Friday, July 6, 2012

Why Blog Designing Chaps My Ass Sometimes

Hey party peeps.
I hope your week is goin fantastically.
I know mine hasn't been so bad so far.
The cash flow is really pickin up, and I'm lovin it!
From more design jobs to my first paycheck expected today,
ya know it's hard out here for a pimp.
Sorry just had to.
Regardless, it's been a pleasant and uplifting surprise.

But with the sweet does come the sour.
And while I've loved working with the ladies I've designed for so far,
we all know that life isn't perfect, and even when you're doing something you love,
there are definitely some bitters.
And I decided I wanted to share them with you today.
Shall we?

Sometimes ya gotta realize not everyone likes what you like
Up until now, I've done designing mostly for myself. If you know me, I've changed my layout probably three times I think since I started blogging regularly in January. Yeah. I'm one of those. But that's just because I'd see something I really love, and just had to try it! So, as I didn't have anywhere else to try, I'd do it on my own. But now that I'm doing designs for others, that means that sometimes I'm designing things that aren't my style. So far I've loved everything I've produced, but I know, inevitably, I'll make a design that my client loves, and I'm like 'yknow that's just not something I'd do'. And that's okay! It's just something I'm learning to deal with. I love the girls I've worked with so far, but I know sometimes they basically had to knock me in the head and say 'hey stop it, this is what I want' when I'd go off on my random tangents in trying new designs and techniques. I think they've all come out satisfied, as have I, but yes, as a 'commercial designer' (ha), this is a new concept to me.

Minute coding glitches
You have NO idea the headaches coding can cause unless you've done it yourself. Every little punctuation mark, every little space, every little organization counts. If you put one thing in front of another, it's going to turn out completely different than if you reversed them, even if they say the same thing!! It's ridiculous. And the more I work with it the more I have to learn how to fix things when they're not turning out the way I want them. I'll literally sit with a design for an hour, trying to figure out just why this isn't working the way it is in my head, as I've done it before, as I know it -should- work, and come to find out I had one too many spaces, or forgot one, or forgot a period or little bracket { thing. It's about cause for one of those screen fisting moments, but so far, I've restrained myself.

When something works totally fine on my test blog, but decides on the client's blog, it's done
I have no idea the problem I've run into with something. I can watch it work just splendidly on the blog I use for previewing and working through kinks. But when I use the same exact template, c&p directly from said layout, it decides it's not going to work on my client's blog! I've removed things, added things, tried it about seventeen different ways, and all to no avail. I am such a perfectionist, and such a service oriented person, that if I can't deliver on something I've already shown you or told you I could do, it grates at me. Seriously. It's like this dirty little fingernail in the back of my brain, scratching, telling me I should be able to fix it but I've got some kind of mental aneurysm and can't seem to fathom the issue.
20 cool points if you know about god's fingernail reference. God I love that man

Fonts are a nightmare sometimes. Simply put, they make or break a design. You can everything else in the bag, but if your fonts aren't matching up or look cheap and unfinished or out of sync with the rest of the 'design karma' [ha again, should market that], then it's like what's the point? That and you have to make sure that you're both understanding what the client wants. My opinion of 'girly' can be totally different than yours. I've had this conversation actually. And most times, so far, going in, my girls haven't exactly had much of an idea of the precise font they want, so before we even begin designing, there's a few hours of himming and hawing over just what font we can use. Not that it's a bad thing, but I've always got an itchy trigger finger. So the sooner I can get started on things, the better.

This was briefly alluded to in fonts. Sometimes communication is not easy through e-mails. That's the main basis of my communication, and it involves a lot of screen shots and mockups to show what's going on so far. But I think when we, perhaps two women especially, communicate, we have these preconceived notions in our head about what things are. Such as 'girly, timeless, turquoise, feminine, fun'. Those are just a few examples. Oh! And whimsical. You know how hard it was for me to wrap my mind around that word when it came to design at first? I think I'm getting a better grasp on it, but still, it somehow does not compute easily for me. But getting back to the point. We have these images and ideas already in our minds of what this word means to us. So when we say it to someone else, we expect them to already know this archetype as it applies to our own thinking. [Or at least this is how I'm perceiving it]. Sometimes that's not enough, so it's always paramount to ensure good communication. And I'll admit, sometimes I'm not the greatest at it, especially if it's getting late, or I'm in the middle of something.

All right, if you're still with me, congratulations on your commitment!
I didn't mean for this post to sound like I'm nagging,
complaining, or otherwise unappreciative of the design work I've been given.
And there are myriad reasons that apply to what makes designing great!
Such as those aha moments of getting something brand new to work,
the content glow of accomplishing something,
the excitement in my client when I do something they love,
the accomplishment of finishing a task,
the way it forces my brain to expand in my thoughts and design ideals,
getting to know and befriending new people,
providing someone something beautiful.
and those are just the ones that come to mind off the top of my head!

So thanks for stickin with it with me guys,
and thanks for lettin me gripe a bit.
I hope your weekends are bright and beautiful!


  1. I hear you on all points above...I've never designed a blog layout for anyone, but know from my own experience changing things on mine can be a huge headache..and totally worth it in the end. I've done some logo and business cards for a few people and let's just say afterwards, I am exhausted-particularly one client of mine, she was a horror...but that's a whole other story! LOL, in the end as long as they are happy, things are good and you move on! Good post my friend! Happy Friday!

  2. I think what you do and anyone who does design is super talented! keep up the good work:)

  3. You're perfect! :) I know it might be a headache for you but as a client...its totally understandable! You're the best!

  4. I completely understand! When I started See Beautiful it was with giant gobs of inspiration and well, seeing beautiful. I wanted to grow the mindset of the world to try to create more beautiful and when it didn't grow enough (or the company ends up in the red every month because I give so much away) I have gotten down on myself in the past. Then, I redirect my thinking to the fact that this all started with wanting to see beautiful - if I'm doing anything but that, something's off. I'm sending see beautiful thoughts your way. ;)

    Happy seeing beautiful!

  5. I have only had the pleasure to design a few blogs for other bloggers - and I have a hard time when I think what they want won't look good. So what I do is take what they want - design it how I think they should want it - and then make them fall in love with it. But you're right - it's really hard to get someone's vision just from a few e-mails.

  6. I absolutely love what you did for me! You are a true artist!