2020 Vision... or Not
I don't think anyone went into 2020 thinking it would turn out the way it has so far (we're mid-way through May). I celebrated the New Year in with my fiancé, excited about our fast-approaching wedding day on 9th April. The year got underway, and I knew I would have to start thinking about my work situation. As I knew I’d be relocating to Wiltshire – where Mr P has a house – I decided after much to-ing and fro-ing not to extend my commute even more, despite the offer of some remote working. I sadly handed in my notice for my role as Senior Graphic Designer. I was up to my eyes in stress, borne of decision-making about my job, last minute wedding-planning - ‘wedmin’ - and the pressure of thinkOMG about sorting stuff out for my impending move. Needless to say, the world was hit by the global pandemic and everything changed in what seemed like an instant.
Before I could get my head around it all, the earth had significantly moved, and not in a good way. I completed my notice, working from home for the last few days of my employment. When the Government offered furlough, my company kindly extended my notice so I could benefit from some kind of income. This was such a relief with everything else going on as well.
Mr P & I were so disappointed when we realised our wedding wouldn’t be going ahead. After a tense day, I came home from from work and bawled my eyes out. It was understandable that it would be postponed with the growing concerns. A few guests had already started to drop out, mainly those from abroad or the more elderly. Two guests from Australia made it over to the UK but were then caught up in the system trying to get back home. Cue various flight booking cancellations and a small windfall in flight-costs later, they finally made it, albeit with two-weeks quarantine.
Fortunately the venue allowed us to postpone without being stung financially, so we quickly secured a new date and rang around to inform our suppliers. All but the band could move with us. We’re hoping our wedding insurance will cover that particular expense, and fortunately have another band lined up.
So within a few days, we’d gone from being about to start an exciting new chapter of our lives to having the book slammed shut. It’s certainly been exciting but not for reasons anyone ever imagined. I suddenly had no job (although grateful for furlough), no wedding and no new home to go to. Yet I could still rationalise that others were experiencing much worse, especially as mortality numbers for COVID-19 started to rise.
I am – by nature – a positive thinker, albeit a realist; a cynical optimist if you like! A dose of hope and a healthy sense of humour have always carried me through challenging times, and they were certainly needed now.
I decided to use my furlough time to update my business branding. Before my last job I’d had my own business for thirteen years. I‘d loved the variety of work, my client relationships and the flexibility. When I took on my last placement, I hadn’t planned to go solo again, but why not – at least for now?
I couldn’t just sit around doing nothing. My brain and creative nature constantly drive me forward and I look for the best in any given situation.
There were a couple of silver linings to our delayed nuptials. Firstly, it would give Mr P and I more time to set up house; in his case to get ready for invasion, and in my case, to sort out things here ready for said invasion.
I sat down at my iMac and spent days researching and playing around with brand ideas. I occasionally enlisted the help of a few close and trusted friends to give me authentic feedback and suggestions. I am a collaborator and I thrive off bouncing ideas around with others. A few weeks in, I had finally crafted a new logo I was happy with. If you’ve ever had to design for yourself, you’ll know how hard that is!
I wanted a logo in a roundel that could work in all kinds of situations, from social media to stickers. My former logo worked well for years but it was no longer right somehow. I’d moved on, and so had everyone else.
To me, this new identity encompasses everything I wanted to say. It‘s bold but not forceful, stylish, fun (I love the ‘smile’ on the g), resonant (I like how the rhythm of the dots alludes to my love of music.) It just worked.