Links & resources for design & creative service organizations

This page provides a listing of business services and links specifically selected for their usefulness to design and creative organizations. Purposely omitted are any dealing primarily with creative content, the obvious ones of major companies, and any with primarily self-promotional content. If you know of a business service or site that should be included here, please e-mail us at: mail@creativebusiness.com

Business Resources

Career counseling. Art & Design Educational Advisors.

Collection agencies. Creative Business recommends using Dun & Bradstreet Receivable Management Services.

Consulting. Service Corps of Retired Executives offers free consulting to small business owners. This site explains their services, and also offers a free e-mail counseling service. Recourses.com provides management consulting services specifically for creative organizations, as does Marketing-Mentor. 

Credit checks. Online business credit reports can be obtained from Dun & Bradstreet. Reports are $20 to $120 depending on detail. In addition, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corporation helps small businesses establish credit and obtain a DUNS number. Answers to credit questions can be found at answers.com/dandb.

Design training. Affordable Colleges Online has an in-depth guide to online art degree programs, The American Graphics Institute provides creative tools training, Ascend Training provides iPhone, iPad, and Adobe web and graphic design training and tutorials, Digital Classsroom Books has a variety of software instruction manuals, and Digital Classroom offers on-demand training programs.

Design resource sites. allgraphicdesign.com; companyfolders.com/blog; creativepro.com; creativepublic.com; creativelatitude.com; designer-info.com; graphicdesign.about.com; graphic-design.com

Delivery tracking. dhl.com; fedex.com; roadway.com; ups.com

Freelance jobs (See "Job sites (projects)" below.

Financial management. www.quicken.com/small_business is a good source of general financial assistance.

General information. www.americanexpress.com/smallbusiness is a source for general advice, making travel plans, and checking your account; www.inc.com is a source of general small-business news and information; www.business.usa.gov is the federal government's self-described one-stop electronic link to government and business; www.ideacafe.com describes itself as "The small business channel, a fun approach to business information;" www.sba.gov has information on the services offered by the Small Business Administration.

Immigration law. Kirberger PC (www.immigration-lawyer.com) specializes in immigration law as it relates to creative businesses. Their web site provides general information on the process of obtaining work permits that allow non-citizens to work in the United States.

Incorporation & LLC services. www.incorporate.com and www.bizfilings.com are good sources of information on the procedures and benefits of forming a corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC).

Job openings/candidates. Listings can be found at www.commarts.com; www.howdesign.com/jobs; www.adage.com; and www.bigroster.com.

Job sites (projects). The following sites post projects which can be bid on, and offer help to independent professionals: allfreelance.com; www.ework.com; www.elance.com; www.freeagent.com; and www.guru.com.

Legal help. Two all-around legal Web sites are www.nolo.com; and www.lawyers.com; the American Bar Association's site has some useful information at www.abanet.org; lawyers can be located by practice at www.martindale.com and www.findlaw.com; copyright law is covered at www.loc.gov/copyright; for legal help in hiring non U. S. citizens go to www.immigration-lawyer.com; artists and writers desiring self-help legal information can find it at starvingartistslaw.com.

Logo, tradename and trademark searches. A visual database of logos and marks is at the Logo Lounge Website. You can check to find out whether a tradename or trademark has already been registered through www.thomson-thomson.com. or www.micropat.com. General registration information is also at the U.S. Government's Patent and Trademark Office site www.uspto.gov.

Mailing/prospect lists. www.creativeaccess.com, www.langermanlists.com, and www.thelistinc.com specialize in lists of buyers of creative services.

Marketing help. www.marketing-mentor.com has free marketing tips for freelancers and small business owners.

Payroll and human resource services. www.adp.com; www.innovative-solution.com; www.paychex.com; www.surepayroll.com; www.ceridian.com; and www.compupay.com.

Permanent employees (headhunting firms). Roz Goldfarb Associates; Rita Sue Siegel.

Product reviews/ratings. MacWorld magazine publishes their ratings for software, peripherals, and computers on their web site. An excellent online source of software reviews is Designer-Info.com. This site also provides tutorials for many graphics programs.

Salary surveys. The AIGA/Aquent Survey of Design Salaries is the best specialized source we are aware of. The online version is available at www.designsalaries.com.

Temporary employees (staffing firms). www.artisantalent.com; www.aquent.com; www.paladinstaff.com; www.portfolio.skill.com; and www.creativegroup.com.

Tax information and forms (federal). Access to the Internal Revenue Service's web site for small businesses is through www.irs.ustreas.gov; information on the electronic federal tax payment system (EFTPS) is at: www.fms.treas.gov/eftps.

Organizations — Creative Focus

American Society of Media Photographers, 150 North Second St., Philadelphia, PA 19106, 215-451-2767.
American Institute of Graphic Arts, 164 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010, (212) 807-1990.
Association of Medical Illustrators, 201 E. Main Street, Suite 1405, Lexington, KY 40507, (866) 393-4264
Corporate Design Foundation, 20 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, (617) 350-7097.
Design Management Institute, 101 Tremont St., Suite 300, Boston, MA 02108, (617) 338-6380.
Editorial Freelancers Association, 71 West 23rd Street, Suite 1910, New York, NY 10010, (212) 929-5400.
Graphic Artists Guild, 32 Broadway, Suite 1114, New York, NY 10004, (212) 791-3400.
Industrial Design Society of America, 45195 Business Court #250, Dulles, VA 20166 (703) 707-6000.
Organization of Black Designers, 300 M Street, SW, #N110, Washington, DC, 20024, (202) 659-3918.
Society of Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD), 1000 Vermont Avenue #400, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 638-5555.
Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC), Arts Court 2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1N 6E2, CANADA, (613) 567-5400.
Society of Illustrators, 128 East 63rd Street, New York, NY 10022, (212) 838-2560.
Society of News Design, 1130 Ten Rod Road, North Kingston, RI 02852, (401) 294-5233.
Society for Technical Communication, 901 N. Stuart Street, #904, Arlington, VA 22203 (703) 522-4114.
University and College Designers Association, 153 Front Street, Smyrna, TN 37167 (615) 459-4559.

Organizations — Business Focus

American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), 405 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10174, (212) 682-2500.
Association of Professional Design Firms, 1448 East 52nd Street, Suite 201, Chicago, IL 60615, 773-643-7052.
Business Marketing Association, 1601 Bond Street, Naperville, IL, (800) 664-4BMA.
International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), One Hallidie Plaza #600, San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 544-4700.
National Federation of Independent Businesses, 53 Century Boulevard #250, Nashville, TN 37214 (615) 872-5385.
National Federation of Women Business Owners, 411 K Street NW #1350, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 638-3060.
Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), 33 Maiden Lane, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038, (212) 460-1440.