In my ‘grownup’ job, I deal with maps (have for 20+ years now) and WordPress has a basic web analytics (fancy word for activity tracking) that gives me a rough idea of where my visitors are coming from. It’s not as fancy as the analytics on my portfolio page, but it’s better than nothing.
So today I decided to post a map of all the places people have visited my blog from, at least for 2019.
As you can see, I don’t have a huge amount of traffic, but this is more about sharing than clicks.
I think most designers and artists have that moment, while working on a project, when a spark brings all the elements together in a flash. I had one of those moments tonight while working on a logo for an employee council at work.
The project started with the usual circle, a popular form at work. That was version 1. Before hitting the hay (after camping the night before and still recovering from that), I cranked out version two, which was more text based, but had some elements from version 1. Sitting down tonight to tweak version 2, I looked around for more inspirations for some visualization of the “employee council” concept. Finally I just searched on “employee” and came across a stock graphic from Adobe. Sparking an idea, I used the concept in that stock graphic to create the final icon.
In this case, it took finding the right inspiration to kickstart the process. I think the end result finally captured the concept well. The actual final version for the employee council, naturally, has more elements.
I decided to start a more formal design presence, it was a pretty leap to take my signature design (at least one variation) and build a logo from it. Adding some blocky, almost stencil-like letters to convey the “DMD” concept was also an easy start, even with the second “D” being reversed to add a nice ‘cradle’ for the face.
Reading through Instragram today and scanning the search area, I came across a graphic designer that had some wonderful logo designs. Many of them were beautifully laid out based on clean lines. While I have no allusions of reach that artist’s skill, I was intrigued by his use of lines and combining things.
So, cracking open Inkscape, I decided to experiment on a new logo that was more simplistic logo that could be applied to less ‘tactical’ designs and projects. My plan was to combined the “D” and “M” of Data Monkey. With that simple plan, I cranked out the designs below. There is a subtle difference – the upward line for the “M” borrows the curve from the “D” on the righthand design, versus the straight of the left.
Not in a hurry to change my logo, but thought this was a nice experiment, and something to potentially use in the future.
With life, some projects come to a standstill. In my case, work on Trigrams and some other card decks came to a hiatus. In an effort to keep some personal work alive related to those projects, I decided to research the real cost of a Kickstarter project, mostly focusing on Trigrams.
With the few articles I read, the sobriety of reality set in. While games like Exploding Kittens and Cards Against Humanity were runaway hits, many other funded projects ended up either completely breakeven or net loss for the teams.
So, why discuss here? My design work, as mentioned before, is mostly a hobby. While I do occasionally sell patches on eBay, it’s not my primary occupation. Reality revealed itself that some of my projects may simply remain concepts, some more developed than others. Much like my military rank card deck, other forces seem to stall the best-laid design plans.
For now, it seems some of these projects will remain ‘in the vault’ as it were. Perhaps, at some point, the stars will align and my creations will move from drafting table to reality. Or maybe a benevolent patron will stumble my way 😉
The bulk of my design work is self-initiated, with a few requests scattered in. I’ve received requests at work, or suggestions to submit ideas. The one area I really haven’t strayed into is the world of commissions, where a new customer requests a design based on a concept. I’ve thought about adding a ‘services’ page to my portfolio, but haven’t taken the step.
My main worry is that design right now is mostly self-expression, an outlet for my sarcasm and critiques on things in the world. I also have to balance my day job with any potential work (not expecting to quit the day job by any means).
If anyone has thoughts on this, please let me know. This is definitely one of those times I wish Jacquie was here to consult.