Posts tagged 36daysoftype
36 Days Later

It's done! All together, my alphabet for 36 Days of Type looks like this:

I'm very pleased with the overall project. There are some letters that I really love (M, S, 0) and also a few that I didn't love but posted just to get something out the door (I, P, R). But when they're all together, I really appreciate my early decision to have 7 colors for the diagonal grid effect.

So how did they perform? There's not a ton to learn from my Instagram analytics, considering how small my following is in general (617 as of writing this), and that I did this for myself, and not in pursuit of any metrics. But still... 

1) Use the hashtags correctly. The one day I accidentally used "@36days_N" instead of "#36days_N" I saw very little activity on my post (I had under 10 likes by early afternoon, by which time I've usually accrued 20-30). I'd say that about only half of my likes on #36daysoftype posts come from friends/followers—and once I corrected my error, the likes started to flow again. 

2) When you give love, you get love. The days that I went down the "#36days_[x]" wormhole and liked/commented on other people's letters, my own engagement went up as well in likes, comments, and follows. 

3) Everyone loves closure. My final post of the grid was, to no surprise, my highest engagement. With 149 likes and 17 comments, people ate that shit up. And rightly so. Who doesn't love a good round up? 

4) Warm colored letters performed the best. Uhm... people like red? And all warm colors (yellow, orange)? None of my top posts were in the cool spectrum (purple, blue, green). Clearly I must make all of my art red in the future. 

That's about it. I'm feeling pretty good about finishing this... and also I'm happy to not have it hanging over my head every morning. Until next year!

Almost there...

I just finished the alphabet and am working through the numeric characters now. It's been 27 days, 9 left to go. I'm not sure if I've ever done anything this consistently for so long, design exercise or otherwise.

I'm definitely testing the limits of Photoshop's new-ish artboard feature, and sure enough, it started to get glitchy right around half-way. The file is now huge and very sluggish, and random shapes have stopped rendering the thick vector strokes that characterize the style (you can see it in the O and Z above—but it happens on varying levels of zoom, and also messes with my exports). 

I'm looking forward to finishing this up so I can firstly, not have this hanging over my head every day, and second, resume my usual instagram activity. My grid looks suuuper cool right now and I don't want to break it up with photography, but I've been doing such cool stuff outside of this that I'm sad I haven't been able to share it!

36 Days of Type: Week One
36daysoftype_jennasteely_week1

Some observations from my first week of #36daysoftype: 

1) Timing. The project is based in Spain, so by the time I post (first thing when I wake up!), There has been 10 hours or so of activity already. Which makes me feel a little bit like I'm missing the boat, but its also cool to see how the people react across the globe over the period of 24 hours. 

2) Diversity vs Consistency. From the start, I wanted to blow out a style I discovered into a whole alphabet, rather than creating a unique design every day. This definitely is the easier path from an execution and creation standpoint. I would have a harder time doing something bespoke that I feel good about posting every day. Perhaps I'll try it for future #36daysoftype sessions, but I'd like to stay focused this time around. 

3) Workflow. I set up a photoshop file with 36 art boards, leave it open on my computer, and knock out little bits here and there. This has given me time to nail down a consistent pattern library and cohesive color system. There is plenty left to actually design and compose as I go (as evidenced below) but my goal at the end of this is to have a cohesive alphanumeric set of graphics. By using the artboard approach, I can get a birds-eye view of all the letters so I can keep an eye on the gestalt across the whole family. I ask myself questions like: Am I using too much of one pattern? Does the amount of color in this one feel equal to the others? Is this letter too ornate (or too simple) compared to the rest? 

36daysoftype_workflow

4) Scheduling. I'll admit, if I tried to actually do one letter a day, I don't think I'd be very consistent. Between gym mornings, climbing evenings and various other social engagements, I don't have a dedicated time to get shit done. My side project time comes in unexpected spurts, and I take it when I can. That means I am designing and scheduling my posts (using the Later app) in clusters, three or four days ahead. By scheduling, I stay ahead of the game so I won't be scrambling each morning to get my post ready.

Unfortunately, you can't schedule Instagram posts to go out autonomously. But by using Later, I'm able to queue up my posts and send a notification that I see first thing when I wake up. From bed, I open the app, which pushes me to Instagram with my post loaded, and I just hit "Post" from there. Much easier than having to transfer files from computer to mobile and proactively post it each morning.

5) Strangers like my shit. I'm not in it for the likes. I have some Insta-famous friends and I have no desire for their lives, which feels somewhat narcissistic and hollow to me. But by participating in a global project, people checking the hashtag are liking my posts. It's cool to feel that my work is being seen, and that the hashtags are working to connect me to a community of designers. In return, I get to see a literal fuck-ton of creative and inspiring work and send the likes right back into the project.  

So I think all in all, it's going well! If you'd like to check out the project, check out the feed here or explore the individual hashtags on your own (#36days_[letter]).

36 Days of Type

I've decided to take advantage of the upcoming session of 36 Days of Type to blow out the alphabet I mentioned a few posts ago. The challenge is to post one letter a day, and then the numeric suite, over a course of 36 days. 

I've followed this endeavor through a few cycles on Instagram and it has always provided a broad spectrum of typographic delight—and is an incredible example of user-generated content at its best. 

Wish me luck, and follow along on my Instagram if you like.