Ina Minjarez for Bexar County Judge.

Design & Social Media Management for a growing Austin restaurant.

ina_sign ina_logomask ina_sticker ina_flag ina_variations ina_socialbadge ina_old_logo

Learning to freelance the hard way.

I learned more about the intricacies of freelancing and client communication on this project than any other prior experience. Considering the valuable lessons I learned throughout the process, it may be the most important project I have worked on so far. I was referred to Ina through a previous client and she tasked me with designing campaign signage to support her upcoming run for Bexar County Judge. The turnaround would be quick, but I was excited to create a solution for her that would go beyond the initial scope of work that she asked for. My first major decision was to design a solution that would work on signage as well as almost any other application. This eventually resulted in delivering over 32 variations of a logo that could be use on merchandise, signage of any size and web applications like the campaign website and social media outlets. Versatility became the focus as I moved forward.

The second decision was to invest in a solid and trusted typeface to work with for the signage and logo. After some research I discovered that many politicians since 2008, specifically the 2008 Obama Presidential Campaign have used Gotham by Tobias Frere-Jones almost religiously. Gotham is super legible, geometrical and sturdy which translates to trustworthiness and strength, attributes and characteristics of a worthy candidate. “The Gotham font's popularity made it the most used typeface of the 21st Century and probably the most recognizable too. From being the number one choice for rebranding to becoming the Obama font in the 2008 presidential elections, the Gotham font came in strong. Over the last few years, it has been the inspiration for new fonts like Montserrat and Raleway, clean and no-nonsense fonts that keep the minimalist movement going.” – Laura Keung I ended up taking Gotham Ultra and manipulating it slightly, the terminal of the "A" in Ina was modified to match the curvature of the shoulder of the "N". The bowl of the "A" cuts in an removes space from the "N" as well. These modifications created a unique logo that gave some personalilty to what was previously just the candidate's first name.

The Challenges.

The Minjarez project offered me one of the first opportunties to really evaluate and estimate the cost of my services. I had the opportunity to break down, in detail, the variety of services that I would provide as well as the level of dedicated working time needed to complete the project. I learned priceless lessons regarding the pricing of my work as well as how it was broken down in an official invoice. There were a few bumps in the road before we got this project rolling, mostly due to how little experience in freelancing I had at the time. I chose a higher-end font family (Gotham) but failed to include the licensing fee into the overall pricing and that cost came out of my pocket at the end of the day. All in all, I was happy to learn that the hard way and I'm even happier to own the license to a wonderful typeface made by Tobias Frere-Jones, I'm excited to use it again on future endeavors. In retrospect, I would have thouroughly laid out a set amount of revision rounds and created more clarity on that part of the process before the project started. I was happy to revise until the client was absolutely satisfied with the deliverable, however, I am aware of the designer's responsibility to protect the integrity of the design in it's finished form. Learning to guide and educate the client on my design choices was a key part of the project communication and I'm happy for the opportunity to do so. The final important lesson I learned during this project came after all deliverables had been turned in and final revisions had been agreed upon. I handed over all relevant assets, along with a small usage or brand guideline where I included the proper color palette information as well as examples of how and when to use certain logo variations and what to avoid when using them. Within the first week, I noticed some misuse of the design. There were some contrast issues where a dark variation of the logo was placed on a dark background making it poor for accessibilty and legibilty and many other small issues that wen't against the styleguide that I made for the deliverables. I reached out to discuss these issues and how they could be solved, going as far as to design social media icons that were optimized for those outlets.

In the end, some of those changes were taken into account and the utilization of my designs improved overall, but the situation left me feeling a little helpless. I had created something that I was proud to release into the world and it wasn't used with care or consideration. At some point I realized that this happens to every designer, there comes a time in the project where it has been completely handed over and the designer doesn't always have control over how it's used by the client. The best thing I can do moving forward is to spend extra time on the styleguide and reiterate it's importance during the implementation period.

Related projects


Creating the look and feel of a meal-planning app from scratch.

Strictly Abstraction Exhibition

Team based design work for the Art Galleries at Austin Community College.