Time to Catch Some Shut Eye

I used to enjoy sleep, but since having kids I don’t get to do much of it anymore. But this week I was reminded why I need to sleep more (besides the obvious “it feels amazing” part). Apparently sleep boosts my creativity. For real.

So the story starts with a difficult project. I was hired to do a logo for an event and move it in a “new direction.” In previous years, the event was always branded with a kind of sappy watercolor illustration. This year it was to be bold and modern with “strong typography.” So I did 5 bold solutions, and the client hated all of them. A whole bunch of tweaks later, they said it needed to be “softer and less corporate—could we see some purely typographic solutions?” So I made 8 typographic solutions. They didn’t like any of them. By this point I’d submitted over 15 original designs.

There’s a point on some projects when you just have to pull a Gambler and “know when to fold ‘em.” I was ready to fold. I told the client that I thought they were not quite ready to pivot in such a radical direction as they initially thought and perhaps they needed to transition a little easier from their original look to a more graphic identity. I agreed to accept a small kill fee and walk away.

Then I fell asleep…

You know when you wake up from a really vivid dream and think I should write this down, that dream was totally amazing ... and then about 15 minutes later you forget the whole thing? Well, as a designer I often have super visual dreams unmarred by client critiques and business directives, but I rarely write them down or draw what I’ve seen or created in the dream. But this was different…  the night I “folded,” I had an incredibly detailed dream where I designed a whole new logo for this project. When I woke up, the solution was crystal clear in my memory, so I quickly sketched it, mocked it up and emailed it on a lark. I mean, who would want a dream logo right? Well, turns out they loved it.

So now that I’m about to start a new project this week, I only have one thing to say: good night—I need some inspiration.