My Estetica Blog Interview

By Toon Creffield →
I have received by interview questions from Jacob at Just Creative Design Blog, below is a copy of the interview.

1. Can you please briefly give us a self written introduction of who you are, what you do and what you do online.
My name is Andi Creffield but my friends and family all know me as Toon, I run a studio in the UK for Centrereed Colour Printing & Web Design UK, I also work freelance through UK Logo Design & Taylors Print & Design. I also run the Estetica Design Forum in my spare time.

2. Why do you do these things that you mentioned above?
I do them for money really, I like holidays in the sun a few times a year so making money helps, I’ve been doing it 13 years so I’ve never really dreamt of doing anything else, not yet anyway.

3. Just so our readers know the scope of your work, please provide us with 3 of your best/favourite pieces from your portfolio.

My first would be some type work flyer I did for a show, I really doing work with just plain type and nothing else...

http://www.logodesign-uk.com/graphic-design/goodlife-graphic-design/

The next would probably be the Akamai brand, I designed them a logo and followed it up with a full stationery supply and then their website...

akamai Graphic Design UK

I also had the pleasure of working with Caroline Murphy on her own branding...
http://www.logodesign-uk.com/logo-design/caroline-murphy-newcastle-logo-design/


4. How long have you been in the industry and how did you get started? And why?
I started out while I was still at school at 15, my first projects were for local nightclubs etc. I completed by college qualifications in Print & Design as I wanted to go into print production but my easiest way into the industry was through the studio as I had alot of mac experience and I worked my up and remained in the studio as we moved more into web design & graphic design etc.

5. When you are starting a new project, what is the most important aspect of the design process... the planning, the design, or the implementation and why?
I think it depends on what the project is, I find web design takes alot less planning than the logo design, with web design you can spends hours planning just for those plans to change quite easily at a later date. I find clients also want web sites up and running alot quicker than completion of a brand. They seem to give you alot more breathing space so it’s nicer to do logo designs as you have a lot more time to plan what you want to do, web seems to be so fast now it’s hard to enjoy is completely until the site is up and running.

6. What is more important in graphic design? The idea or the execution?
Both have equal weight in my eyes, no point having a great idea if it’s poorly executed but what’s the point in executing a poor idea. They have to go hand in hand which is why I enjoy working with some of the best developers around as they add the function and you make it look good, it’s a nice working relationship. Some of the worst designers I’ve met are the ones that think they can do it all and don’t believe they need anybody on their team that specializes in other areas, I’ve had the chance to work with some great typography designers in the past and when these people have a vision of type and layout you can see clearly why they are the best in their field.

7. What is your usual design process?
Again it depends on what I’m working on, I usually put more research and mockup time into print design than what I do web or branding but it also depends on how much is being paid for the speed of the job, it’s always nicer to work on a project that isn’t rushed as more planning time is used but in this day and age alot of projects can often feel rushed.

My general web work will be something like....

1. Research, Rival Sites etc.
2. Using the brand to devise colour schemes and layout styles.
3. Layouts with layers.
4. Slicing and coding.
5. Extra (Analytics etc.)
6. SEO and any link structures.
7. Live Site

But again this changes way too often to have a set pattern.

8. What are your favorite websites? Where do you go for inspiration? Who is your favourite designer?

Favorite websites are usually most of the CSS gallery sites, although there’s way too many of them now and they all showcase the same things. CSS Beauty is my favourite. Listapart, Design Meltdown, there’s also a few gems like Surfacepressure. I’m really more of a feeds person than visiting actually sites. I take inspiration from everything not just the internet, I read many magazines and publications. I don’t have a favorite designer I respect alot of people in a lot of different fields, I would say in recent years the one persons work it’s a pleasure to visit time and time again is Stefan Lucut, some wonderful pieces and a joyful site to visit.

9. What is the most challenging part of your work and what do you like most in your profession? What do you least like?
The challenging part is still being part of a large print suppliers, it’s a lot less laid back than being in a pure design studio as there’s never a quiet moment, the minute anything comes to a stand still money is being lost and everything has to keep flowing at such a rate. The good part is to see the change in technology that can help speed up processes, the press technology also has given the designer a little bit more scope with what can be achieved, the downside is the rushing of the work through the system, people tend not to pay for quality any more in print, they only care how fast they can have it and how cheap it will be and many studio’s have lost alot of the quality in their work that years ago they would pride themselves on.

10. What is your favourite font and why? Least favourite?
I change my favourite font just about every week. I would say the most overused font I own is Gill Sans..
Gill Sans Font
I use it in a lot of different ways but it’s definitely one I always go back to. I don’t really dislike many fonts, more the way they are used, every font has a used in the correct context.

11. And for a bit of fun what do you do outside of your design life?
I like to travel a lot around Europe, America and Africa with my girlfriend, I spend many hours a week designing so when we’re on holiday is about the only time we get to spend long periods of time together, I like nice hot beaches and relaxing for a few weeks, I try not to log on to the internet while I’m away but usually I end up caving in.

Thanks to Jacob for the great questions, I'll keep you up to date with the other interviews as they are completed.

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Toon Creffield

Graphic and Digital Designer from Sheffield England and owner of the Estetica Design Forum.

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