Heart spandex

“We all get stuck as designers. Don’t forget that.

“No matter who you are, the number of accolades you’ve received, or the past successes you’ve had, it’s still hard. You can look at this a few ways, but I largely take comfort in it.

“Becoming a good designer is, in my mind, directly related to one’s curiosity and willingness to work. If you keep asking questions and deliberately practicing your craft, you get better. It’s that simple. So when it feels difficult and you want to scream, grab a pencil and a big blank sheet of paper, and just start drawing. With each iteration you’re closer.”

Quoted from Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities.

Visit smashLAB. Follow @karj on Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock


August 24, 2011


That was a great post. It’s funny too… because the times that I have been really stuck there is always something that tells me my thoughts will “unblock” and those logos turn out to be the best ones. Love your blog.

Great quote, thanks for sharing.

This is my favorite quote when I’m feeling frustrated. It’s a little long, but really good.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
— Ira Glass

Yes, it’s a daily event in my life as a designer, but I always find a solution. No matter how long it takes. By the way, I’m thinking on my new personal visual identity, it’s really hard to design for ourselves.

Thanks for sharing.

Dave, that was a great post, @AVL that too was awesome. I think people starting out should get to read this. Recently I was going through that same situation and don’t know how many times I was thinking of quitting and finding another job. However, as time went on I took hold of myself and I’m really enjoying it now.

I always find that designing is progressive, when I start something new it takes a while to sink into things before I find my best creativity. It was like this at college, uni and then my first design job. I felt like I wasn’t doing my best at first but I stuck with it and eventually I got into the swing of it and keep surprising myself. One of the other things I find hard which I’m sure others do is finding multiple meanings to a brief and becoming confused about what the right answer is, in the past I have over thought things and it’s really flopped which is why it’s always good to work alongside others.

Thanks David, I’ve had a couple designs recently that looked great on paper but did’t translate as well once vectorized. Frustration, doubt in my abilities, everything creeps in at this point, but they always seem to point the way to a solution . . . embrace your flaws the same as your strengths and enjoy the journey.

@Miguel Angel – Damn near impossible to design for ourselves, damn near it.

My edit: “… grab a pencil and a big blank sheet of paper, and an Inkling, and just start drawing.” Ha!

Seriously though, this is the sort of motivation that refines my focus as a design thinker, reminding me that my failings are just the footprints made before my successes. Thanks for saying, Eric. Thanks for sharing, David.

This quote is very comforting to me, especially as a student. I just started diving into graphic design and I absolutely love it. However, since I’m not very experienced yet, I find myself getting stuck frequently. When in those situations, I find it helpful to complete a few online design tutorials. Not only does this give me new ideas for projects, but also helps me improve my abilities and gain more skills. This can be compared to writing. When in a writer’s block I just start free writing on whatever topic comes to mind. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

Share a thought