Josh Miles (@JoshMiles) founded Miles Design, an independent graphic design firm in Indianapolis, Indiana, after organically growing his freelance practice. Following some hi-profile work in a narrow sector, he’s grown his team to nine employees, taking care to build a healthy workplace culture along the way.
In this discussion, Josh shares some of the challenges for growing and maintaining a design business, as well as some of the tools and tactics he uses to keep the team in sync and doing great work.
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- Download The Busy Creator Podcast, Episode 20 (MP3, 40:11, 39.0 MB)
- Download The Busy Creator Podcast, Episode 20 (OGG, 40:11, 35.9 MB)
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Show Notes & Links
- Prescott met Josh at the Brand New Conference in San Francisco, 2011
- Josh began as a freelancer, working with clients such as Purdue University
- Josh knew he’d eventually be an independent designer
- The selling side of graphic design isn’t told much in school
- Win Without Pitching by Blair Enns on Amazon
- David C. Baker, Recourses
- Miles Design is a nine-person design firm in Indianapolis, focusing on Professional Services (architecture, engineering, interior design, etc.)
- The award-winning website for Ratio Architects
- After about 1 year in, Josh realised the company would succeed. He needed help getting the design work done.
- Josh is the geek within the agency
- Tug McTighe on being a creative director
- Failure in graphic design isn’t “failure” as such. The end of the sentence is the end of the conversation.
- AIGA Indy Kickball League
“No one is immune from psychology. Especially psychologists.”
- Bold Brand by Josh Miles on Amazon
- Miles Design allowed a client to reap 7x return on investment for a new website design
- Josh is equal parts introvert and extrovert (a.k.a. an ambivert)
- The Cult of Overwork
- Previous Busy Creator interview with Debbie Millman
- Pronunciation of “nitch” vs. “neesh”
- Miles Design on Dribbble
- Workamajig, total agency software for project management
- Harvest, for time-tracking
- Slack, for intra-office chat
- GTD Methodology
- Scrum meetings
- Bring in people who are better than you
- Put workplace culture first, especially if you feel it’s missing. Maybe start over.
- Give your team permission to fail. Allow them to present their work, come what may.
- Invent company rituals. Celebrate small stuff.
- Test new workflows and tools
- Follow up with clients after 3 or 6 months to track results
- Be known for one thing and be good at it
- Arrive in the office early. Get stuff done before the gang arrives.
- Head out early on Fridays as a team. Decompress together.
- Take a few hours to work solo and clear things
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