When most of us think of self-initiated projects, branding for imaginary companies come to mind â€” maybe youâ€™ve built out a visual system for your dream client to round out the mix in your portfolio.Â This was always my focus when I worked on self-initiated projects but thereâ€™s another option.
Creating a series around a specific theme that is produced on a longer term basis can can be even more beneficial because it has the ability to grow your audience and get tons of fresh eyes on your work.
Self-initiated projects are great because as they evolve, they give your audience a reason to check in regularly. Even better, they give people a reason to share your work because thereâ€™s nothing cooler than seeing a themed body of work grow week after week.
Another benefit of longer term self-initiated projects is that they clearly demonstrate a sense of consistency. Youâ€™re showing up, putting in the work and over time, your audience will take notice which in turn, will hopefully grow your freelance clientele.
5 Self-Initiated Project Examples
If you need a starting place, here are five awesome examples to get your creative juices flowing:
Iâ€™m a super fan of digital mood boards and first learned about Jessâ€™ work by clicking on one of her beautifully composed collages on Pinterest. This series shows off her eye for design and flair for color.
I followed this project a few years ago and it was so interesting to see how the name or location of a lake could provoke a unique, branded outcome. This project was great because it showed Nicoleâ€™s breadth of branding ideas through simple concepts.
Iâ€™m obsessed with the crisp compositions of these designs paired with hits of bright pastels. Alexâ€™s eye for clean, modern design could easily translate into a line of actual print pieces.
This self-initiated project helped launch Jessicaâ€™s career. She posted a new letter each day or so, created in an ornate style that showed off her love of hand lettering. Sheâ€™s since illustrated everything from postage stamps to best-selling book covers.
Another daily poster project, this was created by a design student in India as a way to explore his love of typography. I love the simple, editorial-inspired style of this series.
Go Forth And Create!
When you think about it, the ideas for these types of projects are endless. You could create a series of book covers, artwork for your favorite albums, t-shirt designs, perfume labels, logos for makeup brands or even a collection of stamps.
Itâ€™s always great to tie these projects into a personal passion so you have that extra creative spark as the series continues on.
P.S. If you decide to create a long term self-initiated project (or already have!), let us know in the comments!