The team from Novel give some great advice for students and share some great reads. While also telling us about the creative growth in Denver, and how their passion projects have a long term substantial goal in mind.
Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.
We are a Denver-based graphic design and branding studio. We help brands and products establish their visual language in the areas of branding, brand strategy, and digital design. We love collaborating with clients who seek distinctive design solutions for their businesses that support cultural, social, and environmental stewardship.
What are your three must-read design books/blogs/podcasts and why?
We’ve been really enjoying Tobias Van Schneider’s Nice To Meet You podcast and his Medium articles/newsletter, partially because he reinforced some of our sentiments working towards goals and shaping your own path. We love his NTMY guests and the special insight they bring with unique stories and personalities.
But Does It Float run by Folkert Gorter, Atley Kasky, and 50 Watts. An always interesting and uniquely curated visual blog which has been a staple for us.
A couple of our favorite books are Logotype, Typomundus 20, and Genius Moves. These are more visual reference than narrative.
Any passion projects you would like to share?
It’s important to have side projects that challenge you as a person and professionally, even if it’s only in a technical aspect of what you do or want to be better at. In the past we launched a postcard company called Postscript that included a fun series featuring Denver street names in an abstracted way and we’re thinking of adding a new series soon. In 2013 Jared drew a new bear illustration for each day of the year, it was a grind but well worth the exploration of representative form and concepts. He still goes back to the bears site and gathers inspiration and insights for incoming projects.
Many of our passion projects have a long term substantial goal in mind. We’re developing ideas for two concept restaurants that focus on healthy, vegetarian and vegan food for the Denver area. Food has been a strong focus in our lives, it’s not only enjoyable to make meals every day that taste awesome but also have some sort of healthy healing dynamic.
What is the design landscape like in your city and where do you fit in?
Denver is an interesting city and a great place to live. It has a relaxed attitude and a connection to nature that is a strong focus to those who live here. Most creatives use the natural area around us as a source of inspiration and there’s a strong emphasis on work/life balance.
It’s also interesting that the focus on outdoor activities is often so strong that many business owners don’t put a great deal of thought or resources into design. Although there has been a boom in population which has created a lot of new business opportunities and is making things get more competitive. We are beginning to see the influence new people, ideas, and products are having on Denver, it’s exciting to see the creative growth we’re experiencing.
What advice would you give students starting out?
There’s great online resources like Skillshare where students can try out a variety of things they are interested in to get a better idea of what’s involved in various areas of design. Basically, the earlier you can get an understanding of the industry and choose your focus the better.
2016 for you in a sentence.
Long days, longer nights, deep valleys, high peaks all working towards refining us as people.
Salt Lake City
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