Posted on: 23.05.2023

36 Days of type 2023.

Welcome to our designers’ favourite time of year!! 36 Days of Type, a crazy 36 day challenge celebrating all things typographical. 

What’s that? You’ve no idea what 36DOT is? You must have been living under a beautifully designed rock all this time. It’s basically a challenge to design the 26 letters and 10 numbers across 36 days. There’s a website, and an Instagram account… but the most fun to be had is through browsing the hashtag and finding all the weird and wonderful iterations shared by creatives across the world.

This isn’t ilk’s first 36DOT rodeo but we can’t help ourselves. We love it! With some fresh faces joining our seasoned professionals on the design team, we thought it could be the perfect time to find out why we keep coming back to 36DOT year after year.

So why is 36DOT so important?

After sitting down with our design team for a chat, there was one resounding answer…

Creative freedom.

36DOT gives everyone a chance to break away from parameters set by our clients; to really let loose and experiment. Ben, one of our Senior Designers and Production Lead, said ‘36DOT allows me to experiment with software or styles I might not usually have a chance to play with’. Whether it’s learning how to animate or just getting back to the basics of pen and paper, this challenge is a great escape from the everyday.

It’s also fulfilling as an agency to see all of the talent we have in-house – stuff you don’t always get to see every day. Dusting off our skills and giving them a flex.

How we get from A-Z

There’s no one set process in place for creating each letter, as we like to let the designers take the creative lead. As Matt, our Creative Content Producer, says ‘Don’t over think it and just use it as a way to express yourself!’

Ruth, one of our Senior Designers, also had a similar approach as Matt:

‘I didn’t have a set process this year. I just decided to go with the ‘have a go and hope for the best’ method. This meant that my first attempt at designing a ‘Q’ didn’t make the cut and now lives in the ‘OLD’ folder, never to be seen again. But I did learn a new effect in After Effects so all wasn’t lost.’

We’ve all been there Ruth, I don’t even want to count how many projects I’ve had to start again because the design just isn’t working. But that’s how we grow and improve as designers. You gotta break some eggs to make an omelette! And maybe one will look like an O, or a B if you’re lucky enough to get a double yolker.

Megan, one of our Junior Designers, had a slightly different approach. She took the opportunity to challenge herself by setting a rule: each letter had to use a different medium, whether this was illustration, photography or even 3D.

‘Either way, I think we all came up with some pretty cool stuff… if I do say so myself’

Our tips for next year

01 Do it again!

‘It was my first time this year and I really enjoyed it, can’t wait to do it again next year!’ – Matt

02 Get ahead of the game.

‘This helps massively as you lose the time pressure and can experiment freely.’ – Megan

03 Teamwork makes the dream work.

‘Maybe next year we could skill swap and Chels could teach me the art of pointillism or Becca could teach me how to make a zesty Z’ – Ruth

04 Mix up where you get your inspiration from.

‘Don’t just go down the rabbit hole of looking at other 36DOT before you have your idea down.’ – Megan

05 Collaborate.

‘Our Content Producer’s input was great. For next year, it’d be great to work alongside him to help create some bespoke type to better compliment his ideas.’ – Ben

If you’d like to see all our 36DOT creations, head over to our instagram HERE.


Let's Talk.

    I consent to receive marketing communications from ilk Agency Ltd.

    Please note: If you wish to stop receiving communications from us, you will be able to do so by following the unsubscribe link in our emails