Here’s a quick comparison between drafts of my GenCon 2014 banners. On the left, the banner I thought was the final one. On the right, the one that we used after I let the design “bake” in my brain a bit.
Can you see the difference? The big change was swapping XDM and SHADOWS BENEATH. For branding purposes, the original layout made it look like SHADOWS BENEATH was a Schlock cover. With XDM running interference, though, SHADOWS BENEATH gets to be its own thing.
I also changed the text effect on my name. The wavy effect was cool, but on a fabric banner it will make people thing the banner is hanging badly. The slight arch with the forward lean (the one on the left) will look much better, especially since people will be looking up at that spot.
This project killed an entire day, and that final tweak was made during three hours I could have spent writing. But I needed to make the tweak, and I didn’t know what exactly it was until I started nudging things around.
I think my favorite part about GenCon was when my good friend ssanfratello showed up on Saturday evening following a 5-hour drive from Michigan, and he, Jonathan “Skippy” Schwarz and I went out for dinner. Skippy had a game demo to run aftewards, so Sal and I hit the convention center (which had just been emptied, and then re-filled thanks to a fire alarm) and walked through the game areas.
Upshot: For me it’s never about places or events. It’s always about people. The thrill of a convention center full of cool displays and awesome programming pales quickly when I bump into a friend and we get to geek out together.
Sandra was suggesting family trips for next summer and I realized that I don’t care where we go as long as we go someplace where there are people I like. Sure, sure, I’ll be going WITH people I like, but I want to catch up with old friends and make new ones. I don’t need to see the sights, ride the rides, or even eat the authentic eats. Not unless I’m doing it with friends.