We spoke on 13th January 2021
Hey Dejan, How are you?
Hey Morgan! I am fine.
For those that don’t know, tell me about yourself.
Thank you for having me, it's truly an honor, I really appreciate your invitation to your blog!
Well, my name is Dejan Dinov, I am 23 years old and I come from Macedonia, Europe, on the Balkan.
I am a self-taught Graphic Designer specializing in Logo Design. I create Logo Design Solutions for companies that want to Stand Out from their Competitors.
One reason I really wanted to speak to you was because of your detail and reasoning. Why do you think it's so important to have solid reasoning behind your design choices?
I think having solid points about your decisions in Design is very important because we create solutions for Visual and Business problems.
Meaning, that Design will be used somewhere, on something, for some kind of purpose and goal. That's why it's crucial to ask Why, How, And Where the Design will be used so we can create a suitable solution that will cover and fit within those requirements.
For example, the Client needs a Logo for his Real Estate Business. He tells us his purpose and goals as well as the usage and application of the Logo.
The logo will be used on Social Media, Favicon, their website, Printing.
In this case, the Logo needs to be very simple because it will be used at different sizes such as Favicon, which is 16x16 and sometimes 32x32.
This is a very small size and the Logo should be able to be reproduced at the same and still be visible. In my opinion, this is why we need to communicate with our Client and ask Great Questions, which some of them I recently learned from Sagi Haviv, such as:
1. What is your Business about?
2. What is your Goal, why do you need a Logo?
3. What do you think about your current Logo?
4. Do you think the current Logo has recognition within your Audience?
5. Who is Your Target Audience?
6. What is your vision for the Future of your business in 5-10 years?
7. Who are your Competitors?
8. If there was a single idea or feeling that can be distilled in your new logo, what should it be?
9. Do you have any thoughts about Color?
10. Where will the logo be used?
You post a lot of resources to share with other designers. Do you have any to share with someone who may be reading this?
Yes, I have, I would like to share some Free Graphic Design Sources that really helped me:
The Futur Academy
Mike Pickett (a Friend of mine)
You are a freelance designer. What struggles have you faced whilst doing this and is there any advice you could give to anyone who is looking to go freelance?
To be honest, I stopped calling myself a Freelancer anymore. I realized that this way, in my opinion, Clients see you as a one time person to hire to do some job, basically to be an order taker, that's how I felt personally, I think we Designers all are Business Owners.
Starting your own business is really hard, I faced struggles like, not getting enough clients for a long time, no monthly income, I dropped out of college and also from jobs to focus on this completely, luckily that I have my parents helping me out, which I am really grateful and thankful to them.
I am not there yet though where I want to be, what I would say to all Designers reading this is:
Please start very early if possible while you are in school if you truly love this, commit to one thing you truly love in Graphic Design, mine is Logo Design.
If you are working or have saved some money, keep and save as much as money as you can for tough times because it won't be easy, you are going to need it.
Since we are running a business, I personally think and realized we cannot really stop until we succeed because once we stop, we kinda lose all Consistency, Discipline, and we become way too Comfortable.
So, please be very Consistent, Disciplined and show up any day basically but find a Balance, live your life with your Friends and Family, don't overwork yourself, eat healthy, workout, do your Hobbies, and so on.
I create content for my audience from Monday to Friday, I am still building my reputation and credibility, I scheduled everything from Logo Design Process to Client Stories to Helpful Resources.
I also started and create content one week upfront, which I think it's really smart and easier to do, you are ready just to post the content from Mon to Fri, Sat, and Sun are free days.
Also, I want to say, create, and bring value to people instead of selling your services all the time, this pushes people away, nobody wants to be sold to in my opinion.
When you create Value and Great Work, Clients will Respect you and Value you more and your Skills, therefore you can charge more.
Don't do the mistakes that I did before, please do charge how much you think you are worthy of and build your way up by each project.
Always ask for a 50% upfront fee, this is for the work you already did if the client wants to cancel the project so you get paid for your time, effort, and work. I think doing this sets boundaries and shows your Client that you are serious and I think they are more invested in the project because they already paid money.
Better to have 2-3 great projects monthly than 10 bad projects that you didn't enjoy working on and the money that cannot cover your daily life needs.
Last but not least, please create Original Designs, don't copy or use Stock Designs because it's unethical, disrespectful to Designers who put in the work to create something from scratch and also it devalues the Design Industry.
I noticed you post a lot of client stories to your audience on Linkedin. Do you think it is important to share your experiences?
Yes, I just started posting Client Stories to share my experience with fellow Designers, whether it's good or bad.
I do think it's important to share your experience because I want to help others to not make the same mistakes that I did and also to show that there are Great Clients that Value, Appreciate and Respect you as a Creative and your Designs.
Please do not be hesitant to fire bad clients, you don't want to work with someone who doesn't respect you and your work, is rude to you, or doesn't know what they want and doesn't give you the needed information for the project.
Always be respectful and professional, do not get upset and curse someone because they were rude, just keep it 100%, tell them what they did and the reason you are stopping the project, and go on your way.
To avoid this, ask everything you think it's important before starting the project and always require an upfront deposit.
For my final question, what is next for Dejan Dinov?
What's next for me is:
- To create a Stable Income.
- Building my Reputation and Credibility online.
- Being Consistent and Disciplined to create content and post to help fellow Designers.
- To get great Clients and to help them to create a Logo Design Solution for their Business.
- Improve my Logo Design Skill and my Content Creation.
- I am planning to team up soon with a close friend of mine, which is a Web Designer/Developer and we plan to open a Business together, online first, then in a few years, hopefully, to open a Local Design Studio, we'll see how it goes.