I am an inspiration junkie. I frequent a lot of design and creative blogs: designspiration.net, typographyserved.com, underconsideration.com, behance.net, itsnicethat.com and of course thedesignkids.com.au, these are just some of the many sites I visit. It’s so important to expose yourself to considered design. Although I try not to limit myself to just graphic design inspiration, I try to look at other fields like architecture, music, film and writing.
1. Attention to detail. This is a huge one, and can save a lot of pain and embarrassment, being the professional, it really sucks if a client comes back complaining of bad typesetting or spelling mistakes. I always remind myself to check, double check and pay attention to even the smallest details.
2. Personality over Skill. Don’t be a dick. Seriously, personality will get you over the line more often than not, especially in relation to interviewing for new jobs and dealing with clients. Many industry professionals would prefer to work with someone who is friendly and fits into the studio environment rather than a designer who may be talented but is difficult to work with on a social level.
3. Be patient with your work and get quality work out there. Having a decent body of work is so important; I have really tried to avoid throwing up every piece of design I create onto Instagram. When I first began lettering I was so excited to share absolutely everything I had ever designed, even if it wasn’t as polished or finished, as it should have been. Which is fine to a point, it’s always nice to see process but when the ‘finished’ pieces are all half baked it’s not a good look.
4. Don’t be afraid of the ol’ pencil and paper. When I first began studying design I almost never picked up a pencil to sketch, I relied heavily on Illustrator and Photoshop. My early design work is a mixture of template PSD’s, Lobster type and vignettes, it’s all very cringe worthy. Starting with a pencil and paper avoids the restrictions and shortcuts of a wholly digital process, things like adding a quick vignette is kind of a cheap way to make a design look more polished than it actually is. I definitely learned to love the pencil and paper.
5. Did I mention attention to detail?
Definitely a big shout out to Bobby Haiqalsyah, his involvement with lettering here in Melbourne running workshops and the creation of the Melbourne Lettering Club has given me and other lettering enthusiasts an incredible opportunity.
Ryan Hamrick. Ryan is the reason I began taking an interest in lettering seriously. I was awed by his work, so much so that I began imitating it as practice. His blog is filled with amazing tips, tricks and tools for anyone interested in lettering.
Finally, Ken Barber, his work with House Industries in typography, illustration and design is inspiring, his work was among the first of contemporary designers I had experienced in relation to typography. He has developed some very cool typefaces and if I ever had the opportunity to take part in one of his workshops I would be there in an instant.
This is one of the trickiest situations to deal with. It can manifest itself in a few ways, though a lot of what I have dealt with stems from clients not seeing the value in design altogether.
I’m sure a lot of creatives, especially recent graduates and students out there have heard the ol’ - “Just a quick logo, should only take 10 minutes”. NO! It doesn’t take 10 minutes to whip up a logo, there is an entire process which we go through.
When you boil it down I see this attitude coming from a simple lack of knowledge and a misunderstanding on exactly what a designer does (because we are versatile as hell and our roles are more complicated than just designing letterheads and business cards). This is where we add to our role and become not just designers but educators as well. Part of working with a client is guiding them through the entire process, reassuring and teaching along the way.
This year has already been an exciting one for me, I kicked off with some of my largest freelance projects to date which have been focused around lettering. I completed two large scale murals (one of which was a collaboration with the talented Kate Pullen). Also an artwork of mine will be published in Typism Vol. 2, which is crazy and will be my first time being published.
I aim to make this year about really pushing my typographic, illustration and lettering work conceptually I am looking forward to working more freelance projects and expanding on my folio.