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: 


The Noun Project  (some free with attribution, some paid) 


Icon Finder
(some free, some paid)



Vintage Printable

The Graphics Fairy

The Vintage Moth



New Old Stock


Little Visuals


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!) :


Create type compositions directly in your browser. No more guessing how content will look once it goes live.

What Font:
Find which fonts are used on a webpage with a simple click.

Bulletproof web typography.

Test fonts on a current website without writing a single bit of code.

Test font combinations.


Friends of Type (not all web type):
Good Typography (not all web type):
Dribbble web type:


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:
Google Fonts:
Font Squirrel: