Design Lessons

How I Produced 100 Videos on Design and What I Learned

For second year in a row, I participated in #The100DayProject with Elle Luna & The Great Discontent. The project simply involves choosing an action you will perform for 100 days and sharing it each day on your Instagram. Last year, I made 100 logos for fictional places in TV, movies, literature, etc. This year, I embarked on the ambitious plan to produce daily Instagram videos (1 minute – once I got the update on my phone) giving insights about my craft and my process. Some videos were logo case studies. Some were tips on social media, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Others focused on my thoughts on the importance of branding, design, and creativity.

Committing to daily videos was a more daunting task than I realized. The early videos were a bit rough. I hadn’t really decided on a format for each episode. However, over the course of 100 episodes I found my groove and became really satisfied with the setup of each episode. As you watch the entire series, you’ll see that I eventually developed a consistent title format that translated very well on my Instagram feed.

Instagram feed video

Each episode was filmed very low budget on my iPad mini. Once I decided on a topic, I would talk about it for about a minute or so. Each episode’s footage files were shared to my MacBook through AirDrop. While the video was being downloaded, I’d open my TOG-EPISODE.psd file and edit it with a logo, number, and title for the episode. Using one file for episode titles helped me keep visual consistency. Each opening episode graphic was made for HDTV 1080p using the Photoshop preset. NOTE: If you center your graphic and text correctly, it will show up properly in the Instagram preview square.

Screenshot 2016-08-02 05.31.37

After creating the episode title graphic, I’d open Adobe Premiere and import the graphic and the video(s). Unless I had a perfect 1-minute or less take to use, I would do a little bit of editing, chopping, and manipulating of transitions. (For some imported footage, I needed to “Scale To Frame Size” so it would cover more of the video area.) Most episodes started with the opening graphic with music playing in the background, which would fade as I came on screen.

Adobe Premiere

Similar to the episode title Photoshop file, I stored all the episodes in the same project file.

After I finish editing and approve the playback, it would be time to export the media. I would export as if I were uploading to YouTube. This setting I found to be the easiest to work with. Notice the 1920 x 1080 matches my episode graphic file.

Adobe Premiere export

Also, notice the Output is to my Dropbox. It exports directly to my Dropbox. This is how I got it to my Instagram on my phone. I pulled up my Dropbox app on my phone and exported the file to my Instagram app. Once in Instagram, I made sure it showed in the right dimensions and selected the right thumbnail before sharing. Most of the latter episodes showed my episode graphic on the first frame so there was no need to choose the thumbnail. (I tried to get cute on Episode 96 and forgot to check this which explains the closed eye mid-shot thumbnail.)

I felt a great sense of accomplishment once I completed the 100th video. The more videos I made, the more topics came to mind. Some of these videos were based on blog posts I had written while others will inspire future works. Taking on challenges will always leave you better than you were before. Trying new things and seeing what you like helps prepare you for future endeavors. I know now I don’t want to produce daily videos but I do want to produce video content on a weekly basis in the future. Certain things only experience will teach you. At times it was stressful, but showing up every day is important. Accomplishing a preset goal gives you the motivation to continue pushing yourself and you have all that content to look back on and pull from.