I write today’s project update with heavy eyes but satisfaction. I have completed the third and largest brand book of my portfolio project this month. It has been a combination of late nights and early mornings, some breakthrough exciting moments and some more head-in-hands moments. Just a month ago I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to be able to pull off a project like this, and yet here I am today on the final day mark.
There is a lot to share— insight, lessons learned, progress and plans. Let’s start with the actual Yerbamala Designs Brand Book. . .
Yerbamala Designs: Brand Book #3
You could say that Yerbamala Designs was the brand I looked forward most to working with. They’re a macramé company, local to Miami, inspired by Havana colors, Miami textures, nature, and mid-century design. Out of all the brand books I created this month, they were the company with the most flexibility due to their lack of logo, website, and other key elements.
I started the week on a high note as I gathered gorgeous patterns, colors, and photographs for the book. Something that really helped the rebranding process go smoothly was the sheer volume of photos Yerbamala Designs has online. They take great photos of their work as well as of themselves that still carry the style of their brand and what they’re going for. This really helped me understand how far good quality photographs with a clear, matching style, carry a brand.
From the beginning of the week and process, I made the conscious decision to prioritize time for building website and advertisement mockups. I designed four mock pages of a website, two mock advertisements that incorporated their new logo (also designed by me), and the overall essence of their brand. The thing that I’ve learned the hard way is, mock-ups always take longer than you think. I originally planned to complete all the final mock-up drafts in one day. What really happened is this— After an entire day of work, I drafted three website mock-ups, went to bed tired but happy with my creations. Woke up, hated all of them. Insisted on recreating the entire website concept. Did that, then began an advertisement mock-up. Fell asleep at my desk because it was late at night. Woke up early the next morning and finished all the mock-ups and was finally happy with them.
But I still hadn’t begun the actual book.
I would have felt panicked if this was the first book, as 2-3 days isn’t a lot of time. But the truth is that the entire Yerbamala Design process was smooth sailing compared to the other brand books. I attribute this to growing experience and confidence, my connection to the brand, and the plentiful resources online available for use or inspiration.
Out of all the brand books I’ve created this month, this is my favorite (and yes, I know I said that last week). To be transported to a tropical garden oasis in easy, breezy Miami, check out the Yerbamala Designs brand book here.
What I’ve learned: the expected and unexpected
I set my sights on my portfolio project with a lot of goals in mind. However, the backbone of the project was always to showcase and improve my design skills. I did just that by learning Adobe InDesign, working heavily in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, as well as learning a lot of new things about typography, colors, and design composition. Two months ago, I opened Adobe Illustrator for the first time. Today, I have comfortably used three of the major Adobe CC programs for designers, designed my first 3 logos ever, and created three entire books.
I’ve learned more about myself intrinsically than I ever expected to in a month. I can’t count how many hours I put into my project this month because it seemed like any spare moment I had between life’s obligations, I was sitting at my computer. But the real insight for me came when I realized that even through the frustrating moments, I knew I wanted to keep going. There were no convincing necessary or breakdowns. An instinct was awoken in me that kept me looking forward no matter what. For one of the few times in my life (and possibly the first), I shaded the outside world for a month to work on something that full heartedly meant something to me. Yes, the brand books are ultimately for the use of other companies, but they are also my creation, that I put my entire mind and heart behind.
So, what’s next?
Now that the brand books are done, phase two of my project begins. I have a lot of goals in December including to— write a blog post every day, redesign my website, create a new logo for myself, logo work with some other clients, get my work published online, minimize my wardrobe, meditate a minimum of 3x/week, and more. . .
But the biggest goal for next month is to pitch the brand books to the companies I created them for! There are some touchups I want to make to the books now that I have a little extra time before December comes, but for the most part, I’m ready.
I’m aiming for either the purchase of the actual brand book or other paid design/branding opportunities that may be needed. Regardless, I’m excited to get some experience pitching to clients, forming contracts, and overall sales.
The biggest takeaway from ALL of this? Time is weird. Each day of this month I was packed with things to do, yet it feels like hardly any time at all has passed. Time will fly by, so best to make each day count towards something.