Donovan Answers Some Listener/Reader MailApril 24th, 2008 |
Nate and I have always made it a policy to answer as much of our mail as possible (our emails are easy enough to find), but doing so on the podcast causes a delay based on recording schedules, and CJ may be on a timeline with these, so I’ll answer in a written format this time.
CJ: I’ve been listening to The Reflex Blue Show since it was the Be A Design Cast and have always enjoyed it. I am starting a research paper for class where we interview a designer, and I know Nate and yourself always have cool anecdotes. Would you mind answering four or five short questions for my paper?
DB: Of course. Although cool anecdotes at eight in the morning will be limited.
CJ: You have taken the show on the road several times, how do you adjust your workflow for when you are away?
DB: Everyone takes time off of work eventually. I find the best thing to do is just inform the clients that you know will be contacting you during that time and let them know you’ll be out of the office (clients take vacations too, they understand). Turn down work you know you won’t be able to get done. While I was answering these questions I actually had a client call for a rush project (due Monday), but since I will be gone this weekend, I had to say no. Almost all places you travel to now have Internet connections to check email with if needed, which is great for emergency projects, and bad for not giving you a true vacation.
CJ: Do you think it is important to have a design philosophy? Do you have one?
DB: I wish I had some great philosophy I could just drop on you right now, but I don’t. If I think about it, I just try to do work that is understood and easy to follow for the intended audience. I think it’s more important to have a dedication to design than to have a philosophy about it.
CJ: Why did you decided become an author and podcaster on design?
DB: Because someone asked me. It’s really that simple. I started writing for Be A Design Group when I got an email from Bennett and Adrian looking to add authors to their site, and I thought I’d give it a try. I enjoyed it enough to continue. Nate Voss had already decided to start a podcast with Tom Nemitz when they were looking to get another guest or two to appear on the first episode with them. It sounded like fun, and would only take a couple of hours of my time, so though I’d give it a try. Ends up, I actually enjoyed it, and co-hosted the show for the next two years. I try to make it a policy to always ask a few questions before saying no to a new project or idea, and continue doing things I find entertaining. I started teaching college classes in website development and design for the same reason, because someone asked if I would.
CJ: If time was not an issue, how do you know when your done with a project?
DB: There are a lot of projects where time is not an issue I have worked on: my own company website and stationery, the 36 Point website, launching a new podcast, and design manifestos. I always know it’s done when I’m happier with it than I am with whatever it will replace. With websites, they’re never done anyway, so you just launch and build on what is there. With client work, you’re done when you come up with a solution you would be happy to use yourself. I find that time helps not as a determination of when to end a project, but more of a motivation on when to start. When you know you have limited time, you actually start that project you have been holding off on.
CJ: Any thoughts on which presidential nominee has the best logos or designs?
DB: Obama. On strictly design criteria, are the runner-ups even close? Armin Vit gives a better explanation on why it works better than I ever could here.
If anyone out there disagrees, or wants to give additional input to CJ for his paper, please leave comments below.