My retirement from hyperactivity on DesignCrowd.com lasted for about a month now and I almost bypassed my contest win. I was already in autopilot highlighting junkmail and trashing it all. But, this time the email preview on my phone looked a little different. “Design Selected,” “Payment and Files Approved!”, and “New Message” were unusual subjects for my eyes. Wow, was my heart racing. Obviously, I opened the email that said “payment”. LoL. And it was true. My eyes did not deceive me! MY FIRST CONTEST WIN!
If my fiancé were home he’d be the first to know. Instead, I called my mommy. (wink). Both were not aware of my contest submission for The Espresso Masters. Likewise I was unaware of my design being considered. It was a surprise for everyone, even my PayPal account.
My stomach felt light. My chest full of butterflies. I refreshed between email and Design Crowd account for a reality check. It’s real. I ever got a little teary eyed. This win definitely gives me a boost out of my graphic design woes. Knowing myself though I just have to be cool and humble about this win. It’s a small penny for a couple hours of work. My heart will be persistent.
This design helped me find my style and figure out a presentation that. Honestly, it’s thanks to The Espresso Master’s thorough description of what they wanted in a design that helped. I wasn’t initially invited to the contest, so I’m glad I stumbled upon it. And my purchase of the Back to Basics Index book helped me stay focused as well.
It’s always a good idea to go back to the basics. That’s exactly what I need during my designers block frustrations. I contemplated whether I needed a graphic design book because the Internet has so much information! But, I’m a little over reading on web all day and I wanted to flip pages. I may not be able to zoom into the pictures like I do on the iPad, but the texture and smell of a textbook I kinda miss. =P I also miss the basics of graphic design. So, I browsed through the pages of “Design Basics Index” by Jim Krause at my local Books-A-Million. I actually judged this book from it’s copyright date, 2004, and I wondered if a 2004 graphic design could be outdated by 2013. Another book I looked at that was published in 2010 was very eye catchy and maybe double the size of Design Basics. I guess that’s sort of like judging book by it’s looks, so I really read into these books; a little here and there per section, per chapter, per cover. Design Basics was the perfect fit because is has exercises scattered through the book and it was just the whole package with good and bad examples. It was about making conscious decisions and not just placing that logo in the corner just because it looks good. I needed more reason in my designs because I was kind of designing to things that looked cool. Then, I couldn’t get myself out of that initial design. That means I ran out of ideas. So, the basics will definitely refresh my brain on my community college practice. The university doesn’t let you practice all that much, which I hope changes for the better. I’m looking forward to evolving.
How long must you take you actually reflect on your designs? I reflect by getting into Photoshop and playing with everything. Tweaking here there. Changing the colors, the text, anything to get a different look. But it goes deeper than just tweaking.
I have an idea of what looks great and what doesn’t, but it’s difficult to reject your own design you’re initially proud of. It’s until your design gets feedback that you have to stare long and hard at what the heck is wrong with the design. My design below was eliminated from the contest ultimately because it wasn’t what the client was looking for, but the feedback that struck a cord was “generic.” I looked at my design and asked… Why are you generic? What is generic? Well, there are simple shapes and colors that could work for any business. It’s not a real branding logo. There’s so much I need to study when it comes to giving clients what they want and need at that. I read a couple of articles on the importance of graphic design, that’s what I binged, and it was consistent that companies want a branding image that will effect the community in a positive manner. Makes sense enough. I’d want that for my business as well. Being a graphic designer is really tough. I’ll need to study and research how to communicate effectively with every design.
Anyone have a good blog to follow? Or a good book to guide me through graphic design?
Today, I received a feedback message from a client to tell me that my design submission is in consideration, but other sources advice her that the logo too “for-profit university.” My initial design was in the Top 7. This logo was for a law company and wants a design that’s “clean, simple, approachable” and blends in with the law community. I’m thankful for the feedback. Outside feedback really makes me see my design in a new way. It’s definitely a learning experience that I can carry with me to future designs. The feedback definitely inspired me to continue designing. I’m pleased to have evolved the design with just thinking just out of the box. The hint: highlight “life is good” but keep it professional. 😉
Approachable: A great word to remember in designing all my designs. This journey is so exciting I can’t wait for more knowledge and come out a better graphic designer.
It’s been a couple of days since I took on other “contests” from DesignCrowd. I was immersed in my wave designs. I’d like to thank that business, Kainalu Designs, for that challenge. It always feels great for your creativity to flourish and you fully accept your designs. I’ll still be bummed if my designs do not win, but it will be in my resume and up for sale.
I’ve been facing disappointment lately as other contests close and eliminate my designs. It’s a learning experience, I remind myself. Yoga has been a great way to foster that mindset too. There are numerous occasion as soon as I open Photoshop designer’s block hits. I have to remind myself that I took the challenge, might’ve failed, but that’s ok because it’s all about practice. Yoga is about practice too. All you have to be proud of is that you tried. Now, yoga is not for everyone, but if you’re interested I’ve attached a video I stuck with for about a month.
Here are a couple of designs I dished out for today. It’s for a law firm. The fonts are not designed by me, but the logo is. I feel that they are welcoming designs that tells clients they can count on this law firm.
Ever since I can remember I have been collecting free fonts from different websites. Only now I realize that I have the tools to design it, but not so much the knowledge. I’m not so crystal about the different between “typeface” and “font.” Then again that could be the frustration talking. I’ve been sifting through amazon for typography design or guides or workbooks, anything really. Most of them are on the expensive side, so thank goodness for the used books. Then again I have no clue how valuable any of those books would be for me. The Internet could have just as valuable information. Heck, the real world would probably be a very good way to get inspiration. My only dilemma: creating it. Is Illustrator the correct tool? I’ll have to dust off that textbook.
Rewinding a bit, while browsing through the books on Amazon I noticed majority of them suggested to get the good ole pencil and paper and just start doodling letters. That should be a good idea.
If you have any other advice on how to create your own typeface or fonts (I need to research that) please pay it forward. =) I’m yearnin’ for some learnin’ – Goofy Movie