A personal design project is any type of work that relates to what you as a designer do, and what kind of services to strive to provide. These projects can be web designs, mobile apps, business cards, or even just introductory sketches. As creative people, web designers have to weigh the pros and cons of working on personal projects in terms of cost, time, and possible returns on investment. Here are some of the benefits of working on personal design projects, and also some cautionary points to take into consideration when making the decision to do so.
Benefits of Personal Design Projects
1. Helps jumpstart your career. If you are new to the design business, and are trying to get your foot in the door, it is always a great idea to show other people what you are capable of. Creating a sample of your talents is the best way to get noticed by others around you.
2. Practice makes perfect. It’s always good to practice design techniques to perfect your practice. You can get ideas for what works and what doesn’t by creating your own pet project. Feedback is an integral part of this process, and since is your own project and not someone else’s, the risk of doing the wrong thing is less.
3. Helps to organize your workflow. Personal projects help you to understand time management and what it takes to get things done. Balancing creative energy and time management can seem daunting, and personal projects can help you achieve a better ebb and flow so you can manage things more effectively later in your professional life.
Cautionary Measures for Personal Projects
1. Personal design projects can add to stress. If you are already busy with other projects for clients, a personal project might put you over the edge. Only you know how much time and energy you have for doing what you need to do. Take this into consideration and don’t drain yourself of unnecessary energy that could be put to later use.
2. Use your personal design projects for a larger purpose. Personal design projects are a way to know what works and what doesn’t. If you aren’t getting feedback for your techniques, then how do you know if what you’re doing is as great as you think it is? Everyone has an opinion, and its good to take all constructive criticism into consideration.
Personal design projects are great ways to experiment with techniques and learn what works for you. They are also an effective way to begin showcasing your brand, and learning how to manage workflow. Take the pros and cons of doing personal design projects into consideration before you start your favorite pet project.
Profiles in Tech: Michael Aldrich, Creator of Online Shopping
Incorporating Vintage Aesthetics in Design
Profiles in Tech: Chris Messina, Creator of the Hashtag
Saving Bandwidth and Lowering Loading Times
The Best Time to Redesign Your Website
The Best Five Fonts for Getting Noticed