Can you tell me a little bit about your path to becoming a designer and how you got where you are now?I did the typical kid stuff. Legos, sports, bike and such were a mainstay in my life, and had a profound influence on HOW I do what I do. Whether working on my building skills, screwball, jump shot and the like, I always found a way to push myself harder. My dad instilled a pretty good work ethic in me, too. I drew a lot all through high school, but I originally planned to go to college for mechanical engineering. Really! I did trigonometry, physics, chemistry and calculus in high school, but I’m so thankful for that art class I took. Because of that, I changed my major to Graphic Design. Thanks, Mrs. Dowdey!
As far as my studio name, I came up with that in the back of an old sign shop in Newnan, GA. I called that little back room The Studio Temporary, just as a joke. After hearing an interview with Alan Fletcher, in which he called his head the most important tool in his studio, I realized there was something to that name. Good design wherever I happen to be! So for better or worse, that’s my name forever!
"No matter how bad you need the money, no matter how awesome it may sound at the time, if something doesn’t feel right, don't do it!
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Up around 7:00 or 7:30, and in the studio by 8:30. The minute I get to my desk, I make my to-do list for the day. Sometimes it’s long, sometimes it’s not, but having that roadmap is so crucial for me. After that, I hit email and social media, then dive right into whatever’s on my list. Lunch around 1:00 or 2:00, and I rarely eat out. I’ll walk up to W Peachtree or Broad Street to grab a sandwich or something, then head back to the studio. Working lunches! I’ll pound away until 6:30 or so, then head home for dinner with the family.
Was there ever a big mistake you made early in your career and were able to take something valuable from it?Not trusting my gut.
If you could give one piece of advice to another designer or entrepreneur starting out, what would you say?TRUST YOUR GUT! I’m not kidding! No matter how bad you need the money, no matter how awesome it may sound at the time, if something doesn’t feel right, don't do it. Every single time I’ve had that feeling and went through with the job, it always turned into a bad experience.
Can you remember one of the first things you designed or created that you were proud of?
That fish I colored in kindergarten. Seriously! It was so cool. More recently, a logo for my dad’s machine shop and the sign painted on the front of the Switchyards building my studio is in, smack in the middle of downtown Atlanta.
Why did you choose to make this design for The Designer Series and what does it mean to you?I never had any formal training in art/design, so my goal was always to work harder than the next guy. They may have more talent than me, but they’ll NEVER work harder than me. That motto got me through some pretty tough times, some recently as a few weeks ago! Just get up and go for it, said in the simplest way I know.
My trusty Field Notes will always be the start of every project I touch. No different here, as you can see below. Once I had the general concept down, it really designed itself. The gear and sun were a match made in heaven, and the colors fit perfectly. After a lot of tweaking, I narrowed it down from the 10 or so versions to the one you see here. Add a little Neue Haas Grotesk Black, and you’ve got a winner!
Can you talk a little bit about the process that you used to make this piece?
Are you working on any new projects right now?I’m always working on one logo or another, and I love every one of them! More recently, new sock/tee designs for Epivive, an identity system for an Alabama co-working space and a few illustration projects. Closer to home, I’m launching my table tennis apparel brand soon! No details yet, but it’s gonna be pretty sweet. Stay tuned!
Design bucket list time: is there one creative experience or project you'd love to work on in the next couple years that you have never had the chance to?I want to partner with an owner of one of the original NASCAR tracks (Riverside, Wilkesboro, etc) and design the entire experience. Logo, way finding, the works. Also, if Hot Wheels, French Paper, Little League Baseball or the Lowdown Drifters are reading this, let’s make something happen!
THE FINISHED PRODUCT