Veerle Pieters is a graphic designer who currently lives in Deinze, Belgium. Her blog, which is very popular among the design community, covers everything from web technologies to design tutorials. Veerle, along with Geert Leyseele, also founded Duoh!, a design studio that creates beautiful work and has fun doing so. I had a chance to ask Veerle some questions about her design style, inspiration, technology and business.
I asked Veerle how her blog became so popular: "I didnʼt promote my blog at all. I didnʼt even send one e-mail to people I know that are very popular to ask to link to my blog. Thatʼs just not me. I didnʼt enter my site into a gallery either. I planned on doing so though, but before I realized it people just beat me to it."
Tracey Halvorsen is a blogger, painter, author, speaker and Principal and Creative Director at Fastspot, a Baltimore, Maryland-based interactive agency. I had chance to speak with her about many aspects of running a design business, from social networking to determining budgets to the importance of failure.
I asked Tracey if she had any tips on how to determine a budget for a design project: "Budgets are complicated, especially when you are getting started. The value something has in dollars may be outweighed by the value a project presents in terms of your portfolio, connections, future work, etc. I recommend doing a pros / cons list for every prospective project and ask yourself the following questions, before you think about budget."
iStockphoto.com, now online for over 10 years, is one of the web’s most popular resources for stock images, media and design elements. The site has over 80,000 contributors, approximately 7 million members, and it is localized in 12 languages with more on the way. iStock recently launched a new version of its website, focused on their community of contributors, easier searching and making their various file types easily accessible. I had a chance to speak with iStock’s COO Kelly Thompson and lead Creative Director, James Leal-Valias, about the site redesign and features available for graphic designers.
I asked Kelly and James about the process they used for the iStockphoto.com redesign: We redesigned to add features and make more file types available, as well as to implement a new advanced search, which is the most significant change. There is also new browsing functionality, and we made the site more client focused, with the “participate” dropdown menu for contributors.
Jeremy Britton is Partner at ZURB, a 13-year old design consultancy with over 100 start-ups under its belt. He acts as Design Lead and Strategist with the team. Setting up problems that people care about and then solving them in ways that work for businesses and delight customers are his focus at ZURB. He still loves to draw pictures, which comes in very handy at these tasks. I had a chance to speak with Jeremy about the design process, working with clients and the various tools ZURB has developed for the web community.
I asked Jeremy how he keeps clients involved while maintaining control of his work: Everybody has their own opinions on the way something should look and designers get frustrated when people step on what they feel is their territory. Designers are right at the heart of where people interact with a product and anyone can jump in and provide feedback or provide their own mockup of changes. That’s the curse and the virtue of working in “design.”
Shelby White is a designer focused on web and print design and website development. He is a graduate from the Art Institute of Seattle with a Bachelors of Fine Arts, and a blogger focused on design, photography, music and other topics. Starting with very little programming knowledge, Shelby created Designspiration.net, a new way to save and share your design inspiration. I had a chance to speak with Shelby about the process of creating Designspiration, which comes along with some great advice for others building something creative.
Shelby started the project with very little programming knowledge so naturally I was curious about his process for Designinspiration.net: We've all heard it before, "you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it", and of course I believe it’s true. There is more to it than that though. You have to truly believe in what you're doing.