How do YOU define your interior design brand?
Why Interior Designers Need a Brand
A brand is a connection, a relationship and a promise. It is not a logo, a mark or a stamp. You may have the most eye-catching logo and business card on the planet. But if your brand does not say what you stand for or create a relationship with your audience and your network, it won’t get you far.
In the interconnected interior design industry, a solid and consistent personal brand is the vehicle for professional growth and career success.
Building the brand has been the toughest part of building a business. It is especially difficult when dealing with people over the internet where they can't see the product and get a feel for the maker. As a blacksmith, all I can do it take things one step at a time and make sure the designer or home-owner gets a great product.
from Caroline’s NCIDQ Diaries – Part 1
Once I was eligible to apply and approved for the exam, studying was a totally different monster to tackle.
I’m in an area where you can count NCIDQ-certified designers on one hand. My closest ASID or IIDA chapters are 2 hours away in either direction and there weren’t any STEP classes. So, I was pretty much on my own when it came to figuring out how to study for the exam.
Thankfully, I found Qpractice and support from a couple of friends also taking the exam in other states – you need those friends on those days when you break down, overwhelmed, and are yelling “I can’t do this!!!”
It definitely took me a long time though to wrap my head around what I needed to study and how I needed to study. Some days you sit there staring at the mountain of information not knowing where to start and having mini panic attacks.
My original goal was to take all 3 sections in the spring. But it took some time to get in the groove with the Practicum studying and start to process that information. By the time I was feeling OK about that in early March, I hadn’t kept up with my multiple choice reading so I ended up rescheduling those sections for the fall.
Settling Into a Study Schedule
I probably spent 15-25 hours per week studying. I really dug into it in late January, and was studying right up until a few days before the exam.
I’m lucky in that I can set my own schedule being self-employed, and could start to plan my study hours around the times I’m most productive. If you are working full-time outside of studying and don’t have many hours per week to spend, I’d definitely start studying much sooner.
I ended up taking 5 practice exams, and I don’t think I would have passed without all that practice. You’ll also have several days where you won’t have the brainpower to focus on drawing practice. To make the most use of the time though, but not mentally exhaust myself further, I’d do some “lighter” tasks like the following:
Prep drawing supplies – put little circle stickers next to you most frequently used templates like the turning radius, door swings, etc
Watch Qpractice Office Hours replays – there were several office hours Saturdays I was not in that studying mindset, so I’d watch part of the discussion but then end up re-watching the whole thing another day during the week. Qpractice also has short 15 minute videos of strategies and drawing reviews
Make flashcards for Life Safety (door hardware info) and quiz yourself – Qpractice has a nifty hardware chart to help you understand your choices
Make a list of the things you’re forgetting on each drawing
Quiz yourself on NCIDQ codes and restroom schedule
Print off 7 copies of the NCIDQ codes – one for each drawing – and highlight the relevant codes to that drawing to use as you’re doing practice exams
Review Qpractice LinkedIn discussions and print or bookmark relevant discussions that you need help with
Grade your practice drawings
Watch the drawing review solutions videos/print the drawing solutions in the Qpractice modules matching practice exams you have and use those for some extra feedback as you’re grading yourself
Prep your practice tests, prepare them with vellum if needed, and clean your workspace for your practice exam day
Read more on Qpractice at http://www.qpractice.com/carolines-ncidq-diaries-part-1/
First, complete the chart with all the mounting heights and materials. Do this even though the program says to draw first–you can add the tags after you draw. This will help you think and complete your drawing correctly.
We recommend you memorize the NCIDQ codes to save time, even through you’ll have for reference with the exam. After you’ve applied them to a practice drawing or two, test yourself with the quiz below.
Next, determine the best location for the accessible toilet stall. Work your way through the problem, drawing the stalls, urinals, sinks and restroom accessories. Then, dimension the toilet stalls, urinals and grab bars, and tag your drawing.
Figure the rough size of your suites. Add up the minimum square footage of each suite and compare this number to the total square footage.
*Work with the building.*The architectural features will dictate where walls can be located.
Block out the suites. Place any suites with special requirements like a southern exposure etc. Place large suites first. For the suite that requires two exits, be sure there is enough expanse of space between to accommodate the two exits and stay within code.
Calculate and label the square footage of each suite.
Calculate the occupancy load of each suite and the stairs. Use the provided square footage and occupancy table.
*Locate the furthest common path of travel in the existing suite.*Draw the common path of travel from this point and label the distance.
Distance to Stairs. Draw lines from the most remote point in the existing suite to the two stair exits.
As designers, we may think about color of light in terms of the Kelvin Scale and the accompanying Color Rendering Index.
_But why is it important to us?_More than knowing how a paint color will look under incandescent lamps or how an upholstery fabric might change under a CFL?
Scientists have proven that particular colors of light can also have an effect on human behavior.
Researchers at the University of Liège in Belgium studied the effects of light on cognitive tasks found that light is a, “powerful stimulating signal for human alertness and cognition.”
Exposing subjects to orange light one hour prior to engaging in a cognitive task led to better performance than from those who had been exposed to blue light. This study concluded that thoughtful design of lighting systems can be used effectively to maximize productivity.
While you’re learning to swim, always go by this rule: have a swim buddy at all times.
You can trust Qpractice to keep your head above water with essentials to help you pass the NCIDQ Exam.
And this buddy listens to your feedback too. Because you asked for it, check out what’s new this season:
- QpracticeCo-Founder, 2012 - present
- Self employedWebsites and marketing strategies for Design Manufacturers, Artists & Interior Designers., 2009 - present
- Royal Design StudioWeb Designer & Digital Media Strategist, 2011 - 2012
- New Ravenna MosaicsInterim Marketing Manager
- The Kessler CollectionSenior Interior Designer
With a background in interior design and marketing, my passion is providing web and software solutions for the arts and interior design industry.
I ♥ Apple, art, design + tech!
- Florida State UniversityInterior Design
- University of Central FloridaJournalism
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