Adobe Photoshop CC Basics


30 Fonts To Last A Life Time

1. Adobe Caslon

Magazines, journals, text books, corporate communication.

Adobe Caslon

2. Adobe Garamond

Textbooks and magazines

Adobe Garamond

3. Bembo

Posters, packaging, textbooks.


4. Bodoni

Headlines, text, logos. (I couldn’t get big preview for this font.)


5. Clarendon

Dictionaries and headlines.


6. Courier

Tabular materials, technical documentation, word processing.


7. Excelsior

Newsletters, Reports, Proposals.


8. Lucida

Low resolution printing, small point sizes, reversed out half tones.


9. Minion

Limited edition books, newsletters, packaging.


10. Perpetua

For displays with fine lettering, long pages of text, chiseled text.


11. Sabon

Books and corporate communication.


12. Stempel Schneidler

For displays and fine publications that need a legible text type.

Stempel Schneidler

13. Times New Roman

Newspapers, magazines, corporate communication.

Times New Roman

14. Trajan

Books, magazines, posters, billboards, anything to do with the ages or religion.


15. Walbaum

Magazines, journals, text books, corporate communication.



15 Sans-Serif Fonts

What does sans-serif mean?

1. Akzidenz Grotesk

Large Signage, all purpose for print media.

Akzidenz Grotesk

2. Avenir

For books with large amounts of text


3. Bell Centennial

For listings and very poor printing conditions.

Bell Centennial

4. Bell Gothic

For very small amounts of text that contains large amounts of information.


5. DIN

For signage, posters and displays.


6. Franklin Gothic

Newspapers and where available space is limited.

Franklin Gothic

7. Frutiger

Large signage, all purpose font for print media.


8. Futura

Large displays, small text in books.


9. Gill Sans

Signage, all purpose font for print media.

Gill Sans

10. Helvetica

Large or small text, all purpose type figure.


11. Meta

Text, number, especially corporate communication.


12. Myriad

Large displays, all purpose media.


13. Trade Gothic

Newspapers and classified ads, advertising, multimedia.

Trade Gothic

14. Univers

Packaging, signage, text books.


15. Vag Rounded

Instruction manuals and print advertising.

Vag Rounded

How to choose a logo designer

CMYK Paint

With such a plethora of choice it may be hard to find the right designer for your specific needs. Below is a short guide to help you make the right choice when choosing a logo designer. These points could also be useful when hiring a web designer, graphic designer, or any designer for that matter.

I don’t want this post to come across as self promotional, however, I’ve linked to my own examples to show you how I personally communicate to potential clients the value of my design work. For other designers, I hope this in turn, gives you an idea of how you too can communicate the value of your work.

In no particular order:

1. Experience

Previous identity projects will give you a good idea of what skill levelyour designer is at and what you can expect though this is not to say that a new designer can not produce top quality results – this point has to be considered with all of the other points mentioned below, in which case a strong portfolio is probably the best indicator.

For examples of some quality identity design, please check out Logo Of The Day, where Jeff Fisher and I feature a new talented logo designer every day.

2. Positive Testimonials

Have they got positive testimonials from past clients and colleagues?

Ensure you check the testimonials validity which can be done by looking for a web address or even by emailing the company. It’s a good idea to check if the company even exists.

3. A Thorough Design Process

Do they have a logo design process in which they follow or are they simply producing logos like fast food? A typical process does not take under 48 hours to complete which is why I wrote the articleHow NOT To Design A Logo which tells you to avoid design contests, logo factories, etc.

Think for how long your logo design will be in use – would you want that to be designed (let alone researched) in under 48 hours? Logo design is not a take away food store and this is why logo design does not cost $5.00.

There is no ‘typical’ time frame as every client will have different needs but for small and medium businesses a rough guide would be around 2 – 6 weeks.

4. Awards Won / Published Work

Have they won any awards for their work? Is their work published in any books or magazines? How recognised are they in the industry?

5. A Strong Portfolio

How strong is their portfolio?   What is the make up of real to ‘fake’ logo designs? When I say ‘fake logos’ I refer to the logos made for fictional companies, rather than for real clients.

Ink Drops

6. Price

The costs of the service is usually quite evident of what you are going to receive. In most cases, you will get what you pay for but don’t take price as the only indication.

How much does a logo design actually cost? In my experience, this is the most frequently asked question and the hardest to answer. This is because every company has different needs… the best approach is to draw up a customised quote for each individual client.

7. Design Affiliations

Are they affiliated with any design associations or publications? This is a good indication of how dedicated they are to their craft though is not at all essential.

As an example, I am a member of NAPP – The National Association of Photoshop Professionals and Logo Lounge, an online gallery for logo design professionals. Other affiliations could be AIGA, HOW or even a local design group.

8. Great Customer Service

Do they respond to your emails quickly? How do they communicate & present themselves? A designer should provide great customer service throughout the whole process, from the initial email right through to after sales support.

9. Business Professionalism

Attention to detail, trustworthiness, strong communication skills and time management are all vital and go hand in hand with great customer service.

10. Appropriate Questions

A designer should ask a variety of questions to find out your needs in relation to your business goals. Questions should revolve around the companies history, target market, competitors, company goals, etc. For an example of the questions asked, check out my logo design questionnaire.

In summary

These are 10 things you should take into account when choosing a logo designer:

  1. Proven Success & Experience
  2. Positive Testimonials
  3. A Thorough Design Process
  4. Awards & Published Work
  5. A Strong Portfolio
  6. Price
  7. Design Affiliations
  8. Great Customer Service
  9. Business Professionalism
  10. Appropriate Questions

10 Personal Branding Tips to Help Improve Your Online Presence

Operating a brand via social media takes a lot of time and dedication. Your goal is to reach a lot of people while simultaneously putting a good face to your brand.

You want to grow your business in multiple facets, from your bottom line to your overall reputation. This not only takes commitment and an intelligent approach to marketing, but it also requires you to bepersonal in your branding.

A humanized brand is a fan-friendly brand. Showing that there are actual people behind that page and in charge of your company will make you a lot more appealing to a lot more people. Here are some tips on how you can humanize your branding efforts.

1: Work on Engaging Material & Promote Discussion

Reaching out and engaging with your audience should be your goal if you want to come across as more personal. Influencing sharing, encouraging comments and feedback, asking people for their opinions – these are things that come across as fan-friendly, making people feel as if they’re a part of your brand. They get to know you.

Social Butterfly

2: Respond to People Directly

Folks want to engage with you, but you have to engage them back. When you respond to people directly, you’re treating them with respect and showing that your brand has a persona.

As Gary Vaynerchuk once said, “Answer every single email and every single comment on your blog for the rest of your freaking life.”

I also make an effort to reply to nearly all my emails, though as many of you know this can not always be a reality.

3: Be Visual

Take advantage of photos (see my sidebar & about page) and videos (see my TED talk) to show people a lot more about your brand. Behind-the-scenes glimpses of office life might seem boring to you, but they’re a window into the world of your business to outsiders. The same goes with different events and gatherings.

Picture Frame

4: Show Transparency

Figuring out what it is that your brand represents and what your business does may be interesting to your audience. Remaining transparent allows people to actually know about your brand rather than knowing of it.

5: Add a Blog

Another great way you can show a very personal side is to create a blog and link it within your network. This can be a business-based blog, but the content on it can deal with a more personal side of your dealings, such as expansions, news about employees, updates, and anything else that gives people a peek through the curtain. 

Curtain Peek

6: Participate in the Experience

Facebook & LinkedIn have different groups, events and other social features that you should join to allow the human element to show through. It doesn’t mean that you have to be an active participant in the group (though this is recommended), you just have to show your willingness to network in a social atmosphere. Others will find you if are there, not so much if you’re not!

As an example I provide a Facebook fanpage, personal profile, aLinkedIn Group and subscribe to multiple pages and groups within these platforms. I don’t participate in all of them but they do show up on my profiles as be associated with them.

7: Have a Solid Identity

Speaking with one consistent voice is something that’s important for your social media marketing strategy. When you think about a personal, humanized brand, you should be thinking about the business coming across as if an actual person is operating it, not as if there’s a system back there just churning out material based on freshly mined data.

8: Move Past the Product

Your main goal as a business is obviously to move a product or service, but you cannot allow this to be your primary focus. Once people are actually in the funnel, you can worry about advertising and sinking the hook. For branding purposes, it’s about appealing to a niche, not about selling to one.

Personal Touch

9: Add a Personal Touch

Believe it or not, it’s very easy to add a personal touch to your advertising. You can find a lot of personal data on sites like Facebook & LinkedIn, and you can target specific users. Taking the time to send someone a personal message, or even being personal with your fans in a group message, shows a lot of character. Using names helps a lot too.

Also, if you’re going to use Facebook ads considering using Facebook ad management tools, like Qwaya and know how tooptimize your images for those ads.

10: Put the Effort In

If you’re using sites like Twitter and Facebook to post a lot of content, make sure that you’re actually putting the effort in torelease quality content. Content that looks like it was spewed out of an automation machine is material that’s likely to be ignored or looked at unfavorably by fans.


Design Books

In this two part series I outline some great design and business related books that I have read & highly recommend. I give a short insight of each book, along with suggestions on who it may be for and the official product description.

Find part two here.

How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer

By Debbie Millman


This is a book for any designer that wants to get into the heads of the leading industry professionals. An entertaining & thought provoking look on the world of design via the use of interviews. One topic that comes up quite a bit is that of design consumerism.

Product Description:

In a series of illuminating and entertaining conversations, twenty-one of today’s most influential and revered designers discuss, celebrate, and analyze their craft. Adeptly interviewed by brand consultant and talk show host Debbie Millman, these designers reveal their early influences, day-to-day rituals, enthusiasms, aspirations, and failures. For pop-culture enthusiasts as well as long time designers, students and those just starting their careers, this book will prove an invaluable guide to the history, controversies, milestones, and everyday foibles of working, living, and thinking as a graphic designer. How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer includes interviews with:

Milton Glaser, Paula Scher, Peter Saville, Chip Kidd, Stefan Sagmeister, Michael Bierut, Carin Goldberg, Neville Brody, Emily Oberman & Bonnie Siegler, James Victore, John Maeda, Paul Sahre, Jessica Helfand, Seymour Chwast, Lucille Tenazas, Vaughan Oliver, Steff Geissbuhler, Stephen Doyle Abbott Miller, Massimo Vignelli

How To Be A Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul

By Adrian Shaughnessy


Anyone entering into the field of graphic design, either coming out of school or embarking on a career solo, should read this book. It doesn’t mess with what the best typefaces are, or any software tricks. Instead, it lets you in on how designers think, and how to be successful in your endeavors. A foreword written by Sagmeister himself, along with interviews with other “rock star” designers, make this book simply amazing. ~Ben Waxler

Product Description:

Designers are quick to tell us about their sources of inspiration, but they are much less willing to reveal such critical matters as how to find work, how much they charge, and what to do when a client rejects three weeks of work and refuses to pay the bill.

How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul addresses the concerns of young designers who want to earn a living by doing expressive and meaningful work, and who want to avoid becoming hired drones working on soulless projects.

Written by a designer for designers, it combines practical advice with philosophical guidance to help young professionals embark on their careers. How should designers manage the creative process? What’s the first step in the successful interpretation of a brief? How do you generate ideas when everything just seems blank? How to be a graphic designer offers clear, concise guidance for these questions, along with focused, no-nonsense strategies for setting up, running, and promoting a studio, finding work, and collaborating with clients.

The book also includes inspiring interviews with ten leading designers, including Rudy VanderLans (Emigre), John Warwicker (Tomato), Neville Brody (Research Studios), and Andy Cruz (House Industries). All told, How to be a graphic designer covers just about every aspect of the profession, and stands as an indispensable guide for any young designer.

How To Be A Rockstar Freelancer*

By Cyan & Collis Ta’eed


This book is for anyone that is wishing to be a great freelancer (not just a designer), either part or full time. It deals with everything from starting your business, finding your first clients, and even expansion. A must read for any freelancer in my opinion… it’s from the guys over at Envato. Ensure you have a notepad handy when you read it as you get many ideas while reading it! *Affiliate

Product Description:

This is a real nuts and bolts guide to building a career as a freelancer online, with subjects ranging from managing your budget and handling multiple clients to diversifying your interests. Written by Collis and Cyan Ta’eed of the FreelanceSwitch blog site, it won’t tell you how to make your millions but its practical, straightforward advice will give you a good start. ~Net Magazine

Graphic Design as a Second Language

By Bob Gill


This book is aimed mainly at students and teachers of design, and those that wish to improve their design solutions through a better design process. Gill shows us through simple methods, how one can redefine a “problem” to find a superior solution. A very quick and thought provoking read… many illustrations and not many words.

Product Description:

This publication is part of the Handson Graphics series – an exciting and unique collection exploring the work of respected and highly talented international designers. The books in this series are primarily aimed at students and teachers of design. However they also provide an invaluable resource for all those interested in graphic design. The content is international, collectable and accessible to all. Bob Gill’s Graphic Design as a Second Language is a practical and palatable educational resource, aimed at students of graphic design. It provides a comprehensive package of the fundamentals of design, offering an important insight into how to develop original work.

Losing My Virginity: Autobiography

By Sir Richard Branson


This book is for any entrepreneur that wants a look into one of the world’s most successful businessmen. Richard really lets it all go in this book, revealing his philosophy on business, branding and life. A great read for those that seek motivation in life and for those that want to see how he managed to succeed – it reads like a novel so it is a good book for the bedside table.

Product Description:

Losing My Virginity is the ultimate tale of personal and business survival from a man who combines the business prowess of Bill Gates and the promotional instincts of P. T. Barnum.

Logo Design Workbook: A Hands-On Guide

By Noreen Morioka, Terry Stone & Sean Adams


This is a must read for anyone that has to deal with logo designs on a regular or irregular basis. The book has many examples and case studies that help you become a better logo designer which is achieved by answering the question of “what makes a logo design work”. A very procise, easy to read and well laid out book.

Product Description:

Logo Design Workbook focuses on creating powerful logo designs and answers the question, “What makes a logo work?”

In the first half of this book, authors Sean Adams and Noreen Morioka walk readers step-by-step through the entire logo-development process. Topics include developing a concept that communicates the right message and is appropriate for both the client and the market; defining how the client’s long-term goals might affect the look and needs of the mark; choosing colors and typefaces; avoiding common mistakes; and deciphering why some logos are successful whereas others are not.

The second half of the book comprises in-depth case studies on logos designed for various industries. Each case study explores the design brief, the relationship with the client, the time frame, and the results.

All Designers Must Know About

1 Spunk United

An excellent magazine with a selection of the worlds best artists providing inspiration, interviews, articles and more.

Spunk United

2 FreeLance Switch (No longer active)

The community site of reference for all freelances. You must know this one!

Freelance Switch

3 Computer Arts

The site of the excellent international magazine Computer Arts. I have subscribed to this mag and love it!

Computer Arts

4 David Airey

A graphic and logo designer who shares his knowledge on these areas.

David Airey

5 Behance

A site gathering the portfolios of the artists of the whole world, a true inspiration.

Behance Network

6 Pdf Mags

References all the PDF mags out there! A great resource.

PDF Mags

7 Graphic Design Forum (no longer running).

The most active of the graphic design forums out there. A bit more focused for the beginner designer.

Graphic Design Forum

8 Design Is Kinky

An Australia site focused purely on design news and design in general. Stay up to date!

Design Is Kinky

9 Freelance Folder

A community blog which posts regular articles on freelancing. Very diverse.

Freelance Folder

10 Bittbox

Provides regular resources for design… tutorials, brushes, vectors and more!


11 Vandelay Webdesign

Vandelay Webdesign

Provides very social media friendly articles, large resource lists and tips for web designers.

12 You The Designer

Very complete and diverse range of articles on graphic design.

Computer Arts the U.K.

13 Design You Trust

A daily design magazine, blog and small community, full of new design trends, news and events, great design portfolios and hand-picked design stuff from all over the globe.

24 Ways