30 Days of Imperfection – Day 1

I’ve taken on a challenge: to write blog posts for 30 days (I’m getting a late start for the month) without judging myself, re-writing or over-editing. This idea was started by a coach, Jac McNeil, who had avoided blogging because she didn’t feel she would be good at it. She committed to  blog for 30 Days of Imperfection.

I constantly struggle to blog and keep my site updated. Mostly I post the projects I’ve been working on, but that’s not always possible if I have a client that doesn’t wish me to share the project. Plus, things that I think are important to my clients have been written about so many times by others, it’s seems so redundant.

So, I will just start writing about what comes to mind and hope I can relate it to what I do, while informing my clients (and potentials).

December is one of those months that is typically slow for me, as a designer. Holiday promotional stuff was done in the preceding months and a lot of people aren’t thinking about starting new projects until after the beginning of the year.

To help pay the bills, I accepted a short-term contract job at Sur La Table, which finished last Friday. I loved it! I worked on a lot of signage (for December) and packaging (for spring). The packaging part was especially interesting since it’s not something I have done a lot of in the past, mainly because I hate setting up die-lines. Lucky for me, all the die-lines had been set up, so it was just a matter of layout. But, it was quite cool being part of the packaging design that will eventually be in the stores.

Once designed, I had to cut out and tape together a mock-up…no small feat since I’ve been known to do damage (to myself) with a box or exacto knife! I managed to get everything cut out without a mishap this time. The mock-ups were then used in a dummy store SLT has set up at their corporate office where new store layouts/displays were set-up, photographed, and guides made to send out to all the stores, making them pretty identical. I had never considered this before…that someone was actually paid to design the layout of a store so they all looked alike. I mentioned this to a friend who is a manger at Pier1 and she said she loved getting the layout guide – she can just hand it to an assistant and they get it done. Has anyone else ever thought about who designs a store layout?

A cool feature about working at STL is that their breakroom has a full kitchen in it. At various times, someone was making chocolate eggnog truffles, brownies, or some other recipe to make sure it worked before having it printed on a rack card for the store. Thankfully, I was too busy to get hungry from all the delicious smells!

I’m glad to be done with the contract and back working from home, but was glad for the opportunity to learn more about design and enjoy the company of other designers.

For others that work on a freelance basis, what do you do to help supplement your income when things slow down?

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