Rafal Tomal

How I Run My Design Studio

Published about 2 months ago • 2 min read

How I Run My Design Studio

It's been four years since I gave my freelancing a makeover, transforming it into what is now It's been quite a journey, growing from a solo venture to a design studio with two full-time designers and a bunch of talented contractors.

When I embarked on this journey, I made a conscious decision to measure success differently. For me, it's not just about the numbers in the bank account. It's more about how this venture fits into my life. Does it make me happy? Does it give me time to breathe and live outside work? These were my benchmarks.

But, I won't deny that there's this niggling thought at the back of my mind – the growth potential is massive. Yet, I've held back. I haven't gone all out in hunting for clients, my marketing efforts have been, let's say, 'relaxed', and our portfolio could do with more regular updates. There's definitely room for improvement.

The biggest puzzle for me has been finding that sweet spot between simplicity and customization. Automation isn't straightforward in a business where each project is as unique as the client behind it. Yet, it's these creative, one-of-a-kind projects that fuel my passion. So, I’m trying to find the right mix of efficiency and creativity.

In this article, I will guide you through some of the key aspects of how I have run my design studio for the past 4 years. Although I only added more people to my team about 1.5 years ago, nothing has really changed in the way I operate it.

So, you may find some ideas here on how to apply it to your own solo business or a small studio with employees or contractors. Please note that my business is constantly evolving and changing. I will delve deeper into each aspect in the future and share what I have learned as we progress.

Tip of the week

Use spacebar to reposition selection in Figma

When selecting multiple elements in Figma, you can easily reposition your selection by holding down the SPACEBAR. First, click and drag to select the elements you need. Then, without releasing the mouse button, press and hold the SPACEBAR.

While holding it, you can move the entire selection to a new position. This feature is incredibly useful for adjusting the layout quickly without having to deselect, move, and then reselect the elements. It streamlines the process, making your design workflow more efficient and intuitive.

Try it out in your next Figma project!

What got me inspired

Gemini - Google DeepMind

Check out this new landing page for Gemini by Google DeepMind. It's stunningly simple and clean - kinda reminds me of those sleek Apple product pages.

What really caught my eye is the neat floating navigation bar. It's super user-friendly and adds a touch of elegance without making things cluttered. It's a great example of how keeping things simple and functional can make a design stand out.

Just wanted to drop this bit of inspiration in your inbox!

Take the Next Step

  1. Share: Enjoyed this newsletter? Pass it on to friends and peers in the design world.
  2. Design Faster and Better: Check out my Figma toolkit for designers. It's practical and easy to use.
  3. Get in Touch: Questions or feedback? Reply to this email—I'm here to help.

Thank you for your support!

113 Cherry St #92768, Seattle, WA 98104-2205

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