How did you become a designer?
I started an internet company when I was about 16-17 and needed to learn Photoshop to bring it to life. It was an online magazine for import tuner cars and I created posters as well to sell. I was always creative and artistic and drew a lot, but never knew how much fun it was to do all of that on a computer. My mom got me a copy of Photoshop 5 and the rest is history.
Why do you love what you do?
Mainly because it’s challenging and addictive. I’m very competitive so I love the competition I have with myself to make each new thing better and better. I tell everyone I have the best job in the world, besides surfers, because I get to be creative all day! Oh, and being a designer you can work from anywhere; it’s brilliant!
What obstacles did you face in trying to become a designer? In getting where you are today?
Credibility. I was a Creative Director when I was 25 at a popular design shop in San Diego, CA. All the other designers there were older than me and because I was young, it was a real uphill battle. That’s why I went freelance. Designers are getting younger and younger these days which is amazing, they just need to show they are great at business as well, which ultimately, comes with experience. Also, I’ve always been a quiet person. So many people think you have to be loud and obnoxious to be a CD or AD, don’t let them fool you! You just have to be a great thinker and listener.
How do you deal with difficult clients?
I just carry on. It’s something you have to learn and definitely isn’t easy. You got to understand where the client is coming from, in most cases, it’s a entire group of people but you only talk to one person and you really can’t take anything out on the messenger. I try to make clear upfront that we’re working together and not for one or the other. If you start off the project showing you really want a relationship with the client and not just see it as a job, it will most likely go smoothly. I typically become great friends with a lot of my clients. I’ve only had one bad experience in my whole career.
Do you prefer to work on multiple projects at once, or one at a time?
Definitely multiple projects. I don’t understand how people work on one project. When I do that, my creativity suffers. I find I do my best work when my mind is going nuts on multiple projects. It really helps me think of ideas that I might not have originally thought of. That’s why I loved working in advertising so much. You work on a gazzillion things at once!
What are you doing when not designing? Any hobbies or interests?
哈尔滨快乐扑克派 www.jhapn.tw Surf or snowboarding. I’m a big surfer. It’s my passion, my getaway, my inspiration. So any chance I get, I’m in the water. Of course I love spending time with my wife every chance I get as well and playing with our little dog. If I’m not designing, I’m definitely either with my wife or in the water.
What do you think constitutes a good design?
Typography! For me, typography is always the most important part of any design. If it’s got bad type, the design immediately fails. If you’re a new designer starting out, focus on good type. Study it hard. If you can perfect your typography skills you’re definitely going to shine.
What is the most important component of a design project?
Space. Designers need their space. Design is 50% thinking, 40% doing, and 10% happy accidents. It’s hard to work on a design project when parts of that gets interrupted, i.e. meetings, daily phone calls with clients, emails. You can always tell a good client when they understand time and space.
How do you handle criticism?
I don’t think there’s a perfect way too. I mean, sure, you take it well and keep it in the back of your mind when designing the next thing. But what most people don’t understand is that design is an opinion. It’s like art. What if someone came to David Carson and was like, “Dude, you’re typography is terrible”? Imagine if he stopped doing his style because everyone tells him that. I take all criticism that way — as purely opinions.