Another two-week lapse between postings here. The weather has been hot, which always brings on the lethargy in me, and I've been focusing more and more on gearing up for a dive headlong into the world of free-lancing.
The Fictitious Business Name statement has been filed and published, so I've been focusing more on setting up the studio. The more I plan and sketch, outline and rough out, I find there's more to be done, more to get done before I can even think of moving forward with a presentation.
The first big thing is all the sample stuff I need. I have to have color sample books (available for a mere $400). Then there's paper samples (units run $5 apiece, and I would need several dozen, at least). Then there's type sample books: serif, sans serif, slab serif, script and cursive, display and novelty fonts.
Now here's something I can do without putting out any money, so I've been spending five or six hours a day setting up templates and filling them with the typefaces I have available for use. It's a Sisyphean chore, even with streamlining the procedure as much as possible. I figure I've got about 2,500 fonts (not all activated, of course), and they all need organizing. One thing I have found, though, is that I'm still good at remembering most of the names and what the fonts look like. They are still probably my most favorite thing about graphic design.
I brought the format down two basic layouts; one for text faces and one for display faces. The first one (above) can handle up to four versions of a typeface per page and is organized by font families. I have about 245 of those pages. Then there is the single-font layout (left). I have about a hundred of these specimen pages so far for script faces, and the display and novelty faces promise to be just as numerous. I'm still on the fence about putting in blackletter fonts (also known as Old English or Fraktur), but they are popular with the kids. I'm up to 1,000 typefaces so far, and could well over 1,200 in the bound type books once I'm done. Each page has my logo on it, which makes it a lot more "mine" than just a generic type page.
The next legal procedure, of course, is getting my city business license. This is pricey, though, so I don't want to make that leap until I'm sure there is no job on the horizon. And there still may be a job on the horizon.
I dropped an e-mail to the woman in the Human Resources Department at Pasadena City College who helped me out with questions about the application. She wrote back and said that the committee had not reviewed the applications yet (the deadline for submission was Aug. 26), so I should give it two or three weeks and get back to her if I hadn't heard anything by that time.
So now I'm back to working on my brochure design. I was designing it as a square, since my logo is a set of concentric squares, but, in checking out mailer requirements, I find that the post office does not like mailers that are square, since the machines don't know which side is up (normally the long side). They're being awfully picky for someone who's going down the tubes because of lack of mail.
I played around with rectangular formats for the brochure but never came up with anything that pleased me. So I've gone back to the square format, which I guess I will just put inside an envelope that's oblong when I have to mail it. This is now putting me onto a whole new tract, which is having a packet to give out rather than just a brochure.
I've also got a potential small business client on the line who I have offered to do a free campaign for, including setting up a website. We have e-mailed and called back and forth and have yet to actually set up a meeting. Wouldn't you know it, she makes chocolates, so I'm sure payment will come in some form. She basically creates the chocolate novelties on a per-order basis, so a boutique-type website would be ideal for her. Working with her might also tie me into wedding planners and event planners in the area, who could also be a lucrative market for my work.
And just this last week, Steve was at work and the sales rep from The Castle Press here in Pasadena (that does all their label printing) dropped by. Steve mentioned my setting up a studio, and Greg (the rep) gave him a card and told him to have me e-mail a resume, which I did. I also mentioned that I wanted to make an appointment to drop by their plant and check out the equipment and what services they offer. I think that will happen sometime next week.
It's been cooler this week (80s and 90s instead of 90s and 100s), and I'm hoping that there will only be one or two more hot spells before autumn comes around and, perhaps, some rain. We've gotten plenty of thunderstorms in the high desert, but that's over the San Gabriel mountains, at the foot of which we live. You can see the giant clouds plume up into the sky behind the mountains and you know there's weather happening over there, but on our side it's just hot and humid.
So here it is, day 832 unemployed. It makes my head reel. Who would have thought? Thankfully, we have no children to feed and clothe, no large debt to service, and though the value of our home took the same hit in loss of value as everyone else's, at least we still have equity. I just wish I could figure out what God wants me to get out of all this.
Does God really want me to join the ranks of small-business people? (Not small business-people). Wouldn't that mean God's a capitalist? If this is the case, shouldn't churches be selling stock?