You Should Still Do It.
A few weeks ago, I was brainstorming a few ideas for a new personal project. I've have some success in the past with self-initiated projects, and thought it would be worth doing again. I started thinking about fun ways to design using type, and challenge myself more. After throwing a couple if ideas around, I decided that I would do something with surface type. I wanted to write on things. I've done a few helmets and even practiced some entry-level sign painting recently, so I thought the transition might be fairly easy.
My favorite part about writing on things is that I get to work with my hands. It teaches me to embrace my mistakes, and just go with it. There are no re-dos. No erasing. Each time you touch the pen to the object, you have to live with it. The problem with doing surface type is that I am incredibly picky about what I want to write on. I have an attachment to my own personal items.
So, on to the idea. I decided that I wanted to start a project where people send me their objects and I write on them. That way, I have no emotional connection to the object. It also gives me no say in the type of object it is. They pick the object, I pick the message. The ultimate collaboration.
By now you might be wondering why this post has the title it does. Well, after settling upon this idea, I discovered I was beaten to the punch. Just a few days after deciding I wanted to do this, a talented designer, Joseph Alessio, started a new project he named Type Limited. I was a little discouraged, but I thought I would push on. Mine was totally different, right? Well, while waiting for a few items to be mailed to me to start my project, I received a crushing blow. I found out that two very well-known designers, Jessica Walsh & Timothy Goodman (you might have heard of 40 Days of Dating) started their own self initiated project, Quotes on Shit. They were doing almost the exact thing I was! And they're doing it better! I didn't know what to do. I pretty much decided that it wasn't worth pursing. I wasn't the "first to market" with this new product, so there wasn't any reason to continue. Well, a few days later I received a package in the mail for my good friend Elizabeth. I had asked her to send me a few items (she's quite the collector of random items), and as usual, she really came through. I told her about the other projects that I felt were similar and she convinced me that I should still do it. She told me that she thought my project was different enough, and even helped me come up with a name. Without her, I don't know if I would have ever followed through with the idea, but I'm glad I did.
So here it is. My new personal project. Letter On Me. If you have an item with something to say, I'd love to give it a voice. More coming soon!