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Do You Need a Degree to be a Designer? (and more!)

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In this week’s Question Time video post I give some rambling answers about taking on more than you can chew with client projects; things that help me find more freelance clients; whether a degree is important to be a designer; and I show off my fluent Spanish.

This week’s questions

  • How do you deal with a client’s needs vs your technical skills – Do you charge less for a job where you have to learn new skills because it might take longer to complete?
  • How did you create the outro at the end of your video clips?
  • How much time do you spend each week divided between client work and blog stuff?
  • Can we have Spanish subtitles please?
  • How important is a degree in web design when compared to a well developed portfolio? Is it about showing your grades, or your skill?
  • I want to go into freelancing but really don’t know how to start or how to get more clients, I have 4 clients now, do you have some magical recipes how to get more?

Links mentioned in this week’s news

.NET Magazine Awards

Design Rhythmic Motion Typography in After Effects

28 HTML5 Features, Tips, and Techniques you Must Know

Thanks to everyone who submitted their kind comments and questions on the last video. I only pick out a hand full to answer to keep the videos short, so if I didn’t pick yours this time, feel free to submit it again and I’ll hopefully provide a good answer in an upcoming episode.

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31 Comments

  1. simon says:

    nice post, very helpful for any wanna be deisgner!

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  2. Yotam says:

    Thank you for sharing and helping us!
    I have a quick question,

    How old were you when you started learning web development?

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  3. Paul Sizer says:

    Thanks for answering the question Chris and posting the link to the tutorial.

    As always great video, and thank you for passing on your knowledge.

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  4. Tom says:

    I like your question time video’s.

    I have a question for you as well:
    Do you work for an hourly rate or a fixed project price? And how do you decide which option to choose?

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  5. Chris says:

    These videos are great and very helpful. But I do have to ask why the background music? Just makes it more diffcult to hear!

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  6. Grant says:

    Great video, I’m liking this little series… hope to see some more soon.

    Keep up the great work Chris.

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  7. DaQuinta says:

    The audio is really bad. Please, try to make it better next time. We, spanish visitors, will apreciate it.

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  8. kumbi says:

    great little segment i’m quite enjoying -especially the bit on qualification vs. skills!

    your spanish’s bang-on, but its really more like a bullfighting commentator’s..

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  9. David says:

    Nice video, very interesting.

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  10. Christian V. says:

    Thanks for the video! I still need to go back for 2 drawing courses to get my diploma…lol my mom wouldn’t get off my back on this…

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  11. john says:

    Except the BG sound everything was just perfect. Skills v/s qualification was another very great topic.In most country people cant afford to go for degree but they are creative and this video is what they need.

    Thanks Chris.

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  12. Leigh says:

    The echo in the room combined with the music made it too difficult to hear. Perhaps next time you can record in a room without so many hard surfaces. Thanks!

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  13. Another nifty video Chris, keep it going, one slight tweak on the next one though – maybe drop the volume on the background music a tad as suggested by the guy above, sorry for being picky, other than that – cool :)

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  14. Neale says:

    Who is your favourite 80′s cartoon character?
    I’m personally a fan of He-Man :)

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  15. SF says:

    Please – no more music! It drove me crazy and I couldn’t hear you – otherwise – great info there. Thanks for providing the links below!

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  16. Ed Baxter says:

    Would have loved to watch this Chris but the music was too much, had to stop after a minute :(

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  17. Jordon says:

    OK so do you know of any good full tutorials to make a blog? do you recommend starting out with a blog to spread your own design? And thank you for answering these questions the videos are nice. Prob lower the volume of the music though. Keep them coming.

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  18. Hey, I can help you with the Spanish Captions if you like, I could do any translations for your readers. Let me know, cheers. :)

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  19. Chris Spooner says:

    Thanks everyone. It sounds like I made a mess of the audio then! It sounded fine when I ‘proof listened’ but I’ll make sure it’s lower on the next one – I’m still learning my way around this video production stuff!

    Would any of my Spanish speaking friends like to post up a translation of my lingo? We can then have a ‘guess the movie it’s stolen from’ competition!

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  20. Vanessa says:

    Awesome video!
    and btw gracias por los subtítulos en Español, they were sort of funny LOL …cheerz!

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  21. tebe says:

    I was planning on commenting about the music volume but as that’s alredy been brought up I’ve got a cooler idea:

    Use bluescreen technique to extract yourself from the background and include cool background animations to the videos! It’d be awesome to watch you blabber about design while spartans were slaying them persians behind you, wouldn’t it?

    I’d be happy with just 50% of your income, after all I came up with the idea.. ;)

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  22. Joel says:

    Hi Chris, enjoyed the Q&A.

    Q: What do you think of the various ‘find a freelancer’ sites. Have you any experience with them and would you recommend them for building up skills and experience.

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  23. Yoosuf says:

    Background sound in so laud man, try to reduce that to

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  24. Jordon says:

    Who does your database work?

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  25. Philip Brown says:

    Great insight Chris :)

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  26. Zuhaib says:

    Gr8 post! I personally think you don’t need a degree, i’m just 13 and i’ve got my own website, and im gonna start some web dev for emirates soon. And no, i don;t have a degree. So taa!

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  27. Markus says:

    thanx for answering my question :)

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  28. Markus says:

    Which designer(s) are you following closely and/or which design books keep you occupied at the moment?

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  29. An academic degree is an award conferred by a college or university signifying that the recipient has satisfactorily completed a course of study. Academic degrees were first introduced during Middle Ages and there were little differentiation between them. Doctoral training was a form of apprenticeship to a guild. The traditional term of study before new teachers were admitted to the guild of “Masters of Arts”, was the same as the term of apprenticeship for other occupations. Originally the terms “master” and “doctor” were synonymous, but over time the doctorate came to be regarded as a higher qualification than the master’s degree.

    Very Nice Blog on Degree Discussion, Really good

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  30. Daniel says:

    Agreed that the video is very helpful for new emerging designers. but the background music was messing things up.
    Its true that designing does not need a degree.A degree merely defines that a guy has done a course on a particular subject but it does not define his/her eligibility or talent in the same field.A guy can be very talented and packed with new innovative ideas even when he has no degree.

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  31. Srikanth AD says:

    Interesting video. Interesting!

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Comments are now closed