So instead I gave my poor post-covid brain something else to focus on. I spent about a month learning how to use Adobe Illustrator and studying typography, color, and layout. I even learned how to do basic 3D sketches by hand and designed a logo for a friend.
Before there was a pandemic and everything got cancelled, I used to attend a Japanese language meetup. The organizer asked me one day if I could create a logo for the group. At the time, I was studying web development but had not yet started to investigate the world of design. So I had no clue where to start, and never did it.
Fortunately, I remembered that he had asked, and decided to see if I could come up with something for him, as an exercise. Here it is:
I was listening to a Brazilian music playlist on Apple Music and came across this album cover:
I am a big fan of 1970s style (“Na Rua, Na Chuva, Na Fazenda…” came out in 1975), and it seemed like it would be pretty simple to recreate in Adobe Illustrator, for some practice. This is what I came up with:
Another kitchen-related design project. The backsplash tile in our kitchen is…well…here it is in all its earth-tone glory:
Why recreate this in Illustrator? Experience. My projects so far have been generally ideas that I came up with myself, which meant that if I couldn’t achieve a desired effect, I could just do something else. But with recreating something that already exists, I’m forced to figure it out.
It isn’t always clear whether the dishes in the dishwasher are dirty, or someone just stopped unloading it halfway through. So in my house we use a magnet to stick a sign to the front of the dishwasher if the dishes are clean. This is what that sign once looked like:
I “commissioned” myself to redo this sign, making the first, tiniest inroads into “designing for a purpose”. To get some color inspiration, I found a photo of dishes on Unsplash.
I played a game to see what, if anything, I could create using only circles and circle sections (semi-circles and crescents). I had been getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available in Adobe Illustrator, so I put in some constraints to encourage my creativity. I came up with 10 in total.
Complete a longer/more expensive/better reviewed tutorial on x
Try to use x on a real project, flail helplessly
Complete yet another tutorial on x….
Now I suspect that the endless carousel of tutorials may be the rule, not the exception, on this path. Following one tutorial (even following it well, completing all the assignments, and trying really hard) leads to more. I never quite get to my intended destination, no matter how talented the instructor or how well-planned the materials.
Once I thought about it, I remembered that it wasn’t always like this. I wasn’t always like this. Let’s visit the before-time.
Following on from warp effects, another 2020 design trend I recently learned about is geometric shapes. I took the opportunity to make an abstract design with circles and get a little bit more proficient at Adobe Illustrator.