Graphic Designers NEED Personal Projects

graphic designers should take time for personal projects

Why is it important to have your own internal graphic design projects in addition to your client work? This sounds to some like a silly question. You don’t need to work on your own projects, you have income coming in from clients that are paying for your service. How would you get income from a pet project? Well, not only is your individual project worth your time, but it has the ability to make those other client projects that much better.

Currently I am working on a cookbook that compiles a large selection of recipes that go as far back as my great grandmother. Once I’m finished with it, I plan on binding it to have a nice book that I can keep in my kitchen. Now why is this important that I take time to do this seemingly, playtime project? Well, I’m creating the indesign files, printing them at home, shooting photography for the book as well as creating any illustrations and I’ll be binding the book by hand.

I have never assembled a book by hand before and by learning a technique on how to do this, maybe somewhere down the road a client will ask me to put a book together for them. If I had never done this for my own project, I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

By shooting the photos for this book I’m also getting practice with my camera. It isn’t that far of a leap to see how photographing food might be similar to product photography that a client down the road might want on a website or in a printed catalog. Again if I hadn’t started this project, I’d be further behind in my process of getting these photos, but since I took the time on my own to learn how to light my subject and what settings my camera works best, I can provide that much more value to someone else.

Finally, probably one the the most important reasons to have a personal project is this. If you do nothing but client work, you can get burnt out and feel like you have a lack of creativity. That’s right, you can go to the well one too many times. Sometimes you just need to have the freedom to express your vision and try new techniques. Without this version of grown up play time I feel like I would eventually get to a point where I no longer enjoy doing this type of work. So please, don’t be one of those designers that only does work for clients or at their day job. Without the right outlets for creativity, some of the best designers in the world might have decided to take different routes and we would miss out on all that cool stuff. Thanks for reading and as always if you have any questions or would like to get in touch, you can use the contact form here on the site or look for me on twitter @JulianBaughman. I’ll be back next time with more from the world of graphic design.