Friday, February 19, 2010

Game Changer: It’s The Little Things!

It was an honor and privilege to be asked to participated in Sarah Robinson's "30 Days To Changing Your Game." The idea; 30 bloggers, 30 blog posts and 30 ways to inspire others to create new habits and new ways of thinking to changing their game.

The excerpt from my article is below. You can read the full article; It’s The Little Things on Sarah Robinson's Blog, Escaping Mediocrity.

There is no secret to being a success on Twitter; it’s the little things that count. The same principles can be applied to your daily life as well.
A few things I did that changed my game and it can for you too.
Value - Sharing your knowledge, expertise and helping others with it, adds value. You will be the trusted person that everyone will go to.
Be Nice – Being nice is very easy to do and don’t expect anything in return. It doesn’t take much to show kindness, that kindness will be returned in full when you least expect it.
Community – Contributing and being part of a community; helps build relationships and trust. It will also give you the sense of belonging, like family. When in need, you can call on your community for support.
Share Your Life – Take a chance; Open up and share something about your life. People are more willing to do business with someone they know something about, builds trust.

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

How To Network On-line For Your Next Big Project

These days I do a lot of my networking and marketing on-line. The web reaches more people than any brochure or media kit, with less time and money. The two that really helped me are: On-line networking/directory web sites and posting in forums.

Having a profile/account/portfolio on any free networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, or Creative Hotlist will get your name out there. Posting on forums will also help to build relations and trust that may bring you new clients and projects.

That's how Create Magazine contacted me to design their 5 page featured article. I have a portfolio on their site. After looking at my work. They thought I might be a good fit for the magazine.

I post on design forums pretty often and have built many relations. As a result, Jeff Fisher, Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, asked me to submit some of my work for his new book, Identity Crisis! 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities Into Successful Brands.

Another example, Steve Gordon, Jr., RDQLUS Creative. Asked me to submit my work for his book, 100 Habits of Successful Freelance Designers: Insider Secrets for Working Smart & Staying Creative.

Twitter is really a great place for building connections, relationships and interactions with brands and high profile people like Chris Brogan or Guy Kawasaki. In the off-line world you wouldn't have these opportunities, or would be very difficult to get in contact with them.

I've been talking (bantering) with Guy Kawasaki on Twitter for some time. He must really like my style, because Guy approached me to do some design work for him and Alltop. He's a really cool guy (no pun intended) to work with. He actually, listens and are open to suggestions.

If you get a chance, take it to the next level by attending Meetups, Tweetups and Conferences, where you actually meet "In Real Life (IRL)." It's like meeting an old friend, which helps to really build a bond with the relationships you have developed on-line, then off-line into the real world.

So get out there! Start networking, connecting and building relationships.

Here are a few resources that will help with your networking.

Business Networking Web Sites

Ad Holes
Fast Pitch
Start Up Nation
Meet Up

Design Networking/Portfolio Web Sites

Carbon Made
Design: Related
Creative Hotlist
Design Hide
Designer ID
Logo Pond
Logo Lounge

Design Forums

HOW Design Magazine
Freelance Switch
Graphic Design
Estetica Design
You The Designer
Designers Talk
All Graphic Design

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Layers Magazine: Twitter Round Table Discussion With Mayhem Studios

Nancy Masse of Layers Magazine asked a few who were active on Twitter, to participate in a two part Twitter round table discussion; Jacob Cass, Just Creative, Andy Sowards,, Adam Nollmeyer, Acme Photography and Calvin Lee, (myself) Mayhem Studios who work in the creative industry to share our insights from an individual’s point of view on Social Media.

In Twitter Round Table Part 1: We were asked a set of questions regarding Social Media through Twitter, back in January.

In Twitter Round Table Part 2: We re-visit the participants in our first round table discussions to see exactly how much has changed in the four months since our last discussions.

Follow me, @mayhemstudios @NAPP_News @JustCreative @AndySowards and @AcmePhoto on Twitter.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Mayhem Studios Featured in 100 Habits of Successful Freelance Designers

Several of my tips and my work will be included in a new book about freelancing, "100 Habits of Successful Freelance Designers: Insider Secrets for Working Smart & Staying Creative," published by Rockport and authored by Steve Gordon, Jr. with Laurel Saville.

Good habits are found in every part of the design process, from promoting yourself well in order to land the client, to working with that client, to achieving the desired results on press.

"100 Habits of Successful Freelance Designers" reveals solutions from a wide range of freelance designers whose years of experience have helped them find not only the most creative solutions for their clients’ design needs, but also the most successful solutions. The book also focuses on the daily habits that inspire these designers to stay creative, and business strategies to be successful when working on your own.

About Steve Gordon, Jr.
Steve Gordon, Jr. has been a professional graphic designer for the better part of a decade. He’s run the full range of the career path with experience from in-house design at internationally recognized Fortune 1000 companies, agency and studio work, to now working as an independent designer and creative consultant, RDQLUS Creative.

He frequently lectures on how small studios/freelance designers can stay competitive in the design field at conferences such as the HOW Conference.

Follow @mayhemstudios and @RDQLUS_Creative on Twitter.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mayhem Studios Interviewed on Inspiredology

I was lucky enough to be interview by Chad Mueller, owner of Inspiredology, an awesome website about inspiration for all things design.

Chad asked me a few fun and interesting questions like:

+ Where do you look for sources of inspiration?
+ What is your favourite aspect of logo design?
+ Who do you look up to in your field?
+ How has using Twitter helped the popularity of you?
+ What sort of social media tools have you found most successful?
+ What advice would you give to someone looking to specialize?

Head on over to Inspiredology, and read my interview to find out a little more about me.

Follow me, @mayhemstudios and @chadmueller on Twitter.

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

How to Brand Yourself with a Twitter Background

I recently wrote an article for Twitter Backgrounds Gallery website, "How to Brand Yourself with a Twitter Background."

In the article, I talk about when marketing and branding yourself, you want all pieces to look similar and cohesive: logo, business cards, letterhead, envelope, website, brochure, media kit, marketing materials, signage, etc.

And how Twitter profile backgrounds is another tool in helping to market and promote yourself. The background should match your existing brand or look. Twitter backgrounds get noticed if they’re: unique, fresh and stands out from the crowd.

I also go into topics about

+ What size should the Twitter background be?
+ Type of Twitter Designs
+ Tile or not to tile
+ Contrast and readability

The article is up on Twitter Backgrounds Gallery website now. You can read the full article HERE.

Follow @mayhemstudios and @TwitterBGallery on Twitter.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mayhem Studios Featured in Video: How To Turn Twitter Followers into Friends

Jesse Newhart, Digital Media Explorer and owner of has a really great video on his blog "How To Turn Twitter Followers into Friends." Jesse takes you through how to becoming friends with your followers and succeed in building relationships on Twitter.

Jesse uses me, Mayhem Studios as an example of how I built relationships on Twitter, by helping others out, participating, interacting, tweeting using information, retweeting others, being part of the community, replying to questions, having good manners and sharing part of your life.

Another great video, "Now Your Followers Are Friends. Now What?" from Khayyam Wakil, I am Khayyam blog. A follow up to Jesse's video, "How To Turn Twitter Followers into Friends."

Khayyam goes over how to use Twitalyzer and what all the numbers mean. Twitalyzer is a unique tool to evaluate the activity of any Twitter user and report on relative influence, signal-to-noise ratio, generosity, velocity, clout, and other useful measures of success in social media.

He also talks about how Twitter is mainstream from ABC News, "Tweet Like a Bird: Your Guide."

So check out all the great videos and free to follow us on Twitter, @mayhemstudios @jessenewhart @iamkhayyam

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Chat With Twitter Master & Designer Calvin Lee

If you're on Twitter, you probably already know Calvin Lee, principal and creative director of Mayhem Studios. Calvin is one of the most helpful designers on twitter. You can always depend on him to tweet/retweet an interesting article, answer questions or make a witty comment.

In this interview by Grant Friedman, owner of Colorburned Studios, decided to stray away from the usual questions about design, instead, asked questions about how Calvin became one of the biggest design tweeters out there.

Head over to Colorburned Studios and read the interview, A Chat With Twitter Master & Designer Calvin Lee.

Follow @mayhemstudios and @colorburned on Twitter.

About Grant Friedman
Grant Friedman is the creative mind behind Colorburned Studios, a freelance design studio.

Grant started his website as a means to showcase his artwork and designs as well as to share his thoughts on current design trends. Colorburned Studios offers unique design resources and tutorials to other designers who may be interested in learning some new techniques.

Grant started as a designer in 1999. Volunteering to design a e-newsletter for an organization, which he was involved with. From that moment on, he was hooked. He spent most of those early days designing websites for organizations and individuals. It wasn't long before his interest in web design spawned into a passion for design in general.

Today, his passion for design includes; graphic design, illustration as well as print and web design. Over the years, Grant has worked for a number of businesses, organizations and individuals on a number of projects, in a variety of roles.

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

13 Tips You Should Know About Before Flying Solo

When starting out on your own for the first time it can be very scary, not knowing when your next pay check will be coming from. I wish I had information that was available to me back then to help ease the transition into flying solo.

I was lucky enough to work at a small marketing firm on my first job. I worked there for about two years before it went out of business but during those two years. I did learn the ins and outs of running a design firm, working with clients and print shops, prepping press ready files, juggling many projects and the business end of design.

These are thirteen tips I believe you should know about before going solo. I hope they useful and helpful to you. If you have any other tips to add, please feel free to comment below.

Be honest with yourself – Know your strengths and weaknesses. Surround yourself with good people that compliment your weaknesses. Be sure that you know your stuff; design and the process from concepts to print production to web design.

Learn from your day job – Learn everything you can before going on your own, from your day job. Like how to run a business, invoicing, billing, estimates, working with print shops, preparing print ready files, working with clients, file management, etc.

Saved your pennies – Save up some money before starting out on your own. It can be very tough getting your name out there in the beginning. Back up money, can really help you through those dry times.

Dealing with clients - Be patient with clients and educate them on your process. Never let them see you sweat. Be cool and level headed, even with the difficult ones. It’s about what you can do for them.

Be organized – Set up all your folders for each project. Place all paperwork related to the project in the folders: estimates, invoices, emails, correspondence, design, concepts, etc., so that it can be found easily. Also set up job folder on your computer for each project; concepts, layered files, text, etc.

Learn the business side – Make sure you learn about the business side of design; getting the proper licenses, permits, taxes, business forms, dealing with clients, self-promotion, getting new clients, etc., when starting a business.

Taxes – Read up and research about which taxes apply to you. Tax breaks, licenses, permits and what you can write off, etc., to insure not to get penalized by the IRS.

Branding - Brand yourself, let potential clients see you as a brand/product, a total package. Everything should look similar: logo, resume, business cards, marketing materials, signage, website, etc.

Make Connections – Make connections and network within/outside of your industry before going solo. It makes it a lot easier when you're on your own. It's who you know most of the time. You never know, who may refer you through word of mouth.

Contracts - Before you start any project or do any kind of work. Always get a signed contract and a 25%-50% deposit. A contract protects you and your client from any miscommunications. A 25%-50% deposit insures that the client is serious about working with you. Consult an attorney once you have drafted a contract, to cover all your bases.

Business Forms - When starting out in any business, it's very important having a logo, business cards or stationery, so you look professional. It's equally important having business forms that help in organizing and running of your business.

Creative Brief - It's a good idea to get some background information about your client before starting on any project. It will help to met client goals and expectations. Using a creative brief will help accomplish this.

A creative brief lays out the visual design directions to explore and the objectives of the project. Using the information on the form to make sure that we are both focused and are on the same page throughout the creative process to deliver the clients message.

Website - Make sure you have a website or a place to display your work with all your information. If you're not comfortable with building a website yourself. There are many free online web galleries you can use.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

How Do You Twitter: Mayhem Studios?

Paddy Donnelly, owner of Iampaddy, Belgium based website, chats with Calvin Lee, principal and creative director of Mayhem Studios. Self-Proclaimed Media Ho, Designer Guy and Twitter Addict. In his spare time, Stunt Doubles for the Hulk and a really Nice Guy!

Calvin Lee is one of the most retweeted users on Twitter and gives us his thoughts on his Twitter addiction and how it should be used.

Head on over to Iampaddy and read the interview, How Do You Twitter: Mayhem Studios?.

You may also follow @mayhemstudios and @paddydonnelly on Twitter.

About Paddy Donnelly
Paddy Donnelly is a web designer, illustrator, blogger and eternal student from Ballycastle, Ireland who journeys through the Internet every day looking for interesting, funny and weird stuff, like everyone else. He has been known to drop everything to partake in Internet projects, which distract him from the monotony of regular life.

His online adventures have been in a constant effort to study social media’s effects on education and the daily lives of creative individuals, while discovering the path to constructing a valuable online presence for himself in the creative web community.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Self-Promotion: The Press Release

Have some exciting news or completed a successful project? That's a great reason to send out a press release and a way to promote yourself, your services without sounding like a saleman. When writing a press release, go into details how your solution made the project a success.

Give credit to the client with background information about them, their company and link backs when possible. You're not only promoting your clients but also yourself. They will appreicate it.

The more press releases you have online, on the different press release websites, more likely you'll pop up in searches on search engines. Press releases is one great way to get ranked near the top of most searches. Also submit your press releases to media outlets; news wire, local/national/industry related newspapers and magazines.

There is a great article on BoDo, written by author Neil Tortorella, "Building Your Media List." The article is about building your prospects and contacts list. Simple things you can do yourself by checking local newspapers, business magazines and local book stores. Using your contact list to distribute your news and PR.

Another great resource for press coverage is Peter Shankman, owner of HARO, Help a Reporter Out™. Reporters need sources and people to contribute to their articles. When you sign up for HARO. Each day, you'll receive up to three emails, each with anywhere from 15-30 queries per email. If you see a query you can answer, go for it! It's that simple.

A few online press release resources you can submit to. Also check out the megalist of free press release websites on Blogging Secret.

+ Associated Press
+ Biz Journals
+ Fast Pitch
+ PR Compass
+ Online PR News
+ PR Leap - fee
+ PR Web - fee
+ PR For $25 - fee
+ PR Mac
+ Free Press Release
+ 24/7 Press Release
+ PR Log
+ California Press Release
+ 1888 Press Release
+ Click Press
+ Free News Release
+ I-Newswire
+ PR
+ PR 9

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Braintalk: 15 Answers with Mayhem Studios

Calvin Lee, principal and creative director of Mayhem Studios, interviewed by Sharebrain for their monthly column, Braintalk: 15 Answers. Where designers are asked the same 15 questions, but with 15 very different insightful answers into their process, inspiration and daily lives.

Head on over to Sharebrain and read the interview, Braintalk: 15 Answers with Calvin Lee. Hope everyone will find the interview helpful and inspiring.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Social Bookmarking Equals More Traffic

In the past, I have written about Networking and Marketing On-Line with business, design and portfolio web sites along with forums.

Another great way is Social Bookmarking. Social Bookmarking is sharing your content like articles, blog posts, press releases and personal bookmarks on bookmarking web sites. It's a good way to bring more traffic to your web site.

By bookmarking on these web sites. It's the easiest way to get registered on search engines. Search engine spiders crawl all the major bookmarking web sites and will lead to links on your web site.

Another important thing to remember is to include keywords, labels and tags on the bookmarking web sites. Makes it a lot easier for people to find your bookmarked links.

General Social Bookmarking Web Sites

+ Digg
+ Stumble Upon
+ Sphinn
+ Reddit
+ Technorati
+ Blink List
+ Diigo
+ Beamark
+ Simpy
+ Ma.gnolia

Design Social Bookmarking Web Sites

+ Design Float
+ Design Bump
+ Design Moo

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Self-Promotion Made Easy: Mayhem Studios Interviewed on FreelanceSwitch

Calvin Lee, Principal and Creative Director of Mayhem Studios, a small award-winning design studio located in Los Angeles, was interviewed by the FreelanceSwitch website written by Kristen Fischer, Self-Promotion Made Easy: An Interview With Calvin Lee. The interview discusses self-promotion and spec work with the designer.

The Studio would like to also thank Jeff Fisher, Jeff Fisher LogoMotives for writing about the Studios FreelanceSwitch interview on his blog, Identity Crisis. It's very much appreciated!

About FreelanceSwitch
FreelanceSwitch is a site for freelancers. Whether you’ve been freelancing for years, have just started or are considering making the switch, this is the place to get all the information and support you need.

About Kristen Fischer
Kristen Fischer is a freelance writer living at the Jersey Shore. She began writing Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs during 2004, after experiencing many trials and triumphs while forming her copywriting business. She released her second book, Ramen Noodles, Rent and Resumes: An After-College Guide to Life in Spring 2007.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Mayhem Studios' Works Featured in Creativity Awards 36

Mayhem Studios, award-winning design firm is recognized for its graphic design excellence. The Studios' works featured in David E. Carter's next book, Creativity Awards 36, released Summer of 2007 by Harper Collins.

Two of the Studios' works, Family Medical Clinic Banner and ET Product Stationery Design are among the winning entries featured in the Annual. This year’s quality was unprecedented, the Studios entries were chosen among the submissions from over 38 states and 29 countries.

The Creativity Awards competition honors outstanding work done each year by creative professionals in every discipline. Awards are based strictly on the quality of the submissions, not the size, nor reputation of the firm.

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About me

  • Mayhem Studios is a small award-winning design firm located in Los Angeles, California, developing identity and brand recognition for the business sector across the nation. The Studio uses strategic and creative design with effective messages targeted to the client's specific audiences to produce identity and branded collateral pieces, annual reports, brochures, logo design, advertising and interactive web sites. Calvin Lee, Principal & Creative Director of Mayhem Studios is a graduate of Platt College and serves as a member of the Platt College Advisory Board for the Visual Communications Department, NO!SPEC Committee and on the Creative Latitude Management Team.
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