Designer Problems

Finding Inspiration and Daily Challenges

Yesterday I spent a long time staring at a blank piece of paper, trying to come up with a concept that I normally would have found easy. I needed to create a geometric shape logo for the #dailylogochallenge and I was drawing a complete blank. I looked up geometric logos via google images, checked out other designers work on Instagram and sketched various geometric shapes on the page in order to try and figure out what I was going to make as a submission for the challenge that day. The whole thing felt like writers block, that feeling you get when you are staring at a blank page and cannot come up with the words to fill it. I was at a loss for what to do.

I have really appreciated this design challenge because it has given me something to work towards every day. I get to work with concepts that I would not have come up with on my own and it lets me stretch my creative wings with specific tasks I find quite difficult. I cannot remember the specific day but we needed to create a fox logo, which sounds simple enough. I could not for the life of me come up with a unique logo for the fox design that I did not originally see on the internet. Thinking about it now I can come up with more than 20 viable concepts that I could have explored but on the day of the challenge I drew a blank. Eventually I did get something down on the page and submitted it, posting to my Instagram and saving the files for further exploration at a later date. The goal with logo design is to keep things as simple as possible while creating a unique, easily identifiable mark that a client can use in various different environments, be that digital or physical format. Every design should feel fresh, even those designed with a more traditional slant. It can have elements of others work, which I wrote about here but the design itself needs to be original and fit for purpose. Yesterday event, with the geometric challenge I could not come up with a concept at all.

Eventually this frustration came to a head. I had to walk away from the challenge, which was too bad. I missed one day of the challenge, the hand lettering day and I have been kicking myself about it since. I have also been planning to “make up” the work I did not submit for the day too, no matter how horrid it turns out. That is how you grow. After walking away from the design I went to work out. This is how I clear my head after a busy day. Working out in like meditation. It allows me to clear my mind and look at the problems I am facing from a different perspective. This brought me to the realisation that I should stick to a geometric lettermark. I remembered the old Medium logo and decided to do a riff on that. The crazy thing about it was that I had been making a little letter earlier in the day before the challenge was emailed to me, to see how it would turn out. I had completely forgotten it in my frustration.

Finally, at close to midnight I completed the daily challenge. I was content that I did not miss a day. Do I think the logo is perfect? No. It definitely needs some more work but that is what these challenges are all about. The frustration and pain you work past when creating a concept. The fear that you won’t complete the challenge and let yourself down. I find this gentle pressure to be a boon to my creativity but I can see how some would find it to be anxious. These daily challenges help me explore my creative side, reaching past the parts I am not comfortable with and create concepts I would not have reached in another way. The idea that you should challenge yourself every day is one I strive to achieve. It is a new day so I can’t wait to see what challenges it brings.

For anyone who is interested, you can follow the daily challenges via Instagram here. If you are a logo designer, you should consider signing up to the daily logo challenge email.

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