shoot video with smartphone

How to Produce Pro-Level Branding Videos With Your Smartphone

By 2019, video will make up 80% of all web traffic. Besides, video is one of the best ways to brand your design business, build trust, and showcase the personality behind the business.

This week, we have special guest Cielo de la Paz to walk us through the entire process: what you need, how to prepare, shoot and edit. And as promised, all you really need is your smartphone (and maybe one or two affordable accessories to increase production value.)

In addition to learning for your own branding, you can 100% apply this to your clients — so you can provide a very valuable add-on service to branding and/or web projects.

We also answer a listener question about who is ultimately responsible for typos and mistakes on a final project.

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passive income for designers

Passive Income Ideas & Tips For Designers

As designers there are so many ways of using our talents to make money — so why do so many of us rely solely on client work? In this episode, we answer a recent listener question about the ins and outs of passive income. And since the three of us don’t do too much of that, we decided to enlist the help of Brad Woodard.

Brad sells everything from brushes to posters, to paid courses — which means he earns money even when he’s not working for clients. Listen for some amazing advice on how to get started down this road for yourself.

We also answer a new listener question about your contract when you’re working as a sub for another designer.

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private brand design

The Private Brand Niche

Long gone are the days of plain white packaging with bold black lettering. Nope, these ain’t your grandpa’s generics. Welcome to the era of “private brands.”

When you shop, I’m sure you notice the proliferation of store brands in just about every category. And you may also notice that they look less like store brands than they used to. Hell, in many cases they look every bit as appealing as the name brand guys. This week, we have Steven Cox in studio to chat with the gang about his duties as a private brand specialist. It’s a growing market, one that always needs talented packaging designers.

Listen in to hear about what the job entails, and where it’s going in the near future.

We also answer a new listener question about how to upcharge clients who want to pay you with a credit card so you don’t have to be paid less in those deals.

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design plagiarism

Plagiarism in Design

As designers, just about every single project begins with inspiration. But where does inspiration end and plagiarism begin? In this episode, the gang discusses the thorny issue of plagiarism in design.

We offer some tips to make sure you aren’t accidentally ripping off someone else’s design, as well as what you can do about it if you think it’s happened to you.

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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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