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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: Noah Smith
On Visually: noahsmith
In Design: 4 years
1. Tell us a bit about yourself: how did you get into design, and how long have you been doing it?
I think my interest in design began when I first started skateboarding at the age of 10. I always thought the graphics on skateboards were really interesting and loved looking at the layouts in different skateboarding magazines. I also began making short videos at that time and slowly transitioned from editing videos to being interested in creating graphics with Photoshop. During my freshman year of high school, I interned at a small design shop and finally learned how to use the pen tool. From that point on, I really wanted to use Photoshop/Illustrator as much as I could, along with trying to educate myself with what clean/effective designs look like. I started doing design work when I was about 15-16 but wouldn’t say I began doing it for a living until I was about 19, and I am now 23.
I just recently graduated in May from Winthrop University, with a degree in Digital Information Design. Apart from design, I also produce music under the name Hard Mix, and work as a camera operator/video editor. When I’m not working on the computer, I really like being outside and riding my bike or going hiking.
2. In 7 words or less, describe your style.
Refined, bold & simple. For different projects my style of work tends to change a little but I try to adhere to those characteristics when completing any of my work.
3. If you could take a seminar with one designer or artist, dead or living, who would that be? Why?
Anton Stankowski. The work he and Karl Duschek did from the early 60s to the mid 90s was just incredible. He was a pioneer in minimal graphic design. The logos he designed had such character while still feeling simple/unassuming. Definitely a huge inspiration.
4. What’s your favorite color? Why?
I really don’t have a favorite color when I’m designing anything but I will say that I pretty much only wear Grey/Black and variations of brown. This is mainly because it doesn’t require any thinking, everything matches with Grey/Black.
5. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your work and what did you learn from it?
I don’t think there is one particular mistake in mind that I’ve learned from but I’m definitely still learning with the process of how I begin a design. It’s so easy to just jump into Photoshop/Illustrator and start putting things together, but I feel like I need to start sketching more before I actually hop on the computer. It’s a great way to get a ton of ideas going and eventually hone in on a few.
6. What about your biggest achievement? Tell us about the project you are most proud of in your career so far.
I’m definitely most proud of my Pulp Fiction in Chronological Order Infographic. I created it my first semester of my senior year in college for an information design class I was taking. As usual, I waited until two nights before it was due to start, so I stayed up for 48 hours designing the piece and ended up getting an A- on it. A few months later I decided to post it to Visual.ly, and I have to say – thanks a lot for featuring it! That really brought a lot of attention to the graphic and sparked other sites to post about it which eventually lead me to selling over 1,000 copies of it on Kickstarter.
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