Thoughts on branding, design, writing and life by Kevin Potts. Established 2003.

Trading Services

Good business relationships can be forged without money. Since just about any business can benefit from good design, we are in an excellent position to trade services.

graphicPUSH has a new widget. It’s not a groundbreaking feature, essential upgrade or killer app. It’s just a widget, and it appears at the bottom of every news entry and article, next to the supplementary info. Yes, that one—the one that says “Send This Article.” You can now pass along the brilliance of graphicPUSH by filling in a few measly fields.

This minor addition is something I have been wanting for awhile, ever since the first incarnation of the site. However, since I know as much about coding PHP as I do repairing a nuclear reactor, the feature was always a pipedream. Until recently.

A few weeks ago, a well known PHP developer and author contacted me about using my blog icons on his site. He wanted to make sure they were really free (they are) with no strings attached (there aren’t).

After some e-mails back and forth, I ended up developing a simple logo for his new site, identity collateral and other future projects. Now, in exchange for a new business card design, he has offered to help me with PHP projects. Including, as it so happens, that hot new widget.

Some of the best business relationships can be built without money. Designers have a lot of resources they can pull from—developers, printers and architects all have one toe dipped in the design pool, and many would be willing to trade their time for some of your design skills.

Other small businesses are also ripe for service trading, since just about any business can benefit from good design. I once redesigned an accountant’s small website for a bunch of tax stuff, and not a dime changed hands. And although I occasionally write and edit content for my clients, I trade time with a copywriter who moonlights as a proof-reading genius.

Of course this can’t and shouldn’t extend everywhere (try trading services with your landlord), but why shouldn’t there be more collaboration without invoicing?

commentary + criticism


wrote the following on Monday March 7, 2005

This is a good point. I’ve bartered for many things in my endeavors to start my company.

Wesley Walser

wrote the following on Monday March 7, 2005

I like how small the new thing is. Also like the expand collapse thing, as it so happens I used that script yesterday while working on one of my current projects.


wrote the following on Monday March 7, 2005

Great addition..

Write more good stuff, and i will send your good stuff to my friends.

Dawn Pedersen

wrote the following on Thursday May 5, 2005

Somehow, some way, the IRS will figure out a way to tax us any way. =)