Another piece of the puzzle

April 07, 2021

Doing something new and fixing up something old

Photo by Smit Patel on Unsplash

The design contest

I was very excited at the start of this week to put together a brief for a design contest to get a logo for Teddy Story. I've worked on teams with designers before, but I've never been the client. I learned a lot.

I found it quite stressful, particularly when the designs started coming in thick and fast. In the end 50+ designers submitted over 130 designs to my contest and I had to make a choice. The choice I eventually made surprised even me.

After poring through the designs for a couple of hours I was down to a shortlist of three. Oddly it was exactly the same shortlist I had after skimming all the designs in under 90 seconds.

I'm glad that I spent the extra time reviewing and getting other people's opinions on all the designs. Some talented designers had done some great work and it all deserved my full consideration. But we all came back to the same three logos.

So I chose them all.

Three new logos

What am I going to do with three logos??? I'm going to use them for different age groups of course. Like different imprints from the same publisher or labels from a record company. Yes, I'm a complete maniac. I'm intending to write for young children, and young adults too! In all the spare time I have (I'm sure I'll work something out...).

By writing that last paragraph I think I may have just launched these new labels. I think you're supposed to put a bit more thought into launching things.

I don't have names for these new labels All I have is some nice new logos and descriptions. Descriptions aren't generally catchy or memorable.

The logos will get their own blog post. I promise by then I'll have the name thing sorted out too.

Late Note: I've just done the easy one. The younger readers will be Teddy Story Smalls. The young adult category is currently eluding me, all I have at the moment is Alt Teddy Story. I'm not fully sold on that yet, it may stick, it may not.

Meeting Mars Teddy 1.1

I had some feedback on Meeting Mars Teddy that really helped me this week. It prompted me to do a full review of Meeting Mars Teddy.

I've expand on a few areas that were clear to me in my head but no so clear in the story. It jumped a little too far without proper explanation in places, I have a tendency to so that when I'm trying to get a lot out at once. There was also some general consistency checking and cleaning up a few careless errors.

I also managed to clear up an obscure formatting bug in the custom character templates that has been driving me mad for weeks. The bug caused breaks between some paragraphs and dialogue not to show.

Most of the changes are in Meeting Mars Teddy Part 1 and Meeting Mars Teddy Part 4.

If you ever have any thoughts or feedback (good, bad, indifferent) on anything on the site you can always drop me a line:

Nerdly self indulgence

I won't go into the really gory technical details of the formatting bug I just mentioned, but if - custom component at the start of the previous paragraph somehow caused the mdx renderer to fail to properly wrap that paragraph in P tags - means anything to you, you may feel my pain.

I haven't actually solved the issue, I've managed to work around it with:


Zero width non joiner, I didn't even know you existed before today, but you are my new best friend.

There endeth the nerdly self indulgence. I promise I (probably) won't do it (too much) again (anytime soon).

What's Next?

I'm almost finished the first draft of the rest of Guardbot's story. It has been a painfully slow process for reasons I don't quite understand. It is tying back into a couple of other story arcs that I have. Guardbot managed a small cameo in Meeting Mars Teddy Part 4. We find out some more about that in the last chapter of Guardbot's story.

It also links in with a new arc, currently known only to the Test Audience and me, about a Neolithic teddy, surprisingly called Cave Teddy. I do have some of Cave Teddy's story down already. In a weird coincidence, the new logo really strongly reminded me of a scene from Cave Teddy's story. I didn't include any of this information, or mention of Cave Teddy, in the design brief, so it wasn't prompted in any way.

With the arrival of the new logos, I'm starting to look into the options for creating a small range of products, t-shirts seem to be the best place to start.

This has turned into the blog of announcing new things. Coming soon - t-shirts.

For a long while I've had this lonely card sitting on my private Trello board staring at me. It says "Do some sort of Social Media". The description elaborates on this a little and suggests to me that I should have some sort of strategy too.

I'm probably at the point now where I can't ignore that card for too much longer. It may have to force its way onto the official Teddy Story roadmap sometime soon. I have also started using the "In Development" list on that board to start tracking stories I'm developing, they're sorted at the top.

Have fun