Should you look for a high salary? Creative Freedom? High-profile brands?

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What are the most important attributes of an organization to look for when you’re searching for a new Graphic Design Job? It seems obvious that you’d like to work for a place that produces excellent work and is excited about moving forward with design trends. You might even be enticed by bring-your-dog-to-work days, in-house massages, walks in the park, or any number of trendy benefits that companies, both big and small, are offering to their employees lately.

But how do you see through these offerings and make decisions that…


How to determine what to stop doing so you can master your territory.

Cut the crap out of your life and get to business. Source

I love Graphic Design. And photography, and videography, and marketing, and music production, and lighting, and Wordpress, and writing, and mechanics, and fitness.

Worst of all, I like to try to do them all at once.

Based on my personal experience, most creatives are this way. I’m confident that my design and photo/video skills are not a unique combination, and we all have personal hobbies that we bring some level of skill to. It’s incredibly fun to pursue and succeed in multiple areas of expertise throughout our lives. …


But it’s fine with me if you give up.

All it takes is a spark. Source

Medium, like the rest of the Internet, is a rapidly changing environment. Trends (read: cryptocurrency this summer and, this week, bashing on Amazon) sweep through like wildfire and take over our home-pages, then move on.

Algorithms, like on every other social platform, change…a lot. And, with them, so do our results. As the overlords of our content devise new plans to create exclusivity and generate profit, the Medium Partner Program shifts and creates waves.

Some writers skyrocket while others tank. On the worst days, our favorite publications publish 💩 articles that…


What else do you write about on Thanksgiving Day?

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Designed Academy is my way of investing into the people who are committed to the trade of visual communication. As designers, we push ourselves to understand our audiences and represent the world to them in a way that many others don’t have to consider in their work.

Whether it’s branding, user experience, or typography, we create identities and message that invite our users, viewers, and readers into a new world.

If you’re a designer, you know as well as I do the amount of work that goes into every piece of…


How to survive huge, overwhelming projects with tight deadlines.

An actual picture of me (left) trying to get my projects done. Source

Have you ever struggled with balancing all of your responsibilities and meeting your deadlines during a large design project? I sure have, and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on the experience for yourself. I don’t actually have 4,675 steps to follow. What I do have is a story from my own experience, and a couple key survival techniques that I build into every large project these days.

Like most creatives, I’m a bit of a multimedia specialist. Though my writing is focused on design, I have experience with photography…


I was making $8/hour as a graphic designer.

Not a picture of my paycheck in college. Source

Yep, you read that right!

During my university days, I had a part-time job as a student worker. My boss’s title was…? Actually, I forgot my boss’s title. But she was the graphic designer for our department and I was her assistant, so I gave myself the title of “assistant graphic designer for our department,” or whatever.

It was actually super fun. Out of the 15 student workers, I was the only one who didn’t have to do data entry or manage an email account that received several hundred emails per hour…


Constructive criticism is a critical part of successful design.

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Whether you’re designing with a team or working on your own, there should be a place for constructive criticism in your workflow. It creates trust, facilitates learning, and most importantly, leads to a higher quality final product. Giving criticism can be fun — even refreshing. You stand around a table inspecting a colleagues work; hopefully complimenting the strengths, and willingly dolling out advice as you recognize potential areas for improvement.

But receiving criticism can be far less fun. You’re apt to linger on the weaknesses that others find and to downplay…


The only way to make design clients happy.

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Graphic design skills are timeless, but yours will be obsolete in 6 months.

Yeah, I’m talking to you. Isn’t that great, contradictory, frustrating news?

The worst part is that you probably already knew this. The design industry, its standards and requirements, and its top players are churning like category 5 rapids. Being a designer, especially if you strive to stay current while dragging along c-level execs and sales reps in your company, is a wild ride. …


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The worst highway construction zone I’ve ever encountered, how I almost broke the steering wheel off my car, and why watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” can change your life.

I publish to Designed Academy specifically for graphic designers who are transitioning from another career into the design world or who are seeking their first full-time jobs. If that’s not you, this is my one article that will make an impact in your life, no matter where you are.

What follows is an entirely true story.

A couple of days ago, my fiancé and I decided to go out and…


Or, compounding interest on business relationships.

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Throughout your career, especially as you’re applying for jobs, moving up the ranks in your company, and pitching big deals, you interact with people who have the power (read: money) to change your life significantly. You’re also making lifetime friends, important connections, and impressions. So many impressions.

Most of the time, I go through life concerned about what others will think of me. Do I speak like an expert in my industry? Am I dressed well enough? Will they remember me?

All valid questions.

The problem, however, is that none of these are questions…

Collin Strachan

Designer. Camera Guy. Business Owner. Writing to make life a little bit better for creatives. https://www.designed.academy

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