Graphic Designer and Art Director of AisleOne
Primary design concentration:
Graphic Designer and Art Director
Most preferred tool for designing:
A well-designed grid system
1. How and why did you choose to become a designer?
It was by accident really. I’ve always been involved in art ever since I was very young. I started drawing in elementary school which lead me to apply to the High School of Art & Design in New York City. My initial passion was 3D computer animation. I studied it in high school and continued to do so in college. One summer, I came back to NY to visit for a few weeks, and I met up with an old friend. He was working at a small start-up and showed me this crazy new thing called Flash. I was addicted. He offered me a job, so I left school and came back to NY to work as a web designer. Eventually I would become obsessed with graphic design and typography. The rest is history.
2. Challenges you encounter as a designer and how do you deal with them?
Personally, for me, my biggest challenge is getting good ideas to survive through a committee of people who aren’t creative and don’t understand what makes good design. Working in the ad industry, this happens all the time, and it’s very frustrating. I find myself having to work extra hard to sell an idea, and sometimes I get so tired that I just give up and let it go. It’s unfortunate, because a situation like this can really zap your creativity.
3. Your definition of an “elegant solution,” that is, good design?
Any design that uses a grid system as a foundation. Any design that exhibits good typography. Any design that communicates the message clearly. Any design that makes me wish I had done it.
4. From skills to values, what makes a designer successful?
For one, a good sense of design is very important. A lot of people just don’t possess this.
Attention to detail is vital in any successful design. To me, the details can sometimes be the most important aspect of a design.
A good understanding of design principles and methodologies like layout, composition, color, typography, grids, etc.
5. How do you stay motivated and grow personally and professionally as a designer?
I try to create as much work during my free time as I can. I think I create my best work when I’m not on the clock or surrounded by four account people. So when I’m home, I try very hard to do my own things. I’ll design something even if it has no purpose. I also try to read a lot of books pertaining to design and typography and I’m always in search of a design piece that really inspires me. Could be a book, magazine, business card, poster, website, anything that gets my juices flowing.
6. For those aspiring to become a designer, whatever the discipline, what is your advice?
Read as much as you can about design principles, typography, and grid systems.
Build a solid portfolio. The quantity of pieces don’t matter, it’s the quality.
Gain experience. Try to get an internship at an agency, even if it’s not paid. Sacrifice a little at first, building experience is what’s important.
Always design, even if you have no purpose. Create a poster for a fake movie, mock-up some pages of a book. Anything. It makes you stay fresh.
7. What is your quest in design?
Hmmm, not really sure. My main goal is to create good quality work. I feel that I’ll always be learning and evolving everyday which is one of the great things about graphic design. It’s an experience.