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5 Fantastic Hacks for Designers

5 Fantastic Hacks for Designers

We have found some new sites that can greatly add to your design business. Each one was tried and they all are promising depending on your needs. And best of all they are free. Give them a try and please let us know what you think.

1. Office Hours

This is a great resource if you need to ask someone from their field a question about a project you are working on or about some burning issue you still can’t resolve.

How does it work…simple. Sign up for free. Then review the advisors list to see who matches your requirements to answer your questions. Look over their credentials and you can also check out their website to learn and see more about them.


You can find freelancers, content strategists, product development, front end developers, mobile app and more. You can even sign-up yourself to give someone your professional advice to help them out.
Next you look over the available schedule and choose the date and time to ‘book’ them for your questions. You will be asked what you want to discuss. Prepare your questions in advance because you only get 10 minutes to consult and you want to be prepared and not scrambling around to figure out what to ask. Time is money for you and them.

Oh yeah, have your microphone and headset ready because this is being done live and not as an email, so you actually get to speak to the person. How cool is that, but they are in high demand so you may not find a time slot for that particular person.

Let us know how it went and if you got the answers or help you needed.

2. Frontify

Now this is a real handy tool especially if you need to produce a brand style sheet for a client or yourself. This sit has all the items you need to produce a style sheet with the fonts, colors, images and instructions on using them.

Document and maintain your brand or design guidelines with an online tool. Forget about the time consuming manual creation of PDF style guides. Frontify Style Guide makes professional style guide creation a fast and fun experience.

How can people see the sheets? There are 3 ways:
1. Private. Invite your team to your Style Guide and restrict the access to specific users. Choose between 3 simple access levels: viewer, editor & owner or withdraw previously granted access.
2. Public. If you want to allow access to people without a login, simply generate & share a public link or even a custom domain.
3. Custom. Beside customizing possibilities of your style guide, you can even white label the whole application and request a custom login to match your branding.

You can also export the sheet to a PDF in case you need.

3. Coolors

This is a simple color schemer type site. It has a color generator and you can alter the colors with simple sliders or add the Hex information for exacting colors. Give it a try because it’s free, fun and you never know what you may discover and think “I love that color combination”

Works with Photoshop & Illustrator, Android and IOS.

4. Bonsai

Bulletproof Contracts
Written by top attorneys for Bonsai, our freelance contract templates have everything you need to protect your business. Plus, they’re completely free.

Our contracts cover freelance design and development for things like websites, Android and iOS apps, graphic and UI/UX design. As you can see from the sample below there is a lot of information and it protects you and the client. You can choose Design, Development or design & development contract styles.


We put together a sample contract below to see how simple it was and it was simple. You have to have specific information like company name, costs, dates, addresses, rights, usage. etc., but the contract is set-up according to your state requirements. They claim its bullet proof, but we are not lawyers, so you may want to have someone look at it if you are not sure. Or send them an email question.

Another phase of their setup is for an escrow part. It is in beta at this time, but it works like this. The client adds funds and you get the money when you have satisfied the required milestones. No more fighting to get paid. We have not tired this, so we don’t know any more than what we have written


Design Contract Sample
This Contract is between Acme Products (the “Client”) and Mike Smith (the “Designer”).
The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].
1. Project and Payment
1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Designer to do the following: The designer will produce a brochure using the clients brand colors and typefaces. Images will be provided by the client.
1.2 Schedule. The Designer will begin work on September 9, 2015 and must finish the work by October 9, 2015.
1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Designer a flat fee of $1,500 once the work is finished. Of this, the Client will pay the Designer $500 before work begins.
1.4 Expenses. The Client will reimburse the Designer’s expenses. Expenses must be preapproved by the Client.
1.5 Invoices. The Designer will invoice the Client for work done at the end of the project. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 15 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 5% per month on the outstanding amount.
2. Ownership and Licenses.
2.1 Client Owns All Work Product. As part of this job, the Designer is creating “work product” for the Client. To avoid confusion, work product is the finished product, as well as drafts, notes, materials, mockups, hardware, designs, inventions, patents, code, and anything else that the Designer works on—that is, conceives, creates, designs, develops, invents, works on, or reduces to practice—as part of this project, whether before the date of this Contract or after. The Designer hereby gives the Client this work product once the Client pays for it in full. This means the Designer is giving the Client all of its rights, titles, and interests in and to the work product (including intellectual property rights), and the Client will be the sole owner of it. The Client can use the work product however it wants or it can decide not to use the work product at all. The Client, for example, can modify, destroy, or sell it, as it sees fit.
2.2 Designer’s Use Of Work Product. Once the Designer gives the work product to the Client, the Designer does not have any rights to it, except those that the Client explicitly gives the Designer here. The Client gives the Designer permission to use the work product as part of the Designer’s portfolio and websites, in galleries, and in other media, so long as it is to showcase the Designer’s work and not for any other purpose. The Designer is not allowed to sell or otherwise use the work product to make money or for any other commercial use. The Client is not allowed to take back this license, even after the Contract ends.
2.3 Credit For The Work Product. The Client will give credit to the Designer each time it publishes the work product.
2.4 Designer’s Help Securing Ownership. Down the road, the Client may need the Designer’s help to show that the Client owns the work product or to complete the transfer. The Designer agrees to help with that. For example, the Designer may have to sign a patent application. The Client will pay any required expenses for this. If the Client can’t find the Designer, the Designer agrees that the Client can act on the Designer’s behalf to accomplish the same thing. The following language gives the Client that right: if the Client can’t find the Designer after spending reasonable effort trying to do so, the Designer hereby irrevocably designates and appoints the Client as the Designer’s agent and attorney-in-fact, which appointment is coupled with an interest, to act for the Designer and on the Designer’s behalf to execute, verify, and file the required documents and to take any other legal action to accomplish the purposes of paragraph 2.1 (Client Owns All Work Product).
2.5 Designer’s IP That Is Not Work Product. During the course of this project, the Designer might use intellectual property that the Designer owns or has licensed from a third party, but that does not qualify as “work product.” This is called “background IP.” Possible examples of background IP are pre-existing code, type fonts, properly-licensed stock photos, and web application tools. The Designer is not giving the Client this background IP. But, as part of the Contract, the Designer is giving the Client a right to use and license (with the right to sublicense) the background IP to develop, market, sell, and support the Client’s products and services. The Client may use this background IP worldwide and free charge, but it cannot transfer its rights to the background IP (except as allowed in Section 13.1 (Assignment)). The Client cannot sell or license the background IP separately from its products or services. The Designer cannot take back this grant, and this grant does not end when the Contract is over.
2.6 Designer’s Right To Use Client IP. The Designer may need to use the Client’s intellectual property to do its job. For example, if the Client is hiring the Designer to build a website, the Designer may have to use the Client’s logo. The Client agrees to let the Designer use the Client’s intellectual property and other intellectual property that the Client controls to the extent reasonably necessary to do the Designer’s job. Beyond that, the Client is not giving the Designer any intellectual property rights, unless specifically stated otherwise in this Contract.

(We have removed all the information in this section because it is way too long for this page)

11.5 Severability. This section deals with what happens if a portion of the Contract is found to be unenforceable. If that’s the case, the unenforceable portion will be changed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable, unless that change is not permitted by law, in which case the portion will be disregarded. If any portion of the Contract is changed or disregarded because it is unenforceable, the rest of the Contract is still enforceable.
11.6 Signatures. The Client and the Designer must sign this document using Bonsai’s e-signing system. These electronic signatures count as originals for all purposes.
11.7 Governing Law. The laws of the state of Florida govern the rights and obligations of the Client and the Designer under this Contract, without regard to conflict of law principles of that state.
11.8 Entire Contract. This Contract represents the parties’ final and complete understanding of this job and the subject matter discussed in this Contract. This Contract supersedes all other contracts (both written and oral) between the parties.
Mike Smith
Acme Products



5. Invision

This is for those who need to prototype, and collaborate their workflow with clients in Real Time. Share a link for collaborators and clients to open on their desktop or mobile device. Or revolutionize your design meetings with Live Share, our real-time presentation and white boarding tool. You can use it in IOS and Android for mobile prototyping.  Using Photoshop? it works as well.


You can use Sketching to do a real time idea exchange with clients. How does that work. You and the client exchange ideas and you can do an actual sketch using the tools to show them what you have in mind. This saves a lot of time by not having to use words to try to get the idea across.

The time for waiting for loads of email responses and being late for decisions is becoming a thing of the past. Now you can get answers quickly and when you need them to keep your project on-time and moving forward.

Have any thoughts or suggestions about these? Or new ones please let us know.

The Creative Tablet

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