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The Business Side of Creativity: The Complete Guide to Running a Small Graphics Design or Communications Business (Third Updated Edition) Paperback – September 17, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Excellent. All the passion and scope essential for starting and growing a successful business. -- John Milligan, professor, Visual Communications, Syracuse University

Full of sensible advice delivered in palatable written form. -- Eye: The National Review of Graphic Design

I wish this had been available sooner. The real-world-information it contains took me years to learn by trial and error. -- Bill Speer, general manager, Output Technologies Graphic Resources, Kansas City, Missouri

Key to building a stable client base, maximizing profitability, and even ensuring a smooth creative flow. -- Graphic Design Book Club

Outstanding. There is just no better mentor for a small and growing communications business. -- Trish Doll, Publicity Works, Bowmansville, Pennsylvania

The single most helpful tool we have to gauge how we are doing….the best source available. Period. -- Mark Landkamer, Landkamer Design, San Francisco, California

About the Author

Cameron S. Foote is the president of Creative Business, a Boston-based business-information resource for the design community. He is the author of The Business Side of Creativity, The Creative Business Guide to Running a Graphic Design Business and The Creative Business Guide to Marketing.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (September 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039373207X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393732078
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matt Deyoung on March 30, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read a lot of business books so I tend to think I won't get much out of any one book. That's not the case with this book. I highly recommend the book to anyone who works in any kind of creative/freelance setting.

Cameron Foote really gets to the heart of the details of creative business. Most books like this take a 10,000 foot view of all the issues. I end up being frustrated with not really learning tactics, just strategies. With this book, even the generic business issues are dealt with in a way that's relevant to creative/freelance businesses.

When I first got the book I skipped to the chapter on how to go after the right business. I then read the chapters on how to make money in the business. After those chapters I realized there wasn't anything in the book I wanted to skip. I wound up reading the whole book back to back (and for a business book that's a big compliment--at least coming from me).

This may sound like a glowing review--that's because it is. I was very impressed with the level of detail and relevancy the book has to what I wanted to know. I found a few mistakes I was making with the way I was running my own business. I used the tips Foote gave and improved the issues immediately.

One last reason you might consider this book--in the Appendix there's a ton of helpful resources. Not only that, if you log on to the author's website, you can find about two times the forms found in the book. I wound up using 3 forms the author gives away on a daily basis.
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Format: Paperback
The sub-title of this book is "The Complete Guide to RUNNING a Small Graphic Design or Communications Business" and as such I have given it a 2-star rating. If it was re-titled "The Complete Guide to STARTING a Small Graphic Design or Communications Business" then I would probably give it a 5-star rating for readers based in the USA and a 4-star for those elsewhere.

If you are in position where you are considering starting up your own business or going it alone as a freelancer then this book contains a lot of valuable information and good advice and I would highly recommend reading it before you go any further.

Those outside the USA should be aware that some sections of the book will not be relevant (for example those focusing on company registration procedures and tax issues) as they are based on US law and regulations -but there is still a lot of other good advice.

I would estimate that around 3/4ths of the book focuses on pre start-up and start-up issues so, if like me, you are currently running your own business then much of the content is already redundant and, while the remaining content is informative, this does limit the overall usefullness of the book.
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Format: Paperback
Cam Foote's book is a complete resource for new freelancers and a great "reality check" for experienced creatives. I have read his material for many years and always found it practical, clear, realistic, and helpful. Although his focus may seem to be almost entirely on graphic designers, as a copywriter I found most of his information applicable to my own business.
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Format: Paperback
A fantastic book full of valuable insights. Most of these "how to run your business" books are drab and full of what amounts to blah blah blah. I have found this book to be revolutionary in the way that I organize my business strategies, developing a more proactive mind set, and restructuring the entire operation of running a creative studio. Amongst the hundreds of design books on my shelf, this is the one that is currently helping me the most. The tone is not pretentious, nor laymen. Designers are demanding individuals, and as a professional designer, this is necessary reading.
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I feel that this book is very benificial to those trying to start a business. I showed this book to an entrepenuer and she even feels that this book gives REAL tips as to how to get your business going. The way the book is written it feels like you have your own personal advisor talking straight to you. I would recommend this to everyone.
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Format: Paperback
This is a really good book for anyone interested in starting their own graphic design business.

Many graphic designers are very visual and aren't big readers. This book does a good job and speaks in the language that a graphic designer reads and understands.

This book includes many tips, an Appendix with lot of web references, tax information, and contract templates. He also has many downloadable forms on his website that are extremely helpful if you are just starting up a business.

I am definitely not a big reader, but I was glued to this book from cover to cover.

I would definitely recommend this book for all Graphic Designers who are interested in running a small business.
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By Danya on June 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Makes the design biz interesting and even if you are employed rather than freelancing or owning, this will make you a more competent designer in terms of understanding both the client and the company you work for. All 4th year or postgrads should read this.
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Format: Paperback
I have a four year-old illustration studio and this book is a must-have for anyone that freelances or has a start-up.I wish I had read this earlier. The information is invaluable---some information is just common sense but it refreshes the mind.
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