Dabbling in the online freelance market

Today I had a browse through one of the sites that allows designers to submit work to clients who post design briefs.  During my studies, such work was not recommended (well, not at the job interview stage at any rate) as it is basically working for free.  In my case, that’s fine as I’m using these briefs to do work I would not do if left to my own devices – it build up my portfolio potentially and gets my work “out there”.

As well as adding to my portfolio, I need to either get a job quick smart, get money off the Government once I am poor (yay for the Australian Government – I need to have less than $3000 in liquid funds before they will give me a job search allowance), or win loads of these design comps!

Given I do a fair bit of web page work for my cycling club and just for the heck of it, I had a look a briefs that could possibly make use of this skill set.  I found one for an email advertising banner that looked doable.  So, after some quick sketching, I opened up photoshop.  After 30 mins, I ditched that and restarted in illustrator.  After about 10 mins, I exported the background, and required text layers then reassembled them in photoshop and included the company logo.  I then selected the pixels of the text and added an inner shadow so the text would pop out a little.  This rendered some of the smaller text a bit illegible, so I reinserted the text layer and from the layer with the shadow, once I rasterized that, I deleted the illegible text.  This resulted in the upper layer showing the unmodified and now legible text.

For a job where the winning submission gets $160US, I figure 90mins worth of work is sufficient.