Visually Marketplace Designer Spotlight: Dan Gustafson

by Visually 9 months ago Filed Under: Conversations

Visually’s Marketplace connects thousands of designers with clients seeking to commission infographics and data visualizations. Every week, we feature a member of our designer community here, on the blog. If you are interested in participating, please contact us at blog[at]visual.ly.

Name: Dan Gustafson, Sixteen Wins
Age: 34
On Visually: dtgusty
In Design: 10+ years
 
 
 

1. Tell us a bit about yourself: how did you get into design, and how long have you been doing it?
I’d say I’m a lucky guy who has always known what I wanted to do. When I was growing up I loved logos, especially sports ones, and drew and traced them all over the place. I’ve been doing designing professionally since 2003, working primarily in web design. In 2009, I went out on my own. A few years later I saw some sports infographics from the likes of Hoopisms and Flip Flop Fly Ball, decided to whip some up for hockey, and here I am.

2. In 7 words or less, describe your style.
Simple and clean.

3. If you could take a seminar with one designer or artist, dead or living, who would that be? Why?
If I’m going straight up design I’d say Saul Bass. I’ve always loved his logos, posters and title sequences. But, sticking with infographics and my love of sports ones, I’d say Joe Ward and the NY Times Sports team. I really enjoy what they are doing online with their motion and interactive pieces. For both of them, I’d love to talk process; I’m obsessed with hearing about people’s processes.

4. What’s your favorite color? Why?
Green. It’s versatile and it may stem from my favorite childhood hockey team (the Minnesota North Stars).

5. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your work and what did you learn from it?
My biggest mistake is always the same one: rushing a project. Whether it’s due to procrastination, getting an idea late or accepting a project on too tight of deadline, whenever I’m rushed it hurts the overall design of a project or the data gets messed up or, worse, both. Although like a majority of designers I need a hard deadline to get rocking, so I’m always working towards finding that happy medium.

6. What about your biggest achievement? Tell us about the project you are most proud of in your career so far.
My biggest achievement? I think being able to freelance, and doing it pretty successfully the last few years. Getting the business to this point is something I’m really proud of and I’m thankful for my family, friends and clients that got me here.

As for projects, that’s like picking your favorite kid a little isn’t it? “I’m proud of all my projects equally”… But, I’ve done some really fun infographics for Yahoo! Sports, ESPN, a couple of pro teams, Visual.ly (of course!) and some nonprofits. But, I’d say the Bruins Bar Tab is my first piece that went viral and it ended up opening some doors for me, and I’ll always be thankful to my wife for suggesting it!

7. Who should we feature in this space next?
Keeping this sports themed, I really enjoy Craig Robinson’s Flip Flop Fly ball.