5 Tips to Help You Design for Yourself

blogtitle-designyourselfMaybe it’s because I know everything inside my mind. #nofilter

Trying to design for yourself and brand your own logo is much harder than designing for someone else. You would think it would be easy, who knows me better than me right? But that is the problem I really know me. All of me, all the things I like, which contradicts each other sometimes. When designing and branding for someone else I am able to see the traits that stick out. What makes them…..them. When I try to turn it around on me there is no filter to see just what stands out. Anyone else feel the same.

So let me share with you some tricks I used to help me design for myself.

<1> Do something.
So often we wait and wait until it is “right” before we actually do something. It is ok to change your mind and redo it later. Knowing that it is changeable in your mind before you start gives a sense of freedom to just do whatever comes and let it evolve. You have to start somewhere or you’ll never get anywhere. (that’s quotable…I probably heard/read that somewhere)

<2> People around you.
The ones best to be able to see what makes you stand out are those that are around you day to day. Ask the people around you how they would describe you. What they would say stands out when they think about you. Ask them “If you were to describe the type of person I am to a stranger what would you say?” Use the words they use to help you pinpoint the look and style that best represents you.

<3> Pinterest.
Look at the things you pin on boards that are just about you. (Not design or client boards because chances are they will be to varied) Look at it and ask yourself does this say “me”? If yes then think for a moment what about it says “you”. Is it the colors? The textures? Fonts? Layout? If you have someone in your life that you know would know you and be able to find images that display “who you are” you could have them pin images on a secret pin board to help you see what others see. I had my cousin pin any image she saw on Pinterest that made her think of me and it really helped me see (in the images) the common thread throughout the images.

<4> Adjectives
Again, ask the people around you to give you the adjectives that would best describe your personality. This is always a good one for me. I use this trick with clients because I find the adjectives really help me see a good picture of the look and feel a person is going for. Hearing the adjectives that people tell you might be just what you need to really put your finger on the look and feel that best suits you.

<5> The Process
Trust the design process. Go through the Design Process just like you would if you were creating a brand for someone else and take all of the above tips to help you guide through. Don’t overthink it. Just go for it.

Comment below and let me know your tips and tricks for designing for yourself? Have you ever tried designing for your own brand? How did you feel during the process? Let me know in the comments below.

Also comment with anything that you would like me to write about. If you have any specific questions about design or otherwise comment below and let me know  (that rhymed 🙂 hehe)

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Who is Emily Jean?

blogtitle-emMe? Oh what a question.

I am a girl that loves great designs. Gets lost for hours in the endless beauty of Pinterest (who doesn’t). I am always double fisting multiple coffees. I don’t think there is ever a time that I am not doing something. I love being involved in things. Anything with creativity involved.

In high school I was set on going to college to study theatre. All I ever wanted was to be on the stage or on the screen. (that is still my top dream) All through school I had a love for fine arts but it took a back seat to acting. In college I found myself looking forward to my art classes more than I ever have before. Started out as a painting major and made my professor sad when I turned to graphic design. I realized if I am going to spend money on something I need to challenge myself and learn something I don’t know. My first year in design school I didn’t even know how to log out of a MAC. (to my defense this was back in early MySpace days, facebook wasn’t even popular yet) When I started design school Mac’s were rarely used by anyone other than creative professionals. That quickly changed.

I loved design. I found myself changing into a more detailed person and dissecting the leading and kerning, layout, design, and color harmonies of everything around me.

I have been a freelance designer now for 4 years. I love the freedom of working with clients and designing for a variety of projects.  Working as a freelancer has allowed me the opportunity to do other things as well. I have been working the last 4 years with my families child care center as a teacher, director and now the business manager. I love the creativity of teaching early childhood education. I hope to share with you some of the things I have learned in my time with the precious little ones.

Currently I am now working, still, as a freelance graphic designer, and Business Manager for Fruitful Ministries. Each day is filled with new things. Life in my world is never dull and never listless. I love my day planner, charts, and calendars.

The best day is hanging out with friends and family talking about and planning new exciting projects. With a cup of coffee in hand of course.

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My Top 5 Inspiration Sites

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Inspiration is a key to an creative project. It is one of the first steps in completing a design project for me. Check out my blog on my creative process to see where my “inspiration” section fits in to the mix.

 

< 1 > Pinterest.com – does this really need to be said? The best source of inspiration. I will often times just look over my own boards and revisit some of my favorites that I have forgotten. Or I will go through the search tab for specific inspiration. This is good site also for just overall inspiration.Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 11.16.43 AM

 

< 2 > dribbble.com – This site is fantastic for specifically searching for design inspiration. Using the tags you can search through other designers work to see what the going trends are and spark some ideas. We need each other, collaboration is a great way to stay inspired and creative. Dribbble was a great invention, whoever came up with it did a great service for the design community.

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< 3 > siteinspire.com  –  I love browsing through this site when I come across a web design job. You can narrow your search to look for specific design styles. All of the websites for inspiration here are great and you are assured that you will have plenty of design inspirations.

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< 4 > designspiration.com – This site is a great site to scroll through for inspiration.  There are also categories to help narrow the search.

 

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< 5 > logofaves.com – Logo designs are a very important part of the whole branding process of a company. It can be overwhelming to try and find inspiration for logo designs. This is a great resource for those logo designing projects.

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< 6 > abduzeedo.com – This is a graphic design blog with great resources for inspirations as well as tutorials. This is a great site to check out.

 

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< 7 > smashingmagazine.com – This is also a great Design blog with a huge supply of resources.

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< 8 > theinspirationgrid.com – This website has a beautiful grid layout (hence the name) with large list of categories of inspiration.

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< 9 > Creativemarket.com – This site is great for inspiration. They also have weekly free downloads. Visit their Facebook page and they have extra Facebook exclusive free downloads.

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< 10 > google.com – This might be a strange addition to the list but I find it helpful when I am working on a specific project to use adjectives (usually the adjectives I ask my clients in their pre-project questionnaire). When working on something specific it is nice to type in keywords and see what comes up that might spawn some out of the box creative thinking.

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Kimberly Alana – Color Board

It is always amazing to work with clients that are friends and creative fun people that are creative out of the box thinkers. Working with Kimberly has been amazing.colorboard-kimAlana

Above is the mood inspiration board for her rebranding. She is an amazing talented musician and singer. She was looking to create a brand and identify for her music and called me and asked me to help her out and it has been such a pleasure! She is such a fun bubbly person full of energy and creative thinking. She also has this amazing girly rocker side to her. My goal was to blend the two bringing the edgy rock to the fun girly side. I am please with the overall product.
Stay tuned for her logo designs as well as her full branding page.
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My Current : IPhone Favorites

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How many times have you said, “There’s an app for that.” I have to say that was a genius marketing plan for apple. I love downloading new apps I hear about and trying them out. How many of you also dissect the design of each app, the user friendliness of it and the flow and functionalities?
Maybe that is the nerdy graphic designer in me. But I love to critique each app and see how things could have been designed better or what parts of the design I like the most. It takes me back to art school with the weekly project critiques. Can I get a witness? Haha.

I wanted to share with you the top 5 apps I’m currently obsessing ly critiquing and enjoying the use of. These apps are in no particular category. They are somewhat random. Some apps I use for productivity and some are for fun.

1. Evernote

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I know what your thinking! Yeah your a little late to the party. I know, but I’m fashionably late right? Anyways. I will probably stay obsessed with this app. There are a lot of great qualities with this app for productivity in whatever field your in. There are great customizations to it. Customizable apps are my favorite because you can’t just assume everyone is going to want to set up their lists and notes the same way. What is great about Evernote is you can have notes and list combined and even add some reminders and alerts. It is great for creative people to have when an idea pops in your head and the computer is no where near you and you forgot pen and paper. Even writers who should practice writing everyday. Writers can use the notebook features to keep creative stories or outlines clear. I recommend this for anyone in the creative world needing to keep ideas from being lost in the land of the forgotten.

2. Heads Up

unnamedThis game I am sure is not new to some of you. If you watch Ellen’s show you might have seen her play this game with the celeb’s. I saw her play this game with Joseph Gordon-Levitt where they have to do different accents and I immediately downloaded it. My family and I have had so much fun with this game. We are big fans of catchphrase and games like charades so this app is a perfect blend of both. One person holds the phone to their head and then the other people on the team try to act out or say clues to get that person to guess the word on the screen. It even records the people doing charades and acting goofy so that you can watch it back or send the video to someone like the Ellen show. It’s a great app for groups or those awkward dinner parties. Whip it out and you have an instant fun time.

3. Entrepreneur Daily

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On a more serious/business note this app is the app for www.entrepreneur.com this place is a great resource for all business minded people. Anyone in management or higher leadership. I love clicking on there to see the latest articles and read new perspectives on leadership, business, or news on the latest start ups. This might not be up everyone’s alley but if you are interested in becoming more well rounded in business and keeping your brain sharp I would suggest this app as a good recouce. I have been enjoying it as of late.

4. Mindly

Mindly-app-1

Taking it a little more practical but still in the business mindset, the Mindly app is amazing. I just happened upon this app one day and it has helped me out so much on keeping projects oraganized in my brain. The planning process is probably one of the most important parts and this is an app that is just for that. It is basically a mind mapping app. But it’s the best one I have tried. I have tried a few because I find mind mapping to be helpful when dealing with complicated projects or even planning out a larger website. This is a great app for that as well. You can have categories within more categories and also attach notes or images with in them. What is also awesome is it looks great! I’m always about 1. User friendliness and 2. Beuatiful aesthetics. There are pro features if you enjoy using the app and want to continue mind mapping projects. Check it out and map out that mind.

5. Elevate

Elevate-is-an-app-that-has-a-variety-of-games-and-exercises-designed-to-improve-a-variety-of-brain-functions.

Speaking of the mind, Elevate is a fun mind game app. My brother introduced me to this app and I have to say I do feel a tad but smarter after playing it for a few weeks. This app is a game designed to sharpen your mind. So you can have fun and get smarter at the same time. It is rewarding at the end knowing you are having fun and exercising your brain. It will only let you play 3 games per day unless you buy the pro version. I have stuck with the 3 games and I use it as mind excercises each day. Check it out if your feeling like your mind needs to get in shape. Haha

I hope you liked the apps that I have been obsessing over. Comment below and let me know the apps that you have been loving lately.

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Winter – Free Desktop Wallpaper

winterdesktopscene I am not one for the cold winter months, but I do love the Holidays and the beauty that the blanket of the white snow creates. We have had a lot of snow the last few winters. I have noticed how when the snow covers the ground it hides all of the junk and dead limbs and instantly creates a beautiful scene.
My ideal snow day would definitely be coffee bundled up close to the fire with a good movie. (who wouldn’t right?)
I have created some scenes for your computers desktop inspired by the beauty of snow.wintertreewallpaper snowflakewallpaper
Click here to download : Evergreen Snow Scene Wallpaper
Click here to download: Snowflake Winter Scene
Click here to download: Winter Friends Snow Scene
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What is this Blog

blogtitle-whatisthisblogWelcome! Bienvenido! Bonjour! Hola!
I would like to somehow in a nutshell explain why I started this blog. Maybe you care. Maybe you don’t. I’m not sure. But anywho! (I imagined that being said in a British accent)

I am an avid blog reader. I have a list of bloggers and youtubers I like and follow and admire. Looking at other blogs I see there is a common thread and thier blog can generally be titled such as “food blog” or “fashion blog” or “writers blog” “health and fitness blog”. I have been wracking my brain trying to think of how to label myself with what I intend to write and I can’t choose. I love too many things and I have too many interests and hobbies that I don’t want to neglect any of them over the other.

What I post might seem a bit scattered with art, design, acting, theater, marketing/business, and my thoughts/observations about life but those are all the things I love.
Over time maybe there will be one or two things that stick out more than the rest but I hope you will join me on this journey. My hope is to share what I know and what I observe to help anyone that might stumble or come to this blog. I want to be a place for people to find support and help with whatever I can offer.

I hope you join me on this multi faceted blog where I will share the things I know and love from the heart.

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