We chat to Tyler Eide, Designer & Co Founder of Flint, about all of the things! Like, how typography is such a fundamental piece of what visual communication is; WORDS. How, ultimately, less is more; and how nothing will stunt your growth as a designer faster than an ego.
What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design? Growing up, I was one of those kids that dreamed of finding success in everything at a ridiculously fictitious scale. I wasn’t your math and science kid, I gravitated to literature, writing, art classes, etc. I just enjoyed making and experiencing things. I credit my backwards stumble into the world of graphic design to the slow realization that the things I loved as a kid; drawing space ships, cartoon characters or new NBA logos, making movies, or whatever it was, (I tried lots of things)… wasn’t actually the process of drawing, filming, recording, or whatever, but was rather the enjoyment in the thinking behind each of those things. I loved thinking about how fictitious designs would function or act. I liked making new sports team logos because I got to name them, figure out what their colors should be based on the city, as well as the name. It was the ‘creation’ of something, way more than the process. Which ultimately shapes the way I think about design and the purpose it serves today. Or something like that.
What are your three must-read design books/blogs/podcasts and why? I suppose I have a book, a blog, and a podcast surprisingly. All of which I think are relevant for any designer, regardless of experience level or discipline really. Who knew. It’s easy to become narrowly focused as a creative, especially the more time you spend in one discipline, I think it’s important to break out of that as much as possible. What I love about these resources is that they focus on the greater purpose of design through all sorts of creative industries. Dieter was a product designer, but his design priniciples and thinking applies to anything. Debbie Millman interviews people in all sorts of industries. And Brand New is a fun way to keep up on brand developments and participate in the conversation, if you feel in the mood.
What do you look for in a great portfolio? 1. A good sense for typography. A super broad answer, but it’s such a fundamental piece of what visual communication is; words.
2. A descent sense of design restraint. The work itself, but also the presentation of the work. No one wants to see an info graphic showcasing a breakdown of your skill set. (I made that mistake in 2008).
3. Self Initiated Projects. Could be extra projects outside of school or work. But it shows a degree of excitement and passion for ideas outside of your day to day. That’s something we value bigly at Flint. Don’t quote me on that.
Ultimately, less is more. A good book of 6-8 projects is much more impactful than trying to cram 20 or more in some cases. Put emphasis on the order of your projects, and put projects in your book that showcase the range of problems you’ve solved, not just your favorite ‘looking’ ones.
What advice would you give students starting out? You may be very talented but you have no idea what you are doing. Stay humble and eager to learn from everyone. Nothing will stunt your growth as a designer faster than an ego, because no one will ever be willing to help you. The world isn’t as scary as you think it is, well maybe it is. I don’t know. It gets scarier as you get older honestly, so just enjoy it as it is – tangent.
What do you think the design community could do more of to give back? It would be really great to see the collective design community use it’s creative thinking to solve social justice problems for the marginalized and the poor. Designing solutions and pushing for change, not just creating cute posters for climate change or whatever. That’s cool and all, but it doesn’t change much. Do we make new products? new web services? reinvent how news media functions? Let’s develop ideas and go get money for them, make them real. We need more CEO’s that are designers in the world. Basically, let’s see how we can use our skills to make cool shit other people will also be interested in helping us with. We’re good thinkers.
What is the design landscape like on your city and where do you fit in? Seattle is always changing. In the same way, the design community and professional landscape is changing just as quickly. Seattle’s design culture has always been a little confused, but I see more and more design focused groups that compliment each other well, which is resulting in better and better work coming out of our town. There’s also a lot more hustle, people making things for themselves, and overall a ton of opportunity for people here, regardless of their discipline.
Flint find’s itself in a fun spot actually. We handle branding, identity, strategy, interior and digital design. We don’t want to be a one stop shop necessarily, but we want to be able to handle everything a client needs. Building a brand from the ground up requires that all of those pieces fit together as a unified experience for the customer. This is especially true with interior spaces. We believe we’re making really great work, and we’re super proud of where we are at. Really, we want to work with anyone with a great idea and a passion to make it happen.