The Freelance Contract

When working as a freelancer, having a legal contract that outlines the scope of work, establishes milestones to be met and makes clear what your compensation will be is not just a good idea, it’s a must. Usually, when you freelance for a company, they will have a contract that spells these things out. If they don’t, you will want to have one ready, for their protection as well as your own.

The Freelance Contract, a joint effort of the Freelancers Union and AND CO, makes it simple to draw up a professional contract in minutes. Just fill in some basic information about yourself and your client, answer some simple questions, and you will have a legally-binding contract. The result is editable and extensible to your needs, and features electronic signature capability. Perfect for designers, developers, photographers, writers, consultants and content creators.

The Myth of Apple’s Great Design

I am almost certainly in the minority here, especially among my designer peers, but I have been off the Apple bandwagon for years now and have never felt more free.

I was reluctant, at first, to leave the comfortable embrace of the cult of Jobs. But it was, at the core of it, a financial decision. I needed a new computer, and I would have loved to have gotten a new Macbook, but I simply could not afford it – not even a pre-owned one. Continue reading

Designer Jeff Sheldon on How He Stays Inspired

Via Jocelyn K. Glei’s excellent newsletter, Jeff Sheldon tells us how he stays inspired and comes up with new ideas. He breaks it down simply at the beginning:

It’s about always being aware of things around me, both online and offline, and filing them away for future reference.

Later in the article he goes into detail about exactly how he goes about his creative process. A good read for creatives or anyone who sometimes has trouble with creative block.

Read “How I Stay Inspired and Come Up With New Ideas” at ugmonk.com.

The Interface Design of Rogue One

One of the things that keeps people coming back to the Star Wars franchise is how real it all looks (except for the prequels, which don’t count). Everything has a casually worn, actually used look that makes it easy to inject yourself into the Star Wars universe – it’s all so familiar, yet alien.

Andrew Booth’s agency BLIND LTD was tasked with creating the user interfaces for  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (as well as for The Force Awakens). Since Rogue One dovetails into A New Hope, the interfaces had to jibe with what we first saw in 1977, while also appearing fresh. I think they nailed it.

Read “Check Out These Hi-Res Shots of Rogue One’s User Interfaces” at Wired.

The Evolution of the American One Dollar Bill

I have always been interested in the design of paper money. The craftsmanship and artistry that goes into banknote design is admirable, and the anti-counterfeiting features are interesting to learn about. If you know anything about paper money around the world, you will be aware that U.S. currency is quite drab and dated compared to some. This short video traces the history of the American dollar bill, and shows that although it has always been something of a design trainwreck, it has shown occasional bursts of beauty (and a surprising amount of color) at times. The backs of the bills hold particular interest for me, because it seems like there is where the most interesting stuff happens, design-wise.

As interesting as this may be, there are many countries whose banknotes are far more colorful and stylish. Makes me wonder why the U.S. can’t, or won’t, change.