“We live 27,375 days on average. In my project, Everyday, I wanted to capture the idea that each day is a new day and that each day – whether it’s fun or boring – can be a source of inspiration,” Melbourne-based graphic designer Gemma Mahoney tells It’s Nice That. When we last spoke to Gemma, she was studying for her bachelor’s degree while working as a freelancer at Confetti Studio. Since graduating last year, the talented young designer has added a broad range of innovative, striking designs to her accomplished portfolio, which have been collated into the publication Everyday.
Design, Gemma feels, is not generally understood as a means of self-discovery in the same way that painting, sculpting or sketching is. “I was interested in exploring my personal relationship with design. I wanted to establish that it was something I could do for myself,” Gemma says. As a result the Australian designer fully immersed herself in her creativity, producing a different design every day for 35 days. “Everyday’s content is informed by personal reflections on my daily life. I had to be hyper-aware of what was happening around me in order to pick up on the small things that could influence my daily creations,” Gemma continues. Her project is a transformation of humdrum routines into unique compositions and compelling colour-palettes.
Gemma would spend every evening reflecting on her days, playing around with potential designs and experimenting with various arrangements. It was important to represent the daily happenings as truthfully as possible, while also capturing her moods and mindsets. “I wouldn’t necessarily finish the pages on the day. I would often come back to them and continue exploring the concept. Giving myself the freedom to revisit pages meant that I was able to create something that felt very refined,” the designer explains. Through clean lines and striking images, Gemma’s sophisticated graphic design skills unfold and evolve as you flick through her creations.
Despite its cohesive and considered layout, Everyday was not without its challenges. Disconnecting from earlier designs was at times difficult for Gemma: “I tried to find new sources of inspiration to make sure my work was different from that of previous days. I wanted to have as much variety as possible.” Yet, despite the creative obstacles, Gemma managed to not only design a polished publication but also to reinterpret and produce a poster for each design in just two weeks. The Australian designer was exhibiting her work and wanted the viewers to have keepsakes they could take away with them.
“I hope the overall concept applies and resonates with others. There is a valid experience and an original memory in each day. The smallest things can be an inspiration. I was able to create an 180-page book and 35 posters simply by analysing my days.”