Computer ArtsNews

How to be featured on a major design blog

Co-founder of international design showcase site FormFiftyFive, Glenn Garriock discusses exactly what it takes to get your work in the spotlight

One of the most effective ways to get your work in front of thousands of potential clients, agencies, journalists and other creatives is to be featured on a leading design blog. But what’s the secret formula for making it happen? We caught up with co-founder, creative director and editor of international design showcase site FormFiftyFive, Glenn Garriock, to find out.

“There are a variety of ways that we find content for FormFiftyFive,” Garriock begins. “We get around 30-50 daily email submissions from all over the globe. Going through these isn't an easy task – we all have day jobs, and can't read and especially can't answer every single email. So you need to make yours count.”

Garriock advises sending a short, concise email providing basic information about yourself and the project, plus a link to the work, two to three JPEGs and any press releases attached.

"Supply images ready to publish and take time to find the preferred image dimensions of the blog you’re writing to,” he says. "Provide a download link with further material and a press release with soundbites, quotable comments and 'behind the scenes' or production info."

The interview section of the FormFiftyFive site - featuring Computer Arts Collection
The interview section of the FormFiftyFive site - featuring Computer Arts Collection

He continues: “Read the blog you're writing to and find out who they are, what they write about and if your work will fit. Within the first two seconds of reading an email I can tell if you actually read FFF or not. Never start your email with ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ or ‘To whom it may concern’ – it really happens.”

Do your research
To increase your chance of being featured, try seeking out the contributor whose posts you most enjoy or work is most like your own. But don’t bombard them with every project you do: “The main thing is to carefully consider what and how often you share," explains Garriock.

"Writing to blogs about single projects every couple of weeks isn't going to get you far, unless the project is mind-blowing of course! A portfolio update with multiple new projects is more likely to get you featured."

The contributors to FormFiftyFive keep an eye on a variety of other design blogs for work that instantly stands out for its idea or execution, so if you're featured by one blog, you'll usually notice your work spreading quite quickly. "The more effort you put into finding the right blog to suit your material, the more likely it is your work will gain momentum,” says Garriock.

FormFiftyFive
The showcase section of FormFiftyFive. The site is visited by thousands of people around the world

Twitter is another place where bloggers might stumble over your work, so consider spreading the news about a new project or portfolio update through Twitter's design community. "The advantage of Twitter is that it requires you to be concise and this helps you focus your message, meaning that you can catch the attention of busy bloggers," explains Garriock. 

"Never tweet multiple blogs at the same time to check out your work though. It's just rude and impersonal."

Glenn Garriock is a co-founder, creative director and editor of FormFiftyFive, and founder of Atelier 1A, a full-service design studio based in Uetze, northern Germany.

The Self-Promo Handbook
For a comprehensive list of the leading design blogs to be seen on – plus 100 pages of expert advice on how to get your design work in front of millions – pick up a copy of The Self-Promo Handbook in WHSmiths in the UK or can buy a copy online.

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