If I say roller derby, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?…graphic design?
Actually, derby and design are pretty similar to me. They both take a lot of practice, dedication, and a crazy amount of teamwork to improve and build on skills.
Of course, these fundamental concepts can be applied toward many skill sets, but these two hit close to home because of my background.
The challenges I’ve faced in roller derby have rolled over into my career (no pun intended) and has taught me much more than I expected. I’ve realized many things about myself as a person and as a Graphic Designer. I’ve pushed, practiced, and fell hard to learn to get back up again.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Roller derby is hard. It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard…is what makes it great. (Anybody?) Really though, derby takes practice. During basic training, I learned how to skate, stop (not by running into the side wall), fall safely, and the rules of the game. Before I could skate a full-contact practice, I was tested on these skills.
When I got discouraged after falling down for the ten billionth time at practice, my teammate would encourage me. She would tell me that falling meant I was pushing myself and giving it all I had!
Then, something finally clicked. I stuck the landing after jumping the apex. I looked over and there she was, celebrating with me! It took time, but every little victory pushed me to keep skating my hardest.
Graphic design is difficult in similar ways. There is a set of skills one needs to understand in order to be an effective designer. At school, I learned how to use the programs, rules of design (the font papyrus is not okay), and how to take constructive criticism. Gaining these skills also took much dedication, training, and testing.
Derby girls are always looking to improve on their developed skills. This would include finding better ways to block, more effective drills to increase endurance, and being equipped with top-of-the-line gear to keep skating at their best.
To pump myself up before practices I would watch some amazing game footage videos. Watching the pros do what they do best inspired me to try different things and to push myself. Here’s a great one:
As a designer here at Pathfinders, I understand the need to improve upon design trends, technology, and programs in order to stay ahead of the curve and best satisfy our customers.
More and more designers, agencies, illustrators, etc. are on social media. You can pull inspiration from everywhere! I love following type designers like Jessica Hische, and Scotty Russell on Twitter and Instagram.
Teamwork and Strategy
In derby, there are three different types of skaters: jammers, blockers, and pivots. But it takes EVERYONE to make a team great. It takes coaches, volunteers, NSO’s (non-skating officials), track crews, and fans. Together we strategize to help our team grow and improve.
Every Monday morning here at Pathfinders, we have a meeting to go over project statuses. Since joining the Pathfinders team, a couple times during this meeting, Vicky Holland has highlighted a project our clients were thrilled about and we all celebrate the win together. These types of celebrations continually push us to keep producing great work for our clients.
As a team, us Pathfinders have honed skills, and we’re always looking to improve! For the past thirty-six years, we have practiced what it means to understand the happenings of the design world.
We stay current for our clients and will work with you to come up with the very best design strategy. Call us today and let our team be a part of yours!