Judging an international design competition is no easy task. It takes a special kind of person that is willing to give their time and experience for the betterment of the industry.
It's time to shine a spotlight on these special individuals and dig a little deeper to see what makes them tick. Therefore, on behalf of the CSSDA founders and crew, please enjoy the following interview with one of our esteemed judging panel members.
1. When and what was your first ever computer? Can you remember the spec?
I believe the first computer I ever had was a Zenith my dad bought for the family. It was quite the upgrade to our typewriter and I was amazed to just be able to write stories on it. Soon after I learned to program in Basic which was a lot of fun back in the day. All the cool kids on the block had an Apple IIe with Printshop though. I remember wishing I had that software so I could print out those mega-birthday banners on dot matrix printers!
2. When and what was the first website you were involved in designing/developing? Which elements of the project did you do? Can you remember the 'cutting edge' tech used at the time? How did the site turn out and what did this experience teach you?
I think one of the first websites I designed was for Nintendo.com back in 1996. I was working at Studio Archetype in San Francisco and I remember we had the concept where you could scroll through the halls of Nintendo as if you were in a game. You could also navigate by going up and down to different floors with an elevator on the site. We developed that in Shockwave and we turned your cursor into a flashlight so you could explore all the hidden things in the site by just moving the mouse. It was a lot of fun working on that and the experience taught me that it's all about team work. Even to this day, we can only do what we do because we have a talented team of people working together.
3. Which project has been most rewarding for you over the course of your career and why?
That's a hard one. I'm not sure there is one project but I've really enjoyed projects that allow us to tell stories. We directed and shot a series of short films for Herman Miller called "Why Design" and that was really rewarding to meet so many design icons and hear what they are passionate about. I was pretty excited to work with George Lucas as well on his new museum because I'm a die-hard Star Wars fan. Being able to go through the Star Wars archive at Skywalker Ranch was definitely a dream come true.
4. What career advice would you give to yourself if you could send a 'temporal text' 5 - 10 years into the past?
5. Better still, if you had your own hot tub time machine, what time period would you travel to and why?
I would travel to the future. I want to go to space.
1. What are your favourite aspects about working in design?
I love how design exposes me to so many different kinds of businesses. I'm always learning something new and feel like I'm not part of one company, but rather part of each and every client we work for.
2. What are your favourite design tools, sites, fonts and resources right now?
One of my favorite design tools is my camera. It's great to capture moments in time and look back at them for inspiration.
3. What are your favorite devices right now from mobile to desktop?
I just got a Sphero BB-8, does that count? Who doesn't need a mini-droid to roll around?
4. Which 3 cities would be your favorite to open an office in and why?
Tokyo because Japan is a truly amazing wonderland. Berlin because Germany has such a high standard of design. Honolulu because I want to retire in Hawaii?
5. What is your favorite activity outside of work?
I really enjoy riding my bike. Last year I was able to ride the French Alps and it was probably one of the most memorable and challenging things I've ever done in my life.
1. How do you stay motivated?
Actually going for long rides on my bike really helps keep me focused and motivated. I think because if you're always thinking about work, it doesn't let you think about all the other things out there in the world. Sometimes just riding my bike helps me put things into perspective and to remember to just keep pedaling, one foot at a time.
2. Do you have a good life/work balance? Could it be improved? If so how?
I think my work is my life so not sure if it's in balance. I do think it could be improved as we are building and growing our team here at Hello. It's hard to let go but it's something I am learning to do every day.
3. Do you have any career advice for young designers and developers?
Choose to care about the details, they matter.
4. How do you keep up with the latest trends & tech?
The internet is pretty handy for that. I read a lot both online and in print.
5. If money was abolished and nobody needed to work anymore, what would you do with your life?
I'd probably still be doing what I do now. Bringing ideas to the table and always trying to do something better is what drives me.
Versus: In your opinion...
1. Are great designers born Vs. made by experience?
Made by experience.
2. Is the best long term goal to be a founder Vs. freelance Vs. fulltime job?
Founder, but I'm biased.
3. iPhone 6s vs Samsung S6 vs other?
iPhone 6s. Apple forever!
4. Printed book vs eBook?
Printed book. Books are one of my favorite things in the world.
5. Star Trek vs Star Wars?
Star Wars, no question.
David is the CEO/creative director at Hello Design. He provides strategic and creative leadership and has won numerous awards over 15 years.