And we published more than a hundred articles. These were your favorites.
1. A love letter to my website
Back in the day (not that long ago), having your own website was a point of pride. We could own our little corner of the internet and, with a little HTML & CSS magic, make it whatever we wanted it to be. Today, we simply post our work to external social media sites and design platforms where we have zero ownership – of the presentation, of our privacy, of our own work. This article is an ode to personal websites, and a call for designers to claim their corner of the internet again.
2. What leading companies never want to see in your portfolio
We’ve interviewed dozens of the top creative companies and studios through our How to Get a Job at X series, including Pentagram, Nike, Spotify, Disney and more. And with every interview, we ask this question: “What do you want to see more in designers’ portfolios? What do you wish you never saw again?”
The difference between experienced designers and designers early in their career is easy to spot. If you’ve been designing for several years, you might recognize personal growth in some of these areas since you first began. And if you’re just getting started as a designer, these are a few traits to aspire to.
4. How to make a portfolio when your work can’t be shared
Designers often procrastinate on their portfolio not because they don’t have great work to share, but because they’re not allowed to share it. Depending on the company or nature of your work, you may have signed contracts making it difficult to talk about what you do. It’s still possible, and important, to create a portfolio anyway. Here are some ways to go about it.
Many designers dream about going freelance for its many touted benefits – a flexible schedule, lack of commute and ownership over the work being some of them. This article looks at the other side of the coin, the not-so-glamorous truths about living the freelance life.
This is a personal one, in which I reveal a product I’ve been quietly working on (one you might already be familiar with) for the better part of 2019. If you’re curious about what I’ve been up to and what I see ahead for my work in 2020, you can catch up here.
7. How to ask good questions in a magazine interview
If you’ve ever interviewed someone, you know it’s difficult to think of good questions. And if you’ve ever been interviewed, you’ve probably been asked the same, boring “tell me how you got to where you are today” questions over and over again, which rarely prompt scintillating answers. After being on both sides of editorial interviews for the last few years, we've learned how to write questions that make an interview enjoyable for your readers, and the person you're interviewing.
8. Your first 3D design tutorial with Adobe Dimension
My team had almost zero experience designing in 3D before this year. Then we started playing around Adobe Dimension and were so impressed with it (and ourselves) that we reached out to Adobe asking if they wanted to partner with us on a series of tutorials. We’ve heard from dozens of people about this specific tutorial, as it helped designers do the kind of work they previously only admired from afar.
9. How one tool changed the way we work with clients
We just launched our partnerships program this year and have been honored to work with some of our favorite creative brands and products already. Figma, our team’s current design tool of choice, was one of the first. Here we shared how Figma has allowed us to be better at collaborating with clients and presenting our work.
We’ve all known this person at work. The one who speaks Buzzword as a first language. The person who talks in circles until we agree with them just to end the conversation. The one who has the clients nodding and your teammates worshipping at their feet without actually doing much of anything. The one who infuriates and somehow intimidates us because sometimes, we wonder if they might actually be as superior as they think they are.
As always, we aim to be useful. To not put more noise into the world but write articles that motivate you, make you curious or help you get even better at your creative work. What do you want us to write about in 2020? Who should we interview? Do you have a product you think our audience might find useful? Send a tweet to @thedeskmagazine or an email to email@example.com and we'll do our best to make it happen.
Hi, I'm Tobias, a German designer living in New York. I'm the author of this blog, nice to meet you!