I am switching things up on today's post and instead of making this about my personal branding, I am going to dig a bit into my own mind. This is something I wrote down the other day and felt like sharing. This will likely be a two parter.

It is never easy to lose a job, especially when you have had so much success previously with a number of major companies. It can be a fantastic opportunity to really dig deep. I will be honest, my previous workplace was so hostile, I had sought therapy thinking I needed to learn how to communicate with these people and when my therapist finally "broke up" with me it was because I had finally figured out on my own that it was not me. I was set up for failure and was in an environment where I was belittled and micromanaged to the point I could not even send e-mails without pre approval. At one point I provided a password to a co worker to use one of my own accounts and he changed it telling me he did not think my own personal password was not good enough. At this point the hostility had now expanded outside work and yet my confidence was so low, I went with it.

Since, I have spent my entire summer rebuilding myself. I moved to Colorado on my own without knowing a single soul. I didn't even have a job lined up and yet almost eight years ago now, I was so confident and ready to take on the world. I was fortunate to land a job with a well known ski company and proceeded to stay there for just under six years. However I eventually started to feel like there was no growth for me and managed to land a position with a small sign company in town. I should have known from the start it would be toxic when one of the employees approached me after I finished interviewing to warn me that things could be a bit sketchy at times but the end of the day they were all good people. Things started fine. I was on top of the world and doing fantastic however there were some skills I did not have on the production and installation end and yet every time I asked for help I would be told my project was less important than some of the others then end up trying my hardest to get it completed to please the client. At one point I ended up with another co worker's project which was going to bring in some decent money. When installation day came, I was told he could help for two hours and all the ladders were being used. I ended up calling in a favor to my former co worker, begging for a ladder knowing if this did not get completed, it was on me despite the fact I was never given the help needed for what should have not only been a two person project but was also not mine to start with but I believe no matter where you work, you help your co workers out.

Sometimes while you are in it, you grow complacent and begin to just accept this as the norm. At the end of the day, I am so grateful to be out of that situation. This job was a huge learning experience not necessarily as a designer, but as a human. We all deserve to be treated equally wherever we work and when things become so toxic you struggle to live your life any more, it is time to move on. At the end of the day I will not let this experience stop me. It is just there to help me become a better person and better work with others knowing how others deserve to be treated both inside and outside the work place.

So as you can probably see by now, I clearly settled on a final logo after multiple iterations. With this came the need to redo a number of elements including my resume and website to ensure everything remain cohesive. In doing this I broke down and decided to also create my own set of brand guidelines because it is always important to have a set of standards even if it is just for yourself. After a few months of settling on a website I had spent some time on, next thing I knew I was blowing the whole thing up and changing the entire scheme because let's face it, I would look like a pretty shitty designer if I spent hours creating a logo then just plopped it in and touched nothing else.

Here is a very small snippet of the style guide I am putting the finishing touches on showing each logo that has been created along with appropriate uses.

After the first round of iterations, I sent my ideas around to a few friends whose opinions I respect and got their feedback along with critiquing myself. I proceeded to create 4 iterations of my top 4 options including changing colors and font. The fourth option as you will notice, I decided I wasn't in love with and only created 3 iterations so I guess I lied a bit at the beginning of this. The biggest part I wanted to convey was my love of nature. It's funny, at my last two jobs, every time someone requested mountains or trees we would groan. It's extremely over done where I live, however, this is not me trying to fit in with the landscape where I live, plus I am hoping to market myself beyond the mountains of Summit County, Colorado. This is me trying to convey my passion for what I love and where I live.