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Millo is five! And we’ve got 5 fantastic birthday giveaways

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A couple months ago, I was totally taken by surprise when I realized that GraphicDesignBlender.com turned five years old!

In the Spring (U.S.) of 2009, I bought the domain and started writing. And now, five years later, here we all are.

In the last five years, Millo has grown from one writer to a team of amazing and talented writers. We’ve gone from zero community to a group of well-rounded, super smart, entertaining readers who are doing amazing things in the world.

You'll also enjoy this episode of our new podcast...

And none of it would be possible without you.

And after five years of support, comments, interaction on social media, and more, running a giveaway just doesn’t seem like quite enough to genuinely thank you for everything you do and everything you are. But let me just say:

I sincerely love having you here.

I would be lost without this community.

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And you’re changing the lives of thousands of other freelance designers around the world as you leave comments, interact on facebook, and spread Millo content around the web.

Thank you.

Thank you so much.

Celebrate with giveaways!

Ok, enough of that!

To celebrate the occasion, I’ve partnered up with some really great people today to bring you five fantastic giveaways:

  1. Baron Fig (My new favorite sketchbook/notebook.)
  2. Brent Galloway from Your Freelance Career (Former Millo writer and author of Start Your Freelance Career.)
  3. ThemeFuse (Makers of beautiful wordpress themes.)
  4. ReliablePSD.com (from Lou and David who have both contributed to the blog and helped immensely in its growth.)
  5. Stoked (Ok, we didn’t have to “partner” with ourselves, but you’ll see what this is about at the end.)

Keep reading to learn how to enter and win! Each prize has a different way to enter, so watch for each entry method at the end of each prize description.

Prize #1: One of THREE Sketchbooks from Baron Fig.

When Baron Fig reached out to me a few months ago to see if I’d like a complimentary sketchbook, I was skeptical. I’m very picky about my sketchbooks, journals, etc. (Are you too?) But I agreed to have them mail a copy to my house and then I forgot about them.

When the package arrived I wasn’t expecting it. I opened it up and inside the dirty yellow padded envelope was the most gorgeous notebook-sized box I’d ever seen. I proceeded to unwrap and open the box and every time I made it through a new layer of packaging I was pleasantly surprised (think Apple-level packaging).

When I finally got the box open, I pulled out the most beautiful, grey-fabric-wrapped notebook with a yellow ribbon bookmark.

It was gorgeous.

I’ve spent the last few months using the notebook and I can tell you it’s as great to use as it is beautiful.

So I reached out to them asking if I could do a giveaway here at Millo. Mind you, they aren’t paying me to say these nice things. I’ve genuinely been converted to this notebook. It’s amazing.

And today, I’m giving away THREE different notebooks.

1. One with blank paper
2. One with dotted grid paper (this is my personal favorite)
3. One with lined paper

If you win one of these notebooks, prepare to be amazed. Seriously.

Prize #2: One of TWO copies of Start Your Freelance Career

My good friend and colleague Brent Galloway used to write for this blog. His content was always over-the-top helpful and fun to read.

Just recently, Brent left Millo to start his own endeavor, My Freelance Career. It’s a blog all about freelancing. And the content Brent is writing is fabulous.

Brent has also released an all-new ebook bundle to go with his blog with the fitting title Start Your Freelance Career.

I’ve read the ebook and it’s packed with the kind of valuable content you’d expect from Brent.

Today, I’m giving away two free copies of his ebook bundle. If you win one of these two bundles, get ready for your freelance career to jump to the next level!

(I should also mention that later this month, members of Stoked will receive a discount code for Brent’s book. So if you don’t win, hang tight. Stoked will have you covered.)

Prize #3: One of THREE Premium WordPress Themes from ThemeFuse

You have probably heard of ThemeFuse. They have a great reputation as the best in the field of creating premium themes for WordPress. To celebrate our fifth birthday, they’re offering  a free premium WordPress theme to three lucky Millo readers.

With so many to choose from, if you win this prize, you’ll seriously be stumped. It’ll be hard to choose just one.

I should also mention that if you want to get 15% off ANY of the themes at ThemeFuse, guess what: Stoked has got you covered.

Prize #4: Free PSD to HTML from Reliable PSD

My good friends Lou and David at ReliablePSD reached out to me a while ago and I can’t tell you how excited I am that they’ve started a new PSD-to-HTML company. They have always done great work together and I can’t wait to see what comes out of this new endeavor for them.

And because David and Lou love Millo so much, they’ve agreed to give one lucky winner a completely free, 100% on-the-house PSD to HTML design.

This is totally top-of-the-line stuff. You can use this prize for that personal project you’ve been putting off or pass the saving right along to your client. The choice is yours.

Prize #5: One free year of membership at Stoked

Last, but certainly not least, we’re celebrating our fifth birthday by offering a free ONE YEAR MEMBERSHIP to our new members-only site, Stoked.

The all-new Stoked community is closed right now (more spots opening on April 15th) and inside, we’ve been having a ball. Free and deeply discounted ebooks and guides, member forums, videos, audio interviews, and tons of perks make Stoked a fantastic resource for fueling your design business.

HOW TO WIN one of our five prizes

Alright, enough with the talk. Let’s get down to business, right? How can you enter to win one of these amazing prizes?

Here’s all you have to do (pick one, two, or all three. Your odds go up with each method of entry):

1. Leave a comment on this post telling us something impactful you’ve gained from Millo in the last 5 years (and tell us which prize you prefer).

2. Tweet about this post by clicking here and tell us which prize you’re most excited about.

3. Sign up for our Stoked waiting list by clicking here and entering your email address. We reopen the doors for limited enrollment at Stoked next week where you can get tons of freebies, quality ebooks and guides, plus perks from some of the prize sponsors from this post as well!

Thanks again

I just can’t say it enough: thank you.

You are what makes working at Millo so exciting and worthwhile.

Here’s to another fantastic five years!


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About Preston D Lee

Preston is an entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, and the founder of this blog. You can contact him via twitter at @prestondlee.

Leave a Comment



  1. I’ve been a free lance graphic designer for 20 years. Millo is the only site that truly addresses issues faced by an entrepreneur like myself. You hit it out of the park on subject matter and are in-tune with those of us who work alone in the trenches. Reading articles on your site makes me feel as though I’m not alone in the ever-changing awesome graphic design stratosphere!

    • Nancy,

      Thanks for sharing! As a writer and a freelancer less experienced than you, I always wonder if I’m reaching the veteran audience. It’s wonderful to hear your comments.



  2. Congrats on turning five. You provide great content and I love sharing it around the web.

  3. I’ve been on the verge of becoming a freelance designer for years now, though I’ve never quite taken the plunge. Lately I think about it more and more. It’s thanks to this site that I’ve even considered it a possibility, and every post that I read helps tip the scales in the freelance direction. Thank you for what you do! Your high-quality content is always a pleasure to read!

  4. Congratulations on reaching the 5 year mark! I’ve been reading Millo since the beginning – keep up the insightful posts and I’ll keep coming back.


  5. As a new designer (and a freelancer at that) I feel I gained experience, and most of all knowledge through Millo.

    It’s a scary place stepping out of University and tackling the big bad (and opportunistic) world by yourself.

    Millo became me “studio” family and I certainly learned a truck load of stuff I otherwise might have missed, so thank you 🙂 Very Much.

    I’d love the sketchbook.

    Keep it up guys!

  6. Congrats Preston and Team on 5 years!

    I am pretty sure I started reading your blog right after I started out freelancing on my own (over 5 years now!) and I found your freelancer articles especially fantastic to help with work out what would work well for my little business.

    Thanks for 5 years of interesting reads and deals!

  7. All right, I am SUPER jealous of all Millo readers right now, because as a writer I’m pretty sure I’m not able to toss my name in the hat for those awesome sketchbooks. 🙁 🙁 🙁

    Happy 5th Birthday, Millo!!!

    “…and many more!”

    – April

  8. Happy Birthday Millo! I can’t count the ways this community has positively affected my life. Always such great advice and resources. I’m working through Book Yourself Solid as we speak. I would love one of the notebooks (preferably with lined paper)

  9. Paul Klosterman says:

    HappyBIRTHDAY to you. HAPPY birthday to you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear Millo .com.


  10. Taylynne says:

    Congratulations on 5 great years GBD!

    I’m still in college, but I’m about to graduate… I’ve been following this site for a while, and it has helped me so much: I know to make sure I am confident about myself, my work, and what price I may set. It has helped me be aware of bad situations that I probably would’ve found myself in; and if I ever do get myself in a poor situation I’ll have better ideas of how to fix it because of some of the articles I’ve read here!

    You guys have been inspirational as well as a great help, and will continue to be for the years to come.

    Happy fifth birthday, GBD, may the years keep coming.

    Thank you for all the great reads,

    (also, for preference, I think #1 or 5!)

  11. Something I’ve learned from reading Millo has been how to interact better with my clients and communicate in ways that respond to their concerns rather than focusing on my sense of aesthetics.

    Re: the prizes, I’d love the blank or dotted grid sketchbook! (I keep an art journal for creative inspiration, and #3 is almost full up, so it would be great to have a new one.)

  12. Congrats on turning 5! I guess we’re all growing together: more skilled, more experienced, exploring new horizon and technologies, Anyway, surviving and having fun!!!

    I’d love to be Stoke “premium” member

  13. What’s up design blender!
    Just gotta say you guys seriously rock. Congrats on five years, what an accomplishment!
    I’m a fresh freelancer myself, and your site seriously helped me through the entire (well, ongoing) process.
    Your content is relevant and not full of garbage. Which is greatly appreciated in our world of overwhelming amounts of not-what-I-thought-I-told-goolge-to-search-for information.
    Know you’re a pretty little bookmark on my browser! Keep up the good work! And thank you!!!!!

  14. Happy 5th Birthday, Millo, hope to read many more from you!

  15. Thank you for confident words to continue in business, you word came to mind at any transaction or campaign we want to execute, finaces, attitude, presentation, billing and so many other point you have said to improve my business skill, all I can say is thank you for keeping me in business and great birthday celebration

  16. May you celebrate 50th anniversary!

  17. Congrats on turning 5! A milestone to be admired. Thanks Millo for all the helpful tips and advice you provide every week. As a freelance designer I appreciate it and it helps having insight from people who has been down this road. (Prize 5, 3 or 2 will do. ) 🙂

  18. Happy birthday! The Millo mailing list makes me feel like I am not alone when I run into the odd frustrating client – and has been super helpful in offering professional ways to deal with these rare situations. I am sure it has helped save a project or two along the way. I read every single Millo email that comes to my inbox. Thanks for everything!

    The Barton Fig sketchbook would be my pick!

  19. I went full-time freelance in August last year after an opportunity arose to quit my main contract work. Since then, Millo has provide key insights (and often support) for everything from gaining new clients to retaining my sanity. Unfortunately I now have to leave some of those new clients behind as I have secured a new full-time position at an agency. But without Millo I doubt my past few months would have been nearly as successful as they have been.

  20. What else is there to say other than I love this blog. So many times have I found the solutions to issues I’m facing as an up and coming freelancer, most by serendipity on my email… I’ve just started out on my own full time last Tuesday, and am thoroughly excited about the journey.

    The only thing I’m missing is a great developer to bring my psd’s to life in HTML. I’d love the opportunity to work with the guys at Reliable PSD to create and develop my own website and add another string to my bow when offering complete design solutions to my clients. Thank you for doing what you do, I feel less crazy because of your blog!


  21. I love reading the posts
    and especially those who encourage to:
    love what you do, take care of your clients, being generous and positive.



    Congratulations and thank you so much for your newsletters, I love them coming into my inbox. Being a self employed designer can without a doubt be a ‘challenge’ but you certainly nail the problems and then come up with the solutions. Thank you!

    A Stoked membership would be my prize of choice, for all of the above reasons.

  23. The biggest impact Millo has had for me was the How Much Do I Charge ebook that April wrote. Not only did it make me sit down and go through my finances (which I have put off for far too long) but more importantly an unexpected impact:- I now quote and charge with so much more confidence, a take-it-or leave it attitude as I know where I am financially, whereas before I would lower my fees just to win a job. Ironically, after making this shift I am gaining more repeat work – I wasn’t placing enough value on what I offer in terms of skills and experience. Never again will I take on those little, low-paid jobs that usually turn into time-consuming nightmares.

    I would love to win a year’s membership to Stok’d as I know I can continue to grow my own business with all the information I find on Millo and actually apply it. Thank you so much. Jodie

  24. Since I found this blog and started reading it over the past few years it has really given me more insight and confidence in my freelance endeavors. So many of the topics that have been written helped me jump over some of those hurdles we all face. Millo has definitely become such a solid place for finding the resources I need, to get me thinking bigger / outside of the box and has helped me grow my business. Thanks!

  25. I’m fairly new to freelance design and Millo has been invaluable for hints, tips and useful information on all aspects of setting up, starting up and maintaining my freelance business. Thanks so much guys and happy birthday!

  26. Step aside, step aside! 😀
    I’m going for a notepad! Aahahah!

    Thanks anyway, winning or not, for this giveaway, Preston! And congratulations for your work! Five years is a proof that it has quality and you deserve to keep up for another 5, 10, 20, 50 years, if so!

    Cheers from Portugal!

    Márcio Guerra

  27. Happiest birthday GBD!!
    Thanks for 5 years of sharing insightful readings.

    PS Stoked membership would be great ^_^

  28. For me, I find the articles on freelancing are top quality on this blog. And happy 5 years! The prize I’d love most would be Start Your Freelance Career 🙂

  29. Congrats on turning 5! Wishing you many more awesome years to come!

  30. I have been following Millo for a full year now, and the advice and expertise I’ve received has been a powerful, and vital tool in launching my business without GBD I wouldn’t have learned so many powerful lessons. Thank You !! I need an awesome sketch book.

  31. Happy fifth birthday, GBD!! You Guys ROCK!!

    I LOVE your freelancer articles because they are such a GREAT help with my freelance work plus I love following you on twitter to find all the cool PSD freebies. :-). I also LOVE all your giveaways mentioned above especially the Sketchbooks and the Stoked membership.

    Have a GREAT fifth birthday!!!


  32. I love both GBD and Stoked. Both have given me the knowledge and confidence to grow my design business and do what I love to do, create!

  33. After spending 19 years working for “the man,” because of a RIF through attrition at the workplace I’m finding myself heading toward a new horizon of pure-freelance.

    It is scary.

    Thankfully, I recently discovered Millo. The content is so helpful for an old man trying to get his bearings in this new world.

    Any one of the prizes would be nice, though — if pressed to make a committed answer — prize #2, Start Your Freelance Career, would be the most helpful.

  34. I have been a freelance artist for years and recently stumbled upon your site. It has provided valuable insight into the changing landscape of design and has made me more aware of ways to better my process and become more in-demand designer because of it. Thanks! Here’s to five more!

  35. Hip hip hooray… its your birthday! May it be filled too the brim with design goodies.

  36. “Millo is a candy store of content for graphic designers. And it’s one that’s been growing for over 5 years now. I haven’t found a better place to learn the ins and outs of creative freelancing.” – Aquil (aquil.ca)

    [Prize preferences: 1, 2 or 5.]

  37. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited reading about a sketchbook. Ha ha, they truly do sound amazing! Crossing my fingers (and my toes!) that I get the opportunity to be awed by my postman as you have.

    I love the insightful articles on Millo. The shared knowledge, experience and advice has proven invaluable many times. I always look forward to the next “issue” (so to speak).


  38. Congrats Preston on the 5 year celebration of Millo!
    Millo has been very helpful for me, I really like the honest, true articles and tips. I was commenting a while back on an article and you answered back with an uplifting comment when I felt very low. Appreciate it so much! Here’s to another 5 years 🙂 Big up from the Netherlands.

    O, I like prize #1 and #2 😀

  39. Congrats on turning 5! Millo has been impactful to my life with the business insights and tips, just one thing you do not learn in school unless you also take business courses!

  40. Wishing you a fabulous fun filled birthday Millo!

  41. I’ve used Millo as a source for inspiration and learning over the past 3 years and always find myself coming back for fresh content and more insight into freelancing and design.

    My preferred prize is the Baron Fig Notebook.


  42. Congrats for the great work!

    Have been following you only since last year in silence.:)
    I will try to be more active with the comments.

    Always enjoyed your content- clear & useful.

  43. DB has been a great resource for information on handling clientele as a new freelance designer. And Baron Fig dotted grid sketch books are great for hand lettering and typography sketches!

  44. Kathryn DeForrest says:

    Happy 5th…Anniversary! Since, as you mention above, we’ve all done it together. If I had a wooden spoon, I would give it to the Millo community. And I would LOVE the blank sketchbook! Sounds dreamy.

  45. Love following Millo. Happy Birthday – I choose Stoked!

  46. I am a part-time freelancer…okay, I’m still trying to get started. Millo posts give me insight and inspiration — helps to know I’m not alone!

  47. Forgot to add a comment on the prizes…..any would be fine, but I’d probably get the most use from a sketchbook, the membership in Stokes or the Freelance Career book – since I’m not running a full blown business yet.

  48. I had no resources for freelance, and you’ve really come through for me! Happy Birthday! Prize #5!

  49. Tanya Haynes says:

    I love it all, too hard to decide what has taught me the most. Maybe just the fact that five years later I’m still finding useful information on the site, so glad you keep it fresh!

    Any of the five prizes, would love to know where I can find the sketch books, they sound awersome.

  50. I just recently found and started reading Millo, but I’ve already found a lot of useful tips on working with clients and thriving as a creative. Stoked is my favorite prize, but a sketchbook would be a close second.

  51. Thieu van Kaathoven says:

    Happiest birthday GBD from Holland!!
    Thanks for sharing all the great items.

  52. Edward Chan says:

    Happy Birthday Millo!
    Millo particular give me inspiration for freelancing guidance and design.
    Always wanted to escape agency life to build a solopreneur, teampreneur!
    Millo been my first choice coming back to working toward the goal.

    Thanks, I only needed Millo so my wishlist is only Prize #5.

  53. Paige Engels says:

    I graduated from college almost a year ago and have been working full-time as a web designer/developer who’s looking to switch to full-time freelance within the next year or so. I really enjoy reading Millo because I am learning valuable information about running my own freelance business which has allowed me to start slowly increasing my clientele and will hopefully help me to avoid some costly mistakes. Thanks for all you do at Millo and happy birthday!

  54. Congrats on 5 years! Thanks for your wonderful content.

  55. Stephanie Pinero says:

    I’ve honestly never seen a giveaway with so much great stuff. I would love to win any of these. great work Millo and Happy 5yr. Anniversary!!!

  56. I am relatively new to this site, but trust me–I have scoured almost every post. Every one of them gave a positive insight into the freelancing world and how to best tackle problems that come up regularly. However, the one post that helped me the most was the recent interview with Brent Galloway. He said that you can start from any level of design skill because there will always be someone out there who knows less than you. That has really stuck with me and spurred me on when I feel a bit helpless.

    Also, I’m a sketchbook fiend, so send me the blank one please!

    • Thank you so much, Kelsey! I was just reading through comments and yours put a great big smile on my face! Glad to hear you enjoyed the interview. Best of luck with your freelancing and the giveaway! 🙂

  57. Preston!

    You rock man! So excited for Millo and to be part of this giveaway! 🙂
    Congrats on 5 solid, amazing years.

    Lou & David

  58. First five year of Millo, I had not been with Millo, but since the started of Stoked. I will became the die hard fan of Millo and Stoked.

    Thus, my prize is Prize #4: Free PSD to HTML from Reliable PSD

  59. First of all, congratulations on 5 years! That’s epic!

    Your newsletters and insightful tips have always been so relevant to my current freelance struggles. I’ve been freelancing for 3 years now and have been receiving your “help” for most of that time.

    I think the best have been advice in how to deal with difficult clients, how to market myself and grow my business, and…the créme de la créme — affirming my decision to take creative down-time for myself! Thanks!

    I would love to experience your #1 prize! I did not know about this and it sounds awesome 🙂

  60. Happy Birthday Millo!
    and Preston Thank for the post!

    Like the way Millo sharing the tips of designpreneur. Giving me advice and tips all along.

    I would love to trial the Prize #5.

  61. I stumbled upon Millo only last year. I’m a new and insecure freelance designer and this blog really helped me be more confident in my desire to want to freelance. Your tips and tricks are inspirational and I hope to be where your team is at one day!

    Thanks for turning 5 and keep going strong! You are really impacting new designers everywhere! I’m from Canada btw 😉

  62. Oh! Also I would loveee to get my hands on prize #1! I always need a new sketchbook =)

  63. I just recently discovered Millo and already learning so much, thank you! I hope to win Prize #2 😀


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