Shot on a Canon 7D 1.6x crop sensor. Canon 50mm f1.8, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 at 10mm, and Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 at around 35mm. Scouting mission on my lunch break around 1:30pm on May 21, 2013. My plan is to go back one weekend morning and catch a sunrise or a sunset at dusk.
Recently, a good friend of mine sent me an email asking for design advice. I was flattered that he reached out to me and then briefly thought about how to respond given the vastness of his inquiry. Before I knew it I had written a lengthy email filled with important nuggets from my personal design philosophy, useful links and an invitation to bounce ideas off of me at any time.
Tonight it occurred to me that along the way I have saved up quite a few pieces of advice for designers just starting out, with a few years of experience, or looking to push past a development plateau. Obviously, I linked him to Good F-cking Design Advice, obviously. Some of the suggestions below were in my email, some came to me after I had hit send. Here they are:
1. Have a concept before you start pushing pixels, you’ll work 3-times more quickly. This took me years to start doing regularly, and now it’s my process. I’m a pen and paper guy, that helps me get my plan together and allows for freedom of exploration. Not only sketching for layouts and logo comps, but creating timelines and mind maps for mini-documentaries.
2. Listen to feedback, consider it, then very possibly disregard it to follow your instinct. You have to trust your decisions. This is especially important for editors of any kind. Decisiveness isn’t natural for some, so hone it.
3. Your first idea isn’t always your best. Scrap or set aside your first draft and push through to find the possibly better 2nd or 3rd idea. Time will be the enemy of this pursuit. Stay up later.
4. Clearly communicating is your #1 goal, everything else is secondary to that. Keep it simple. Your job is done when there is nothing left to subtract.
Name: Amy Black
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Business: Jimmy & Joe’s Pizzera / AmysVintageCloset.com
In 2006 Amy Black and her family opened Jimmy and Joe’s; an award-winning pizzeria in Chandler, Arizona. In 2012 they opened their second store in Mesa. Jimmy and Joe’s has been voted Readers’ Choice “Best Pizzeria” and “Best Slice” by several Arizona publications. I’ve had their pie. It’s the good stuff.
The Black family employs a kick-ass staff, including Amy, who began managing the Mesa location full-time after returning home to the Phoenix area. Amy had spent the last few years managing restaurants and doing it big in San Diego.
On top of helping to run the coolest pizzeria in the Phoenix area, Amy started a fashion, style and beauty blog this year called Amy’s Vintage Closet. Her content has been picked up by more established online outlets such as: NYTimes Street Style, Coco Kouture Blog Spotter, and Lucky Magazine.
On a daily basis Amy is rocking outfits that pair vintage pieces, inexpensive buys and thrift finds with modern high-fashion accessories. Lots of color, lots of texture and lots of style.
Name: Robert Croak
Location: Toledo, OH & Las Vegas, Nevada
Business: SillyBrandz Global
Robert Croak has been a Toledo-area celebrity for some time. When I was high school aged, I knew him as “Mr. Eastside” because he basically ran the entertainment district on Toledo’s east side.
Fast forward a few years, I began working for Rob in 2004 as a digital designer while I was finishing my degree. Rob and I got along well. He was energetic, fun and smart. Some days after work we would hang out, play poker and toss ideas around.
One of those ideas really took off. Rob noticed the popularity of Lance Armstrong’s signature yellow “Livestrong” bracelets (see picture above). If you recall these things were everywhere and the demand outweighed the supply as they were sold out in Foot Locker locations nationwide. We mixed a market observation with a trend and decided to sell a Poker-themed silicone bracelet. Not long thereafter, Rob decided to offer silicone bracelets with a customizable message and color.
Rob first sourced the product abroad and after the profits began to roll in he purchased equipment to do the job in-house. It was wildly successful and grew Rob’s staff by at least 3x it’s original size.
Photograph © Kate Miss
Name: William Steinman
Location: Los Angeles, California
Business: WilliamSteinman.com (filmmaker/painter)
William Steinman has two full-time jobs. He works and lives in Koreatown (Los Angeles) with his fiancé and graphic design entrepreneur, Kate. His daytime job is working as a handyman in Hollywood. Previously he was employed by Dwell studios in NYC as a production set builder. His night time job is creating art in his studio.
Will and I used to paint trains together and fill up notebooks in college. We met through a mutual friend that knew we’d get along. He was the guy who would organize a fund for paint by cutting back on a precise number of Natty Lights over the course of a week. Always working the angles.
Will is a craftsmen. He loves to work with his hands and experiment with strange substances and processes. He’s a gritty ex-street artist turned fine artist with a distinct point-of-view.