Logo Design Love

For graphic designers and all who love logos.

How Twitter helps designers

Twitter can be an unhealthy obsession. I’ve had to stop following people when their speeds of around 100tph drown out everyone else. That doesn’t mean us designers aren’t using Twitter to our benefit, and here’s what I’m doing to make the most of it.

Twitter fail whale

Feedback from other designers

When you don’t receive constructive criticism, it’s all too easy to believe your work’s the best thing since Doritos and hot dip. Clients are normally the first to open your eyes, but it’s always good when a fellow designer gives it to you straight prior to any client communication.

There’s an excellent community of logo designers on Twitter, and if you ask nicely, they’re more than happy to offer advice. You’ll also find collections of talented web designers / developers who tweet, though I’m not too sure why you find me via that second link.

Unless you genuinely respect the designer giving feedback, take comments with a pinch of salt, because not everyone’s as competent as you, and not everyone will have time to familiarise themselves with your design brief.

Help with client concerns

There are ways to address this, and there are ways to avoid. I don’t recommend naming your clients (feathers can easily be ruffled), but if you mention the important points of your concerns, we’re a friendly bunch, and it’s likely that one of us has experienced the same issue.

Twitter can also help you out of a website fix.

General chat

Especially when working from home, on your Todd (like me), Twitter can act as a welcome break from work. One of the things I miss most about an office environment is the regular interaction with colleagues, so it’s nice to see what’s happening, real-time, in the lives of people in know.

all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Image copyright: Overthinking it

Sharing resources

How many of you still use del.icio.us? For me, it’s not nearly as much as I used to, and I’m sure the site has taken a hit with more and more of us sharing (and collecting) our bookmarks via Twitter.

Twitter’s like del.icio.us with conversations.

Driving traffic

tweeting to tell you I blogged

I’m guilty too. Via swissmiss. Image by Danny Jones.

How are you using Twitter?

With deadlines to meet, I don’t use it too often — though it’s all relative, as I still tweet almost every day. I’m sure I could make more use of the resource when a question crops up, but it’s a (bad?) habit of mine to try helping myself before asking others.

Actually, the search tool is an excellent way to find answers, or to find feedback on a particular product or service before buying anything, so Twitter does help even if I don’t take up your time by posting a question.

Have you been guided through a fix on Twitter?

Are you borderline obsessive? ;)

Share your Twitter tales of wonderment.

Ps. Thanks so much to you kind folk who continue helping me on Twitter (find me @DavidAirey and @LogoDesignLove).

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, second edition

37 appreciated comments

  1. Twitter helps me a lot learning more. I’m following a few designers and they post some useful links, sharing their works to learn from.

    And also whenever I need some inspiration I open my twitter page and then a few links from what I received from people, and sure I get some great ideas with what I see.

  2. I’m a huge fan. I have two distinct Twitter presences: my personal account serves as a way to break up the day when working at the PC, get advice and find some pretty interesting/talented people. I also like the format: there’s something satisfying about expressing yourself well or amusingly in 140 characters and then moving on: you don’t have to spend hours sweating over it.

    My work Twitter persona’s not as interesting: it’s basically marketing departments tweeting and retweeting each other, but you do get to connect with some useful organisations. There’s still a feeling that you’re doing something quite new for the coroporate world, which engenders a sense of camaraderie.

    We’re experimenting with publishing our Twitter feed on the home page of our website. That works really well.

    Anyway, back to TweetDeck…

  3. I wouldn’t say obsessive but I do check it every day and am on it every day and have it open all day… ok I am obsessed a little.

    It is great to find links when you want a break from work, an easy way to keep up to date with people and let people know when you have blogged – as you have noted.

    I am just about to past more Twitter followers than blog subscribers which is a scary thought considering I’ve been using Twitter for half the time. It is a very powerful tool.

    I’ve also linked (in my name) to another huge list of 450+ odd designers / geeks / creatives to follow on Twitter. Think you commented there from memory.

    Thought this would have been a post for DavidAirey.com?

  4. Twitter is great when used well. In little amounts at the right times it can be brilliant. Chit-chat isn’t helpful or useful on twitter! Sharing links or remarks is. For too many people it’s the tweeting that is important and not the content of what it is they are writing.

  5. Have to admit I’m a twitter fanatic. I find it a very valuable tool to pick up tons of inspiration and design resources, get crit, drive blog traffic and generally to relieve some tension.

    It’s great to winge and moan and have other people share in your self-pity!

  6. Let me put it this way – without Twitter I would have never read this interesting thread

    ;o)

    Mark

  7. Leon,

    A friend of mine has four Twitter profiles. One for each site she authors. I’m happy with one. Good point about not spending hours over a tweet (which in the past I’ve experienced with blog posts). On the flip side, I reckon some people neglect their blogs more because they’re busy on social networking sites.

    Jacob,

    What I find interesting is that some people don’t like others tweeting about their blog posts, but don’t you think it’s the case that some followers won’t subscribe to your feeds? For you, I’d say definitely, given the huge following you have. For me, I’d say it’s probable.

    I reckon this post suits either of my blogs, but as I’d not had a chance to post here in a week or so I thought I’d add an update. Good to keep those dates fresh.

    Youssef,

    I’m sure there are lot of people who find Twitter useful for chatting. Not so much for me, though, except perhaps when a break from work is necessary, and it’s raining outside (because getting outdoors is important).

    Nathan,

    I admit, it’s nice to have others share in your self-pity, be it a broken toe, noisy neighbours etc. There are some great tweets that make me laugh too, such as this one from Peter Serafinowicz:

    “Went to the gym this morning. As I left, everyone said I was the best!”

    A thank you to Twitter, for bringing us Mark Christensen. Cheers, Mark. :)

  8. love that image from Shining you posted there, David. So true, thanks to Twitter we don’t go crazy when working alone from our home offices.

    I’m afraid I’m guilty of abandoning blogging while getting more social and active on Twitter. It’s not the main reason why I’ve been so quiet on my blog, but it definitely contributed to it. And just like Leon and you mentioned, it doesn’t take long to express my thoughts in 140 characters vs. long posts on the blog that take days to shape up.

  9. yael

    love your line ‘speeds of 100tph’ – tweets per hour. now that’s a good one!

  10. Great article. And very useful. Thanks.

  11. For a long time I was using Twitter as my feed aggregation tool. I’m picking up Google Reader again, though. I like it when people announce their latest blog posts, but that’s me.

    It’s a great resource for getting help with questions of all sorts and promoting other’s requests (like yours for case study examples). You don’t always find the answers you need, but sometimes you do, and that’s so awesome!

  12. Guilty of the “I twitter to announce my blog” tweets. Actually, still pretty new to it, and still figuring out how much is too much, how much is relevant and how it might be useful to me, and how I could be useful to others. But I do think that when we have time on our hands (hello, clients…..please move just a little faster), it’s helpful to keep learning…and eventually we will figure it out. I think anything that keeps us all connected (the community of designers, friends, family, activists) is healthy. And yes, I am obsessed. Will stop…tomorrow. Maybe.
    Thanks for the thoughtful post.

  13. Twitter has allowed me to talk to businesses coaches, designers, and many other folks who own their own business. I get to really “talk” to them and share amazing ideas.

    I also get to hear about what tech events/specials that are happening round town. I feel that’s it’s helped me connect in a totally unique way. Yeah for Twitter!

  14. David,
    I wouldn’t say it would be a problem for you, people have come to expect self promotion now, and wouldn’t the reason people follow you, be exactly for that reason… to follow you?.This would include what you write about in my opinion.

  15. Using twitter has really helped drive traffic to my site. I absolutely love it! Although I must say that I’ve had to stop following some people as well… one guy seemed like he was posting 50 tweets per hour, lol!

  16. Twitter has done wonders for my online magazine. Every since I started using it I can easily look for artists who I think would have a major interest in my magazine and then they tell their friends and so on and so on.

    I really liked it because its kinda like Facebook status updates and plus I can update through my phone! I’m not obsessed but I use it everyday to stay in contact.

    Twiiter is great for advertising!

  17. mimi

    we love Plurk rather than Twitter in asia, it’s easier to response.

  18. Great post David.

    I’ll have to say that I’m a reluctant twitter user. I use it mainly for the community, as well as the power it has to give and receive information quickly.

    I no longer read as many blogs as I used to (there are just too many out there and I have so little time these days) so I now lean on twitter instead.

    In addition, if you don’t grab your twitter name, someone else will.

  19. Hi Vivien,

    My girlfriend hasn’t seen the Shining, so I might watch it again soon. Aren’t many movies like that anymore — went to see Drag Me To Hell at the weekend… rubbish.

    Yael,

    Glad you liked it. ;)

    Lauren,

    I’ve absolutely nothing against people promoting their posts on Twitter. Particularly as I’m always trying to cut my RSS subscriptions.

    Kim,

    I can empathise with that (waiting for clients to respond). I think one of my projects is still ongoing after a year and a half, which taught me to factor project length into initial conversations.

    Catherine,

    Great tip about grabbing a profile before someone else. Prompted me into action.

  20. I only use it professionally to post tips to my blog for people who work in the greeting card industry. Always has timely interesting tidbits I would never find otherwise. It’s like a newsfeed except better news from many people

  21. I am not too crazy about rampant retweeting, but I do wish more people were tweeting about design. It seems people have stopped creating and thinking and are just selling themselves or their blog. Those “designers who tweet” or “top twitter designers” are just usually huge circle jerks by people who have no clue of what designers are on twitter and are just trying to increase their following to promote their blog.

    It worries me to be quite honest. I’ve opened quite a few links where I have to just shake my head. A classic example of this is a design resource/blog with a “create your own step by step tutorial” tutorial.

    It’s a ponzi scheme Bernie Madoff would be proud of.

    I love me some Twitter to connect with new people, but it can sometimes become very disingenuous. For those who just enjoy a good back and forth feel free to add me @formula623

  22. Twitter is great if you have a fair sized following, lets you keep them updated on any changes such as new products or new blog posts.

  23. Michael,

    I agree about the explosion of “make money with Twitter” type profiles. And a “create your own tutorial” tutorial? Are you sure that wasn’t a joke? Jeez.

  24. Great article.

    Another way twitter can help designers (or anyone) is by establishing expertise and building trust. Most of us designers that have a blog or website are doing it for one main reason: to get more clients. To acquire clients through the internet you must establish trust and be perceived as an expert in your field.

    Twitter, like blogging, can be a good vehicle to show the internet how and why you are an expert. It can also be used in a transparent way to establish trust with potential clients and collaborators.

    Twitter can be another great tool in the internet marketing toolbox. It can also be a narcissistic waste of time, but that’s another story.

  25. Hi James,

    Couldn’t agree more. Building trust is essential for online business, and Twitter can definitely help. It can also hinder too, as with your point about time-wasting.

    I hope all’s well with the move to home ownership!

  26. I think its really important to utilise other designers when coming up with a design and getting advice from them can really help with your design, especially if your stuck for inspiration.

  27. Mort

    At first I hated twitter, but then I started using it for feedback and I’ll be damned it twitter isn’t perfect for getting quick concise critiques. Thanks for the link to the list of logo designers, I’m a gonna follow every one of them.

  28. I always find explaining the use of Twitter to mates difficult. They only see it as Facebook’s ‘what I’m doing now’ piece, when it is soooo much more. Admittedly I haven’t gone too deep into it and started getting into the groups and all that, which I know is super useful so will at some point. One gripe I do have with it, well a couple actually, is some of the people on there. Do these guys actually do any work? I can only jump on every few days or so, otherwise I end up bookmarking stuff for fun which takes up far too much time and send me down a very long rabbit hole. Plus, there seems to be a lot of ‘check out this link, which isn’t mine and actually my design is terrible but look at me I’m a popular web rockstar!!’ stuff going on.

    Anyways, that aside I gotta be thankful to those who do find and post a million links a second because there’s no way I’d have the time or knowledge to find them all, so it is a huge help.

  29. Al, I can imagine it’s all too easy to get caught up using Twitter. Especially given the host of Twitter clients and extra “services”. Personally, I stick to the website alone, which is manageable enough for my purposes.

  30. Trying to ‘get into’ Twitter but… so far it’s about the same as FaceBook, just without the photo albums. :)

    But, I added quite a few of the logo designers listed about, maybe having bigger network will spark some interest.

  31. JoelBert

    I started using twitter recently and immediately got a job creating a logo for Maestro’s ( The Grammy award winning, multi- platinum producer ) http://www.listeningsession.com/ . He’s actually the one who referred me to this site & I’ve been tuned in everyday =)

  32. That’s great to know, Joel. If you haven’t already finished, good luck with your design project.

  33. DTG

    Yes… it’s a delightful resource, however take care in using it — many, many of the tweets are re-tweets or re-tweeted retweets … and many are tweeting plagiarrized content from other sites, either hijacked from the author, or pulling the authors work into the tweeter’s site — who takes credit for the work.

    By tweeting and retweeting un-authenticated tweets, Twitter demoralizes the design community.

    See:
    http://www.graphic-design.com/60-seconds/society/twitter-tweet-jerks

  34. Stopped by to comment, Fred.

  1. Twitted by twebeck - Jun 4th, 2009


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