Design Matters

Let me frontload this by reiterating that I’ve spent the majority of my adult years as a high school math teacher. We are not typically the first content-area you think of when remembering the most design-savvy of your teachers. My strengths tended to center more on depth of knowledge and adaptability than on beautiful bulletin boards.

Having said that, I recently set my mind to improving my creative impulses with some self-guided study of design principles. Generally we learn things out of necessity or interest. But interest is just self-generated necessity, right? So I have been learning about design out of self-generated necessity because I decided I want to have stickers available for those that will be in attendance at the inaugural meetup of Cleveland PyLadies. I’m sure the designs will change for the better before I place a full order, but StickerMule has pretty reasonable pricing on their simple 10 sticker custom sample runs.

Our event space for the first meetup suggests a capacity of 14-16. To me, that number naturally meant I’d need to design two different images for a total of 20 sample stickers. They may be kitschy and a little jenky, but I’m proud of what I was able to put together on a short timeline and with limited tooling:

There are a few mistakes I didn’t catch until after I’d approved each proof for production, but it’s a good jumping-off point. I’m excited to encourage other women to take things like this and improve upon them out of their own experience or enthusiasm. To me, that’s one of the main reasons people engage in professional communities. It’s part social club, part value-add, and part opportunity to stretch your skills or contribute those you already have. Everyone participates for a different reason, but it doesn’t work unless someone shares their thing. For now, a bit more graphic design is officially part of my thing!

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