Themes for 2019

Don’t call them goals or resolutions.


Looking back, 2018 was great. Lots of challenging moments and disappointments, but so many great things happened. This year marked a change in emphasis for me. I made the decision to apply for graduate school in early January 2018 and started in August. And so for the last half of the year I was working full time and taking classes part time and teaching and parenting and… I’ve had to take a hard look at how I spend my time and prioritize.

I usually do some kind of annual planning and pull together a handful of specific things I want to achieve in the upcoming year, but for 2019, I’m going to try to do something different. I’m going to pick a couple of broad themes that I want to focus on for the year ahead.

These aren’t goals. There is nothing S.M.A.R.T. about them. And they aren’t New Year’s Resolutions, either. They are just topics to give me some focus of where I want to spend my time and creative energy this year.

  1. Graduate School. I started working on my Masters last year, but 2019 will be much more intense. Being a graduate student is my primary focus in the upcoming year as I develop a research plan for my thesis.

  2. Type Design. I love type design, but over the last few years, I haven’t focused on it much. In 2018, I did some contract type design work and really enjoyed it. I want to design more typefaces in 2019.

  3. Python, Javascript or both. I’ve tinkered around with learning to program for years. For 2019, I want to expand my knowledge of Python and/or Javascript. Both languages are used with data visualization packages and I could see that being useful with my graduate program. As a bonus, Python is also used heavily in type design and would be helpful if I’m working with type more.

  4. Writing. I want to write more. How much more? I don’t know. What do I want to write? I don’t know. But I do know that I enjoy writing and need to do it more often.

  5. Social media. Last year, I started to change my relationship with social media. I’m learning that less is definitely more. This year, that will continue. Expect me to post significantly less on Facebook and Twitter and focus almost exclusively on Instagram and Micro.Blog.

So these are my professional themes. My creative priorities for the upcoming year. It doesn’t mean that I won’t do other things during the year — for example, I have some other t-shirt related ideas — but they’ll be one-off projects.

I’ve also got a couple of personal themes about family and health, too. These are mostly about balance. Maintaining enough quality time with the family and taking care of myself.

I’m looking forward to a fabulous 2019.

Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, grad student, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. He recently finished a project to design a new shirt a week for an entire year. Follow Bob on Instagram and Micro.Blog.