What’s on our desk #2

Hi, my name is Nona and I am an addict. I cannot resist 2 things: books and stationery. I’ll talk about my stationery problem some other time. Today we’ll get into books and one in particular…

So, I buy books quite often and they have the tendency of stacking up in the office and at home. Some consider it a problem, I don’t. Because I actually get to read them, but in my own time. I like to say that I single out a book and start reading it whenever I need that book the most. That is exactly what happened with the book on my desk today: Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges To Sharpen Your Design Skills, by David Sherwin.

I bought this book back in November last year, with the intention of reaching to it whenever I feel like I need a break from what I am working on. Last week, in the middle of a branding project at Vectory House, I felt like I wasn’t doing my best. So I reached for David Sherwin’s Creative Workshop.

I’ve set a one hour time frame to shake off my mood with another type of work. I know, I know, inspiration doesn’t come when you program it, but for me, working on something on the side when I’m stuck really helps with my mojo.

David Sherwin, a seasoned designer, active speaker and teacher, proposes 80 design challenges (from branding and advertising to other interactive projects, including editorial design and video and motion graphics) to help designers polish their creative process.

What I really enjoyed about this book is that all the challenges come with a time limit. This is excellent practice and makes you think about time management in your daily work projects and about improving your creative process. The idea behind Creative Workshop is that “having less time to work on a project can lead to creative results, if you’re smart about how you use that time”.

In this book, you get some good pointers/reminders about effectiveness in the creative process and different ways to organize your brainstorming process. I mean, we all have our own ways, but it’s important to acknowledge that there are other ways too and that these ways can sometimes shake off that feeling you get when you’re stuck. And yes, these are things we’ve all heard before but somehow, hearing them again may leave you inspired or willing to try something new.

Also, what I liked about the idea of the book is the breadth of challenges it offers. We sometimes work on, say branding projects for an extended period of time. It might feel nice to try your hand at something totally different. It’s inspiring and refreshing. I liked it.

Since I was short on time, I decided not to browse through the challenges too much, and chose the first one in the book.  Branding myself. We’ve talked here about the identity crisis that branding for yourself can bring, so I thought it would be fun to try my hand at it. Plus, I knew I wanted to stay with this challenge in a logo designing state of mind.

So, this is an hour’s worth of work. My own logo, the way I see myself. I started off with my favorite way of writing the letter N and created from it a swan, which I feel is representative for my style of designing: visually clean, curvaceous, elegant. Let me know what you think…

logo nona

In conclusion, David Sherwin’s Creative Workshop is an interesting read, helpful and inspires you to try your hand at something new. Makes you think about time management and your creative process in day to day business and that is always helpful. I’ll be sure to let you know when I try more challenges…

Challenge yourself!

Nona Maria Goleanu

Creative partner at Vectory House with experience in business management, branding and graphic design. Usually a very happy person but she gets easily annoyed if someone steals her post-its.

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