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The Benefit of Longer Term Self-Initiated Projects

Nubby Twiglet | The Benefit of Longer Term Self-Initiated Projects

When most of us think of self-initiated projects, branding for imaginary companies come to mind — maybe you’ve built out a visual system for your dream client to round out the mix in your portfolio. This was always my focus when I worked on self-initiated projects but there’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 there’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. You’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:

1. The Moody Project by June Letters

I’m a super fan of digital mood boards and first learned about Jess’ work by clicking on one of her beautifully composed collages on Pinterest. This series shows off her eye for design and flair for color.

2. Branding 10,000 Lakes by Nicole

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 Nicole’s breadth of branding ideas through simple concepts.

3. Poster A Day by Alex Proba

I’m obsessed with the crisp compositions of these designs paired with hits of bright pastels. Alex’s eye for clean, modern design could easily translate into a line of actual print pieces.

4. Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische

This self-initiated project helped launch Jessica’s career. She posted a new letter each day or so, created in an ornate style that showed off her love of hand lettering. She’s since illustrated everything from postage stamps to best-selling book covers.

5. A Poster Everyday by Furqan Jawed

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.

It’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!


Top image: Poster A Day by Alex Proba.
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Link Love: 6.26.15

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love: Solar Sisters

• As a designer, you don’t have to follow the same path as everyone else just because it looks good on paper. Bre explains how she figured out what worked best for her.

• Tell someone that you’re proud of them and make their day.

• June Letters just released the most beautiful line of hand-poured candles.

• How do you punctuate around emoticons and emoji?

• Simplify your offerings and in return, they’ll be more powerful.

• Staying on schedule when you’re freelancing can be difficult. Corina shares some tips to keep your process running smoothly.

• The 10 most controversial films of all time.

• A husband and wife have worn the same outfits for 35 years.

• 27 apps designers can’t live without.


Image: Solar Sisters.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.

Link Love: 11.20.14

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love: Superfried

• Do you need a business plan?

• I can’t believe these photos exist. Just another day of giving a kangaroo and llama a bath…in New York City?!

• How can you create a clear brand and message when you do so many different things?

• Stay motivated and reach your goals by setting up an awards system.

• Behold the art series quotes on shit.

• I really want to stay in this apartment built inside of a plane. Oh, and it has 8 bathrooms!

• When is the right time to go freelance?

• The relative scale of the planets in our solar system can best be summed up with pieces of fruit.

• If you’re curious about how to overlay lettering on an image, June Letters has a great tutorial.

• Who really designed the Virgin logo?

• What happens when evolution meets Photoshop? Haha!

• I love the idea of making oversized photo booth prints on a budget.


Image: Superfried.

Link Love: 4.9.15

2015_nubbywiglet_linklove_04092015_eric_gilkey

• The ultimate guide to changing your life.

• Before you start an online shop, ask yourself these 5 questions.

• You might think you know what you want in life and carve out a very meticulous path to get it. But, what do you really want? That’s the harder question!

• On my must-visit list the next time I’m in San Francisco: Mr. Holmes Bakehouse.

• Here’s how to self-promote without being too annoying.

• Stop trying to impress others and plug into your weirdness!

Your punctuation says more about you than you might think.

• Garance Doré chats about turning dream jobs into reality.

• What you do is what you become. What kind of person do you want to be?

• In the fame game, things turn out differently than they might first appear. Example: George Michael vs. Andrew Ridgeley.

• These are the 12 types of photos you’ll find on Instagram!

• Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge talks about careers and fulfillment.


Image: Eric Gilkey.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.