The freelancing lifestyle definitely comes at a cost sometimes. For people with day jobs, they get to know their bosses over the course of years and can most of the time pinpoint exactly how their boss will respond to certain situations. As a freelance graphic designer, not only are you consistently working for new bosses, but first impressions can sometimes be a deal breaker. For weeks I have been trying to land this graphic design job for Cologne, Germany’s planetarium and now that I finally have it, I am worried about whether or not they will be pleased with my first submission.

My first job is to create a new logo for the planetarium. I adore creating logos and feel that I am quite talented in summing up mission, culture and information in one graphic. However, the people at the planetarium have stressed to me that they do not want any obvious designs in their logo (i.e. planets, constellations, telescopes, etc.) and want the logo to be more representative of Cologne. That sounds a bit hard, but at first I was not worried because the traveler in me figured there is no better way to find out what is representative of Cologne other than going out and experiencing it for myself. Well, after only getting a small glimpse of the city center before too many Kölsch beers and eating some badly cooked bratwurst, I have been bedridden with food poisoning.

Now, I’m using Google as my travel guide as I fight this nausea. Most of you reading this are probably thinking that I should just tell my new boss that I’m sick. Too bad I am a perfectionist and to me a deadline is a deadline. I had a long time to design this logo so I feel a bit odd asking for an extension; on my first project nonetheless.

I’m not exactly sure if it’s the fact that I’m fighting this illness and I’m delusional or just creatively spent, but I am finding it quite hard to wrap my brain around the fact that they want nothing indicative of a telescope/astronomy theme in their logo. I was quite interested in this job in the first place because as a kid, my uncle had a children’s telescope that he would let me and my brother look through whenever we went over to his house for a family gathering. He was quite invested in astronomy and as far as I know it is still a huge hobby of his. Planetariums are like a big, giant interactive telescope, why would they not want to showcase that in their logo?

Regardless, I have to get back to what the client wants and the client wants a representation of Cologne. So here is where I hand the baton to you, my fellow readers and wanderlust travelers. I prefer to crowd-source ideas from people who have visited Cologne and have positive memories of the city. What do you believe represents Cologne? Even better, if you’ve been to the Cologne planetarium, how would you describe it? What feelings come up when you think of this place? Any and all input within the next 24 hours would be greatly appreciated, as I’ve only got about another 48 until I have to get myself over to the planetarium. Thanks, everyone!