The importance of personal projects
Here in the studio, we are keen advocates for setting ourselves personal design projects. Why? Because it’s so important to give ourselves some creative freedom. Whilst brand guidelines are paramount to creating a consist brand, they can restrict certain routes that you’d perhaps otherwise explore. And let’s face it, it's refreshing not to be confined by brand restrictions sometimes.
Working on a project that you have complete creative control over can be testing at times. When you are the one making the guidelines, finalising colour palettes, developing typography, creating consistent imagery styles, drawing the iconography, and calling the final shots on your work, it can be difficult, but ultimately, it’s really beneficial to your design decision making skills.
Just because it’s a personal project, it doesn’t mean that you should go completely solo though. One thing that is essential when working on your own project, is to talk to other designers, art directors, copywriters, your mum, your dog (well maybe not your dog… but you get the point) and ask them for their thoughts. Not only because it’s an excellent way to get feedback to further develop your ideas, but it also gives you a chance to sell your idea when presenting in a professional environment, such a portfolio review or to a prospective client.
The real trick to setting yourself a personal project, is to base it on a subject that you have a keen interest in, not only that, but also something that you want to do more of. If you’re wanting to work in fashion and beauty, but most of your portfolio pieces are based around B2B technology, you’re unlikely to get hired by Vogue.
If you haven’t yet started your own personal project I encourage you to do so, they help you discover what you are capable of when there are no limitations.
Experiment, learn new things and push the limits!