I’m occasionally contacted by a student who’s been given an assignment by their instructor to interview a working designer. The last email I received reads: I am a graphic design student at Duke University and as an assignment, we need to “interview” a designer. I was wondering if you might take the time to answer these 10 questions inquiring about your field of work…
I don’t always respond to these requests because I tend to stay pretty busy and don’t have a lot of spare time. But I thought if I did this one time and posted it to my blog I could just refer students to this post in the future. So Jessica in response to your request here are the answers to your questions.
Did you always want to be a designer?
No. I first realized I had a knack for design in the second grade when my teacher pointed out that I could cut flower petals out of construction paper better than anybody else in the class. In high school I ended up being the illustrator for our school newspaper and ended up designing the cover for our senior album. After I graduated I got a job working in a factory and after a couple of weeks of that I came to the conclusion that I was college material after all. The only thing I ever excelled at was art so I became a fine arts major. I changed my major to Graphic Design in my sophomore year when I realized I’d probably end up working as a waiter when I graduated because that seemed to be the fallback career for a number of fine arts majors I knew.
How long have you been working in the design field, where did you start out?
I started working as a designer for a screen printing company shortly after college.
What is your favorite part of working as a designer?
I like getting paid an awful lot; next to that I probably like the point in the creative process when I begin to see a design starting to come together, that eureka moment when I know that I’ve come up with a great design.
What is your least favorite part of being a designer?
When my customer rejects what I think is a great design (usually happens when a committee is involved).
In creating logos, did you have one, in particular, that was most challenging to create?
I can’t think of any particular design but there are certain types of projects and certain types of customers that can present a challenge. The projects that sound really cool and fun when I take them on are often the ones that take the longest to do. The customers that are the hardest to please are typically the ones that communicate through an assistant. Having someone explain what they want to an assistant that then relays that information on to the the designer is like having someone call your barber to explain what kind of haircut you want.
What has been your favorite logo design?
It’s usually a toss-up between the one I’m working on or the one I just got paid for.
How long does it generally take you to create a finished logo?
Ideally I’d like to have a month or more but if someone has a tight deadline and I have the bandwidth to take it on I can sometimes get one done in a week or two . At any given time I’m working on several projects which works well for me because I prefer to rotate through them because it allows for fresh perspectives when I cycle back to them. It also works out for the client because they tend to need time to provide thoughtful feedback on they work I’ve done for them.
How many people work in creating one logo for your business?
Two, myself and the customer.
Do you enjoy your job?
Yes, I do, very much so; beats the heck out of working in a factory.