Who or what influenced you to get into the design field?
My brother (Justin) and I were always drawing stuff as kids… Superman, Snoopy, Popeye, dirt bikes, skulls and anything else we deemed “cool”. He was a huge influence growing up. Then in high school I was fortunate to have a fantastic art teacher, Mr. Gary Lovett, who taught me so much and showed me that there were multiple avenues I could pursue based on my artistic skills. From there I decided on the “Advertising Art” program (later changed to “Graphic Design”) at Fanshawe College.
Where do you get your creative inspiration from?
Wherever I can… music, movies, online and just from random observation. Often I find that inspiration hits when you’re not looking for it. For example, it was the cover of a local newsprint magazine featuring the band Elliott BROOD on the cover that inspired the character and overall look of my current portfolio site 2pitch.com.
What tools of the trade do you use to make your life as a designer easier?
Pencil & paper (don’t forget the eraser), my MacBook Pro (the workhorse), Photoshop, Illustrator and Coda. Sometimes I utilize coffee and beer as well (not mixed together but I’ve often thought about it).
What is your next planned software or hardware purchase?
The new 27-inch Apple LED cinema display. I really need the extra screen real estate as I’ve been using my 15-inch MacBook Pro on it’s own for way too long. As for software, I’m saving up for CS5.
What do you see as the next evolution in design in terms of trends?
There are so many talented designers out there with totally different styles… this makes for a wide variety of different trends. Everything from heavily illustrated designs, the use of subtle textures and shading, simple and slick with focus on usability, throwbacks to previous eras of design accented with a modern twist… the list goes on and on. Basically I think you’ll see a lot of trends overlap one another to create fresh, new looks. And with HTML5 gaining steam, there will be a huge wave of web fun and functionality… some good, some bad. It’ll be a little like when everyone needed graphics spinning and moving in Flash even if there was no reason for it but eventually the hype will die down and the good stuff will prevail.
Could you share a favorite recent web or graphic design project you worked on and tell us a little bit about it?
I’m going to say the Bridge Corporate Communications site [ bridgecorpcomm.com ]. Not necessarily because of the look/style, to be honest the overall look is a little more corporate than I prefer to work on, but because of the freedom I had with the site. Bridge is a brand new company so this is their first site and the guys trusted me and my design expertise. Obviously I knew I couldn’t design something that looked like a Pearl Jam tour poster but I was able to create an uncluttered design without having to crowbar in extra elements to “fill up the space”. And because the site isn’t connected to a CMS I was able to layout the pages in a manner that didn’t look like they were all created from a template. I really enjoyed making each page a little unique. So even though the design is more corporate it was still a lot of fun to work on and I am happy with the outcome.
What are you favorite websites or blogs that you frequent?
I tend to jump around a lot when it comes to sites and blogs. Typically I go wherever the links take me. Usually it starts with a link from a tweet and then I set sail. But if you’re looking for specific design sites, I’d say smashingmagazine.com, psd.tutsplus.com, dzineblog.com and cameronmoll.com just to name a few. Also, check out The Oatmeal for a laugh [ http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell ].
Any advice or tips for someone wanting to become a designer or to improve their quality of design?
Learn the basic principals. Research. Practice by copying. Test out a variety of design styles. If you have a specific style, hone it and make it your own. Let other designers critique your work. Grab a pencil. Enjoy!
It’s been almost 10 years since I graduated from graphic design and I’ve been designing “stuff” ever since. Currently I am self-employed (last 2+ years) and have worked on numerous projects ranging from rock bands and comedians to hair products and corporate communications. The majority of my work comes in the form of website design but I do enjoy print work and illustration as well. When I’m not designing you can find me doing high-kicks in the garage.
Company / Design Portfolio: 2pitch.com
Personal / Blog: kevenlupien.com