illustrative branding

Niche Spotlight: Illustrative Branding

Rolling right along with our design specialty series, this week we got to talk to illustration & branding specialist Jordan Wilson. We talk about how he got into this world, and he’s got lots of great advice for anyone thinking about or trying to break into the niche.

We also zag a bit — and talk about whether or not you can be TOO niched in your focus. And more importantly, what to do about it if you find yourself in that position.

We also answer a new listener question about spec work, and if it’s useful when padding out the ol’ portfolio.

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beer industry graphic design

Will Design For Beer!

Remember how we said a few episodes back that it would be cool to highlight some cool niches that are out there for designers? Well we made that happen, and here’s our first such episode.

This week, we’re joined by Ryan Wheaton, an independent designer who specializes in BEER! Specifically beer branding and packaging. Not only is this a super sexy niche to be a part of right now, but there seems to be a lot of opportunity in it, and that is only growing.

So listen as we pick Ryan’s brain about what it took to get there, and the advice he gives to anyone out there who may be considering a similar move.

We also answer a new listener question about professional designations, and how to choose which one is right for you.

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Making Your Own Luck

Do you run your design career passively, waiting for good things to happen, or do you grab it by the horns and make the good stuff happen? If you’re in the first camp, we’re going to try to change your thinking up a bit.

Today, we’re joined by designer and conference organizer Matt Dawson. Not happy with the way things were going, he made a conscious decision to change it  — and he’s been reaping the rewards ever since.

We also answer a new listener question about how to get on the right path toward being a creative director… and if that’s even the right decision.

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adobe max questions

DesignCast 150: Listener Questions LIVE from Adobe Max

We’ve reached a milestone — 150 episodes, and we have all of you, our loyal listeners to thank! As you know, the whole gang recently traveled to Las Vegas for the Adobe Max conference. We got to meet a bunch of listeners (and get drunk with a few too,) and we also got some fantastic listener questions from our booth.

In this episode, we’ll finally answer those questions. Keep ’em coming guys! Email your listener questions to wes [at], and we’ll try to answer it on an upcoming episode, Here’s to the next 150!

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Here’s to being BRAVER in 2018

With every new year brings a new resolution — so what about being BRAVER in your design career?

We are once again joined by the myth, the man, the legend, content specialist Aaron Wrixon. Aaron is here to talk about his brand new content framework that’s designed to make you stand out in the crowded field of design. You’ll learn how to effectively set yourself apart from the competition this year and beyond.

We also get a bit sidetracked on Aaron’s recent Nicolas Cage obsession, which we fully support.

We also answer a new question that only Mikelle and Aaron can handle. (It’s about kids.)

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2018 web design trends

Web Design Trends Taking Off in 2018

Last week we looked at all the graphic design trends to look out for in 2018, so we thought we’d follow that up with all those trends that are specific to the web design world.

In this episode, listen as the gang talks about everything we have been seeing pick up tremendous steam, and will likely see full saturation in the new year. And Nick (our resident “print guy”) is showing some serious promise as a future web designer!

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graphic design trends 2018

Graphic Design Trends to Watch in 2018

With 2017 winding down, it’s time to take a look at the year that was, and the trends that we predict will continue to dominate the graphic design world in 2018. So sit back, close your eyes and visualize all the trends we go over, and download resident overachiever Nick’s handy pdf guide of the trends he talks about.

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gifts for graphic designers 2017

2017 Designer Gifts Wish List

Just in time for Cyber Monday, we present our annual designer gift guide! Listen as the gang lists off the things we’ll be asking for this year, because getting cool stuff is really what the holiday season is all about. And Nick will apparently be buying every. single. thing.

We also answer a new question, and give a little portfolio advice to a listener who lives in an area where there isn’t much demand for her skills.

The Wish List

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positioning your agency

Positioning Your Agency (or Micro-Agency)

Have you ever wondered how to set yourself or your design agency apart from the competition? Wonder no more, because in today’s episode, we have a very special guest who will shed some light on the subject. Content strategist and copywriter Aaron Wrixon is in the house, and will show you how to stand out, and put your best self front and center.

Whether you’re a solopreneur, running an agency, or a micro-agency, these tips will be hugely beneficial as you go into 2018.

We also answer a listener question about what/how much you need to provide your web developer with to properly communicate your designs.

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adobe max 2017

Our Biggest Takeaways From Adobe Max

Last week, the gang all got together in person to attend the 2017 Adobe Max conference, and we can honestly say it was incredible. Lots of new announcements, feature enhancements, and brand new programs that we’re all super excited to share with you.

Mikelle couldn’t join in on this episode, but Wes and Nick are here to go over the biggest takeaways and things we’re the most excited about. And be sure to stick around till the very end, we have put together some key takeaways from other attendees and listeners who we met in person at the conference.

We also answer a new listener question about what to charge for the design of liquor bottle labels.

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