I used to use Blinksale as my invoicing system until they started stagnating a few years ago and better solutions came along. Since then Blinksale has been under new management and have revamped their services — including an intriguing $15/month “unlimited everything” pricing structure that’s certainly more appealing than a menu of varying pricing plans.
They’re now launching ZenCash which looks interesting — a service that acts as a collection agency for you. They not only send out payment reminders to your clients, but they call them on the phone on your behalf when they’re late.
I don’t know if it’s a service I would use enough to justify subscribing to, but it’s intriguing, and I appreciate that it works with some of the major invoicing services — Blinksale, Harvest (what I use), and Freshbooks (with LessAccounting and QuickBooks coming soon it looks like).
Update: I’ve been informed it is not a subscription based service; it’s free to join and you only pay for what you use.
“As far as the Moleskinerie logo contest is concerned, we would like to clarify that since the nature of Moleskinerie has always been participative, made up of passionate contributions and voluntary submissions, we decided to let the community participate again in creating the new logo of the blog. We decided to collaborate with Designboom to do so, a leading online design magazine, which is well aware of how to run a contest of this kind.”—
Moleskine wants you to design their new logo for free
I admit, long ago as a young illustrator I too fell for this crap and please believe me when I say it’s a mistake. I will never change my mind about how working artists should never bother supporting such “spec-work-disguised-as-contests.”
Contests are one thing, and they can be good. Volunteering your talents is another thing, and it’s good. But creating a logo or any branding collateral for a big company for free, and knowing that the work of the other 99.99% “losers” will essentially be tossed into the trash (and the copyright to their work handed over to those running the contest) is just stupid, and it’s offensive that any company would think it’s OK. It’s a terrible way for you to run your business. And when you freelance you are running a business.
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have”—Steve Jobs
“Yes, the Obama campaign is soliciting unpaid labor to create a poster “illustrating why we support President Obama’s plan to create jobs now, and why we’ll re-elect him to continue fighting for jobs for the next four years.””—
Y’all should head over to Leif Peng’s “Today’s Illustration” blog for some great stories and discussions about how much illustrators in the 1950s used to earn. The three most recent posts cover a lot of this. Pop ‘em into your Instapaper for some bedtime reading.