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The faux identity package I drummed up for my portfolio, “North Park Safari,” turned out quite well. My letterhead, however, is a different story. I liked it until I had it printed, then instantly hated it. But that’s okay. It’s still a work in progress.

My Identity Package

My identity package has changed completely since my last blog update. But despite this, it’s still moving right along. My resume is near a pleasing state, as are my business card and leave behind. I’ve even begun working on new website concepts for Yellow House Studios. I have my portfolio container, and a few portfolio pieces printed out.

There are two things I would like to work on for next week. I would like to whip up a letterhead, and I would like to come up with at least one more faux design for my portfolio, preferably a logo.

My Identity

I have a fairly simple color scheme for my burgeoning identity package; blacks, blues, and grays (for the most part).

I have an array of logos; one for each aspect of my prospective business, and an overall logo.









I’m still trying to decide if I want to have separate business cards for all three functions available, or just keep one overall card with the “YOU Creative” logo. Or should I just scrap the whole thing and start again? These are all issues that hinge on the day I attempt to register my company name.

I don’t think I want to carry any of the imagery from my identity package into my resume. I’d just as soon not put off a potential employer with evidence of my own, potentially competitive business. My logos and identity package will definitely encompass both my business cards and leave behinds, though. Perhaps even some elements from my resume could make their way into a leave behind. We’ll see.

The logos are a bit bland by themselves, but when injected into the rest of my identity concepts, they look quite nice. I need to continue refining my identity concept until it is a good as it can be.

Wildcard Project


Logo for a women's athetic wear company

This logo design and artistic rendering is for a prospective line of women’s athletic wear. The client requested a design that makes a dramatic statement, and is very pleased with the results.

… but not so daunting as to dissuade me from my goals.

I just finished reading chapter three of The Business Side of Creativity, “Planning for your Future.” It discusses a wide variety of topics one must consider before launching a freelance business. Some I’ve already begun to address (where to operate, for instance). Others I have yet to explore (“Selecting and Accountant” and onward, I’m looking at you).

At first glance, the logistics of operating a freelance business seem to be quite complex. There’s a lot to do in preparation, and by halfway through the chapter I was sufficiently daunted. Two questions immediately sprang to mind: Is this endeavor really such a good idea? How in the world am I going to pull this off?!?

After I finished the chapter, I took a breather before answering those questions. If I’d tried to answer them right then, It likely would’ve resulted in me running through the streets, flapping my arms like a madman. But after some reflection (and some breakfast), I decided the answers to these questions are: “Yes,” and “One step at a time.”

Mr. Foote makes the point that it should take at the very least a month, maybe two or three, to properly get one’s ducks in a row for launching a successful freelance business. He also suggested picking a launch date (he called it a “My Independence Day” date), which is something I must seriously contemplate. A set time frame could be very helpful.

I plan on making a checklist (called “My Checklist”) that will hopefully help me keep everything in perspective. I’ll focus on one item at a time, be it choosing a name, registering with the proper authorities, finding an accountant, etc. Just thinking about the process in terms of list items to be completed makes it less overwhelming, at least to me.

There is a lot of good information to be found in this book, including just about everything in this chapter, but there is one point on which I tend to disagree: Establishing credit. While I do agree that establishing credit is a good idea, and will be very helpful, I’m not a fan of a couple of Mr. Foote’s suggested actions. His advice on applying for credit cards or seeking a second mortgage on a home are, in my opinion, bad ideas. I’m not a fan of credit cards, especially when one is contemplating a career change that doesn’t come with a steady income. And as far as getting a second mortgage on a home… well, I don’t own a home, but if I did, a second mortgage is something I would avoid at all costs, especially considering the aforementioned irregular income.

But despite these sticky points, I’m finding this book to be very informative, and chapter three, “Planning for your Future,” is a very helpful and important chapter. I’m looking forward to the rest of the book.

Wildcard Project

My good friend is developing an idea he has for a line of women’s athletic wear, and was nice enough to ask me if I wanted to design the logo. It was an offer I pounced on immediately. So, with his permission, I plan to use this opportunity for my wildcard project. He and I have talked at length about the concept he has in mind, and I am confident I can produce a piece of graphic artwork that will both meet his needs and provide me with a new and exciting sample for my portfolio.

Portfolio Pieces

After wading through some of the work I’ve done in the graphic design program at FVCC, I have come to the conclusion that I don’t have an over abundance of pieces I would consider for my portfolio. The quality of the work is good, but for the most part they were projects designed as much to learn the programs as to learn designing, and looking back over them I begin to wonder if their quality is really portfolio-worthy. I also wonder about copyright infringement with some pieces. Many assignments were created utilizing images taken from the web, with no user agreements made. So I think more wholly original work needs to be included in my portfolio.

Some logo work would be beneficial to my portfolio, even if it’s fictitious. I’ve often thought picking a random word and making a logo for it might be a fun and effective portfolio piece. Heck, I could even expand it to an identity package.

Staying along those lines, some sort of identity package work should definitely be included, whether it’s the aforementioned fictitious package, or examples from my own identity package.

Some web design examples would also be of great benefit.

One thing that has always intrigued me is billboard design. I’ve always been curious about how to photograph for a billboard, whether there’s a specific megapixel level one would need (and if my current 16 megapixel capabilities are adequate), or if simply boosting the image resolution in Photoshop would allow for a clear image of such dimensions. I wouldn’t mind taking a crack at that sometime.

I have a lot of work to do to ready my portfolio. It’s a good thing graphic design is so much fun.

From the simplest brochure to the most complex marketing campaign, our ultimate goal is a unique and pleasing product that fulfills your vision and exceeds your expectations. Productivity through creativity is what drives us. We enjoy what we do, and it shows in the quality of our work. We aren’t satisfied until you are.


Unique Perspectives

Hello to all!

My name is Stephen Youmans, and I am vigorously pursuing a wide range of artistic interests and goals. For the past couple of years, I have been studying hard (and having the time of my life) at Flathead Valley Community College. I have recently earned an Associates Degree in English, and I am now less than a semester away from earning a Certificate in Applied Science in Graphic Design. Once my time at FVCC has come to an end, I plan on transferring down to the University of Montana to work towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Photojournalism.

I am a fan of unique perspectives. I’ve known this about myself for quite a while, now. A deep-seeded desire (and my ultimate, buck-stops-here career goal) is, and has always been to make my living as a writer. Fiction is my literary drug of choice, and it’s also the writing I most enjoy to challenge myself with. I consider myself a speculative fiction writer, with a few historical fiction ambitions that I one day plan to explore. That’s what writing is to me; exploration. It’s the exploration of the English language, the exploration of the world around me, and perhaps most significant, the exploration of myself. It was on these explorations that my penchant for uniqueness came to light. I love odd, unconventional perspectives. I absolutely love them. Left field is my favorite place to go. Predictability is my nemesis.

My burgeoning interests in Photography and Graphic Design have steadfastly followed in these footsteps. When I set out on a photography project, or hunker down with a design challenge, I do my absolute best to produce an image or concept that no one would have ever expected, yet still fulfills or exceeds all positive expectations. Unique perspectives are what it’s all about.

A Mythological Calender Page

I didn’t start out with photo-journalistic aspirations. And Graphic Design was nowhere near my radar. I started out as a straight English major, my specialty to be Creative Writing. But the worry-wart in me, knowing a BA in Creative Writing is a bit of a crap shoot, demanded a skill or two to fall back on, which led me to Graphic Design. I admit, I was skeptical at first. It didn’t sound very interesting. But panicking about one’s future can take you funny places, and the place it took me turned out to be great big piles of fun. There is so much more to Graphic Design than I ever imagined. The work is a pleasure, and the possibilities are darn near endless. My expectations were (and remain) high as I began my new Graphic Design adventure.

But along the way, a funny thing happened. Just for fun, I took a photography class. Then I took another. And another. And before I knew it, out of all the courses I’d taken at FVCC, the photography courses were my favorites.

A Departing Caterpillar

With that realization, just about all of my career aspirations shifted. The writing will not change, but photojournalism has bullied its way in and usurped some of Graphic Design’s spotlight. The Graphic Design became a tool that would help facilitate my photography rather than support my writing.

But I don’t want to abandon the other (vast) aspects of the Graphic Design world. I don’t want photography to muscle everything else out. Logo and web design are still very enjoyable, and the notion of creating  effective and unique identity packages is very appealing. And therein lies the exciting part. Good writing, photography, and graphic design are all essential to productive identity packages. I see a fantastic opportunity for all three of my preferred artistic mediums to support and feed each other in a fluid, cyclical way; they’re a creative tripod, atop which could sit success.

This semester, this Portfolio Preparation course, is going to be instrumental in the construction of my creative tripod. I hope to finish this semester with a unique, professional identity package, and both a digital and hard copy portfolio with which to display my work.

I want this course to challenge me, to help me learn how to hit home runs over left field, and hone my unique perspectives to a razor-edge.

I can’t wait to get started.