I arrive at the studio and make a coffee. It's a slightly later start today because I had my boys, whom I share custody with their dad, and walked them to school. We’d had an in-depth discussion about Marvel superheroes, sparked by my youngest asking “Who do you think is the most aggressive Spiderman – Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield or Tom Holland?”
Once I’m settled in front of my laptop, I put some music on – something calming to ease myself into the week. I go choose electronica, some Telefon Tel Aviv. I check my emails, prioritise tasks for the day and go on LinkedIn to interact and share a post. I set a timer so I don't get distracted.
Yesterday I was working on a research project report for a university. The first stage is to design the cover and example inside page to show how this project could look. The two initial options are almost done. I reserved a bit of time to work on it today so I could review it with a fresh pair of eyes before sending it to the client for feedback.
Option one looks great but the sizing of the headlines is a little off, so I correct that. Option two is the one that wasn’t quite finished. I finish applying the style to a sample chart and add it to the design. After a bit of tweaking, both options are looking sharp. I save the presentation PDF document with a rationale explaining the design choices and email it to the client. Fingers crossed they are pleased with the initial ideas!
Time to change up the music and put on some drum n bass. I’m quite enjoying Neurofunk at the moment for getting stuff done.
I've got to draw up a quote for an exciting new client in the food industry. They already have a logo but everything else needs a revamp. They’ve also got a spot booked at a trade show in the not-so-distant future so are keen to start with banners and handouts. They want a corporate brochure too but there isn’t going to be time before the trade show, especially if we call in one of our photographer partners to do a photo shoot. That will come later.
I send the quote along with Studio Bifrost’s terms and conditions, put together by the very knowledgeable Heather Stanford of Stanford Gould, with a well-worded email. I firmly believe that if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it properly. That certainly applies to how I run Studio Bifrost. Even back when I initially set up as a self-employed designer a decade ago, I insisted on having terms and conditions in place as it showed I was serious about what I do and helped ensure clients took me seriously. I take a lot of care in creating proposals for clients because not only do I need to ensure the fee is right and fair, but I also want clients to be clear on what to expect and what’s included in the fee. Sending written terms and conditions helps set the tone for a professional and honest relationship and protects both parties.
I check my emails. There are urgent changes to fit in for a client our PR colleague is handling. I’ve been asked if they can be done today. I have a look at my schedule and yes, I can if I move a couple of tasks around, pushing a less urgent task into tomorrow.
It’s lunchtime and I'm starving! After a brisk walk into town, I've got a vegan meal pot, which I eat while chatting with my boyfriend and friends online.
I'm back at my desk and I set my timer for 15 minutes to catch up on LinkedIn. I put on some Run the Jewels to listen to and keep me engaged in my work.
I make a decaf coffee and get stuck into those changes requested by our PR colleague that need to be out of the door today. They're not complicated but they do need a bit of careful attention.
I call one of our marketing collaborators about a new project for a charity. We need to agree on timescales with the client so we discuss how long it will take each party involved to do their tasks. We agree we need to speak to the printer to get their lead times.
After the call, I send an email to our print partner.
I need something different to listen to, so go for some post-metal and choose Cult of Luna, my favourite of that genre.
I start work on the next stage of a financial services branding project. In collaboration with a marketing colleague, we’ve already done some work on the client’s position in the marketplace, their target audience and their values. This has been distilled into a brand analysis document. Now it’s time to review the findings and do some research so the design can be started.
Financial services is a sector we’re already familiar with, having worked for another firm in that industry, but it’s always worth getting up-to-date research to see if and how visual trends have changed. I jot down some notes on the general trends of colours, typefaces, image types and overall styles. I won’t need all this information for the logo directly, but it pays to think about how the logo will sit with the rest of the branding style. This information will be needed when we develop the client’s new visual look across their sales literature and website.
I draw some sketches of initial ideas. As is always the way with logo designs, I sketch every idea, even the not very good ones. This is because sometimes, on reflection, there is something worth pursuing, or they give me another idea. Doing this helps prevent my brain from fixating on one idea too early. That can be detrimental, especially if it doesn’t answer the brief or it prevents me from thinking of other ideas.
My boys are with their dad tonight so I could work later but after a busy day, I feel if I keep going I'm not going to generate any more decent ideas for the logo. It’s a good time to take a break as I could do with working up the chosen options on my Mac. The next round of work is booked for the day after tomorrow so I have time for those ideas to settle. Knowing me, I’ll have an idea while I’m doing something random like washing the dishes tonight and will email myself so I don’t forget!
I check my emails. There’s a message from the university researcher about their report designs. Intrigued but with some trepidation, I open the email. Their initial thoughts are they love it! Brilliant! They will show and discuss the options with the other project stakeholders and return to me early next week. What a fab end to a busy day!
A partnership made in heaven?
Feeling inspired? We'd love to help! We are a team of collaborators that enjoy nothing more than partnering with ambitious clients. Get in touch if you'd like to talk through your next project or get some advice.