- Gig poster to be based on a doodle I did on my phone
- Don’t mess with the doodle too much (occasionally ignored)
- Text to use only fonts currently installed on my computer and no messing with them (to save time)
(I’ve done remix versions of these posters, dropping the doodle and concentrating on the type.)
I need to do more graphics. Trouble is, I’m not getting enough paid graphics work (chicken and egg?) and, when it comes to my own work, I’m quite good at procrastinating.
The two main reasons for procrastination are choice paralysis – what do I do? – and feelings of inadequacy – what’s the point if it’s crap?
In order to get something done then, I have to limit my choices and ignore the self-doubt. Easy.
I already had a load of doodles on my phone. Things I’d done in a drawing app to pass a few minutes here and there.
I liked some of the doodles and thought I could use them in a graphics project. Gig posters seemed obvious as you can stick whatever you want on them.
Starting with an image rather than blank page makes the job a lot easier. You have something to work with, it triggers other ideas and sends you in certain directions. A blank page can lead to aimless wandering. 1
The inner critic
A lot of self-criticism is dodged by ‘having’ to create a poster based on a specific chosen image.
It doesn’t matter if I created that image in the first place. I can decide not to be responsible for it. I don’t have to worry about whether the image is appropriate or whether it’s any good. I just have to make the best job with what’s available, which feels much easier.
It seems a bit stupid but splitting the tasks up like this helps overcome procrastination.
The doodles I did with no particular end result in mind. I wasn’t even thinking of using them for anything, never mind whether they were any good or not. This is liberating.
When I came to design a poster, I had something to work with. I was just staring at a blank screen.
In effect, this is not that different from the usual design process of starting with rough ideas and then only finishing the best one. But you don’t have the pressure of coming up with a good idea in the first place.
Whether the posters are any good is a different question. The end result is more random than might be useful for some types of work but it has given me some things to think about.
Things that occurred to me while doing this:
Don’t get stuck on detail
On some posters I made an ‘improved’ copy of the doodle because the original was a bit untidy or had something I didn’t like about it. I don’t know if this made any difference to the final result. If it did it was probably not big enough to repay the effort. In a couple of cases, the original doodle had more appeal than the ‘improved’ version.
Be more open to the abstract
I tend to think functionally when I design, asking what an element in a design actually does, and kicking it out if I don’t know. This is can be limiting. I don’t know what the doodles in the posters are doing but they’re doing something.
I probably wouldn’t have come close to designing anything like these posters if I’d not started with ‘random’ doodles.
I need to do more with type
I was a bit dissatisfied with the some of the type. Although I had decided beforehand not to draw my own letters or mess with existing ones.
(I remedied this slightly with remix versions of these posters, where I dropped the doodle and concentrated on the type.)
Random goes a long way
Of course, no one knows if any of these posters match up with the personality or music of the artists they’re promoting. But would it matter? Doesn’t the brain find a way to make a link?
I’m not sure I could have done any better had I attempted a thoughtful link between sound and vision. And I’m not sure viewers would be able to tell the difference between my random and considered versions of the same poster.2
That’s not saying design = random. But randomness can act as a catalyst. Certainly, if I’d not used (semi) randomness here I would probably still be perfecting my first poster. And 16 finished posters are a lot more useful than one unfinished one, random or not.