Guest User
An art fair is an excellent time to build a following and garner new fans for your works of art. Make the most out of the opportunity by designing a booth that engages the crowds. But given that an art fair can feature dozens, or even hundreds, of other artists–how can one create a booth that stands out? Follow a few key principles of design and presentation to make sure you’re setting up your art fair station for success.

Invest in quality

Think about the little details that assist with your presentation. The tables, chairs, signage, and even the adhesives that keep your art on the walls. The last thing you want to worry about that day is your canvases sliding off the walls! Make sure to invest in quality materials that will allow for a professional and seamless display of your work.

Leverage the elements of style

You’re an artist and already understand the building blocks of good design, decor, and art flow. While you might be eager to showcase everything you’ve produced over the last few years, be sure to select a reasonable number of works for display. Don’t over-clutter your booth. Instead, curate your best works so that there’s ample space between each canvas or sculpture. Design your booth so that it showcases your different abilities, skills and looks. Think about the big picture, and how your art booth might look from afar.

Know your audience

Depending on the type of art fair, think about the typical attendees and their preferences. For example, an art fair at a beach town might prefer light and bright colors to match their seaside homes. Also, unless you’re presenting at a millionaires-only event, consider offering a range of different price points and sizes to appeal to a wider audience.

Be professional

Art fairs can be a long, draining day of chatting with followers and new fans. There can alsp be a lot of downtime. No matter what, refrain from being on your phone, eating, or reading while at your booth. Be engaged and aware of your surroundings, as you never want to miss a sales opportunity due to texting your friends. Be welcoming and be prepared to talk about what inspires you as an artist.

Don’t hover

Be engaging but also give passersby and visitors room to breathe and appreciate your art. Read their moods, as some enjoy speaking in-depth with the artist, while others like to observe in silence.

Let visitors know about your digital portfolio

Create a website that can direct interested parties to your larger body of work. Have business cards or flyers handy so that you can share your website. A .design web address can add an extra layer of creative professionalism to your artistic brand. The TLD is unique and memorable, and therefore might also help your stand out from the other artists at the fair.

Keep in touch

Just because the art fair has wrapped up doesn’t mean your work is done. In addition to your art website, make sure to also include your name, contact information, social media accounts, and e-mail on your business card or brochure. Have a signing book at your booth where fans can write down their names and emails. Each month or quarter, shoot out a newsletter unveiling your latest works and what you’ve been up to as a creative. This gives visitors the opportunity to continue to communicate with you and engage with your masterpieces, long after the art fair takes place.

Four Ways to Optimize Your Mobile Website

Written By Liz Achanta

Quick question: are you reading this blog post on a computer, or on your phone?

Chances are, your answer was on a phone. Did you know more than 63% of Google searches are made on a mobile device. As mobile devices continue to gain momentum in consumers daily lives, it is important that your website is mobile-friendly to stay connected to your customers. And if that stat hasn’t already convinced you, then this should: according to the US Census, in 2021 smartphones were present in 84% of households, compared to the 78% of households owning a computer. Keep reading to learn how you can make sure your website is targeting to that 84%!

But wait – what makes a website mobile-friendly?

Just because you have a website, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s mobile-friendly. A website is mobile-friendly when:

  • It takes less than three seconds to load the website (not-so-fun fact: according to Google, 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than 3 seconds to load)

  • The content is dynamically-sized for mobile applications (users don’t have to zoom in & out just to read or navigate through your site)

  • Your links and navigation are easily accessible (links are easy to click/navigate to different pages)

Don’t know if your site is mobile-friendly? Plug your website’s URL into Google’s Mobile-Friendly test here.

Here’s four ways to optimize your mobile site:

1. Increase your response time

Remember that three second stat? This is what we’re talking about: make sure your site takes less than three seconds to load any given page. Ways to do this include:

  • Scale image sizes down: High resolution images look great, but don’t help to keep you in that three second window. Keep image sizes to a maximum of 40KB where possible; you can also use tools, plug-ins, and photo software to compress or edit image sizes, like Imagnifyis or Affinity Photo.

  • Reduce redirects: A website redirect leads a visitor from one requested page to another. While this can lead to a good user experience, the more redirects you use, the slower your site will be.

  • Enable Browser Caching: When you visit a website, your browser takes pieces of the page and stores them on your system’s hard drive, called caching. Performance research shows caching can instantly reduce website loading time while also reducing server load!

2. Create Calls to Action (CTA)

Have you ever visited a website that left you thinking, “Ok, now what?” Having content on your mobile site is great, but often times it’s not enough to increase your conversion rate. Make things easier for your consumers to ‘seal the deal’ by providing direct links to what you want them to do – like “Add to Cart,” “Buy Now,” or “Subscribe.” These links should tell the consumer that they are performing an action, and then take them directly to where they should be going (Harvard Business Review says the less clicks they have to take, the better). Make sure the CTA button stands out (like giving it a different color), or your consumer might miss it.

3. Make Sure Your Site is Easy to Navigate

One of the worst things you can do to your website is make it hard for the user to use. Just like providing a map, your menu navigation should be simple and to the point. Some things you should avoid when setting up your menu navigation include:

  • Generic or vague labels: if your menu labels aren’t specific enough, your user may be clicking on multiple labels to find what they want – or clicking the back button to go to a competitor site. Make sure your labels are clear and concise: instead of using words like ‘Products’ or ‘Services,’ opt for more specific keywords.

  • Offering too many options: alternative to generic labels, if you offer too many options you can cause confusion because the user isn’t able to find what they’re looking for.

  • Buttons vs. Text Links: Buttons usually take longer to load in mobile applications, which can cause the user to lose interest. Choose to provide text links instead, which offer faster loading times and are more efficient.

4. Add a Search Bar

Let’s face it – sometimes we’re just lazy. With search functions increasing in popularity, having a search bar is now the new norm for most business websites. In addition to creating super-fast search results for your customer, search engines can also boost conversions and strengthen SEO – which can lead to even more traffic to your mobile site.

Just remember: if you elect not having a search bar on your website, you risk people potentially leaving your site for a search engine instead . . . which can result in them going to a competitor.

At the end of the day, creating a website that is optimized across all devices is going to result in a better user experience for your customers – which will bring you better business! By increasing your response time, providing call to actions, and by making your site easy to navigate, you can easily make your business successful – after all, it’s only a few clicks away!

How a .design domain can complement your existing .com website

Written By  Guest User

Are you an artsy entrepreneur? Or the visionary behind a creative business? Start a website backed by .design to make sure your business reaches the right customer.

From protecting your brand to improving your website’s search engine rankings, there are many strategic reasons to go with .design. But ultimately, it’s about making sure your business website is attracting more customers and the right customer.

Here’s how .design can benefit your creative endeavors and how to make your artistic dream a lucrative reality online:


What is .design? The .design domain operates just like any other top-level domain, and is accessible to anyone, most notably any creative professional aiming to bring their talents to the online realm. Having just launched to the general public in 2015, the newer web extension adds a touch of uniqueness to any URL. But ultimately .design is a solution to the most common problems when launching a business website. Here’s how:

While business owners, especially first-time entrepreneurs, might find comfort in the older, traditional web domains, the truth is, the World Wide Web is getting increasingly crowded. As a result it’s becoming more difficult to obtain a traditional web address that matches your business’ name.

For fledgling creatives, it might be harder than ever to brand oneself and stick out. Establishing an online presence, also, has become quite a balancing act, in that you want your company name and web address to be memorable and distinct, yet be short and easy to find on the Internet.


But here’s a pro tip: To further boost your online presence, you can even acquire traditional web extensions or other new TLDs—like .design—and link it directly to the e-commerce portion of your website. The result is more traffic driven to your site.

A good reason to register a new type of domain name, like .design, is that it appropriately describes what kind of industry or vertical your business is in, without having to elongate your web address.

Let’s say you’re a web designer and have a website called Investing in a creative TLD, like SethWeb.Design, will not only open you up to customers seeking your artsy expertise, but will also shorten your web address, making it easier for customers to find you online.


The .design domain can be used as a natural tool for branding. The web extension lets your customers immediately know what industry you’re in. Web designers, advertising agencies, photography studios, fashion brands, or any creative worker, can adopt the .design web address to make the ultimate statement in their url, before the customer ever even lands on the homepage.

The TLD also exudes creativity as well as a commitment to smart presentation and innovative style. For example, can become JenniferFieldsInterior.Design. On signage, a business card, or brochure, the latter looks sleeker and more on brand.

Investing in this creative domain can make your business stand out in search engine results and highlight what differentiates you from the competition.

While there are strategic marketing and SEO reasons to choose .design, at the end of the day, the .design TLD exists to help you keep your customer’s online experience in mind, and help them find your creative talents quicker than ever.

How professional is your web presence?

Written By Liz Achanta

Whether you’re a student looking to start an online portfolio, or a mastered designer looking to start a side hustle, having a professional online web presence is key to show others you mean business.

1. Find out how you’re being represented online already

The easiest way to do this is a simple search by typing your name into the URL bar. For a more specific search, try typing in site: FIRSTNAME + LASTNAME (remember to do this for all your names – including maiden or nicknames). This type of search will ensure both your first and last name is listed in the websites shown, rather than just one or the other.

 Once you’ve found where your name is located online, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I like how I’m represented?

  • Can others clearly understand who I am?

  • Is my information up to date?

In some instances, like news articles or previous collaboration pieces, there’s not much you can do to change how your represented. However, this is a good time to do things like clean up your social media (what’s your privacy setting set to? Are there any accounts that you don’t want to use anymore?) and update your contact information in places where you could be listed as a contributor.

2. Make sure your contact information is available, and professional

Want people to contact you for your expertise? Making sure there’s multiple contact options is key, as it puts more communication tools in their hands. For example, if people are in a hurry and want information now, maybe they’d prefer a telephone call to get all of their questions out of the way (meaning you need to make sure your phone number is accurate). For the introverts who are just trying to information-gather, perhaps email is best.

When it comes to creating and distributing an email address, short, memorable, easy-to-spell, and descriptive is best. Things like [email protected] or [email protected] are great because they include familiar words and tell the user exactly where their email is going. [email protected], on the other hand? Not so much – and you risk your potential client from misspelling your email, causing frustration and confusion.

 3. Make sure your website showcases the best of you

Your website shouldn’t be like a basket full of every single project you’ve ever done. While it’s certainly great to see the strides you’ve made in your professional career, adding too much work can make your website look crowded and disorganized. A professional website should share your passions and your expertise, with the projects you’re most proud of being the focal points on each page.

Don’t have a professional website yet? You don’t need to know how to code to build one, anymore. Many online webhosts like GoDaddy or Wix offer free web building templates and packages to get yourself online. The best part? They both sell dot-design domains, which tells your potential clients exactly what you do!

A Designer’s Toolkit: FREE Resources You Should be Using Right Now

Written By Liz Achanta

Starting (and running) your own Design business can get expensive – quickly. Embedding these additional costs into your fees for clients can work depending on the situation, but wouldn’t you rather have 100% of your paycheck go directly into your wallet, and not covering fees? At dot-design, we understand the value of free design resources, and we’ve gathered our favorites in one spot for you to use.

Free Stock Photos: Unsplash

Unsplash is one of the most popular, royalty-free stock photo sites online. With over 3 million high-res images on their site, every image is hand-selected to help you find the perfect picture for your project.

Free Fonts: Google Fonts

When it comes to actually downloading and installing something onto your computer, you should always trust the source. With over 1,400 open source font families, you are sure to find whatever you need, safely and securely.

Free Icons: Flaticon

With over 7.5 million vector icons and stickers, you can easily download your vector PNG, SVG, EPS, PSD, or CSS formats. In addition to their expansive icon library, Flaticon offers stickers, a logo creation tool, templates for presentations, and editable illustrations – making them one of the easiest design resource sites on the web.

Free Stock Videos: Pixabay

While Pixabay offers more than just stock videos (their collection includes 2.6 million stock photos, illustrations, sound effects, etc. – all for free), we found the usability and the quality of the videos found on Pixabay to be the best out of the other free resources on the internet.

Free Color Palette Generator: Coolors

Need a bit of design inspiration? Coolors helps you create a color palette in seconds. Browse through existing color palettes with *literally* the click of your spacebar, or upload a photo to generate a color palette based on the primary elements. Not only does Coolors get points for its usability, it gets more points for how fun it is!

Free Image Editing: Canva

Most free online photo editing tools have limited capabilities, forcing you to use multiple apps before you get your desired result. What we love about Canva is that you can do everything, all at once: crop, auto-focus, or blur out backgrounds all in their photo editor, then either export or share your completed photo on your desired platform.

Best Site For All Resources: FreeDesignResources.Net

Want one, centralized site with all types of free resources? FreeDesignResources offers free fonts, document templates, Icons, and add-ons to give your designs an essential pick-me-up.