Mr. Daren R. Guillory

About Me

Designer based in Houston, Texas

Member Since October 2001
Member Type Sustaining, group
AIGA Chapter Houston
Title Creative Director
Company Brand Extract
Email moc.oibcihparg@yrolliugd
Website www.formdg.com
Portfolio Site www.graphicbio.com
Field Design/Graphic design
Illustration design
Information design/architecture
  • Daren updated a project on Behance.
    Formation Identity Wayfinding Assessment Hospital Wayfinding Hospital Wayfinding
  • Daren updated a project on Behance.
    Hospital Wayfinding Interactive Installations University of Texas Health & Sciences Annual Report University of Texas Health & Sciences Annual Report
  • Daren updated a project on Behance.
    The Menninger Clinic Annual Report The Menninger Clinic Annual Report Mascots Mascots
  • Daren updated a project on Behance.
    Women in Ag Women in Ag Dziuk's Meat Market Dziuk's Meat Market
  • Daren updated a project on Behance.
    Yes Prep Public Schools Yes Prep Public Schools Calendar Calendar
  • Daren updated a project on Behance.
    St. Mark's Episcopal School Annual Report St. Mark's Episcopal School Annual Report Willie Gs Restaurant Website Willie Gs Restaurant Website
  • Daren authored "Freelance Considerations: Lessons Learned"
  • Daren updated a project on Behance.
    Slant Magazine Slant Magazine Frontier Annual Report Frontier Annual Report
  • Daren updated a project on Behance.
    James Coney Island James Coney Island Identity Design Collection Identity Design Collection
  • Daren updated a project on Behance.
    Genesis Planning Website Genesis Planning Website Yao Ming Portrait Yao Ming Portrait
  • Daren updated a project on Behance.
    BG Group North America Annual Report BG Group North America Annual Report Who is Behind Herman Miller? Who is Behind Herman Miller?
  • Daren updated a project on Behance.
    D|G Studios Identity, Collateral & Website D|G Studios Identity, Collateral & Website Brochsteins Website Brochsteins Website
  • Daren updated a project on Behance.
    Swiss Maid Fudge Website Swiss Maid Fudge Website Every Penny Counts - Capital Campaign Collateral Every Penny Counts - Capital Campaign Collateral
  • Daren updated a project on Behance.
    Erika Page Identity, Collateral and Website Erika Page Identity, Collateral and Website WHR Architects Identity, Collateral and Website WHR Architects Identity, Collateral and Website
  • Daren updated a project on Behance.
    Forum of Civics Brochure Forum of Civics Brochure
  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "Freelance Considerations: Lessons Learned"

     Darren - I don't think it is critical, no, to get your name trademarked. I do think it is a good idea, however, to make sure you purchase yourname@yourdomain.com or something to this effect, and possibly even variations on this idea.

  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "Freelance Considerations: Lessons Learned"

    My personal experience is that the best place to find a mentor is in a large studio setting - by learning and asking questions and absorbing as much as I could from the senior management, creative directors and design directors. I started at the bottom and worked my way up. You won't always have this luxury however - some studio directors just don't do it. 

  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "Freelance Considerations: Lessons Learned"

    Thanks for the comment. You are absolutely correct - if you plan on going into the freelance world, benefits such as the ones you mentioned would have to be managed by yourself - or some kind of financial representative.  Speaking for myself, I know that I was not able to afford these luxuries early on - my entire income and budget was completely wrapped up in critical expenses just to keep things going with my family and running the business.  As far as health insurance is concerned, I know that it is a sensitive subject. I know that coverage for individuals and small businesses can be very expensive and difficult to find adequate coverage. Unfortunately, I wouldn't presume to have all the answers or best places to look either. In terms of retirement benefits, I was able to consult with an individual who was a self-employed financial advisor. He had worked at a large consultancy and was able to give me great direction in that regard. Thanks again.

  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "Freelance Considerations: Lessons Learned"

    Walt - thanks for the comment. To be clear on my end, are you saying that because corporate design is aware of the economic environment that they are paying their employees less, paying their freelancers less or both? I was trying to point out that because it is more expensive to take on a full time employee, in general, agencies and firms alike are beginning to hire more freelance designers whereas traditionally they may not. If a freelancer was able to establish a good working relationship with these agencies, it could work to their advantage. I guess what I haven't addressed is how to go about structuring compensation. I also agree with you about not under pricing because of a personal relationship. I have had the experience, early on in my career, where I did work that was far more valuable than what I charged. But, in the nascent stages of my development as a designer, I wasn't fully aware of this and to my own detriment (and by association the detriment of the design community).  Thanks again...

  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "Freelance Considerations: Lessons Learned"

    Kristina - I'm sorry you find yourself in your current situation; in my own career path I have been fortunate enough to *almost always be employed. There was a brief stint where I worked for a startup design agency that went under, and I went without pay for several months. Not fun. I won't presume to have all of the answers for you. I can only suggest that you be open to new opportunities, even in a new location, and continue to actively pursue them.  This could mean a great deal of leg work, and persistence, on your part. May I suggest continuing to send your resume and portfolio to creative directors in agencies you wish to work for. You might even think of a memorable leave behind - but nothing too crazy. **Opinion** I believe that there is a paradigm shift happening in many design communities around the nation. Namely one in which agencies that wouldn't traditionally hire freelance designers - at all - are beginning to.  You see, for many agencies, they are essentially selling the people they employ (the talent). In this sense they are not as open to hiring freelance designers as they do not "own" that particular talent.  However, given the current economic situation we find ourselves in, it is sometimes more financially viable to *not take on a full time employee (due to the costs: insurance, benefits, taxes, etc.). Herein lies an opportunity for the freelancer. If you were to somehow manage to establish good working relationships with several agencies, then chances are you could be on their short list for a number of their open projects. I know I personally found this to be true - it kept me going initially when I started on my own. In the mean time, I would continue to expand your creative network and rely on other sources like "friends and family" to do creative work. I know I had to do my fair share of low cost designs for close friends and extended family members early in my career to gain some kind of cash flow (and experience).  Best of luck to you.

  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "Freelance Considerations: Lessons Learned"

    Thank you for the comment - I do appreciate your perspective and would totally agree that "on the job" is often the best way to learn; while I did learn a great deal from an agency, there are things you can never now until you've really had to do them for yourself.

  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "Freelance Considerations: Lessons Learned"

    Thanks, Larry. Just things I've learned since being in the business and learning through experience. I'll have to take a look at your book when it comes out.

  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "http://staging.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=8791&id=8985"

    I think you missed the point.

  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "Freelance Considerations: Lessons Learned"

     Darren - I don't think it is critical, no, to get your name trademarked. I do think it is a good idea, however, to make sure you purchase yourname@yourdomain.com or something to this effect, and possibly even variations on this idea.

  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "Freelance Considerations: Lessons Learned"

    My personal experience is that the best place to find a mentor is in a large studio setting - by learning and asking questions and absorbing as much as I could from the senior management, creative directors and design directors. I started at the bottom and worked my way up. You won't always have this luxury however - some studio directors just don't do it. 

  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "Freelance Considerations: Lessons Learned"

    Thanks for the comment. You are absolutely correct - if you plan on going into the freelance world, benefits such as the ones you mentioned would have to be managed by yourself - or some kind of financial representative.  Speaking for myself, I know that I was not able to afford these luxuries early on - my entire income and budget was completely wrapped up in critical expenses just to keep things going with my family and running the business.  As far as health insurance is concerned, I know that it is a sensitive subject. I know that coverage for individuals and small businesses can be very expensive and difficult to find adequate coverage. Unfortunately, I wouldn't presume to have all the answers or best places to look either. In terms of retirement benefits, I was able to consult with an individual who was a self-employed financial advisor. He had worked at a large consultancy and was able to give me great direction in that regard. Thanks again.

  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "Freelance Considerations: Lessons Learned"

    Walt - thanks for the comment. To be clear on my end, are you saying that because corporate design is aware of the economic environment that they are paying their employees less, paying their freelancers less or both? I was trying to point out that because it is more expensive to take on a full time employee, in general, agencies and firms alike are beginning to hire more freelance designers whereas traditionally they may not. If a freelancer was able to establish a good working relationship with these agencies, it could work to their advantage. I guess what I haven't addressed is how to go about structuring compensation. I also agree with you about not under pricing because of a personal relationship. I have had the experience, early on in my career, where I did work that was far more valuable than what I charged. But, in the nascent stages of my development as a designer, I wasn't fully aware of this and to my own detriment (and by association the detriment of the design community).  Thanks again...

  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "Freelance Considerations: Lessons Learned"

    Kristina - I'm sorry you find yourself in your current situation; in my own career path I have been fortunate enough to *almost always be employed. There was a brief stint where I worked for a startup design agency that went under, and I went without pay for several months. Not fun. I won't presume to have all of the answers for you. I can only suggest that you be open to new opportunities, even in a new location, and continue to actively pursue them.  This could mean a great deal of leg work, and persistence, on your part. May I suggest continuing to send your resume and portfolio to creative directors in agencies you wish to work for. You might even think of a memorable leave behind - but nothing too crazy. **Opinion** I believe that there is a paradigm shift happening in many design communities around the nation. Namely one in which agencies that wouldn't traditionally hire freelance designers - at all - are beginning to.  You see, for many agencies, they are essentially selling the people they employ (the talent). In this sense they are not as open to hiring freelance designers as they do not "own" that particular talent.  However, given the current economic situation we find ourselves in, it is sometimes more financially viable to *not take on a full time employee (due to the costs: insurance, benefits, taxes, etc.). Herein lies an opportunity for the freelancer. If you were to somehow manage to establish good working relationships with several agencies, then chances are you could be on their short list for a number of their open projects. I know I personally found this to be true - it kept me going initially when I started on my own. In the mean time, I would continue to expand your creative network and rely on other sources like "friends and family" to do creative work. I know I had to do my fair share of low cost designs for close friends and extended family members early in my career to gain some kind of cash flow (and experience).  Best of luck to you.

  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "Freelance Considerations: Lessons Learned"

    Thank you for the comment - I do appreciate your perspective and would totally agree that "on the job" is often the best way to learn; while I did learn a great deal from an agency, there are things you can never now until you've really had to do them for yourself.

  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "Freelance Considerations: Lessons Learned"

    Thanks, Larry. Just things I've learned since being in the business and learning through experience. I'll have to take a look at your book when it comes out.

  • Daren Guillory commented on the article "http://staging.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=8791&id=8985"

    I think you missed the point.