Designing for yourself

If you’ve spent any time around freelancers, you’ve heard them complain about the state of their own websites. Cobblers and/or shoemakers likely came up too.

I’m certainly guilty of this. Although you’re technically looking at version 8 of this site, v7 had been around since 2012 and seriously outstayed its welcome. I had never (!) done a content overhaul, so some lines of text had been untouched since I wrote them in 2007.

c. 2006

Version 1 – c. 2006

The logo was slightly newer. I hand-drew version 2 (below) in May 2009 with a blunt pencil. It was never supposed to be permanent, I just needed something to use on the site that didn’t have “.net” right in there. And then on business cards, and invoices, and letterhead…

Version 2 – 2009

Version 2 – 2009

I’ve designed a few logos in the past, but these days if you ask me for one I’ll point you to Kinnon Elliott. I’ve realized that I don’t have the conceptual or the technical skills to design a really killer logo, so why bother trying?

For my own business, though, that wonky cursive thing had Stockholm-syndrome-d me into keeping it around. The rough pencil style didn’t match the new site design, so (emboldened by a few YouTube videos) I “redesigned” my own logo.

Version nope – 2014/15

Version nope – 2014/15

This image is the result of more hours of work than I care to admit. If I’m being charitable, it’s less squishy and weird than version 2, but it’s bringing plenty of its own squishy and weird to the table. The clean lines and new typeface make the wonkiness even more apparent. Not exactly the look I was going for.

It took an outside eye (Marty, after watching me brought to tears by bezier curves one especially late night) to make me recognize this was totally crazy behaviour. Logo design isn’t a service I offer to anyone else, so why was I putting myself through it?

Version 3 – 2015

Version 3 – 2015

Kinnon to the rescue! She’s incredible at both the conceptual and technical sides of logo design, and I admittedly robbed her of the first part, but she very kindly humoured me and tamed those darn curves. I love this version because it looks professional without being a complete departure from previous versions; it’s like the classy older sister of versions 1 & 2.

Lesson learned: DIY is great until it makes you cry. Then you should probably hire an expert.

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