I love this phrase by Macklemore. It’s from the song “10 Thousand Hours” and is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t heard it. The entire album is pretty great for that matter. As a creative, this is a great quote to remember if you ever question why you do what you do.
Don’t try to make sense of the title. I was trying to be clever but you know how it is when you have to explain the joke… it just loses something. I’ve been keeping myself busy working on this personal identity/packaging project for our home brewed Kombucha. In a nut shell, Kombucha is a fermented tea but could also pass for an at home science experiment. Its good stuff though and very tasty. If you want to learn more about it click here. You can buy this stuff in the stores but making it at home is fun and you can get creative with your flavors. Since we share our brew with friends I thought it would be nice to have something that felt gift-ready so that was my motivation for thins. I’m sure this project will for grow and evolve over time but I thought I would share my initial progress. The identity draws inspiration from the earthy, organic, natural essence of Kombucha and is meant to feel like an old fashioned apothecary ad for tonic or elixir so you’ll see those elements in the design as well.
As always I welcome your feedback and opinions. If you want to see more click here.
I’m not really one for making New Years resolutions. Or, at least if I do I don’t tell anyone about them. That way, I can’t be held accountable. I kid. But seriously, my resolution to myself was to try to work on being more patient. I’m not so good at that. When someone else asked me what mine was I said I didn’t have one and then retracted that and said my resolution was to try to draw everyday. Specifically, I want to get better at lettering but overall I want to improve my drawing skills. So, here goes. Let’s Rock & Roll!
For anyone looking for a design job, you know the task at times can seem like a daunting one. Not only do you need to create a resume that gets you noticed for your skills but it’s also important that graphically your resume stand out from the rest without being overtly “designy” and that can be a difficult line to straddle. As a designer, we also have the portfolio piece. Oh ya, that little thing. We want our work to show an aesthetic and point of view while still demonstrating that we’re capable of working within different styles. If we’ve played our cards right, these two pieces might be enough to get us noticed and get the interview. Whew! Once we’ve got our foot in the door all we have to do is convince them that our work is the best, our experience is exactly what they’re looking for and make everyone love us. No pressure at all!
Say everything up to this point goes perfectly and you get yourself a second interview. Great! Now, you might be asked to do a design test. I think in many design jobs this piece is fairly common but obviously, the scope of the test can vary. I think it’s valuable for the organization to see what kind of work you do in a real world situation but I also think it makes it tough not to become emotionally invested when you’ve put a lot of work in and you want the gig. I know this is a fairly lengthy post but it was a valuable experience for me and that’s why I want to share. Below is the creative brief I was given as part of a design test for a job I recently interviewed for. Seeing the brief will help you understand why I made the design decisions I did. I chose to create a full identity system and the creative solution was a direct mailer and follow up email.
Business Objectives: One of our business units is transitioning its name from X to Y. It is critical that we communicate to our existing customers that our name is changing but not our commitment to the industry or them. This event is sure to increase visibility for the brand creating an ideal opportunity to restate to potential customers what makes us different.
Top Things to Communicate:
• The name change reflects our transformative growth and is symbolic of our commitment to providing greater access to a broader range of world-class systems, software, products, facilities and expertise.
• We strive to position ourselves as a companion in furthering the practice of animal health care.
• This new identity is a (bolder/vibrant), fun, more personal one that elevates experiences over things.
• Companionship is synonyms with one of our core brand attributes…partnership. Identify classic animal companion archetypes and relate with how we are delivering on our promise of helping build healthier businesses and furthering the practice of animal health care.
• Ideation Keywords: Loyal (Man’s Best Friend), Friendly, Shared Interests, Part of the Family
• Potentially include slight image modifications to theme based on Practice focus (Companion vs. Equine
IDENTITY SYSTEM & EMAIL:
Ultimately, the organization chose to go with another candidate. But, as I said this was a valuable experience. In the end, you win some and you lose some and you have to pick yourself up and move on. As I’m learning, patience is ultimately the best skill you can possess when you’re looking for work. If you know anyone in the Minneapolis area who is looking for a graphic designer let me know. My contact information is here. I’m also available for freelance work. Thanks for reading and as always, I welcome your comments and feedback!
The Haida are a group of indigenous people native to the Queen Charlotte Islands off the coast of B.C, Canada. They have a rich history of legend, lore and storytelling and are most known for their carved totem poles. Here is a great collection of images of their amazing carvings and other Haida art. One of my favorite Haida legends is the story of the Raven who stole the sun.
“In the beginning the world was in total darkness. The Raven, who had existed from the beginning of time, was tired of groping about and bumping into things in the dark. Eventually the Raven came upon the home of an old man who lived alone with his daughter. Through his slyness, the Raven learned that the old man had a great treasure. This was all the light in the universe, contained in a tiny box concealed within many boxes. At once the Raven vowed to steal the light. He thought and thought, and finally came up with a plan. He waited until the old man’s daughter came to the river to gather water. Then the Raven changed himself into a single hemlock needle and dropped himself into the river, just as the girl was dipping her water-basket into the river. As she drank from the basket, she swallowed the needle. It slipped and slithered down into her warm belly, where the Raven transformed himself again, this time into a tiny human. After sleeping and growing there for a very long time, at last the Raven emerged into the world once more, this time as a human infant. Even though he had a rather strange appearance, the Raven’s grandfather loved him. But the old man threatened dire punishment if he ever touched the precious treasure box. Nonetheless the Ravenchild begged and begged to be allowed to hold the light just for a moment. In time the old man yielded, and lifted from the box a warm and glowing sphere, which he threw to his grandson. As the light was moving toward him, the human child transformed into a gigantic black shadowy bird-form, wings spread ready for flight, and beak open in anticipation. As the beautiful ball of light reached him, the Raven captured it in his beak! Moving his powerful wings, he burst through the smokehole in the roof of the house, and escaped into the darkness with his stolen treasure. And that is how light came into the universe.”
This is my interpretation of that story:
If you’re interested in more Haida legends click here. Thanks for reading!