How to protect yourself online: finding the right designer

A few clients have approached me whey they were in urgent need of help to finish their brand or website after a horrible experience with a scammer. They have been really excited to start creating their brand and have been left high and dry after parting with a lot of money to [designers] that are less than reputable. This is heartbreaking, but there are ways to protect yourself.

How can you protect yourself online?

As a client requesting design work, always do your research:

First and foremost (and probably the most important!), always have a contract.  No matter how seemingly small the project is. If your designer doesn’t take protecting themselves seriously, question why. If they don’t offer putting a contract in place, then you will need to draft one. This doesn’t have to have any legal jargon, but you need to ensure that you are protecting yourself: search for design contracts for a template.

Read the contract very carefully and dispute any aspects that you feel aren't protecting yourself. You’ll need to find out who owns the intellectual rights once the project is over, what the deliverables are and what happens if they don’t deliver, to name a few.

Find their online presence: Do they have social media accounts, and/or a website. If they don’t, question why. This is normally a red flag as it’s likely that they are deliberately preventing you from reading testimonials, finding previous work, or seeing their interactions with others online.

Google their name: It’s surprising how often clients have handed money over without googling the designer’s name - only to find a lot of bad reviews once it was too late.

Double check contact details: unfortunately, there is a common scam at the moment to impersonate legitimate designers. The scammer will offer design services and point you to a legitimate designer to gain credibility. For example, someone will be posing as 'Lucy Elliott, a graphic designer from London'. They will speak to you in person and give my website as examples of their work to persuade you to part with your hard-earned money. This has unfortunately happened once using my name. The email address they used is lucyel1982@gmail.com and they posed as me. This ruse is particularly devious and can be devastating to a small business, such as myself, so how do we protect ourselves? Here the key identifier is to note that hello@lucyelliottdesign.co.uk is my only email address, which is different to the one being used by the scammer. Equally, there was no contract issued or discussed before money was hand over. If in any doubt, contact your designer from the same place as the reviews to double check that you have the correct information. Your designer will understand the need to be sure if you are not meeting physically or via word of mouth.

Unfortunately, there is little to no policing around this sort of scam so hopefully we can take action to prevent.

Go with your instincts. Finding the right designer for you means that you can build a great working relationship. If alarm bells ringing, then it's likely that you're just not the right fit or you may be taken advantage of. 

One bad review may just be unfortunate for the designer, but combined with a bad feeling when talking to them and a lack of contract means that it may be worth your while to find another designer. There are so many incredible designers out there and you only have to search #graphicdesign on Instagram to see how competitive the industry is. They are likely to ask for some money - if not all - up-front so make sure that you have a great feeling and are confident that the designer is compatible with you before handing anything over. And please don't hand over any money without getting a contract in place first!

Building your brand should be fun and exciting and with a few precautions, it can be just that! And you can always get in touch with me ;) even if you just have some questions about the process!

Good luck and have fun!

 

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I have drawn these points from my own experiences, but I am by no means an expert. I am not responsible for any action taken through this advice. For further information, please find some important links below.

Reporting a scam in the UK:

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/reporting-a-scam/
https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-report-a-scam

 


Falling back in love with watercolour painting

With all the difficulties and uncertainty that lockdown has brought, it's been nice to find more time to do some painting. I painted this for my 90 y/o Granny of Pink Cyclamen, her favourite flowers 🌺❤️
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Watercolour paint, A4

 

 

 

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Visit my portfolio for examples of my design services.


Lucy at Pride 2018

Happy Pride 2020!!

Happy Pride 2020!

Very sad that we can't be celebrating Pride due to lockdown, but Happy Pride to the LGBTQIA+ community! Forever an ally.

 

Lucy at Pride 2018

Lucy at Pride 2018

 

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Visit my portfolio for examples of my design services.


LED_BF Studio Logo

Logo design for Big Fig Studio

This is the logo for the Big Fig Studio following establishing a brand and business strategy for them. Big Fig Studio provides remote session musicians and recording engineer providing high quality drum tracks for your music.

Full logo:

LED_BF Studio LogoSign design:

Mock-up

 

A4 Acrylic sign:

 

You can visit Big Fig Studio sites here:

instagram.com/bigfigstudio
bigfigstudio.net

Please note that I didn't design the BFS website.

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Thanks for reading! Visit my portfolio to visit examples of my work.


104k monthly views Pinterest

Pinterest: Celebrating 100k+ monthly views!

Pinterest is integral to my design process, alongside other online moodboard and scrapbook sites. It helps me to keep an eye on trend, be inspired by the incredible creative community and keeps me pushing for unique and creative designing. I love being able to curate pins that reflect my aesthetic. It's amazing that over 100,000 people every monthly are viewing profile and are pinning the images - including my own designs. I've been actively building this from 8K/month so Im very pleased with the progress. It's a great marketing tool that you can use really effectively if you spend the time building it up.

Other sites that I use similarly, include: Typewolf, Behance, Dribbble.

 

104k monthly views Pinterest

 

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Thanks for reading! Visit my portfolio to visit examples of my work.


Black Lives Matter

Anti-racism and learning to be a better ally

Actively passionate about reforming and learning to become anti-racist. Pushing always to be a better ally to anti-racism and all LGBTQI+ causes.

Black Lives Matter

Black Trans Lives Matter

Looking at the business to see how I can support and actively help the change. Now is the time. Get in touch with me at hello@lucyelliottdesign.co.uk to educate me and send petitions my way. I'm setting deadlines every quarter to reassess how to be active in these communities - forever and always.

Educate yourselves, donate, sign petitions and talk to those that don't have social media.
Life-long fight that we need to prove isn't just a trend.

Few petitions to sign, causes to donate to and resources to educate*:

****I've signed, donated and actively following these causes, among others

The Black Curriculum:

instagram.com/theblackcurriculum
theblackcurriculum.com/action

Petition: Battle racism by updating GCSE reading lists

http://chng.it/RjjXgQWy

Runnymede

Tackling structural racism. Donate here:

runnymedetrust.org/support-us/donations.html

Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI)

Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI) provides support for people who have suffered hate crime, including attacks that were racist, homophobic, transphobic and/or sexist.

www.sariweb.org.uk

Please help this causes if you are able to. Send any other recommendations my way please!

Change is happening!!!

This is a great feed of some of the beautiful changes:

boredpanda.com/thread-of-positive-change-because-of-protests

USA: The road leading to the White House is renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza

Many books about white privilege and ending racism sell out

USA: First ever black female Mayor of Ferguson, USA is elected

USA: Breonna's Law is passed to regulate 'no-knock warrants'

UK: MPs back a suspend exports of riot gear, tear gas and rubber bullets to the US and to undertake the misuse of it

Keep going world!

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Thanks for reading this important post. Please contact me if you want to talk to me about any of these issues.


ECO-Eastwood Chamber Orchestra-logo

Logo design for Eastwood Chamber Orchestra (ECO)

This logo for the Eastwood Chamber Orchestra (ECO) has been inspired by the most common four clefs - bass, treble and alto/tenor - used by string instruments:

 

Full logo:

 

Eastwood chamber orchestra logo

Poster design:

 

Sadly, due to COVID, this concert was cancelled, but looking forward to going to a concert when we're allowed to again!

Visit their website for further details: eastwoodco.org. Please note that I didn't design the site.

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Business cube team poster

Poster design for Business Cube: back to work

Poster design for Business Cube who are back to work after a few months' break due to COVID-19. We created this fun poster of the team to send out to their clients to let them know that all the offices are open.

Business cube team poster

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Thanks for reading! Please visit the Business Cube portfolio page for more examples of the work we do together.

Visit Business Cube's website.


SK Hair & Beauty home web page

SK Hair and Beauty new website and branding launch

SK Hair & Beauty was established in 2014 with their first salon in Notting Hill. Five years on SKHB become a pair - finding the second salon in the heart of Belgravia. We wanted to create an identity that embraces the old logomark with a new identity. We've launched the site today, developed alongside print collateral: price list and business cards. Congratulations to SKHB!

Visit their website here: SK Hair & Beauty.
Full project details will be added to the LED portfolio page soon.

 

Logo and identity development

SKHB wanted to keep the same SK logomark and find an identity that could pair its longstanding, impressive reputation and customer-base with the launch of the new salon partnership.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print collateral

 

Home page

hair salon home web page

 

About page

Click on each team member to read a little blurb about them.

hair salon about web page

 

Salon pages

hair salon belgravia web page

 

SK-Hair-and-Beauty-price-list

 

Contact page

hair salon contact web page

 

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Thanks for reading! Visit my portfolio for further examples of branding and website work.


April-2020-moodboard

April moodboard: springtime florals

April moodboard: This beautiful purple is creeping up more and more in my moodboards and inspirations. Loving exploring unusual colour combinations and paired it with this pastel green. Beautiful illustrations from the collaboration between RIXO and Astrid Wilson.

 

 

L-R (clockwise):

  1. Beautiful satin bag from & Other Stories. Obsessed with this colour.
  2. Postcard design from Studio Posen. Love the type and purple here.
  3. Love the pattern clashing in this image. Unsure of the photographer, but it's Emili Sindlev on the left. 
  4. Mercuria font from Jacob Jan Wise. Absolutely love the type created from Jacob.
  5. Two images from the beautiful Rixo x Astrid Wilson collection. More pattern clashing and enviable colour palettes.
  6. Love this interiors setup from Pooky Lights.

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Thanks for visiting the April moodboard. Visit my portfolio to visit examples of my work.