Jenna Steely is a designer/maker in the Bay Area working toward a more progressive future.
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Sketchbook

A sketchbook is a lot of things. A place to take notes, to dump ideas, to iterate, to doodle. It's my place for words and pictures.  

36 Days of Type: Week One

36daysoftype_jennasteely_week1

Some observations from my first week of #36daysoftype: 

1) Timing. The project is based in Spain, so by the time I post (first thing when I wake up!), There has been 10 hours or so of activity already. Which makes me feel a little bit like I'm missing the boat, but its also cool to see how the people react across the globe over the period of 24 hours. 

2) Diversity vs Consistency. From the start, I wanted to blow out a style I discovered into a whole alphabet, rather than creating a unique design every day. This definitely is the easier path from an execution and creation standpoint. I would have a harder time doing something bespoke that I feel good about posting every day. Perhaps I'll try it for future #36daysoftype sessions, but I'd like to stay focused this time around. 

3) Workflow. I set up a photoshop file with 36 art boards, leave it open on my computer, and knock out little bits here and there. This has given me time to nail down a consistent pattern library and cohesive color system. There is plenty left to actually design and compose as I go (as evidenced below) but my goal at the end of this is to have a cohesive alphanumeric set of graphics. By using the artboard approach, I can get a birds-eye view of all the letters so I can keep an eye on the gestalt across the whole family. I ask myself questions like: Am I using too much of one pattern? Does the amount of color in this one feel equal to the others? Is this letter too ornate (or too simple) compared to the rest? 

36daysoftype_workflow

4) Scheduling. I'll admit, if I tried to actually do one letter a day, I don't think I'd be very consistent. Between gym mornings, climbing evenings and various other social engagements, I don't have a dedicated time to get shit done. My side project time comes in unexpected spurts, and I take it when I can. That means I am designing and scheduling my posts (using the Later app) in clusters, three or four days ahead. By scheduling, I stay ahead of the game so I won't be scrambling each morning to get my post ready.

Unfortunately, you can't schedule Instagram posts to go out autonomously. But by using Later, I'm able to queue up my posts and send a notification that I see first thing when I wake up. From bed, I open the app, which pushes me to Instagram with my post loaded, and I just hit "Post" from there. Much easier than having to transfer files from computer to mobile and proactively post it each morning.

5) Strangers like my shit. I'm not in it for the likes. I have some Insta-famous friends and I have no desire for their lives, which feels somewhat narcissistic and hollow to me. But by participating in a global project, people checking the hashtag are liking my posts. It's cool to feel that my work is being seen, and that the hashtags are working to connect me to a community of designers. In return, I get to see a literal fuck-ton of creative and inspiring work and send the likes right back into the project.  

So I think all in all, it's going well! If you'd like to check out the project, check out the feed here or explore the individual hashtags on your own (#36days_[letter]).