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The honest design step

In 2017 I felt the need to push further and wanted to teach what I learned, at least a part of it. The Honest Design Course was born. But why this name? First off it’s what I identify myself with, being honest. Honest in thought, true in action. I want to transmit that to all who will take the course, or interact with me in any way.

My goal is to help other designers leverage their skills and bring them together as an honest community to ask questions and share their experiences. As creatives we need approval; we need guidance and feedback to learn new things and climb the ladder quickly. Time is valuable.

We are facing various problems, from lack of confidence, anxiety, to disorganization, no clear design process, sometimes unwilling to put the effort, trapped in our bubble and afraid to show our work, happy with little we have, not working in a team, not questioning enough and lots more. Sooo many issues ?  we don’t need them, we just want to create. Live us alone! But first! Let’s acknowledge the problems, and create the opportunities to learn and then conquer.

I developed the course in a way I could potentially contribute to resolving a part of these problems or at least create awareness and make the attendees’ decisions much more comfortable. In essence, I believe that design can be taught to anyone who is willing to learn and put on the effort.

Why is the course free? It’s easy. I want to learn by teaching others, and I will keep the course free until I profoundly fall in love ? with it or hate it to the bone.

So, how did all went down?

Well, I needed people I could work with, and for that, I wanted to get personal. There were 35 attendees from which I selected the best six portfolios. Why six you ask? I have no clue; it’s just what I got. I met with all of them. I wanted to hear them talk and tried to get to know them a little better so I could match their powers:) In the end, I selected 4 team players, although I had 3 seats.

The reason for all this filtering is I wanted to work with designers of the same caliber for the course to be as practical and efficient as possible. The level of experience I was looking for was junior, mid-level. Hopefully, in the future, I will make the course more accessible.

The main ingredient of this course was Brand Identity design. Developing a brand identity on a given assignment, from scratch. The project was named Gary Davis and it was a rebrand. We covered a ton of subjects, from research, talking with the client, questionnaire, pricing, creative brief, sketching, went through Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and finished with an excellent presentation and deliverables.

The aim was for everybody to have their best work so far, done here and I believe that together we nailed that. To put it better in perspective the course was roughly 70% blood, sweat, tears, anger, joy, love and hate, 20% theoretical and 10% pure magic.

We had met 10 times in 5 weeks, each meeting was 2 hours long…2.5…3…darn we had a lot of fun and time was flying hardly noticing it. This is what happens when you sink into the creative depths of the mind.

The team

Let me introduce to you, Alex, Iulia, Victoria, and Emilia. They understood right from the beginning that they had to open up their hearts and minds for all of this to work. One thing I can surely tell you is that they put on the effort. Truth be told I know deep inside they carry a tiny bit of hate for me and that’s ok.

The emphasis

There were three major areas that we covered as best as we could, one being establishing a proper design process, packed with feedback and getting to know the tools better. Having a process is mandatory to create great designs, so we followed a few concrete steps from the beginning until the final presentation.

In any creative field, feedback or constructive criticism is a must, I mean, how can you learn if not through feedback? We used Google Drive and created shared documents in which I dumped all my comments, so everyone will see each other feedback and use it how they saw fit. And finally, we had countless sessions where we discovered some of the best practices using Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.

What did I learn?

With this course, I realized I could do so much more, I could express myself much clearer in thought and action. I challenged myself pretty hard, just to find out I opened a door. It’s something I will undoubtedly continue doing, and 2018 will be a full year.

Let’s talk results

Without further ado check out all the awesome projects on Behance, and make sure you hit that Appreciate button to show some love ?.

See you very soon

The next Honest Design Course will probably take place at the beginning of 2018, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s ahead and meet new awesome creatives.

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