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When in Doubt, Follow your Curiosity

Updated: Jan 17, 2021

It's been difficult deciding my "next move" in terms of development. I've been finding it impossible to choose what UX path to go down as per my other blog post and I struggled with it for some time, doubting whether it was even the right thing for me. I think it still is but I also think I've been pressuring myself too much to "sort my life out" and get cracking with a new job.

I don't do well without direction and structure to my days and I feel like I wasted away mulling things over and trying to force myself to decide. I always have a sense of urgency and find it difficult to slow down but I knew I wouldn't find an answer staring at job descriptions and comparing my work to other designers with years of experience. My project "Buddy" was all about taking small, manageable steps towards big goals and I wasn't following my own advice. I kept reading articles about how long it had taken people to become good at their craft and I felt blocked by the fact that I was only starting out. I needed to find fun in my learning again...

So I decided to follow my curiosity and explore more of what I enjoy and trust that the pieces will fall into place later on. So I have signed up for the advanced SheCodes Workshops (Plus React) and will also start a graphic design course. The former was so exhilarating when I did the introductory course (designing AND building). The latter has been a dream of mine ever since I remember and I hear 32 is not too late to start if you really want something 😉

Anyway, as my first little graphic design project, I had a go at designing a logo for myself seeing as the previous one was created in about 5 minutes with Canva without much thought because I felt I needed a logo on my website. I found a picture I liked on Unsplash, picked out the colours and put my initials in a circle... it didn't feel like me at all but it was something.

Designing a "proper" first logo for myself was daunting, I felt it's the beginning of what is effectively brand design for myself and that seemed scary. But one step at a time. It's all a work in progress and doesn't have to be perfect or set in stone...

As usual, I woke up with the initial idea in my mind and had to get up to get it out of my head... You can see the progression above (I have about 30 versions of these, these are the 4 main stages).

1 - I started with my initials in lower case with the negative space turned into a pair of glasses because I've always liked wearing them, and I thought they convey a sense of geekiness which is also how I see myself. However, it reminded me of one of these old-school wind up toy mechanisms and compared to my "final" design is almost amateurish.

2 - I experimented with giving the "a" its arm(?!) to distinguish it from an "o" and rounding the ends to soften the shapes. I also had a play with the colours trying to find "my" colours. I've always loved reds, and pink and purple are complementary so I went for a gradient to achieve vibrancy and a modern flat feel. Despite the colour, this one looked at me like Harry Potter with a quiff so I wasn't feeling it albeit my love for him... 😬

3 - I dropped the pair of glasses as it started feeling childish and I lined up the letters to get rid of the "facey" look. This left a gap in the bottom right corner that I wanted to fill to balance the logo. I chose small pointy waves (the sea!) to create a contrast to the big rounded letters. I'd asked some friends what colours came to mind when they thought of me so I also started experimenting with some more variations on this to see how I felt about them.

4 - I "loosened" up the waves in the bottom left corner and gave them some space. The colour combination really resonates with me as I try to be optimistic always but I think it will remain a work in progress for a while as I'll want to update my website as well... I love all colours so I feel I can't possibly settle for one combination. Luckily different colour variations on logos can be a thing and work well, so let's see how it goes.

Well and that's it on my very first graphic design project. WHAT DO YOU THINK?? Any and all feedback welcome, just comment or message me on LinkedIn or via email ❤️

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