The Design Block

If you're looking for the latest in advertising and marketing, design related technology and lifestyle tips, and art or design highlights then you're in the right place. Find all this and more with the Design Block blog.

Yelp 101: A guide to Yelp for small business

The meteoric rise of Yelp has given nearly every customer a way to share their experiences with the world.

Handy skills you might need to future-proof your career

By 2030, about 800 million jobs around the world will be replaced by bots. Is your job secure?

Tips to optimize your next email marketing campaign

What can you do to compel your readers to open your email when they have dozens of others in their inbox?

Designer shares animated Illustrator cheat sheets for creating icons

Icons and symbols are powerful tools that have been used by humans to communicate ideas for over 100,000 years. Computer-based illustration tools like Adobe Illustrator have made creating icons easier than ever.

How to calculate freelance rates more efficiently

The one question that most freelance designers have trouble answering is, “what is your time really worth?” If you’re a full-time employee at an agency, your salary takes into consideration business costs like healthcare, licensing, taxes, and other business essentials. But when you work for yourself, you’ve…

Watch: How to better present logos and branding to clients

As designers, we know that we need to motivate people through communication. However, sometimes we forget that when it comes to our own work. Great design poorly presented can kill an idea. So how best to present logos and branding to the client to win them…

Get invaluable advice with free tarot cards made for designers

When designers design, they sometimes become so immersed in their work that they forget to step back and make sure they’re on the right path. Often, a second pair of eyes are what’s needed to help designers stay on brief and create amazing designs; that…

5 tips to attract clients with your LinkedIn profile

When a company is looking to hire you to their team, they often vet you online first. During this cyber investigation, your LinkedIn profile will typically show up in the first three to five results. You now have the opportunity to control what they find about…

What to do during downtime at work

Downtime is a rare thing in most workplaces, but there’s a good chance you’ll experience a slow day every once in a while.

Become a better writer with these 15 ways to write faster

Sometimes it seems as if there aren’t enough hours in the day to get all your work done—especially if you’re a writer. Some people are writing machines; they get an idea, pound it out in minutes, and move on to something else. For most of us,…

How to start marketing with little to no budget

Unfortunately, starting out really isn’t as easy as becoming an overnight sensation. As much as we think and hope that our product or service will be an instant hit, that doesn’t happen. When it comes to getting your name out there, startup marketing is a…

Why did your great employee quit?

To have success in business, you need to have exceptional employees. However, hiring them is only half the battle. Have you ever had a great employee, and thought, “This is the one!”  They’re smart, engaged, driven, and seemed to really love the job. You can…

Infographic: The best times to post on social media

The easy answer is that the best times to post on social media are when the people you want to see the content are on the network. However, each social network has its own best practice. Data from 16 studies proves that posting at the best times will help…

How to hide the fact you’re having a bad day at work

No matter how positive of a person you are, or how much you love your job, bad days happen to the best of us. You spilled your coffee, got stuck in traffic, or tear your pants. By the time you sit down to start work, you’re…

Designer explains how to price logo design and other services

In a 30 minute video tutorial, designer Chris Do explains how to price logo designs with real-world examples.

How to spot a cheap logo design and improve it

Whether you know it or not, consumers are able to tell the difference between a good and bad logo. And having a cheap logo design not only reflects badly on your skills as a designer, but on the brand it was created for. Your logo…

Infographic: Photoshop cheatsheet for beginners

While there are plenty of online tutorials available, it’s often difficult for novice graphic designers to know where to start. When opening Photoshop for the first time, it’s easy to look at all the confusing features and buttons. If only there was a Photoshop cheatsheet that could help…

Infographic: How to get recruiters to read your CV

Day in, day out, recruiters sift through piles of résumés for available job openings. They’re usually searching for a specific skill sets or experience that matches their clients’ requirements. And if nothing of interest stands out, they move on to the next one.

Using PANTONE Colour of the Year 2017 in design

A few weeks ago, PANTONE revealed its bright and zesty Colour of the Year 2017, called Greenery. Because it evokes nature, Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate. Thus, people respond on a deeper level to this hue, making the eye catching Greenery an ideal shade for design. This is especially…

Do designers need post-secondary education?

Gaining a post-secondary education can be an incredibly valuable experience for your design skills. The popular perception of needing education to be successful is getting a college or university degree and working for a company which pays you per your education level. However, it doesn’t…

A handy guide to keeping your beard well-groomed

As someone who has had facial hair for nearly twenty years, I can tell you it takes a lot of work to grow out a great beard. Good grooming habits are essential, no matter if it’s for a cause like Movember or just because you want…

Infographic: How to avoid a hangover

Ask any expert, and they’ll tell you that the best way to avoid a hangover is to lay off the booze. Or just stay drunk, your call. To fend off the nausea, headache, dizziness, and general misery that often follows an intense night of drinking, check out this infographic…

The essential guide to easily writing a catchy headline

Do you want to know how to quickly write an attractive and catchy headline for your blog post? It’s one thing to write great content, but it’s another thing to get it read and ranked.

Infographic: How do creatives spend an average day?

There’s no argument anymore. Neuroscience confirms that highly creative people think and act differently than the average person. Their brains are literally hardwired in a unique way. So what is it like to lead a creative life?

21 tips for a successful job interview

Whether we’re just starting out or seasoned professionals, we’re all striving to find that dream design job. These days, not every job is advertised in a newspaper or on a website. That’s why it’s important to make as many connections as possible. Online communities such as Twitter,…

Learn how to escape zip tie restraints

Being restrained in home invasions and kidnapping scenarios, innocent people are increasingly being zip tied. With a quick Google search, you’ll see a number of situations where suspects used a zip tie. Because handcuffs are expensive and hard to come by, but zip ties are cheaply available at every…

Infographic: How to increase conversion rates on your ecommerce website

Are you running an ecommerce website or business? If you are, you might want to take a look at the following infographic by Bargin Fox.

Psychological tips and tricks to get clients to buy your idea

As creatives who have to deal with clients, we all face one difficult and uncomfortable situation in our careers. You already have the project, so this isn’t about convincing them to pick you for the job. This is about guiding the client to accept that…

Common Photoshop mistakes and how to avoid them

As the industry standard, Photoshop is a powerful image editing tool for designers. There are lots of Photoshop resources around to help us keep on top of thing, including handy tutorials. But in the wrong hands it can affect quality and make things less productive.

5 things clients want to see on your portfolio

A full thought out and cleanly designed portfolio is not only vital to showcase your artistic talents, but it also creates the first impression that a potential client will have of you.

Infographic: How to prepare for an interview

Take a breath and don't stress out, there are ways you can quickly prepare for your interview.

How to charge more for your work

How do you grow your business when you can't handle more clients? Charge more for your work.

If the world ends, these are the best places to be

Where on Earth are the best choices for riding out the coming apocalypse?

Infographic: 11 psychological tricks to get people to do what you want

The art of persuasion is a subtle, complex discipline. There are, however, a few psychological tricks you can use.

5 tips for taking creative criticism

There's no need to go on the defensive right away. Here's how you can get through someone's feedback.

Infographic: 10 signs warning against taking a job

You’ve managed to finally get an interview with what you think is your dream employer. You heard they have a fantastic culture and that it’s the hippest new place to work. You’re ecstatic. It turns out, however, you never really know what it’s like on the inside until you get…

3 proven ways to prevent awkward conversations

Did you know that there are proven ways to prevent the conversation from turning awkward?

How to survive the office holiday party

We’ve entered the peak of the holiday party season and most companies are gathering to celebrate the end of a hardworking year. This is the time of year when your colleagues get hammered and make complete fools of themselves.

Watch how you can tie your scarf in 3 different ways

Besides a warm winter coat — and polar bear repellent — a scarf is a gentleman’s best defence against the Canadian elements. But a scarf is much more than just frostbite protection. Tying it the right way can add boatloads of charm and personality to…

What to do when a client rejects your designs

You and your team have invested hours into research, insight and come up with a presentation that will blow the client away. When it comes to present the designs, you’re excited to share what you’ve all been working to show. When you’re through, you gauge…

Learn how to leave work early with these 6 tips

Where’s the worst place you can possibly be at 4 pm on a Friday? The office, of course.

Subtle body language tricks to make you instantly likeable

Verbal cues aren’t the only way that humans express what they’re thinking or feeling. In fact, we express a lot through visual cues given off by our body language. It also plays a large factor in the type of impression we make on others.

Smart questions to ask at the end of every interview

So you’ve searched for potential employers, sent out dozens of queries and you finally landed an interview. Good job. Now you have to navigate dozens of questions about yourself and successfully explained why you’d make a great addition to the team.

Making the most of your internship

Ad agencies and companies are constantly looking to sign designers up for an internship—both to help those starting their career and as a way to find potential hires (on a trial basis). Win win, right?

How to deal with conflict in the workplace

Workplaces are full of different personalities that can make them buzz with conversation and productivity. However, when working in close quarters, it’s inevitable that they will eventually end in conflict. If these workplace conflicts aren’t dealt with immediately and effectively, the constant battle of wills…

A beginners guide to creating a personal brand

If you’re a freelancer or have been working for a while, then you understand the importance of a personal brand. If you’re still in university and haven’t started just yet, don’t worry because it’s best to take your time and do it right so you’ll…

Typography tips for better web design and sales

We’re a visual society. And with our fast-paced lives and the amount of information we’re constantly barraged with, it takes a striking visual to get our attention. But you also need smart copy presented with good typography to back it up.

Creating better blog graphics, even if you’re not a designer

Humans rely on visual cues for nearly everything. In fact, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and our brains can process images 60,000 times faster than text. That means for a bloggers and content marketers, blog graphics are an important part of…

How to make your portfolio website stand out from the crowd

If you want to be discovered for your creative abilities, the quickest and easiest way is online. A portfolio website—with assistance from social media—is the best way to show the world what you can do. In fact, it can even help attract the attention of…