Nela Dunato Art & Design Blog

Why I don’t teach business owners how to design their own logos

Why I don’t teach business owners how to design their own logos

Let’s not beat around the bush: my design services are not cheap. I wouldn’t call them “expensive”, but for the majority of people who might benefit from them, they’re currently out of reach. I don’t have a problem with that, as there are different designers that offer logos at different price points, so hopefully everyone can find one that’s ideal for them. But there's a huge gap between people who read my articles and enjoy my free resources, and the few people who can actually invest in my services. If I want to assist those who cannot yet afford my help in a deeper way than blog posts or free classes can achieve, I need a more affordable range of products. Read more...

Is your logo sending the right message?

Is your logo sending the right message?

Brand design has a secret language: visual language. A logo has many roles in your business, and perhaps the most important of them is communicating your main brand message to your audience. In this post, I explain how visual design works, and list 4 types of brand messages you can create for your business. Read more...

The making of Santa Muerte photomanipulation

The making of “Santa Muerte” photomanipulation

I loved digitally editing photographs since I was a teenager. It grew into elaborate collages that required a lot of painting to get everything look like a part of the same image. Today, I'll show you how my last piece “Santa Muerte” has evolved from the original photograph, to a final composition that included collage, painting as well as vector drawing. Read more...

What’s in your Creative Wellness Toolbox?

What’s in your Creative Wellness Toolbox?

Artists are intimately familiar with our physical tools—but today, I’m talking about a different type of toolbox. The toolbox you need to keep yourself in optimal mental and emotional shape to be able to create not just any kind of work, but your best work. Read more...

It’s all about who you know

It’s all about who you know

In some countries where corruption abounds, using personal connections to build career opportunities is seen as unethical, because it's so often abused. However, connections are not only a perfectly valid tool, they're “the way of the world”. Here's a few stories on the role of personal connections in my career, and some tips to ethically use them to your advantage. Read more...

Mixed Media Art Journals

Sketchbook Adventures: Mixed Media Art Journals

Every once in awhile, I like to share the results of my personal creative practice here on the blog. If you already follow me on Instagram, these might look familiar since that's usually the first place where I post my work in progress and finished pieces. The sketchbook pages I'm sharing today are about exploring mixed media. Read more...

Hyperfocused vs. holistic brand

Hyperfocused vs. holistic brand: which one is better for you?

When it comes to the very highest level of branding and marketing approaches, currently I see two currents: “Be focused” or “Be all of who you are”. Which one should you adopt? It’s not a decision anyone else can make for you. What I can do is give you pros and cons for both to help you make the right choice—so let's do that. Read more...

How to never miss a weekly blog post

My best tip: How to never miss a weekly blog post

Last year I’ve updated my blog every single week without fail, despite all the client deadlines, long workdays, launches, teaching, traveling and conferences, vacations, burnout... It was quite an eventful year, and my blog kept on ticking like clockwork. Want to know how? Read more...

How to avoid getting ripped off by a logo designer

How to avoid getting ripped off by a logo designer

Unethical freelancers are the worst, and it stings even more when those rotten apples are my own colleagues. I want to make their job of cheating you harder, and your job of finding great freelancers online easier. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself from being taken advantage of. Read more...

8 painful lessons from my most horrible client experience

8 painful lessons from my horrible client from Hell experience

Last year, I’ve had the most awful “client from Hell” experience in my 12 years as a professional designer. While the experience itself was horrible, the things that came out of it made my business so much better. Here are the lessons that inspired my transformation toward the next level of professionalism. Read more...

Stop chasing clients - 4 effective alternatives to cold pitching

Stop chasing clients: 4 effective alternatives to cold pitching

If you've found yourself in a situation without clients and many bills to pay, you might get tempted to start pitching your services to people who haven't heard about you yet. Pitching is not fun, it puts you in an inferior position, and the effectiveness can be hit or miss. Here's what I recommend instead. Read more...

Why basing your brand strategy on your ideal client is wrong

Why basing your brand strategy on your “ideal client” is wrong

Ideal clients: those mythical creatures all brand strategists talk about. Who are they? How do you find them? How do you charm them so they become your real, not just ideal clients? Maybe those aren't the first questions you should be asking yourself. In fact, by starting your branding strategy with your ideal clients, you might run into some traps. Read more...

The 5 Types Of Bad Clients and How To Repel Them

The 5 Types Of Bad Clients & How To Repel Them

Service businesses can’t afford to work with the wrong kinds of clients. We spend so much time immersed in the projects and client communication, and constantly taking on people who are a poor fit will destroy your business. Here are practical ways to use your marketing to repel the wrong clients from your business. Read more...

Who the Hell needs branding

Who the Hell needs “branding”? Here’s how to get noticed, your way.

I write a lot about branding on this blog, but I don’t blame you at all if you’re getting sick and tired of hearing this word all the time. Let’s try something different today instead. Let’s drop all pretense of there being any system or formula that you need to know or follow in order to succeed in business. Let’s deconstruct “branding”. Read more...