Home > Store

Burn Your Portfolio: Stuff they don't teach you in design school, but should

eBook (Watermarked)

  • Your Price: $30.39
  • List Price: $37.99
  • Includes EPUB and PDF
  • About eBook Formats
  • This eBook includes the following formats, accessible from your Account page after purchase:

    ePub EPUB The open industry format known for its reflowable content and usability on supported mobile devices.

    Adobe Reader PDF The popular standard, used most often with the free Acrobat® Reader® software.

    This eBook requires no passwords or activation to read. We customize your eBook by discreetly watermarking it with your name, making it uniquely yours.

Also available in other formats.

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.


  • Copyright 2013
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Pages: 400
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-340954-6
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-340954-3

It takes more than just a design school education and a killer portfolio to succeed in a creative career. Burn Your Portfolio teaches the real-world practices, professional do's and don'ts, and unwritten rules of business that most designers, photographers, web designers, copy writers, programmers, and architects only learn after putting in years of experience on the job.

Michael Janda, owner of the Utah-based design firm Riser, uses humor to dispense nugget after nugget of hard-won advice collected over the last decade from the personal successes and failures he has faced running his own agency. In this surprisingly funny, but incredibly practical advice guide, Janda's advice on teamwork and collaboration, relationship building, managing clients, bidding work, production processes, and more will resonate with creative professionals of all stripes.

Sample Content

Table of Contents

SECTION 1: Human Engineering
1)    The Big Fat Secret
2)    The Extra Mile
3)    Soak Up Advice
4)    You Are Not Your Work
5)    Be Nice to Everyone
6)    Drama Is for Soap Operas
7)    No More Flying Solo
8)    Gripes Go Up
9)    The Stress Bucket
10)    Two Types of Grandpas
11)    Be a Wall Painter
12)    Every Position Can Be Electrifying
13)    Lead or Be Led
14)    Half the Victory
15)    The Value of Downtime
16)    I'm Not a Writer
17)    Toot Your Own Horn
18)    Don't Work in a Vacuum
19)    The Graphic Design Megazord
20)    Live as a Team, Die as a Team
21)    Everyone Does Something Better Than You
22)    You Are Responsible for Your Own Time

SECTION 2: Art Smarts
23)    OCD Is an Attribute
24)    Polishing Turds
25)    Hairy Moles
26)    This Is Not Verbatimville
27)    Shock and Awe
28)    Art Is Meant to Be Framed
29)    It Is Never Too Late for a Better Idea
30)    Filler Failures
31)    A River Runs Through It
32)    Comps or Comprehensive?
33)    Design Like the Wind
34)    Type Fast
35)    How to Eat an Elephant
36)    The Venus Initiative
37)    Process-a-Palooza
38)    Hiking Your Way to Successful Projects
39)    Solving End-of-Day Rush
40)    Why Projects Blow Up
41)    The Lo-Fi PDA
42)    Bring Out Your Dead
43)    Shake the Bushes or Get Bit
44)    Red Flags and Extinguishers
45)    Brainstorms Are 90 Percent Bad Ideas
46)    The Communal Brain

SECTION 3: Two Ears, One Mouth
47)    The Ultimate Email Formula
48)    Beware the Red Dot
49)    Email Black Holes
50)    Even the Lone Ranger Had Tonto
51)    Canned Communication
52)    Tin Can Phones
53)    Vicious Vernacular
54)    An Army of Support
55)    Friendly Updates    
56)    Deadline Ballet    
57)    Big Brother    
58)    The Domino Effect    
59)    Avoid the W.W.W.    
60)    Be Afraid to Click 'Send'
61)    The Tragedy of Time Zones

SECTION 4: Happy Head Honchos
62)    Designers Are from Mars, Clients Are from Venus
63)    Let Your Client Leave Their Mark
64)    'Forgiveness' Points
65)    Let Your Client Be the 800-Pound Gorilla
66)    Do Your Genealogy
67)    Never Give Your Client Homework
68)    Assume That People Are Clueless
69)    Long-Term Relationship Value vs. Single Transaction Profit
70)    Oddities at the Start Mean Oddities at the End
71)    Don't Be the Desperate Girlfriend
72)    Stand in Manure, Smell Like Manure
73)    Never Fire a Client?
74)    'We Decided to Go Another Direction' Means 'You Suck'
75)    There Are Such Things as Stupid Questions
76)    You Can't Get Mad at Math
77)    You Have 65 Seconds to Land a Job
78)    How to Ask for a Raise Without Asking for a Raise    

SECTION 5: Mind Your Business
79)    Do What You Love; the Money Will Follow
80)    A Business That Looks Orderly
81)    Making Cents of It All
82)    How to Calculate a Burn Rate
83)    The Fixed-Bid Pricing Dartboard
84)    Beware of Line-Item Pricing
85)    'No Charge' Doesn't Mean 'Free'
86)    How to Flush Out a Budget
87)    Twenty-Piece Chicken McNuggets
88)    Nonprofits for Non-Profit
89)    The Code of Fair Practice
90)    Contractual Mumbo Jumbo
91)    'Etcetera' Has No Business in Your Business
92)    You Don't Have to Sign Off on This
93)    B.A.M. Lists
94)    One Line That Changed Everything about Collections
95)    A Business Is an Organism That Wants to Die
96)    If I've Got a Dollar, You've Got a Dollar, but No Partners    
97)    If You Want to Win the Game, You Have to Know the Score
98)    There Is No Such Thing as a 'Meet and Greet'
99)    How to Make a Capabilities Presentation
100)    Floods Happen
101)    Flexibility, Not Freedom
102)    Never Do Undocumented Work
103)    Next Worry Date
104)    Nickels and Dimes Are for Lemonade Stands
105)    Only Terrorists Like Hostage Situations
106)    Oh Where, Oh Where Has My $100k Gone? Oh Where, Oh Where Can It Be?
107)    Don't Do Anything You Can Pay Someone $10 Per Hour to Do
108)    'Skin in the Game' Usually Means 'Free'
109)    Three-Month 'Lifetime' Guarantee
110)    'Being Your Own Boss' Whatever That Means
111)    How to Bite the Bullet


Submit Errata

More Information

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020