Graphic design; Where did it all start?
Growing up, I was always drawing anything and everything. Then one day in school, I got told my art coursework was pretty good and would I like to come to a club on a Tuesday evening after school to do extra drawing. When it came down to picking my school options, art was number one on the list. I then went on to do A Level Art and this is where I got more interested in the graphic design side. One of the briefs was to design a logo for a local zoo and I loved the process. I loved drawing typefaces, I would spend hours trying to perfect them, copying them out of a Letraset catalogue that I had, in the days way before computers! Then it was on to university to study graphic design and I’ve been at it ever since!
What qualities and skills should a good graphic designer have?
An open mind, a great work ethic, attention to detail, be a team player and have fun!
How do you respond when a client gives you harsh criticism?
Ha! It’s not always easy as usually by the point the client sees it for the first time you are emotionally invested in the design, especially if you have been working on it a while. I try not to take it as a personal attack and appreciate that clients are passionate about their business and want the best possible end result.
What brands do you most admire?
Apple, Lego, Ikea, Volkswagen & Mini.
What Is Your Favourite Part Of The Graphic Design Process?
Can I have 2?! I love the initial ideas, I can completely loose myself in this process. “The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.” is a quote that has stuck with me through the years. The second part is a few months in, when you start to see the brand coming together as a whole, as you see it on the web, letterheads, adverts, posters, livery, that’s a great feeling.
Let’s say you’re designing a new logo for our company. What would it look like?
HA!, no idea yet. I like to absorb the brief for a few days first, then its old school marker pen and layout paper with as many ideas as I can, the good, the bad and the ugly. I will then work up the ones in Adobe Illustrator that I feel are the best, this is where it’s best to be a part of a team, other people may see things you don’t or introduce something that you hadn’t seen originally. My goal for a logo is to make it as simple and clean as possible and it obviously has to be as adaptable as possible to work in all formats.
How do you stay abreast of the latest graphic design trends?
These days, the internet mostly, scouring design blogs, looking at what the big companies are doing is always helpful as they tend to influence a lot of it. I think a lot of graphic design these days is being led by the design of html and the internet, it’s great that now it can all sit together as a corporate brand compared to say 10 years ago.
How do you measure the success of your designs?
Creating something that stands the test of time is a great benchmark, when you look back at something after 3 or 5 years and think “that still holds up”. Some of the best graphic design has been around ages and becomes iconic, at least to me it does!
Do you have any advice for a would be graphic designer out there?
Be passionate, keep it simple, be bold, respect the hierarchy of scale on a page and keep your font count low!
Apart from graphic design, what else are you passionate about?
Music, film and family.