TEAM MUGS
People & Team Culture
Role: Visual Designer... & Instigator
I made custom mugs for each member of the Common Good team highlighting their features and personalities. They were initially thought of as anniversary presents... however, soon they became a must have for everyone.

Regular mugs were still going around, but when someone made tea, personal mugs were used - reducing the use of new ones, heightening morale and reminding us Common Good is a place to be ourselves.
...No one wants to put on a ''work face'' when they get to the office. No one wants to leave part of their personality and inner life at home.
What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team
Charles Duhigg, New York Times Magazine, February 2016
PROCESS

To create a mug all I needed was at least 45min of uninterrupted time to layout the whole image and a good photo. Since the mugs were done on my own time, I decided to keep options minimal and select the photo myself - this, in hindsight, could have been a longer process where the person being drawn is involved.

Once the photo and the time was blocked, I used a Wacom tablet (if possible) to layout the edge of the face, the hair and the neck. Next came the eyes and the mouth. Finally, the details: nose, ears and facial key features. The key features were chosen to make the person 'look like themselves', not to represent every inch accurately. It's not a realistic representation exercise after all.

I have to say though that by the time I was doing my 12th or 13th mug, I could not help myself but be realistic, here's the last and best mug I made: Charlie's (see mug below on lilac background).
LEARNINGS

Doing this little project taught me to make the time. I should always make the time for things that make my colleagues smile and feel more part of the team. It is not quantifiable, it is not profitable immediately, but it has an impact on how individuals feel at work - and that matters.