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Talent Is Not Enough: Business Secrets For Designers (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter) Paperback – May 2, 2010


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Talent Is Not Enough: Business Secrets For Designers (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter) + Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business
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Product Details

  • Series: Voices That Matter
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 2 edition (May 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321702026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321702029
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Now that design skills have become a commodity, you need business skills to focus them. Shel Perkins has written a crackerjack book that will be on the shelf of every ambitious designer.”
Marty Neumeier
President, Neutron LLC
Author of Zag and The Brand Gap

“Shel Perkins' book Talent Is Not Enough: Business Secrets For Designers is a gift to the design community. It is an extraordinary resource jam-packed with wisdom, advice, and sage counsel. It is truly a business bible for professional designers.”
Debbie Millman
President, Design Group, Sterling Brands
Host of Design Matters on VoiceAmerica Internet Talk Radio
Author of How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer

“This is the best left-brain business book I’ve ever read for right-brain designers. And, having two right brains, I know what I’m talking about. I’m recommending Shel’s book to every student of mine and buying a copy for each designer on my staff.”
Brian Collins
Chief Creative Officer, Brand Integration Group, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide

"Finally -- a comprehensive business guide written just for us. No designer should live without this book!"
Lynda Weinman
Co-founder, Lynda.com
Author of Designing Web Graphics

“If only I could give a copy of Talent Is Not Enough to every graduating student! It's an invaluable guidebook. I wish it had been around before I went through my own education in the school of hard knocks.”
Louise Sandhaus
Program Director, Graphic Design,
California Institute of the Arts

“Damn good advice! This is a fantastic business handbook for designers. It’s loaded with the specific, usable, real-world business knowledge that designers need. Shel has done a masterful job of making the information simple, clear, and easy to follow. This is a must-have book for any designer who wants to succeed in business.”
Billy Pittard
President, Pittard Inc.

“This is a virtual encyclopedia of essential design business information. I’ve practiced on both sides of the freelance/in-house fence for more than twenty-five years and it amazes me that there’s not a single business question I’ve encountered that doesn’t have an in-depth answer in this book. Just as important as the range of advice is the fact that Shel’s conversational writing style makes all the information accessible and easy to understand. This is the go-to resource for all design business topics.”
Andy Epstein
Chair, AIGA Task Force on In-House Design
Author of The Corporate Creative: Tips and Tactics for Thriving as an In-House Designer

“This is the most concise and brilliantly informative guide I have ever wished I’d read before establishing three studios for ATTIK. Shel has managed to capture a vast array of learning that most of us only gather after many years of trial and error — a guide that every independent designer or agency owner should have within arm’s reach.”
Will Travis
President, U.S. Operations, ATTIK

“There is no doubt that Gravity Tank owes its success in part to Shel Perkins and the business values he taught me early in my career. Now all that wisdom is captured in Talent Is Not Enough. All creative professionals running their own business should grab a copy immediately and start reaping the benefits.”
Chris Conley
Partner and Co-Founder, Gravity Tank
Track Lead, Human-Centered Product Design, IIT Institute of Design

“A great overview of all of the issues that designers need to know to be in business.”
Nathan Shedroff
Chair, MBA in Design Strategy, California College of the Arts
Author of Making Meaning and Experience Design

“Many design firms and designers have benefited from Shel Perkins’ sound business perspectives and advice. Now Shel has written a valuable guide that continues that process. The lucky readers of Talent Is Not Enough: Business Secrets For Designers will absorb many important messages that are essential to success. Shel deserves a ‘thank-you’ for rendering this service to all designers.”
Roz Goldfarb
President, Roz Goldfarb Associates
Author of Careers by Design

“Destined to become a dog-eared reference for all those parts of running a design firm that they never taught in college.”
Mitchell Mauk
Principal, Mauk Design

“A confident and perceptive mentor, Perkins creates a painless navigation through a range of strategies and issues.”
Communication Arts Magazine

“Our favorite design consultant and your future best friend, Shel Perkins, literally wrote the book on this subject. Because he’s a designer himself, he can give advice in a way that doesn’t make creative types want to hurt themselves.”
Alissa Walker
UnBeige

“Where was this book when I was first starting out? Today, I keep it close to hand. It’s a fabulous resource for everyone in the design industry. Thank you Shel.”
Sylvia Harris
Information Design Strategist, Sylvia Harris LLC

“Although designers are highly skilled at applying their creativity toward solving design-related problems, most lack the fundamental business knowledge that would enable them to start or optimally run a firm. Whether you’re a student, design contractor, or design firm owner, Shel Perkins’ book, Talent Is Not Enough: Business Secrets For Designers, is a comprehensive source of information on the professional practice of design.”
Gerard Furbershaw
Co-Founder and COO, Lunar Design

“Packed with information on everything from how to get started to how to stay afloat.”
STEP Magazine

“I wish I had read this book when we started our business seventeen years ago. Or even ten years ago. Or even last month, come to think of it. There is a ton of incredibly valuable information in here.”
Bonnie Siegler
Co-founder, Number Seventeen

“Perkins’ book should be required reading for any designer who would like to turn their design degree into a paycheck.”
Robert Blinn
Core 77

“My students are required to read this book. It makes it crystal clear that landing (and keeping) a design job requires much more than just talent and technical ability.”
Mary Scott
Chair, School of Graphic Design, Academy of Art University

“It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that just about everything I know about running a design agency I learned from Shel and this book.”
Eric Heiman
Principal, Volume Inc.

“Shel's book is a how-to for everyone in the business — from start-up design firms to established agencies to in-house teams. I'm reading it again and I'm still learning things. It's the next best thing to an in-person consultation.”
Stanley Hainsworth
Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Tether
Author of Idea-ology: The Designer’s Journey

“As a first-time owner of a design studio, I find this book to be an invaluable reference guide. It provides options for challenges I face every day, and the security of knowing I can deal with the unexpected. This is a must-have for any design professional.”
Brian Jacobs
Founder, Brick Design

“Shel has written an illuminating book that belongs on every designer's desk.”
Ann Willoughby
President & Chief Creative Officer, Willoughby Design Group

“It is rare to find one individual with such a wide range of knowledge in the design-related fields. And, because of his experience as a designer, Shel brings a sensitivity and understanding to administrative issues while still respecting the artistic side of our industry.”
Frank Maddocks
President, Maddocks & Company

"This is a fantastic book; everyone should have a (well-worn) copy. In Shel's typical style, the information is delivered in clear, concise language. Required and highly valuable reading for us all."
Rob Bynder
Principal, Robert Bynder Design

"Shel Perkins has brought together the key insights and techniques every designer needs, whether they work from a spare room or a Madison Avenue cubicle. Use this book religiously: you'll have more energy for what matters most — creativity."
Bill Camarda
Read Only

"It is by far one of the best — if not the best — graphic design business book I have read."
Daniel Schutzsmith
Graphic.Define.org

"Shel Perkins spells out every aspect of business for every type of designer in language that is easy to understand. From career paths to pricing to legal issues, no stone is left unturned. This book is an invaluable asset."
Troy Finamore
Finamore Design

"This book is simply a must-have for anyone working in the design profession."
Deanna Moore
AIGALosAngeles.org 

From the Back Cover



More About the Author

Shel Perkins is a graphic designer, management consultant, and educator with more than twenty years of experience in managing the operations of leading design firms in the U.S. and the U.K. He currently provides management consulting services to a range of creative firms in both traditional and new media, and he serves as chairman of the AIGA Center for Practice Management.

He has written the Professional Practice column for STEP magazine, the Design Business newsletter for AIGA, and the Design Firm Management column for Graphics.com. He has given presentations and workshops for many organizations, including IDSA, SEGD, HOW, ACD, Dynamic Graphics, STEP, Seybold, APDF, PromaxBDA, InSource, RGD Ontario, and the Graphic Artists Guild.

Shel teaches courses in professional practices at the California College of the Arts, the Academy of Art in San Francisco, and the University of California. He has served on the national boards of AIGA and the Association of Professional Design Firms. He has also been honored as an AIGA Fellow "in recognition of significant personal and professional contributions to raising the standards of excellence within the design community."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By M. E. Lenhart on July 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've been a freelance designer for many years and have read many books and papers on the business-side of design. I have to say that Perkins' book is the most thorough, easiest-to-understand guide on the ins and outs of freelancing I've read to date. The book is a practical guide on how to meander through the process of running a design organization - whether you're a one-person shop or a full-fledged agency. This book is a must-have for the serious design professional.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C. S. Taylor on December 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was the answer to all my freelance questions!

How to create a freelance rate, trademarking, fixed-fee proposals, business plans, and even terms and conditions?

If you are a creative professional you owe it to yourself to get this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ariane Colenbrander on June 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
Talent is Not Enough: Business Secrets for Designers
Shel Perkins
ISBN-13 978-0-321-70202-9

It truly isn't enough to graduate from a design school anymore. Knowing for example how to navigate your business plan, devise a proposal, and understand the important legal aspects surrounding intellectual property are equally important in order to be successful in this highly-competitive industry. Shel's book bridges all aspects of the design career into one resource. It's a must-read for those starting out. The overview of what to expect and how to grow from a student intern through to owning your own design company (and building your physical space for maximum creative potential) is all here, taken in chronological order.

I found the sections focusing on design teams and hiring and working with a sales rep a refreshing read. Don't be daunted by the book's smaller-than-usual font size: it won't take long to dig in and get through the book from cover to cover.

Even if you're a seasoned professional, there will undoubtably be chapters in the book that will appeal to you. Some of the more in-depth challenges in running a firm are rarely brought up in design courses. I wish there was a book this comprehensive while I was in school.

Shel Perkins, former AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Designers) National Representative and honorary AIGA Fellow, has taught, consulted, managed, and written numerous books and workshops. He currently teaches at the California College of the Arts, the Academy of Art in San Francisco, and the University of California.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn A. Henry on June 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Good book that goes into plenty of detail and explains why it's important to make these business moves, if you want to have a successful design business. These tips are even important to understand if you work for someone else's design business.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mitchell Bellach on May 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Was waiting for it to become relevant and it didn't. It actually included suggestions like;

"If you're currently in a design degree program, you have access to your school's computer lab. Once you graduate, however, that access will end. Plan ahead by buying your own computer and printer and establishing you own internet access and e-mail account." (p.30)

-This second edition was published in 2010!!! I Ended up skimming all four hundred and thirty pages in two nights. Also very North American centric with it's advice and references.
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By Chris A on December 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Business nuts and bolts for practice. This looks like good advice for a student ready to graduate, and for a designer thinking about a change of venue.
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I bought this for my gallery assistant who is a recent graduate of an art school with some reputation. They were woefully ill prepared to be a professional making a living from their design talent.

I skimmed it and it seemed to be pretty basic but they were totally surprised with the material outlined and the contents. I still wonder how they could have gone into such serious debt over a degree and received no training in the profession itself. A good book for the business side of making a living as a creative.
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