Don’t under sell yourself. Choose to work on projects you’ll enjoy when possible. Embrace change – Adam Flanagan designer.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently very fortunate to be working on projects I genuinely enjoy – a variety of exciting new brand identity and website projects.
How do you manage your time as a graphic designer?
It’s very easy to fall in to the trap of biting off more than you chew. It’s important to manage time effectively and allow yourself time to to do the things you enjoy and also working on business development rather than constantly working in your business. My biggest advice to other freelancers would be to not take on too much at one time. Projects inevitably run over more time than estimated or personal commitments pop up – don’t overload your schedule if you want to stay sane!
How would you describe your personality and how do these characteristics help you when you meet clients / when you’re designing?
I see myself as an adventurous, down to earth person. I’m very trusting and pride myself on being transparent and honest in all aspects of life. I’m passionate about my work and hobbies, I’m very ambitious, meticulous, and particular of how I want things to be. I’ve noticed that clients generally feel very comfortable, trusting and confident that I’ll deliver what I say.
What kind of briefs or projects are your favourite?
I typically enjoy working with small to medium sized businesses and working on their brand identity and website design from start to finish. This could be for a new brand or rebrand, I love having creative control over the whole brand and working with like minded clients.
What advice can you give a client so their brief results in your best work / how do you like to be briefed?
I always try to understand a clients business inside and out. What the companies values are, ambitions, culture and ultimately why the company exists and how it helps it’s customers.
Describe your ideal brief or project.
A brand identity for a company that has common interest and values to myself. Ideally for a product or service that relates to my lifestyle and interests. I’m massively in to snowboarding, travel, music, food, wine, exercise, interior design, architecture and fashion.
How do you typically start a new project?
Communication with the client, gathering as much information as possible from them and then research, research and more research. It’s the most important part of any project, collecting ideas, making sure that you’re positioning your design work and style appropriately for the audience.
How would you describe your design style?
Clean, crisp, considered and relevant.
Where do you go for design inspiration?
Inspiration comes from many outlets. If I’m naming websites; Pinterest and Behance are always my first port of call. If I’m about and about I try to collect as many brochures, leaflets, cards, take pictures of retail design etc.
What’s the thing you enjoy most about graphic design and branding? Which brief or project has given you the most satisfaction so far?
The most satisfying thing is knowing that you’ve put 100% in to a project and both yourself and the client are happy with the outcome.
What areas of your work are you hoping to explore in future?
Consultancy, art direction and Experience design. I’d like to be seen as a well established expert in my field.
How do you manage your needs with the needs of the client?
Every project is a 2 way street. In order to complete a project effectively or to get the best result, both myself and the client need to have equal involvement and enthusiasm toward the task in hand.
What are your favourite techniques, tools, books?
The usual design programmes but keeping to-do lists through Evernote is a life saver.
What are the tools you couldn’t live without?
My Bialetti coffee maker.
What are your 5 favourite sites online?
Do you think it’s important to be able to draw as a designer?
Not necessarily – it depends on what you’re designing. I’ve always been a sub par artist, I’ve drawn a few things where I’ve surprised myself but in all honesty I’m no artist.
What do you do to keep your ideas fresh?
Exercise and a healthy lifestyle are something I swear by. I notice the difference immediately in my output and creativity if I stop these things. To be more specific, staying up to date with whats going on in the design world. It’s important to keep changing your approach to work, always strive to improve from one project to the next.
I generally look at top design agencies work and strive to continually improve the quality and standard of my own projects.
What’s the last thing that made you say ‘wow’?
Breath taking views of the Alps. There’s nothing better than exploring and going on an adventure to recharge the batteries to get the creative juices flowing.
What are you passionate about besides your work?
Building a lifestyle – I want to be in control of my lifestyle and building the life I want. I’m very passionate about working with other ambitious individuals looking to start their own businesses and to encourage others to follow their passion. I love seeing people build something for themselves or doing something they genuinely enjoy rather than just working for a pay cheque and getting no enjoyment out of their job.
Have you any advice for aspiring designers?
Stay optimistic, ambitious, focused, persevere and break out of your comfort zone!
What are your best methods for finding and attracting clients?
I’ve never really had to try too hard, when I first started I took whatever work I could get. it’s only recently that I’ve been able to be picky with projects and choose work I actually enjoy. All of my enquiries are from my website or word of mouth and I’ve done little to no marketing.
You’re a freelance graphic designer, what advice would you give to someone starting out on how to find clients?
Strike while the iron’s hot. Explore a variety of projects and find which ones you enjoy most, then find your niche.
What top tip can you give to any freelance graphic designer?
Don’t under sell yourself. Choose to work on projects you’ll enjoy when possible. Embrace change, there’s nothing worse than your methods and work becoming stagnant and outdated!
Get in touch with Adam at www.adamflanagandesign.com