June 21, 2016

Pride, Work, and Necessity of Side Projects: Jason Schwartz on Avondale Type Co.

What are you working on—on the side?

Avondale Type Co. (type), Mlmtr (photo), TSH (advice).

How do you manage to work
on your side project(s)?

Bright Bright Great really consists of Bright Bright Great (BBG) for client work, Avondale Type Co., a side hustle that keeps us all on our typography game, TSH for design advice and Mlmtr, a photography side hustle. All BBG employees are a part of each of these side hustles in some capacity.

We typically aim to spend about 15% of our total time on these and occasionally loop them into BBG projects. For example, Mlmtr shoots for almost every BBG client.

An entirely new version of Avondale Type Co. was launched with totally revamped brand and the most emailed request we get: a type tester. We’ve been working on the site for about 6 months, so it’s exciting to finally get live. Lots of fun easter eggs in the site.

Side hustles are always harder to find time for, but we try as hard as we can to keep these on the to-do list. Once they fall off, they fall off hard. I typically add yearly goals around ATC for all of our employees, so everyone has some focus on ATC at all times.

Why have a side project?

Side projects give us the outlet to push things forward—as WE see them, opposed to how clients see them. Failure, or success, is entirely based on how far we can push and our vision. All designers need this.

It’s also helpful, especially in type, to keep our focus on Avondale Type Co., to stay sharp in the type game, both educationally and inspirationally, since it plays a major role in BBG every day.

I’d highly recommend to all designers to focus on a side hustle that keeps you excited and constantly reminds you why you are doing this in the first place. Client work always ebbs and flows, but side hustle is always that trusted friend you can spend time with to feel good.

I’m actually starting my next side hustle, as we speak, in the jewelry space.

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Diptych courtesy of Jason Schwartz.

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Read more about the joy of side projects.

This series, devoted to side projects, is delivered in association with Chicago creative agency 50,000feet—dedicated to helping brands and businesses soar.

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