Category: Educational

Brainstorming Beyond the Obvious

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Here are some brainstorming methods we use to come up with creative ideas for our projects. Hopefully this will help you (more…)

WordPress – Is it Right for You?

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

If you’re shopping around for a website you’ll hear many companies try to sell you a WordPress site. WordPress is one of many Content Management Systems (CMS) available and it’s (more…)

Interview with a Student

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Paul Kiesche Design is often contacted by students for advice on careers in graphic design. PKD was recently contacted by a Senior Graphic Design student from (more…)

Design Business Interview

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

A college student recently interviewed me for her class and I thought I’d share with all of you.

1. How did this / your design firm or agency get started? What did it take and when did it begin?

The company started as a freelance business while I worked a full time job. 3 ½ years ago I quit my full–time job to commit to the company. It took everything I had. Lots of time, experience and trial and error.

2. What should a designer know (skills and technology) to get a freelance position in the field?

You must have the Basics of design and art along with good knowledge of all the leading design programs such as InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and Dreamweaver. It’s best to get an internship, so it shows you have some experience. There is too much risk hiring someone with no experience.

3. As a business manager or owner, what qualities do you look for in a freelance designer or production artist?

Experience so I can trust them to do a good job. Quality work that is not just repeating what has already been done. Being local is a little important so we can meet up or work internally if needed. Personality is always important as you are working side by side in a small company.

4. When dealing with clients, what are some ways the agency helps the client understand what was designed and what costs are involved?

Everything is written in a clear proposal before work is initiated so there is no missed expectations.

5. How many people does it take to run the agency or design firm?

One. But you need to know a whole lot.

6. What does the agency do to market or sell its services?

Some mailings, a website, enewsletter, networking, and more random things.

7. What size company did you start out as?

Originally, just me

8. Do you have any advice to someone wanting to start to their own design business?

Save at least 6 months salary before. Plan, Plan, Plan. And gain a lot of experience first.

9. What has been your greatest challenge in business?

Changing from a Designer to a business owner. They are very different from each other and it’s easy to underestimate what it takes to be a business owner.

The College Question

Monday, August 4th, 2008

I get lots of young creatives asking for advice about what college or type of college they should go to. How does it affect them getting a job? Do employers care?

Yes it matters. Yes the employers care.

I teach in an Associates program (2 year degree) at a community college. It’s a good program, but it only teaches about half of what you need. It’s a great start to a 4 year school. It’s like a crash course compared to a 4 year institution. Many people go to 2 year schools and get good jobs, but employers are much more interested in a 4 year degree. Business schools seem to teach even less basic courses and focus on getting you work. Many of the people in the hiring positions of companies have degrees from good 4 year schools. They know what they learned and want you to have the same education.

When hiring someone with no experience, school is one of the only things to go by. Usually the better the school’s reputation, the better the candidate is, but certainly not always. I would suggest sending your resume with a couple of samples of work if you want people to think of your work before your education. I have worked for several companies that only hire from the top 3 schools. They wouldn’t even touch a 2 year school, but that is only at the very high level. Also, once you get some work experience your education will matter less and less. It’s good to do an internship so you get some experience on your resume.

Your portfolio only matters if you can get in the door and show it. Another important thing is to do a simple website portfolio so they can see it quick and get an idea for your work. It is much more likely for them to see the online portfolio, because they don’t have to waste their time bringing you in for an interview if you are bad.

I went to a 2 year community college and then transferred to a 4 year university. Because transferring credits became difficult I went to school for a total of 5 years. I took a lot from both schools and they both heavily contributed to my success. I believe I made the right choice for me. I do not believe I could be where I am and have the level of quality I do, if I didn’t go to both schools.

Research your schools and the professors. The school is the professors so make sure they are people you respect. The better the schools reputation, the better chance you have of getting a better job. That school will also have better connections that can help you get great jobs.

Workshops and Seminars

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

Every year I’m asked to give workshops at schools, libraries, arts festivals, business organizations. It’s very exciting to be part of the events.