Type Making Workshop & Thoughts on Competitions

Hi Creative Adventurers, First of all, I'm really surprised and also very happy that my post about Fred Deakin's workshop on Monday during Design Manchester 2015 has been seen by him on twitter. Wow to social media. I thought I might never be able to say thank you to him for his workshop. But here you go, I don't know how he found it but I'm glad and hope it can help other students who are still considering to visit one of his workshops to really give it a try.

It is a nice feeling that all this effort of writing a post doesn't just merely serve my own self-reflection but can hopefully also inspire others. Good, onto the other things today ...

TYPE MAKING workshop & Competition

Back to university and "Visual Communication"-class. It came as a surprise that we were asked to participate in a (small?) competition for experimental typography. Originally we were supposed to present our Science Week Photo responses (which has kept me busy the whole week and especially yesterday) but well, it seems that this course is indeed very ... flexible. However, I'm glad that we are not just bound to a strict schedule and can respond to spontaneous opportunities like this. Thank you Salford Uni.

The purpose of the competition has been kept quite secret. I overheard that it has something to do with the Media Department but our tutors said we shouldn't be influenced by that - mysterious.

The task

Everyone was given a few A4 sheets with a word in a different font. I chose "Development", "Zoom" and "Question". You can see my experiments here.

I absolutely LOVED this exercise. Everything had to be done by the end of the session (~ 2h time) but I didn't feel pressure and everything developed quite by itself. Maybe also because I'm not so focused on the competition but more on the process of creating and experimenting.

Is it just about winning a prize?

Just my thoughts but ... isn't that what a competition should be for? To foster and develop your creativity to create awesome and different work? Competitions usually give certain restraints like time, medium, theme etc. and this can spark new creative expressions that you might have not thought about. Sometimes I feel that competitions are too much about prizes and too little about acknowledging our own development.

Of course I'd like to win (I don't even know if there is any prize in fact) but I think that's normal. Who doesn't want his or her work to be appreciated and maybe even published? However, I guess I felt so free while creating because it wasn't my focus. I wanted to try new things and it was such a good experience to see how easily you can use an existing typeface and completely manipulate it with a few easy tools.

I enjoyed it so much that I'm now considering to make another class on skillshare about experimental type making. I really believe that it helped me to switch on the right side of the brain and to release my creativity. If I do make a class, I will let you know on my blog.

Have you worked with type and ever tried Experimental Typography? What are your thoughts on competitions? Share your thoughts and links to your work in the comments below.

Have a wonderful day,

Romica :)

How Personal Branding lead me into deep self-reflection

A little background story

I did some research and came across "Personal Branding" in one of Roberto Blake's videos (one of my favourite YouTube resources about Graphic Design atm) and he talks about why we should use personal branding (You can find his video"The Power of Personal Branding" here). It's healthy and helpful for an upcoming designer in this world to have your own brand and I thought I'd give it a try.

Core Values - what does really matter to me?

So, what happened? I started by trying to brainstorm for a possible logo and for that I wanted to know what really matters to me. What do I want people to think/feel when they hear my name, hear about my future company? After hours of scribbling and brain racking, I felt a little bit lost. How can it be so difficult to find clarity about such basic things? I used to feel very clear about what I want and why, who I am, where I want to go and how to get there. Why did it change?

The Trap of Success

Maybe I haven't been so honest with myself the past few months and maybe I started to copy what I thought was successful. I always wanted this blog, e.g. to become a place where I can deeply share with people who actually care about what design means and does to people. I wanted it to be personal and fun but also serious and honest. Looking back I feel I haven't really been authentic to these values I had and was more concerned about page views, visitors and potential earning possibilities. Don't get me wrong, I do want to make a living with design. But does it have to sacrifice my values and my personality? (Makes me think about a book I still want to get and read "How to be a Graphic Designer without loosing your soul")

Sometimes we need a Mirror

I realised that Personal Branding requires you to go deeper than you would expect. I couldn't really define myself and found it so hard to find any idea for a logo. After some hours of scribbling and typographic endeavours I thought I found something quite smart. Just my future initials, after I will change my name for my husbands family name. RJ. I felt a bit strange about how it looked and later showed my sketchbook to my husband. What he said really hit me (in a positive way): It didn't feel like me. It felt like something that I'm not. And I knew he was right. I tried to pretend to be some sleek, stylish designer that I'm not (and actually don't want to be). I have wonderful qualities but they don't show at all in my drafts. I felt down. I didn't really share what has been going on inside of me the past days and it just came out that I was, frankly speaking, quite frustrated. We had a talk and it made me realise that I have a very clear goal and clear values and I want to really find people I can share with.

New Ways

Brainstorming with my husband really helped to see myself from a different viewpoint. I think sometimes we just need someone to see ourselves truly. Like a mirror. I realised as well, that I do believe in Truth, Beauty, and Goodness in Design and that I want them to be reflected in my words, actions and in my personal brand. I want to become successful with design and make a living with my own company in the future. I want to be able to be flexible to spend time with my family while at the same time pouring all my passion into designated hours of creating beautiful, meaningful, truthful things.

So I wonder how many of you also had a hard time to define themselves professionally, and who of you tried personal branding. Maybe some of you found it really easy, because you already had this clarity in yourself. I just didn't expect a personal logo to become such a journey of self-discovery.

In future posts I want to practice these values and I hope they'll be more authentic and valuable.

Have a wonderful day,

Romica :)