Posted on: 17.06.2024

36 Days of Type – We did it anyway!

Another year, another 36 Days of Type! The yearly typographical challenge where our designers get free creative control to make anything they want (just so long as it fits into the alphabet).

For many of you, you’ll know the drill. It’s not our first rodeo either. But if you’re new, here’s a quick breakdown of how it works. It’s a yearly challenge to design the 26 letters and ten numbers across 36 days. There’s a website, and an Instagram account. Tones of creatives and makers alike from around the world get involved showing off their iterations via instagram.

… Well they normally do. This year was a little different.

After ten years of this beautiful challenge, the creators of 36DOT have made the decision to put a pause on the project and re-evaluate its future. They released the following statement:

So no challenge this year.

No clear future for 36DOT.

What’s left for us to do?

DO IT ANYWAY OF COURSE! You really think we were about to call it quits and sit this one out? Of course not. Consider this year our ‘see you later’ to 36DOT, because in the famous words of Dottie Peoples it’s not goodbye but see you later”

Letters through the ages

So before we dive into this year’s juicy design goodness, let’s have a look back at all of ilks creations.

Here and now

This year we attacked the challenge with the same curiosity and passion as always, creating some of our favourite pieces to date!

Our podium finishers this year (as voted by you lovely lot over on instagram).

And some of our designers’ top picks… (Click images to see instagram post)

‘The frantic energy of the marks represent the mounts of chaos and controversy since Twitter became X’ – Megan, Junior Designer 

Click to see post

‘36 days of type is about expressing a unique interpretation of a letter or number from the latin alphabet. I think the R perfectly captures the brief and is executed to perfection given the reference in mind. Whilst I’m more about clean, textureless executions, when it comes to 36 days, I can make an exception for this pop of pure creativity.’ – Ben, Senior Designer / Creative Production Lead

‘My favourite piece from this year was the letter P. I always enjoy the letters that make me sit back and say ‘that’s clever, why didn’t I think of that!’. And the execution of those subtle textures and shading makes it a really nice letter.’ – Ruth, Senior Designer

36 Days of… lessons!

As with any challenge, we always learn a lot from 36DOT, some things we knew before and some things we never knew we didn’t know!

Here’s what we learnt:

1. Creatives need a chance to let loose.

As creatives we need a chance every now-and-again to let loose and create without fear. 36DOT gives us a creative outlet where we can explore new mediums and ideas without having to worry about the outcome.

2. If at first you don’t succeed, have a lil menty-b, get a coffee and try again.

You only fail when you quit… so don’t quit. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get stuck in. At ilk we know the creative process isn’t always pretty but it’s our determination and problem solving which ensures we always get results in the end.

3. Team work makes the dream work.

An oldie but a goodie. As an integrated agency, we never underestimate the power of collaboration and the effects it can have on our work. 36DOT is yet another way we get to see this in action. Our whole creative department comes together, sharing ideas and teaching eachother new skills.

4. Championing each other’s voices is a great way to create community.

It’s no surprise this year that our works’ visibility on instagram was hindered by the challenge not going ahead (curse you algorithm) but it was a great chance for us to see how creating a community can really amplify a voice.

36DOT have done an amazing job of creating a free and open community where anyone is welcome to share their work no matter their skill level or job title. And not to boast, but it’s the kind of freedom we bring to our client work too, whether we’re working with a national organisation like Generation Logistics, or a creative powerhouse like Aardman Animations.

The final words

Not to get all soppy on you, but we just wanted to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to 36DOT for starting such a fun and fruitful challenge. We’ve enjoyed every year and can’t wait to see what is to come in the future for 36DOT.

In the meantime, here are a couple of other online arty challenges we found which you can take part in if you’re looking for something to plug that 36DOT shaped hole in your life.

The Daily Logo Challenge (whenever you want)

Sign up with your email at Daily Logo Challenge and get free logo prompts sent to you daily for 50 days. Share your designs online via instagram and dribble.

Inktober (October, yearly) 

This is one for the drawers out there! Each year Inktober releases a list of prompts for a drawing each day of october. You can share your drawings via instagram.

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