All Posts By

Michael Janda

QA Session with the Design Experience School in Moscow

Over the past several years I have been fortunate to connect and build friendships with some amazing people all over the world. One of those awesome people is Eugenia I. in Moscow, Russia. Eugenia is the owner of a successful interior design company based in Moscow and an online school called, Design Experience. She and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to the business of design.

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Speaking at HOW Design Live in Boston

For the second time, I was honored to be included in HOW Design Live’s speaker line-up. (I previously spoke at How Design Live 2016 held in Atlanta.) The HOW Conference is one of the largest design conference in the United States attracting designers from all over the nation. This year’s event was held in Boston at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center.

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5 Things We Look for in Job Interviews

A few months ago my management team and I were discussing converting one our our talented interns into a full-time employee. As a small business, we don’t take this lightly at Riser. Our objective is to hire people who will be with us for a long time in a mutually beneficial relationship. As such, I did a little soul searching to determine our hiring strategy and landed on this analysis when considering adding a member to our team.

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3 Reasons a Graphic Designer Should Get a Masters Degree and 6 Reasons They Should Not

Recently, I engaged in a message board debate about the need to earn a Masters Degree as a graphic designer. Valid arguments were voiced on both sides of the coin. The message board debate was started by a recently graduated Bachelors Degree design student who wondered if she should continue her education and secure a Masters Degree.

I preface this article by saying “no education is wasted.” In fact, your level of education will have a direct impact your success as a graphic designer (or any career field). However, the word “education” in 2013 does not mean the same thing that it meant in 1983. In today’s world, “education” is not necessarily measured by how many tassels someone has hanging from their flat, black hat. Continue Reading

11 Things Designers Should Do When They Don’t Have Work

The exhilaration of having a ton of cash flowing in and the agony of hearing crickets chirping instead of client phone calls, it is the life of a designer. Countless times in my career I have had moments of panic when the phone stops ringing. “Will it ever ring again?” “Should I apply for that job at McDonalds?” “Does my Mom still have a bed for me at her house?”

What I have learned is that lulls in work can be turned to a calm before the storm if you do the right things. (And, by the way, human nature’s inspiration to have you play Call of Duty all night, watch movies, kill six hours on Facebook, or go to the pool all day is NOT the right thing. Engage in too much of those activities and McDonalds may be your only career option.) Continue Reading

The Origin of Burn Your Portfolio

Although I can’t seem to find it in my brief internet search, I recall hearing a quote along the lines of “most people think they have a book inside them.” Perhaps it is a total misquote. But I remember thinking in my late 20′s that I would one day like to write a book. It only took a decade to figure out what subject matter I would use to embark on this adventure. Continue Reading