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How to be a successful designer

I’ve been remarking elsewhere on the Web this week that I’ve discovered the secret to winning projects. Can you guess? It’s not stunning talent (although that helps), or top-notch crew, or the best darn CAD programming ever.

Gather ’round, new designers; are you ready?


If you think I’m joking, I met a couple last week who were so tired of meeting people who didn’t do any of the above, that the project practically fell into my lap, complete with a bow and glitter.

Design is nothing without solid business practices. And just so you know, I’m not shiny and perfect and make great choices all the time. (We will pause while I laugh … Okay, I’m good now.) Which brings me to the next piece.  If you don’t do any of the above, call.  Rational people understand we are capable of making mistakes.

Don't worry, be happ--prepared. And avoid big red pencils

Don’t worry, be happ–prepared. And avoid big red pencils

I’m sure some of you out there have tales to tell….

Until next time,



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  1. Seems a no-brainer but since it had to said – or more accurately, written – apparently, and sadly, not. My reaction is, “You can’t be bothered with me? Well, I can’t be bothered with you!” So far, I’ve been fortunate enough not to start a project with someone who flakes out on me.

    What you wrote is true in any profession. My editors loved me because I delivered well-researched articles on time. I remember apologizing once when I turned something in first thing the morning after it was due because I had been waiting for someone to get back to me to confirm a detail. My editor said, “You’re not late. I’ve had writers turn articles in weeks behind schedule.” Weeks?! And here I was, freaking out about a few hours.