Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Anna Laytham

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Anna Laytham

Anna Laytham is a designer, illustrator and artist residing in Brooklyn, New York, whose focus shifts from digital, ui/ux, and app design, to print design, illustration, sculpture, character design, comics, zines, prints, product design (physical & digital), and pretty much anything else that is interesting and challenging. Anna may not dig our pop culture questions, but interviewing her sure was fun.

She has made a name for herself designing major book covers, and her client list reads like a litany of who’s who in a myriad of businesses and organizations. She has done work for Pepsi, GE, Brisk, MSNBC, The TODAY Show, AMP Energy, The White House, Ben & Jerry’s, Makerbot Industries, Simon & Schuster and Penguin Random House.

On top of all that, and producing an art show in Berlin, Anna was a former adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts, where she also graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design. When free, which isn’t often, she enjoys building things, using her hands, and learning about the Universe. Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Johnnie Cluney

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Johnnie Cluney

As an illustrator and musician from Illinois, Johnnie Cluney wears a lot of hats, metaphorically. He may be best known for his hand-drawn artist portraits for the Daytrotter sessions (he has fashioned close to 10,000 of them, according to his estimates), but he also used to play in a ton of bands, such as American Dust, Mondo Drag, Quiet Bears, and Romantic and the Sirens. His debut solo album will be released later this year.

In addition to recently illustrating a children’s book, he somehow found the time to let us ask him some seriously dumb questions. Cluney took on the tall task of creating the downtown Davenport ‘Welcome’ sign, which highlights the city, and he describes as ‘mind blowing’.

For all his hard work in design, illustration, and music, Johnnie is mainly a husband and a father. While doing this interview, we could hear his family running around in the background. For the man who finds time for everything, we are super thankful he found time to answer these silly questions, probably while painting and definitely being a working dad on top of it all. Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Julieta Felix

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Julieta Felix

As the first person to reach out to voluntarily be interviewed by Dumb Questions for Smart Designers, we knew immediately that Julieta Felix would have a great sense of humor, but it turned out she is also an absolute delight. If you want to talk about design, eating vegan, or Mad Men, you should get in touch with her, because she will lift your spirits.

As a visual designer, Julieta loves typography, branding, and illustration, as well as the intricacies with user experience. She grew up in sunny Mexico and came to the U.S. by herself eleven years ago with only a dream and $100 in her pocket. It sounds cheesy but it is true.

Julieta’s reputation precedes her; she has done work for Make-A-Wish, American Airlines, PayPal, Disney, Pepsi, and Macy’s, just to name a few of her global clients. She is currently Senior Product Designer at Target and founder of Busy Vegan, a plant-based recipe blog.

Join us in welcoming Julieta (we say it with an attempted accent) to the DQSD lineup!

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Randy J Hunt

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Randy J. Hunt

Randy J. Hunt is a design leader, creative director, and author. He writes and lectures about design, and has been a visiting designer, as well as critic at many colleges and universities. His first book, Product Design for the Web was published by New Riders. It is a breakthrough introduction to modern product design.

The former Creative director at Etsy, Hunt is now head of design at Artsy, a resource for art collecting and education. Previously, he founded and ran Citizen Scholar, Inc as a design studio. He also co-founded Supermarket, a curated design marketplace.

Randy grew up in Orlando, Florida, where he appeared on the Nickelodeon television show Legends of the Hidden Temple. Even with years of expertise, Randy still exclaims that he is just getting started. If there is ever a reboot of that show, Randy should be in charge of everything from design and UI/UX to thinking of the obstacles and even hosting. Read More

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Dumb Questers for Smart Designers with Jennifer Heuer

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Jennifer Heuer

Jennifer Heuer is a graphic designer, illustrator and freelance art director. She primarily specializes in book cover design. Using custom typography, illustration or her own photography, she centers the cover around a concept or visual theme within the manuscript. But don’t judge Jennifer by her book covers, because she is much more.

Jen has written about women in book design on LitHub’s blog, and her work has been featured in various other publications including Print Magazine, The New York Times, and more. She is a visiting professor in Pratt Institute’s ComD department, where she was also a graduate.

We have been sitting on this Dumb Questions interview for a while, but to no fault but our own because we have been very busy, but this one with Jennifer Heuer is definitely worth the wait. She was a ray of sunshine, as we did this interview toward the tail end of summer when Jennifer was on vacation at the beach. We are thankful that she made the time and for her witty answers, plus we apologize for taking so long. She still hasn’t Tweeted in a while.  Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Syd Weiler

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Syd Weiler

In addition to being an exquisite visual development artist, illustrator, and animator, Syd Weiler is a partnered Twitch Creative streamer, as well as a current member of the Microsoft Creator Council and a 2016-2017 Adobe Creative Resident, during which she grew a creative community through streaming. Currently, she is creating Photoshop brushes and building an archive to refine the tools.

She infamously created the viral internet sensation Trash Doves, a digital sticker pack for iOS, licensed by Facebook. After her little ‘Trash Dove’ artwork unexpectedly went viral overnight, she had to quickly learn how to navigate the positive and negative aspects of online stardom. The country of Thailand is still feeling the effects. We don’t want to get into it, so just Google it if you’re feeling feathery.

Syd also helped develop and kickstart Jenny LeClue, an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure mystery game with memorable characters, a unique aesthetic, and an apically tangled mystery. She is a proud graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design, where she studied animation and illustration. She loves video games, hats, tea, hair dye and her dog Beezly. As you will soon realize, her interview is hilarious and filled with surprises. Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Kendrick Kidd

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Kendrick Kidd

Be nice, work hard and make the magic. That is how Kendrick Kidd lives his life and it seems to be working out for him. An Art Director by day and freelance Graphic Designer by night, Mr. Kidd’s focus spans illustration, branding, packaging, apparel, lettering, and typography.

His work is playful and fun, yet masterfully executed. He has created for mega clients, such as American Horror Story on FX, ESPN Magazine, WIRED UK, The Hollywood Reporter, Billabong, and a wide range of breweries across the United States.

Hailing from Jacksonville, Florida, when Kendrick isn’t working hard, he is being a father, a husband, and trying to fit in a morning surf or skate session. The perfect combination of design, family and real life is what makes a day’s magic for the incomparable Mr. Kidd. Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Jordan Scott

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Jordan Scott

Jordan Scott (J-Scott) is a good example of not judging a book by it’s cover. He prides himself on being a grump, but in reality he is a sweetheart. He is a tattooed, bearded badass with the sensibility of an adorable artist. He also doesn’t want to touch spiders.

Jordan is an Art Director with the design and animation studio Oddfellows. Additionally, he runs the curated animation inspiration site IceCreamHater. Prior to Oddfellows, Jordan was a longtime member of the freelance animation community, bouncing from Vancouver to Seattle, New York to Los Angeles, before settling down in Portland.

He claims that he is highly unqualified and unprepared, simply hoping to fake his way through without anyone noticing. However, everyone, including his clients, such as Saturday Night Live, Google, AirBnB, Verizon, McDonald’s, would disagree. Whether design or animation, Jordan always brings the influence, peppering it with flakes of pop-culture and his self-aware sense of humor.

Jordan has never been a part of an exclusive design club, served on a jury, spoken at a conference, or won an award for his design or animation work, but he prides himself in being an active member of the creative community and interacting with other creators both on and offline. Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Josh Higgins

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Josh Higgins

Josh Higgins has been on a wild ride most of his life. The once punk rocker has gone from traveling the country making and playing music to establishing himself as a force in the design world. Along the way, he was constantly evolving his art and mindset in terms of the role art and design can play in one’s community and the world at large.

Driven by a powerful aesthetic and fearless attitude wrapped in social awareness, Josh’s design activism led him to be hand-picked for the role as design director on President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. This was a far cry from the San Diego skateboard kid, but Josh’s journey just kept weaving wildly.

Josh is currently a Senior Creative Director at Facebook on the Building 8 team which is focused on building new hardware products to advance Facebook’s efforts in virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. For the last four years, he was on The Factory team where he was fortunate to work on a variety of projects from company and product identities, the Facebook brand book which ensures consistency for those identities, overall brand campaigns, the personalized video program, and future endeavors.

Somewhere in all of that, he’s created award-winning work for clients such as HP, Yamaha, Fender Guitars, Tony Hawk Foundation, Perry Ellis International, Newcastle Brown Ale, and Life Technologies. His wild ride continues as a husband and father, and somehow he travels for speaking engagements and still finds time to play music. Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Stefan Sagmeister

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Stefan Sagmeister

Stefan Sagmeister is a rock star in the field of design. The man has designed for the Rolling Stones, The Talking Heads, Lou Reed, HBO, Levi’s, The New York Times and The Guggenheim Museum, and many other clients you wish you had. He combines seriousness and a sense of humor in his work, and continually pushes the boundary of what is classic and what is of-the-moment.

Stefan is the co-founder of the famous design firm, Sagmeister & Walsh, which he established first then expanded in partnership with Jessica Walsh. His intriguing and provocative designs have captivated most, angered some, and redefined the status of graphic designers with intrigue rarely seen before.

Exhibitions of his work have been mounted in New York, Philadelphia, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Paris, Lausanne, Zurich, Vienna, Prague, Cologne and Berlin. He teaches in the graduate department at SVA, and lectures extensively.

The art director, originally from Austria with a home base in New York City, recently co-directed a documentary, The Happy Film, which premiered this spring at Tribeca Film Festival. He probably won’t like this introduction, but we are hoping he prints it and burns the piece of paper, then uses those ashes in his next design campaign. Read More

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