Chris Spooner Interview
Hi I’m Chris Spooner, a graphic and web designer from the UK. I started out in the design field after studying for Art & Design through school, college and university. After which I landed my first full time position as a designer at a local studio before heading off into my freelance career in the later half of last year.
Where do you look for sources of inspiration?
I enjoy browsing the popular CSS design galleries to gain a good idea of the latest web design trends. I also often take a look through LogoPond and enjoy checking out roundups of certain design styles through design blogs on the web. Offline, I subscribe to Computer Arts Projects magazine which often features a range of artists on various design topics. Overall I’m always on the lookout for interesting designs, even down to promotional tags in clothes stores.
What is your favourite aspect of Blogging?
I find the opportunity of networking with fellow designers from around the world my favourite aspect of blogging. I’ve had the pleasure of being acquainted with a huge number of people around the globe through posting articles on Blog.SpoonGraphics and my Twitter profile. It’s great to be able to share techniques and knowledge, while getting to know people on a personal basis.
What are your top 5 favourite websites?
A few sites I’ve recently found useful are:
- Smashing Magazine – Consistently pumps out great content from a range of guest authors.
- CSS Globe – Compiles a great selection of web design related posts, as well as having an excellent collection of resources on the site itself.
- Designm.ag – Fantastic resource for roundups of popular design styles and inspirational articles. Also has a great news section.
- CSS-Tricks – Regularly provides great articles based on the topic of CSS, Chris Coyier’s screencasts also provide a wealth of knowledge on various topics.
- Six Revisions – Another excellent resource for web design related content, but also provides fantastic articles on a range of design subjects.
Who do you look up to in your field?
I take inspiration from all kinds of designers who produce great creative material, particularly those who have developed their name by becoming a recognized figure through their business, designs or blogs.
Speaking to your blog, why do you think your blog has become a highly respected destination when trying to get inspired?
Whenever I write an article or put together a tutorial I try and create something that covers the finer details in order to be a real help to someone. I also aim to produce articles that are a little out of the ordinary or unusual, maybe that’s the key to them becoming successful?
What do you find to be the most challenging part of running a blog?
The most challenging aspect is continuously thinking of new content. I have a posting schedule of one post per week, with a roundup of interesting news articles every other week, yet I still find times when I’m stuck for content! On the other hand I’ll sometimes be able to schedule a batch of posts for the upcoming month.
What sort of social media tools have you found most successful?
I receive the majority of traffic to Blog.SpoonGraphics through StumbleUpon, but I find my Twitter profile the most indispensable tool. The ability to connect with readers of the blog and fellow design Bloggers is great! I also discover a range of interesting content that people are sharing and enjoy posting my favourite links for others.
What piece of work are you most proud of and why?
Although it’s a personal site Blog.SpoonGraphics has to be the piece of work I’m most proud of! I can’t believe how far the site has grown site putting it together in April 2007, this site has really boosted my knowledge in many areas of design through running and developing the site through to producing tutorial content.
What would be your perfect dream project?
If I’m honest I don’t really have a dream project. The usual answer is to be able to design work for a large, well known brand, but in reality these tend to have large limitations and little creative freedom due to internal politics. Therefore I sometimes enjoy producing design material for the smaller companies and organizations who are more open to design suggestions. Overall I enjoy working with designers and developers on topics based around the modern web.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the design industry?
Keeping up to date with the industry is crucial, especially in the world of web design where changes happen extremely quickly. For instance a table based designer would really struggle nowadays, where as it was the industry standard not so long ago.
I recommend for designers to be looking into HTML5 and CSS3 in order to be on top of the game when they make their way further into the industry.
Looking into a crystal ball, what do you think will be the next design trend?
It was mentioned that trends were going to lead to more textured, grungy, collage style designs in contrast to the shininess of web2.0. I think this will continue, as well as more attention to design principles such as grid layouts, fancy typography and white space being made more prominent in designs. (Although that’s probably started already!)
What can we expect from Spoon Graphics in the upcoming year?
I’m looking forward to continuing pumping out some good quality tutorials, articles and freebies. If I’m honest I have no idea what will be coming next, but I’m sure some weird and wonderful post ideas will spring to mind over the next year. Stay tuned!