A few years ago, designer Andrea Cutler started a personal project, challenging herself to create a new Facebook profile picture every day. She designed typographic and illustrative compositions as her avatar and changed them out daily to help her flex her creative muscles and showcase the variety. After a year of focusing on the avatars, she compiled them into books, called Facebooklets. Andrea still changes the avatars from time to time, sometimes recycling and repurposing some of the previous designs.
How did you get started on the Facebooklet project?
I decided that Facebook would be the perfect avenue to showcase my design, and at the same time I was searching for a personal project that I could discipline myself to complete each day, to spend a minimal amount of time on, and flex my skills and keep busy during quieter times.
They also allowed me to experiment on a wide variety of design executions. Ultimately allowing me to showcase some of my most creative work.
Do you have a favorite one?
It’s hard to select a favorite, I like so many for a variety of reasons. This one was specifically influenced by Shepard Fairey’s work, and I was fortunate enough to meet him a year ago and he was kind enough to autograph a hard copy of my Facebooklet that I brought to the event that night, and took a photo with me.
How much time did you spend on one each day?
I tried to minimize the time to under an hour, some took only a half hour – it really depended on what else was going on at the time. I did them the day of, if it got late in the day I tended to leave it up an extra day or created it for the next day.
Did the project give you any insight to yourself or your creative process?
Maybe, that I am a little OCD. I love looking at old design and illustration for inspiration. Also I did a lot of experimentation in Photoshop and Illustrator, so it was a great outlet for learning new things.
Did it change you in any way?
It helped me to connect with a ton of new people when my friends would share and repost, actually lead to several projects, which was a nice and unintended byproduct.
What were some of the responses from friends that saw you change them daily?
There were overwhelmingly positive and fantastic! They kept me motivated to keep them going.
About the Author: Rachel Elnar is a partner at Ramp Creative+Design in downtown, and a producer of typography education at TypeEd. She believes that design makes doing business a pleasure. You can disagree with her at @rampcreative or @typeed on Twitter.