Designers pride themselves on their execution. But the licensing model requires you to be willing to relinquish some control. There are enormous benefits — and self-employment is freeing.
This month marks the beginning of a time most of us in the creative freelance world dread: tax season. Back in my first year as a bona fide freelancer just out of school, I simply totaled up my invoices for the year and lumped them onto line 21 of my form 1040 ("other income"). It took two years for the IRS write me a sternly worded letter about this not
Every cycling enthusiast dreams of ordering a custom frame, made to fit their specific dimensions and riding style. Based in South Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, Firefly Bicycles have been fulfilling the dreams of a dedicated client base since 2011. They produce around 120 bikes a year, and will build any style
Congratulations, you've made it to 2017. Last year was a rollercoaster ride and it's safe to say we all deserve a pat on the back for getting through it. With each new year comes new opportunities. We're not talking short-term resolutions - we're talking goals to make big things happen.
Some of us still earn our livings making physical things, putting them in boxes and sending them out of the building. Professional furniture making ends not with the last coat of wax, but with shipping whatever you made out of the workshop. We have dozens of cabinet shops in our
Have you ever wanted to search for existing or expired design patents not only in your own country, but in the countries where you'd like to sell your designs? A website called DesignView has wrangled together the design patent databases of 45 countries, plus the ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property
I'm pretty clueless as a businessman; my background is in tools, computers and mechanical engineering. So I read a lot of books on sales, marketing, and running a business. My favorites are first-hand accounts, and the old books are the most interesting to me. Right now I'm reading "Forty
Back in May we pointed out the central design flaw in China's Transit Elevated Bus concept, which is meant to straddle two lanes of traffic like a catamaran. Nevertheless, we were amazed when they built a prototype in August and began running trials; it spoke of both the will to
Self-driving Teslas and beer delivery trucks are cool. They will also contribute to the obliteration of an entire class of jobs, with a cascading effect; if truck drivers disappear, there's no need for the things truck drivers spend their money on between points A and B. "Truck stop waitress" is
The Atlantic's ongoing "Inside Jobs" series lets you "hear what American workers have to say about their jobs" in candid terms. So far they've got folks from 103 different professions, everything from deliverypersons to CEOs, delivering answers to give you a sense of what their work lives are like.
There's nothing like meeting someone to face to face, but obviously, you can't rely on trade shows exclusively to license your ideas for new products. They're yearly events! Whereas—especially given how important speed to market has become— embracing a sense of urgency will serve you well. That's where LinkedIn comes
Whenever someone's referred to as the "architect of destruction" of a particular thing, that person is rarely an actual architect. Except, of course, in the case of the Death Star's architect; last year we heard him mount an impassioned defense of his design for that ill-advised exhaust port. Now for
A setback I experienced as an industrial designer: Getting really good at a particular CAD package or Photoshop rendering technique, then having my entire bag of tricks become obsolete with new packages. To put it in hockey terms, I was the dummy who was always focused on where the puck
Let's be honest: Companies can be prone to making some very questionable branding decisions. As many business owners may be familiar with, there is no magic formula for executing this daunting task of giving your company a voice—in fact, branding fiascos nowadays have become so familiar they become rich parody
Have you ever wondered what it would take to start your own design studio? Despite all of the open-source information for a variety of subjects available on YouTube and Reddit, it's still a topic that lacks instructional transparency. HAWRAF, a very newly formed New York based studio housed in NEW
If there's one thing we Americans love, it's spewing hyperbole. It's our own personally-generated clickbait. And with every Presidential election, a segment of the population swears they'll move out of the country if the other candidate wins. They never do move, of course. But that hasn't stopped Swedish creative agency
I need some help, dear readers. As I'm outlining projects I want to build in future semesters of The Hand Tool School, as well as future projects on my Renaissance Woodworker site, I have come across a design conundrum: Technically everything I do both on my free RW site and
Last month we wrote about American Field, a traveling pop-up event that showcases "the best of American-made brands." Since some of you entrepreneurs in our readership could benefit from getting a booth at AF's events, we broke down the numbers in their post-event reviews, to give you a rough idea
Want a reminder that simple, beautiful, problem-solving design changes the world? Well, too bad. Instead, look at this golf club that's also a portable urinal. Sometimes I research old TV advertised products to learn about unexpected consumer "needs" I've never considered. When there's-got-to-be-a-better-way there's a fifty-fifty chance I've got no
For jaded designers and/or consumers, it's tough to get excited over Google's new products, as they're all derivative of existing offerings. There are some incremental improvements: The Pixel phone can reportedly gain 7 hours worth of battery life off of a measly 15-minute charge, for instance. But taking a close
There was a lot of talk in the '80s and '90s about the paperless office. As personal computers began to proliferate, we were told, paper would go away. We now know the opposite happened, and that we use more paper than ever. Similarly, in design schools of the '90s, one
As helpful as school can be, there are many topics design programs fail to breach—particularly in the realm of operating within the professional sectors of the design world. On our discussion boards, Core77 moderator Mr-914 recently brought up an apt point about a subject no design student would
Please circulate this among your friends who are not industrial designers. Because just when we think an awareness of our role has finally permeated society, we see we've still got a ways to go. Take, for example, the rash of "How Much Does It Cost to Make an iPhone?" videos.
For over a decade, the team behind PAX Labs has been steadily reimagining what it means to vape. Once a novelty confined to the fringes of smoking culture, vaporizing has emerged in recent years as a more refined experience for those who enjoy loose leaf pleasures and e-cigarettes mainstream
In the midst of quitting a 9-to-5 to start a business, I'm sure many who have gone this route underestimated all of the details one must be aware of for the ship to run smoothly—how to get the word out to possible clients, the best way to invoice so you
Just above the office of Tina Roth Eisenberg's startup Tattly is a haven for freelancers that bears no resemblance to the spiritless, sterile co-working spaces around the city. "There are a lot of very non-supportive and really sad co-working spaces", says Eisenberg, "now it's like everybody opens a co-working space
These days there are plenty of incubator programs promising an express ride for founders from fuzzy idea to the promised land of venture capital. But of the options, very few have targeted designers, recognizing the unique skill set that design practitioners bring to the world of entrepreneurship. In 2014, Google
Minimalism is everything. EVERYTHING. But how do you bravely cut the clutter and cords from your life when your old phone still technically works? The heroic and forward-marching minds at Nicer Studio have studied Apple's technological advances and come up with a fittingly elegant solution. Meet the Apple Plug. With
Every now and then a product comes out where the sheer thrill of its existence is quickly replaced by a sense of horror that it took so long for something like it to come about in the first place. Such was the case with FLEX, a new kind of
When we asked "How practical is the Shaper Origin" and invited you to ask questions, we knew Shaper would answer them. But we didn't know they'd go the extra mile and answer with video demonstrations! Here the team tackles the things that are better shown than written. We've
If you watch our Job Boards, you know that Lego was looking for a Senior Design Director this summer. As it turns out, that one job was just a drop in the bucket: The company has been on a hiring spree this year, picking up over 3,500 new employees in
Apple's new iPhones don't have the 3.5mm jack. Neither does Motorola's Moto Z. Get over it. These companies, and others in China, ditched the standard jack for a very simple reason: It's obsolete, and it's going away. Intel's been pushing their USB-C standard as the best choice for a replacement,
An Industrial Designer's Dream Scenario: You're heading up the design team for a technologically-sophisticated, big-ticket item. You got a team of engineers, industrial designers and UX guys all working in the same building, alongside a top-notch prototyping shop. A crucial parts supplier is right down the street. So is the factory.
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