Business Goals 2015

Now that I'm running my studio full-time, I sometimes forget to stop and reflect on the past year. It's never a top priority when I have deadlines coming up, client meetings and an inbox that seems to multiply exponentially. However, I think that it's now even more important to make sure that I'm not only meeting my own goals, but also doing the work that I want to do because that's the whole point of running my own business. Right?

My goals last year were simple - file as an S corp, work with an accountant to set up payroll, and have enough liquid assets to cover payroll for at least 6 months. All of which I finished in the last week of December, but am still waiting to finalize the paperwork because, well, nothing is speedy with the IRS. 

I also realized that if I don't talk about my own goals, I can just revise them as I go, so here's to being accountable -- my business goals for 2015: 

1. Setup and contribute the maximum to a Roth IRA.
This is basically one of those goals I have to write down or I will never do it. Ever. I'd rather go to the dentist. 

2. Book Design
I'm a voracious reader and even though I try not to, I usually do judge a book by it's cover. My goal this year is to add a few more book covers and/or full book designs to my portfolio. I'm pulling together some sample covers to send to a handful of art directors and I'm going to network a bit this summer in NYC. 

3. Writing 
I'm currently working on a writing side project (more on that soon), but I have a more general goal to write every day whether it gets published or not. I have an old school spiral bound notebook by my bed and I try to get at least a few sentences out each day. 

4. Re-design my logo
Just like the cobbler's children, I find designing for my own brand to be one of the trickiest parts of running my own business. I can't see it from the outside so it's hard to have an unbiased opinion. I'm also my own worst client and want to revise as soon as I settle on a finished product. 

5. Passive Income
This is the least concrete of my goals, but I'm trying to find at least 1 or 2 ways to create a passive income stream from either design work or writing. This is easier said than done, but I'm running a few different experiments and will report back the results once I have something to share. I think this goal is more about luck than planning, but maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. 

That's a short, but ambitious list. I'm already looking forward to seeing what I learn from tracking these types of goals. I know that I won't meet every single one, but I also know that I'll learn something either way. 

How about you? What are your business goals for 2015? 

Find the perfect (free) image

Working with non-profits or small businesses on a budget means that I almost always have to get creative with images. There's not usually enough of a budget to purchase an image, and not enough time for me to create an image from scratch.  

But before I head to Flickr or Google to search through an uncurated, never-ending scroll of Creative Commons images, I head to these sites first: 

Icons

The Noun Project http://thenounproject.com/  (some free with attribution, some paid) 

Typicons http://typicons.com/

Icon Finder https://www.iconfinder.com/
(some free, some paid)

 

Illustrations

Vintage Printable http://vintageprintable.com/

The Graphics Fairy http://thegraphicsfairy.com/

The Vintage Moth
http://thevintagemoth.blogspot.com/

 

Photographs

New Old Stock http://nos.twnsnd.co/

Pexels http://www.pexels.com/

Little Visuals http://littlevisuals.co/

 

What are some of your favorites? Post a comment below. 

Note: some of these images are only for personal use, some can be modified and used commercially - please check each image for rights and usage. 

Typography for the Web

As a digital designer with a foundation in print, I’ve always struggled with the lack of eloquence in typography on the web. I’d gotten so used to only having 4-5 web fonts to choose from that I stopped even considering them as an asset. I tried to use a couple of web fonts but they often ended up looking like a hot mess. I gave up.

Then I heard Jenn Lukas talk at An Event Apart Atlanta 2014 and… RAZZLE DAZZLE! I know I’m a little late to the game, but I was just looking in the wrong place. Typography on the web has come so far in the past few years. Here’s a collection of tools, inspiration, articles, and font foundries to get your started (and feel free to add your favorites!) :

Tools.

Typecast: http://typecast.com/
Create type compositions directly in your browser. No more guessing how content will look once it goes live.

What Font: http://chengyinliu.com/whatfont.html
Find which fonts are used on a webpage with a simple click.

FFFFallback: http://ffffallback.com/
Bulletproof web typography.

TypeWonder: http://typewonder.com/
Test fonts on a current website without writing a single bit of code.

Font-Combinator: http://font-combinator.com/
Test font combinations.

Inspiration.

TypeWolf: http://www.typewolf.com/
Typographica: http://typographica.org/
R-Typography: http://www.r-typography.com/
Friends of Type (not all web type): http://friendsoftype.com/
Good Typography (not all web type): http://goodtypography.tumblr.com/
Dribbble web type: http://dribbble.com/tags/web_type

Articles

Responsive Typography in Web Design: Understanding and Using
Responsive Typography is a Physical Discipline, But Your Computer Doesn’t Know It (Yet)
The Era of Symbol Fonts
Don’t Fear Web Typography

Free/Open Source Web Type

The League of Moveable Type: https://www.theleagueofmoveabletype.com/
Google Fonts: https://www.google.com/fonts
Font Squirrel: http://www.fontsquirrel.com/