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Logo Challenge Wrap-up

Last week was a total design bonanza around here, as I designed seven logos in seven eight days. For free. Yowza. That's $3500 of work. Out the door. Did I mention the free part? 
If you haven't been reading along, here's every entry in its full glory: 
It was exhausting. It was stressful. And it was so fun.  
It was definitely NOT my usual process; I went a lot less deep while talking to the clients and of course, there wasn't any feedback process. 
Why did I do this? 

1) I like time-limited projects. They give me a real jolt of energy in whatever area I'm working on--poetry, design, walking, whatever. I'd say this absolutely worked in this case: I feel more limber as a designer, and more confident in my process. 

2) I wanted to offer my services to people in my community who may not be able to afford it.  I'd say I succeeded on this one--almost all the participants have told me they're planning to use the logo I created for them.

3) I wanted to increase the number of people on my mailing list. Shockingly, I'd say this was the least effective part of the project.  That's pretty big bait to offer, and I admit, I wish more had come of it. But no good deed goes unrewarded, right? I'm already feeling the effects of the project & have signed an absolutely dreamy logo/poster project.  

4) I would like to do more logo/brand design. The project gave me a total refresh on my portfolio in just over a week. It also gave me the confidence to know where I should be pricing this service and how my client survey is really working. 

What I learned: 

1) There are definite trends in which typefaces I use and maybe that's okay. I love Slab Serifs. I don't much care for script. So there.

2) I love letter shapes. I love drawing them and looking about them and worrying about them.

3) I do not love illustrating.  I don't feel confident in this area, but what I learned was that I can figure it out. I can get it done. 

4) The blog entries about the design are almost as helpful as any other part of the project. It helps me track my design process, so I can narrow it in to a more repeatable process.  It helps the client understand where I'm coming from.  And the client conversations were way better during this project than they usually are. Seeing my process written out seemed to help people realize where their ideas diverge from their actual business. It got the conversation going in the right direction.  A lot of times, when a client sees a design and it doesn't quite work for them, they try to solve it by suggesting a new color or shape or whatever--but with these detailed write-ups, the participants were free to focus on what they know best (their businesses) and let me figure out how to resolve their questions about the designs (which is what I do best). Honestly, this one trick probably made it worth giving away all this time. 

5) Pinterest boards are totally great. Why haven't I been using Pinterest boards? That's definitely going to change. Having a catch-all for inspiration and anti-inspiration was great at those eleventh hour moments when I worried I couldn't pull it all together. I can't imagine how much more helpful it's going to be with a regular project, when I can use it to show clients what I'm thinking before I sink a lot of time in to the project. 

6) When designing a project, I really need a philosophy from the client.  What is your unique selling point? What makes you tick? I didn't have that on one project and it was one of the hardest. 

Would I do it again? Probably. But not as many. 
This is the third passion project I've worked on (seven days of blogging, seven days of logos, and one hundred days of poems--launch TBA).  I'm really digging this structure.  Do you do passion projects? Something that relates to your business, perhaps, or just something that lights you up?  I'd love to hear about it. 
p.s. To find out about my next passion project (you could be the lucky one getting free work), you can sign up for my mailing list!