If you haven't read Andy Rutledge yet, you're missing out. His Design Professionalism work is a must read for any designer or professional and every design professional.
Great places to dive into Andy's essential advice:
- "when it comes to sales, let them come from your reputation rather than from someone or a team of people whose job it is to rack up project revenues" - Sales: the Fail Team
- "A logo refers to a story (your brand). It says very little in and of itself. It is meant to refer to an already understood idea (your brand). A LOGO DOES NOT TELL A STORY (a logo is not a brand)." - Logo Misapplication
- "if the designer is sufficiently competent there is almost always one best solution to the design challenge. [...] your decision on this matter must be based on solving the client’s design challenges. [...] Beautiful accidents can happen, but accident is not the basis for design excellence. Purposeful discovery followed by focused, skillful conceptualization and execution is the basis for design excellence." - Dog and Pony Show Design
SEO is the sum of Perception, Reputation, and Accessibility.
- Elements of perception include meaningfulness, authenticity, memorability, and style -- such as simple or complex.
- Reputation is the link profile, which is the "permanent record" of all your relationships (aka your links).
- Accessibility is transparency. It's sitemapping and semantics. It's LDA. It's also the link profile (nofollow v dofollow...).
When the word 'SEO' is used out of this context, I can think only of the Princess Bride.
No matter how much you try to make a dog look like a duck, the dog will still look like a dog to everybody -- except, perhaps, for those that dressed up the dog like a duck.