By Philippa Baines
Art Direction Interview.
I’ve recently taken charge of final say on art direction. I have incredibly strong writing roots so this mantel is very hard to take on.
But take it I will.
Luckily, I have the wonderful Zoe living with me. Tonight, I grill her on all things art direction.
Question 1) How do you come up with the arty bits of an idea?
I close my eyes and I try to visualize it in seconds.
I go through spitfire rounds in my head.
But I always-, Holly’s good with visuals too. And scamping is good and then I look for inspo on the internet.
Question 2) For example your website, how did you come up with the art direction on that?
Holly and I discussed what we are. And it went around in circles and we ended up with a very simple black and white theme and then I fiddled. I fiddle a lot. I’m a fiddler.
Question 3) How do you choose fonts?
I search on type kit a lot and I also use a secret supply from my old illustration course. I choose my font by writing words on a preview service and see if they work. Roboto I love, Futura too. There’s nothing wrong with Helvetica.
Question 4) Do you come up with a palette?
Um, you should. I’m going to work on that.
Question 5) Who do you go to for inspiration?
I scroll down Instagram a lot, it’s great. I follow a ton of people. If you have Instagram use it to follow great people. There’s a website called Eye On Design AIGA design and it’s my favourite site.
Question 6) Who are your top 5 instagram users to follow?
John Julien, he does illustration. Liv and Dom, they’re a good funny pair. Katy Wang, an animator. Bel Burkill for riso printing. Buck_Design which is a company. Ellen Jones, she’s my best friend from Uni. Moth animation.
Question 7) Do you know any good books?’
‘What they didn’t teach you at design school’ – that’s the best one.
Question 8) What do you do when you hit a wall with what an ad should look like?
Take it on a book crit and get lots of advice.
Question 9) What’s the fundamentals of an art concept? I’ve heard there’s the fonts, texture, palettes etc
Question 10) Do you have any tricks of the trade?
Use InDesign if you’re making a book, as it’s made for it.
I think, keep visually inspired. Keep going on sites: Pinterest is not everything. It’s quite narrow sometimes.
Look at recent graduate design shows. Go to D&AD, some of the UAL shows, look online. There’ll have final major projects up to see. Keep showing other people your work in school. Get lots of feedback.
Question 11) How and why do you do calligraphy?
I was gifted with nice handwriting from the Gods. I think it’s the rhythm in the wrist. Maybe it comes from dancing. I did our website calligraphy with a pro marker. I was told by my maths teacher I was great at handwriting. Wasn’t any good at Maths. But my handwriting was good.
Thank you Zoe for your wise words.