I started a web, graphic, and print design business ten years ago today, May 19, 2006. I basically had no clue what could be done by real graphic and web designers, but it interested me and I wanted to try. With the help of mentors and friends, I convinced some brave "mom and pop" businesses to let me build them a website or design their brochures. Business cards, social media, online stores, reservation systems, videos, handouts, logos, posters, and much more followed. When a client asked me for something I didn't know how to do, I had to Google it until I understood. I always said I could do it, and with the help of YouTube, I learned. I taught myself the Adobe Creative Suite and focused my design aesthetic. Eventually my business helped me pay for college.
Today, I work in marketing as a graphic designer for a tech company in Washington state. I am still very much interested in design, and I am floored by how much I continue learn. However, I have decided to retire my business. I have gained experience and lot of knowledge, but it's time for the next thing.
The next thing is Harried Type, my own little type foundry and web store. Like it's predecessor, it's launching as little more than a brand name. Probably not the soundest business model, but like before, I hope this outlet will allow me to continue to explore the medium. Over the last few years I've become enamored with typeface design, and it's become a defining part of my identity as a designer. I want to enrich my understanding of this world and experiment, and I can think of no better way than a "fake" company that slowly becomes real. If a method isn't broken, why fix it?
H.G. Blakeman is a graphic designer and copywriter based in the Pacific Northwest. Looking for something you can't find? Check The Archives.