How to promote your work in design publications

Grab the attention of potential new clients by being featured in the major industry publications and on the key design blogs.

Get it right, and exposure in the industry press will boost your reputation and bring your services to the attention of a wide-reaching new audience. So how can you increase your chances of a top design magazine or creative inspiration blog featuring your work? Here are six ways to get your design work in front of the people who count...

1. Make the news
A cleverly crafted press release, knowledge of who to send it to and a bit of good timing is all you need to get on the pages of your favourite industry publication. Identify your angle – is it new work? An unusual client? Charity work? Once you know, flesh out the story and focus on a snappy headline.

2. Make it easy
In theory, you’re just one email away from being featured in the design press. The best sites are inundated with submissions so it’s crucial you make your voice heard over the clamour of ‘look at me’ emails. Present your information in the clearest way possible, including a few ready-to-publish images (with a link to more). Attach press releases, a short bio, and any websites or social media accounts you’d like to be linked to.

3. Do your Research
Your UX design work might be top-notch but, chances are, it won’t tickle the fancy of an illustration-focused title or website. Improve your chances of being featured by doing some groundwork: what press outlets are more likely to be interested in your work and who normally writes about your area? What kind of topics and subject matter do they tend to feature?

4. Start small
While the high-end publications and big-name blogs are the most attractive proposition, they can also be the toughest nut to crack. Smaller, independent titles are a good place to start. Your work might not get quite as many views, but it will still be seen by the right kinds of eyes.

5. Breakthrough
Once you’ve cracked one, chances are others will follow. Frustrating, yes, but that’s the nature of the beast. Editors scan websites and magazines for inspiration on a daily basis. Lots of them. If you target the right press from the start, you’ll slowly gain momentum and find others inviting you to send them your work.

6. Follow it up
To increase the likelihood of your email being seen and acted on, follow it up with a telephone call after a day or two. Remember that editors and journalists are busy people – a quick call to ensure your release has been received is fine, but don’t become a pest. Repetitive calling will mark you as a nuisance and do more harm than good.

The Design Studio Handbook
These tips originally featured in The Design Studio Handbook. For more top advice on how to get ahead in the design industry, check out the rest of our Computer Arts Presents series on Apple Newsstand (UK edition or US edition).