Bannersnack Design Talk “Design It’s a Lifelong Journey” via Ian Paget

“What do you love the most about design?”

It’s quite amazing how every designer answers almost the same thing when we ask them this question.  

They all love to create, to make something with their own hands, to build, to leave a legacy. 

Ian Paget is no different, and he was kind enough to answer some of our questions.  

I think we all have something to learn from the talented designer Ian is. One thing that I learned is that there are some Brits who don’t enjoy tea.

Now that’s peculiar. :)

Enjoy.

Official website: www.logogeek.com

Twitter: @Logo_Geek

 

How do you stay engaged and creative?

I have a strong desire and hunger to be creating something, which is a feeling I’ve had since a young child. I also enjoy solving problems for others, so providing I have a problem to solve it’s not hard to stay engaged.

I’ve been fortunate to have been in a professional environment since leaving education, where I’ve needed to be designing something almost every day. When you are creating for others frequently you do tend to naturally have your own ideas from time to time, and it’s only time that gets in the way. 

I like to benchmark my work and skills against others, so even though I’m 10 years into my career I still feel that I have some way to go.

I’m really inspired by design legends such as Paul Rand and Saul Bass, as well as current known designers such as Michael Beirut (and Pentagram as a whole) and Aaron Draplin.

Knowing that your journey is far from over keeps you going… you just gotta keep practicing and trying to elevate your skill set. 

I started a social media group a few years ago where I would find useful resources to share. At first it was a slow process, but as the group has grown I’ve felt committed to giving the audience I have built what they expect from me.

That drives me to keep sourcing and creating good content, even at the lowest of times, so I’m always learning in some form even when I don’t feel like it. It’s so inspiring and rewarding to be part of the design community in the way that I am, so it keeps me going.

What do you love the most about design? 

I can make things happen. I can create something new. I can make a product to sell myself, or I can help kickstart someone else’s dream.

I love that I can endlessly learn, and endlessly improve. It’s a lifelong journey which is very exciting, and there are endless paths that can be taken.

Who wouldn’t want to be a designer?

Is there a formal structure for your design process?

Yes. I’m a strong believer that good processes make things quicker, easier and better.

With logo design I start by asking questions, and then creating goals based on the answers provided. This gives me a framework to work towards, and will be referenced when presenting the designs. I always start working in a sketchbook using a combination of word mapping and visual brainstorming techniques, and then hop into illustrator once I have a number of solid ideas. I have InDesign templates for presenting the designs, and have pre-written emails for different steps of the process.

When something goes wrong I review and update my process to prevent it from happening again.

You collaborated with cool companies like “People Code”, “Minternet” and “LUI Chocolate”, which project did you liked working on the most and why?

Of the 3 mentioned here I loved working on the People Code project. The client was amazing. He gave detailed responses to my questions, and gave me the freedom to create an identity that would work for him. I’m proud of the final design too, and the client was very happy too. I feel it not only represents what the company offers, but also has hidden meaning to it that needs to be found.

The idea behind the People Code logo was to create a symbol that represented an organisation that sourced the best developers, and put them in the relevant available positions. On the surface the logo looks like a developer writing code, but it’s also intentionally make to look like 2 organisations being pulled together. On the left the company with the talented developer, and on the right the company with the empty position.

They come together and make magic happen.

I was also able to write a fairly detailed case study on this project which has been one of my most popular blogs.

Everyone loves to see process, and I’m always happy to show it. After all… that’s what clients pay for. Here’s the case study.  

On what project are you currently working on?

I have a few logo projects on the go, but as they are still in the works I’ll keep the descriptions fairly high level as some are confidential. 2 of the projects are for social media type sites, and another for a print company.

I’ve also started working with a developer on my own platform…

I’m happy working on my own as a designer, but as I love marketing I typically get too many requests that I’m unable to take on.

Ideally I would bring in other people, but managing people is not something I wish to do ongoing (I like designing too much). Instead I’m creating a platform that will allow clients to work with a network of hand selected freelance designers, and I will receive a commission. It’s a model that I’ve worked out that will allow me expand my offering, whilst removing the time and overheads associated to an agency. It will also hopefully allow me take bigger marketing jumps that would be insane for an lone freelancer. If all goes to plan it should be a win for clients, as well as designers.

I also have a book in the works, but it’s currently on hold whilst I get the above up and running…

How important is the company’s logo in a banner ad?

The more a brand is exposed to something, the more familiar it will be to them. The more familiar a brand, the higher the trust, and the more likely they will buy from you.

Banner ads are seen by people who not only click, but also those that don’t… That means that substantially more people SEE the banner, than those who click on it.

For ongoing brand recognition it’s worth including the logo in the banner so it becomes familiar to anyone who will see the banner, rather than just those that will click it. Think of the long-term value.

Name three tools that you use in your design process.

Pencil for idea generation, Adobe Illustrator for vector artwork creation, and LiveSurface (which is an illustrator plugin) for creating real life mockups of logo designs in situ.

Who were some of your most significant mentors?

When I first started out as a designer I was fortunate to have a very good local print company where I could visit and ask questions. Phil, the studio manager at the time was able to answer everything I ever asked, and was always willing to help. I know he changed my life by speeding up my learning process, and pointed me in the right direction. 

More recently I was lucky enough to have met and known Miles Newlyn, the designer behind famous brand marks such as EE, 3, Sky, Unilever and Lloyds Bank. Miles first got in touch with me to help with his social media marketing (which I eventually passed over to a marketing friend of mine). Each time meet he has given so much valuable knowledge away, and pointed me towards books and topics that have changed my approach to design. 

I listen to a lot of podcasts, and at the moment Pat Flynn has had quite a lot of influence on me. Not only in terms of his content, but his general approach to everything he does. It’s not related to design as such, but more the business and money side of things.

I know long-term the knowledge gained from him will change my life.

What do you enjoy the most about your career?

I make cool stuff, and I help to make peoples dreams a reality.

It’s very rewarding.

Tea or coffee?  

As a brit I should say tea, but sadly it’s neither. Not a fan of hot drinks. :)

 

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