I’ve been designing for brands and websites for over 20 years, and I have so many old designs (many that would never see the light of day if created today), and I wanted to share my evolution as a designer.
Check out some of the work I did before I learned the ins and outs of brand and web design, as well as business. You can’t be an effective brand designer without having a keen understanding of what makes a business work.
So take this work with a grain of salt, this is all before I knew better.
I was (am) a bit of a fangirl in the early aughts. So naturally, I also designed a TON of fan sites. And I did this under a silly name that no one could pronounce. (It was pronounced Design Rocker).
This was my baby business, the one that got me started. I was still in high school when I started selling websites.
At some point, I decided to rebrand. (As you’ll see, rebranding is the story of my life).
I named my new biz Neon Lights Studios because I wanted to put my client’s “name in lights”.
It was a dark mode style website way before dark mode was a thing (we’re talking 2002, baby). I used a tiny block font for everything, and the turquoise on black color scheme was most definitely… jarring.
Let’s be thankful these designs are languishing on a hard drive, and I can’t be bothered to find the 20 year cords to hook it up.
But, I had no idea how to run a business, and so I went to work at McDonald’s and used my free time to devour everything I could find about designing effective brands and systems.
In 2006, I caught a break and got a job with a local agency. Unheard of in my small town. But they were a toxic startup, and anyway I am not made to sit in someone else’s office.
So I quit and went back to McDonald’s.
And I paid about the same for a better working environment, too.
It wasn’t until I dipped my toes a few years later that I began creating real brand identities in addition to designing and building websites with WordPress.
For the first iteration of this website, I created design assets like illustrations and tools for other designers. Some of that stuff even lives on Creative Market!
Later I released WordPress-related products and training, and now it lives on as a quirky gift shop.