Sunday, August 7, 2016

30 Pinback Button Designs in 30 Days: #geekybuttons Challenge Case Study


I completed the #geekybuttons challenge in June 2016. I wanted to kick start my pinback button portfolio and design work. I was also turning 30 that month and figured that sketching 30 new buttons designs in the 30 days of the month I turned 30 would be fun.

Here is how it went.

Add to My Daily Routine

My morning routine changed very little. I didn't get up earlier. I still worked out, showered, and prepared my lunch before sitting down at my desk to get some work done before my day job. 

I cut into my writing time to complete the challenge every day. 

As I detail later, it was quite easy for me to sit down and sketch the new design.

General Observations

The #geekybuttons challenge was unique for me. I’ve won the National Novel Writing Month challenge (NaNoWriMo) for the last 10 years. To be successful at NaNoWriMo, I would batch my writing on the weekends since I have a day job.

With the #geekybuttions challenge, I wasn’t able to do that. I needed to do something once a day, every day.

It was very intimidating at first. The first day was the hardest. I didn't psyche myself out though.

I drew my first design.

As the days progressed into weeks, I noticed the usual pattern that challenges tend to follow. 

The first week you run on excitement. The second week you’re questioning what you got yourself into. The third week you’re amazed that you’re over halfway done. The fourth week you wonder what you will do with your time once the challenge is over.

What I Learned

A daily challenge is quick and easy to do if you do the legwork first. 

I made up a worksheet with prompts ahead of time so I didn’t have to spend time wondering what to design that day.

Go with your gut. I went with the first idea that came to my head. This was just to get something out there. To get the juices flowing.

This is a great way to validate a new design. Some have gotten a lot of traction on Instagram. I will definitely focus on making those designs in the future.

I Plan with Pretty Colors received the most comments about the design on Instagram (5 comments). 

Live a Vicarious Life of Adventure received the most likes (24 likes). 

D-A-T-A:  Doing Astonishing Things Accurately was close behind (19 likes).

Everything Makes Sense with Math was high up there too (20 likes).

The Takeaway

I want to make a new pinback button design every month. This would be a good challenge to do every quarter to get new ideas until my audience starts coming to me with them.

What daily challenges have you completed before? What daily challenges are you thinking about completing? 

Email me at and let me know!