Computer Arts Presents…


Recently I purchased these three magazines from my work, WHsmiths. The magazines feature: Portfolio, Freelance and Design studio advice for working designers- including top tips and sharing useful creative websites. I have thoroughly read through each magazine and have found them very interesting. I still frequently look back to the magazines whenever I face a new challenge as they can be quite resourceful. For this post, I intend to share with you what I think the key tips are that Computer Arts presents.

The Portfolio Handbook

  • A portfolio should never be finished, it is an ongoing procedure.
  • Think quality, not quantity.
  • Keep your folio fresh and updated.
  • Bare in mind who may see your folio; know your audience.
  • Never include lots of writing, only caption your work.
  • Digital portfolios are very useful in today’s society.
  • Behance is the best website for an online portfolio.
  • If using a digital folio, get it seen. Share it with social media.
  • Dribble is a good website for creatives to share work.
  • It is still important to have a physical portfolio
  • Less is more when it comes to content; 10-12 projects should be enough.
  • Keep your presentation clean and easy on the eye.
  • Blurb is a fantastic website for printing portfolios
  • Prepare yourself for presenting your folio.
  • Be passionate when talking about your projects.
  • AIGA is a good website for advice on presenting your portfolio.

The Freelance Handbook

  • To be successful, you must do your research before going Freelance.
  • Are you going solo or a company?
  • Part time or full time?
  • The best countries for Freelance work are: United Kingdom (London), United States (NYC), Germany (Berlin) and The Netherlands (Amsterdam.
  • Improve your profile by having a portfolio on a showcasing website such as Behance.
  • Join competitions and look for work.
  • Use Social media to promote yourself.
  • Freelance life can be lonely and expensive; ensure it is for you.
  • Creative Bloq is a inspiring and resourceful website.
  • Draw up a business plan.
  • Don’t be desperate.
  • Prepare yourself for clients; you need to have good communication skills.
  • Always look for new skills.
  • is a great website for software tutorials.
  • Brush up on your business skills.
  • Create contracts and get your billing right for your clients.
  • Don’t start anything until your client has signed the contract.
  • Accountants are useful but expensive. There are a number of apps to help you financially organise.
  • Being self-employed, it is important to look after your well being.

The Design Studio Handbook

  • Which is the best legal framework for structuring your studio?
  • Sole Trader, Limited Company, Limited Partnership or Form a Collective?
  • Create a Business plan demonstrating how your studio will sit in the industry.
  • Partnerships work very effectively, with the right partner.
  • Starting a business can be pricey, but there are loans and grants to apply for.
  •  Getting an accountant would be beneficial
  • Location is important, think about what suits you best and bare in mind your clients.
  • Create a website- brand yourself.
  • Get paid faster with clever invoicing.
  • Time management is essential.
  • Create a list of your dream clients.
  • Pitch like a pro and practice your presenting.
  • Build a team with a great work ethic.
  • Interns are valuable team members, so treat them well.
  • Avoid being stressed by being ahead of the game.
  • For any advice about starting up your own business, companies house is a useful website.