(Listen to some Reggae music while reading)
🙇🏽♀️ Uh oh.
I made a design that’s far from perfect or trendy. That seems like a big confession to make! But I did. How many times do you hear designers say that? Shouldn’t we always be doing the best work of our lives? I think so! I do am fervent of the saying that ‘good enough’ is not acceptable. But let me explain!
Every year, Automattic employees gather for the Grand Meetup. That’s about 500+ employees at a meeting point! And because it’s a big event, we need visual for it. Logo, signage, invitation, merchandising, you name it. I LOVE event design and so I raised my hand to help. The thing is, I’m not completely proud of the design that came out of it.
In that particular case, priorities played a role. Let’s say I started with a battery that’s 100% full of creativity. I used 75% of it for my regular work, which provides direct value to the users and the company. Before I can recharge it, I have to supply for the Grand Meetup. You know how it feels to interact with a device that’s about to die…anxiety pops, energy saver mode is on, power is decreased, etc. So, I designed for the Grand Meetup with my 25%. But…it’s not all negative! Keep on reading.
🤸🏻♀️ Having fun
Ok, so I’ve got 25% of energy left. Might as well try to have fun with it? I once was a designer who’d criticize or judge poor designs. (Don’t get me wrong, if you are an agency offering creative solutions, you should absolutely be on point with the design.) But if you are a local restaurant, a child daycare center, an animal shelter, [insert non-design focused business], I think it’s ok to just have fun with the design without being too critical about it.
Here’s a good example of a local restaurant here in Mexico.
The sign reads ‘Comida Economica’. I think it’s PERFECT! I wouldn’t change anything about it. It’s charming. Those people are all about delicious, non-pretentious food. And let’s admit, the branding is clever. I look at it with my heart, not my OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder) eyes!
My point is: Like this restaurant, the design of an internal event couldn’t be my top priority. Therefore, I tried to have fun with it so it would translate into the end result. I chose visual elements I wouldn’t normally go for. I gave silly ideas, received some, and went ahead with it! Of course, I didn’t provide anything that wasn’t fully acceptable (I’m still a designer.)
👯 Bonding with others
This situation was also an occasion to work with a diverse team (not only designers) and let go a bit of my ego or preferences. I swear that life is easier and more lovely when we’re not judging other people’s ideas. Websites like Make My Logo Bigger or Clients From Hell can be funny but create this gap between designers and non-designers. As I have matured as a designer, I’ve become much more laid back in my approach towards others. If you hear someone say something considered ‘cheezy’ within the design industry, make them part of the joke. Everybody understand when we take the time to explain. The same goes as I wouldn’t like to be judged by developers for my lack of technical performance or by my dentist for not knowing which tooth is the LATERAL INCISOR.
👀 So…back to the design. What does it look like?
Here it is. Can you feel the fun behind it!?
The design is black and white for sake of simplicity. It features silhouette elements representative of Whistler, BC, Canada with an all caps font that can be twisted in all the shapes. I hope that everyone will feel the love and spontaneity behind it!
I would love to continue with the ‘Having Fun’ tangent of this post and see some examples of imperfect visual designs that makes them perfect.
Here’s my nephew using the soft hyphens wrong. I think it’s the cutest sign ever!