One of the best exercises a graphic designer can do is go through the process of branding themselves. This is because it teaches us empathy since we will no doubt become our own worst client. We will be indecisive and offer terrible feedback. We will ultimately hate whatever we make and want to redesign everything at the final hour. Then ultimately want to fire ourselves from our own job/life.
Designing for yourself isn’t always filled with such turmoil. When given broad requirements and loose instructions it can be liberating. Like an animal kept in the barn, when we get the chance to design for ourselves we just want to run free. Free I tell you! This is how I felt when Jason suggested starting an online apparel shop. I wanted to run through the internet, ridiculous doodles in hand yelling PLEASE BUY OUR SASSY SHIRTS, INTERNET!
We each set out to have a few designs at the time of the launch. After deciding to sell shirts, tanks, totes, phone cases and a few other lil gems we had our basic merch list. What would people want in a shirt? What would make me buy a mug? Maybe it would be some sassy typography, maybe it would be Yoda, maybe it’s a horse getting stabbed (it’s all in there, btw). We were running free with our weirdness, and it felt glorious!
The shop is up. It’s filled with our random ideas and crafted by our wholesome(ish) hearts. It is so much fun to have an idea, run with it, be able to see it to fruition and then let it go into the ether. You like it, everybody wears it, then great! You like it, nobody wears it then, well, every member of your family gets one for Christmas. Everybody wins!