Chris Spooner is a designer’s designer. One glance at his personal blog reveals everything you need to know about him: He is an obvious talent, master of both Illustrator and Photoshop. Chris also offers his own “How To” tutorials for designers, proving that not all pros keep their secrets closely guarded.
What are 3 golden rules you can advise when it comes to space and balance within a composition?
I can’t offer three rules, but simply basing your compositions on established theory will always balance your design.
What are some of the advantages of working with both Illustrator and Photoshop within any given project?
The main advantage is that you can use the features of both applications. Sometimes it’s easier to create certain shapes or effects in Illustrator and import them rather than attempt to build them directly in Photoshop. I always enjoy creating vector artwork in Illustrator then using Photoshop to remove the crisp edges with textures and distressing techniques.
When you work with text/typography inside of a composition, what is the most important part of the process/project to get right?
Selecting the right font or typeface to give the right message is always an import factor when creating any typographic design.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in the graphic arts but is unsure where to start?
Start by simply creating design work for yourself. It’s important for a designer to have a passion for creating things, so if you don’t enjoy creating designs and artwork as personal work chances are you won’t enjoy the commercial side of the industry.
What is the secret to responding to the client’s needs while always maintaining a recognizable style?
Being confident in your work is always crucial. Sometimes clients will want elements changing, but we can always offer our opinion while backing it up with design theory. Often the client will agree and the project will continue the way you want it to.
You seem to have a very fun illustration style – can you tell our readers how you found your style (when was that “ah ha” moment, and how did you achieve it?)
I simply kept experimenting with different styles until I found one that I enjoyed creating. If you have an interest in a particular style of work chances are you’ll adopt that style yourself by naturally following similar artists.
Why did you decide to create Blog.Spoongraphics.com and what benefits have you experienced since the blogs inception?
I created Blog.SpoonGraphics simply to post my experiments and personal work at first, but the tutorials and articles soon gained exposure on the web. I’ve seen some amazing opportunities arise thanks to my blog, including an increase in client work and the ability to make a living doing something I love.
How do you keep up with your creative side when you are working under pressure/strict deadlines?
I simply tend to avoid strict deadlines as I don’t feel I perform as well as I could with an open deadline.
Do you have any final advice for our readers?
I always advise designers to make sure they continue creating personal work just to practice and experiment with new styles. Sharing this work on a blog or via networking sites is often what leads to new opportunities.
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