What I Learned by Making 28 Logos in 28 Days
On January 31st, I had this crazy idea. What if I made a logo every day in February? The idea came from a place of creative frustration. I was deep in a season of the admin type of work that comes along with any business, and I had an urge to get creative and try some styles I hadn't had the opportunity to explore in my client work. I liked the idea of an exercise that would get me thinking and making creatively everyday and after spending about 20 minutes jotting down enough ideas to get me through the month, I decided to commit. The rules were simple: 1. Create one logo, every day and 2. Spend no more than an hour doing it. Below are some reflections on the challenge and the logos that were created over the course of the 28 days.
This Won't Be Easy
I realized a couple things pretty quickly: this was going to be a lot harder than I expected, and the one hour time limit made working quickly key. Over the course of the month I found myself moving through the design process more quickly and smoothly and I learned ways to be more efficient with my time and shortcuts in my regular design programs I'd neglected to use before. I was streamlining my process!
Planning Ahead is Essential
The best advice I have for someone trying this challenge is to map out the industries and names of businesses first. Before I made anything I created a list of about 30 concept names for industries I thought I'd like to work with. Some of them were a little more silly than others, but the idea was to have the brief for the day's logo ready to go so the full hour could be spent making the mark. Each day I'd pick something from the list and get started.
Find the Right Font Fast
Like I suspect is the case for many designers, my font library is huge and unwieldy and takes a really long time to scroll through. Enter this amazing resource: wordmark.it. This site takes your word or phrase and shows you how it looks in every font installed in your computer. Talk about a time saver. So when I was quickly looking for a specific kind of typeface (maybe something with a fancy R? A soft script? Slab serif?) I could quickly scroll through and select the fonts that might work for my project. Font sourcing made easy!
Prepare for Some Duds
As much as I wanted every single logo to be a beautiful, inspiring composition very few turned out exactly right. I committed from the beginning to sharing my 28 logos and there was more than one time where I cringed when posting my day's result. This is okay! There's a reason logos aren't built in an hour (and shouldn't be!) there is a lot of time and consideration put into branding and mark making and doing it in an hour just isn't enough to really run a logo through the rigors of careful refinement. I didn't want to do this to discredit the regular design process but to challenge myself to think creatively and move quickly.
So, would I do this again?
I think so. I really loved this as an exercise to get into the habit of working quickly and I often used the daily logo as a warm up in the morning before starting my regular work. It didn't hurt that posting these to Instagram tripled my following (which is rather small, but this is still significant!) and connected me with a circle of like-minded creatives.
I think concept work has it's place but it really doesn't compare to the amazing collaboration that comes with working for a client whose heart and soul is in their businesses. If you want to stretch your design legs and try out new styles or improve your process I think this is a great way to do it and a nice way to share and engage with the greater design community.