This year I’m looking to go back to freelancing to pursue authentic work that really benefits people. But upon planning that out I became terrified, almost paralyzed by the fear of being alone in the world of work again.
The Three Year Challenge
What happened? I used to think of myself as hopeful and brave. With further reflection, I discovered that bad process, ridiculous deadlines, and grave disappointments have overtaken the way I think about everything. It’s been nose to the grindstone to pay off old debts and bad decisions for the past 2+ years. I’ve forgotten how to be inspired, how to tell stories and create work that means something.
That lead to this; the recreation of another phase of branding for myself. A new logo, a new site, and a new outlook. But I’ve had a number of personal brand phases; this is the 3rd in the past 12 months. Every time I discover a new phase of myself, I want it to change the outside to reflect it. This lead to a greater revelation – the personal branding that I’ve created for myself if too specific, too based on my feeling at the moment. To quote my girlfriend Terra, it’s “too trees, not enough woods.”
Her new challenge was this: create something that can last three years.
This goes deeper than a logo and website, this goes into my work life as a whole. I’m usually caught somewhere between envy of people who are masters of a subject and fear of being stuck in one thing for the rest of my life. This 3-year idea lives in the grey area between the two by being a long enough period of time to allow good things to develop, but short enough so I don’t feel stuck in one direction.
“too trees, not enough woods.”
So with this new challenge, I’ve created this new style.
The New Style
What’s the story? Why do we care? Focus on the why. That’s what I’ve been missing.
Digital and design are tools that allow us to connect, to communicate, and to feel. They shouldn’t ever distract from the message or make it harder to understand. The same for business and management tools and theories – they help make the work better, but not overshadow it.
This new style is much more simple, it allows for my ever-changing moods about life and work. It can be inspired, it can be defiant, it can do design, it can do business. It allows me to have the flexibility to try anything while still standing for the principles that I really believe in.
The JF logo was broken into 3 parts —> J | F <— to represent this three-year idea and also to show the three principles of this new effort – simplicity, integrity, and purpose. Dark grey (#333) is used instead of black to appear softer, and the medium-dark blue is used to convey honesty and truth. The fonts used (Raleway Thin / Open Sans Thin) were picked because of their characteristics of modern design combined with small amounts of organic curved elements.
Images I use here on this site (and in my own personal work) will be full of deep color and emotion. The importance is that they are filled with the spirit of the subject of the work/writing. The imagery will be contrasted with lots of white space, allowing the user greater ability to organize the information and focus on the important ideas.
For the next 3 years, my personal website will be mainly a blog site where I share my journey through this challenge as well as sharing information about things that interest and inspire me. It’s about telling the story, my story, with hopes that it will help me tell the stories of others better.
Thank you for reading this and for being a part of the journey.