If you usually follow the Printsome Blog then you already know that every now and then we like to share with you guys some of the most creative folks we find on the internet, besides talking custom t-shirts talk. Well this time we have a really especial one since we’re interviewing Ian Paget! Or how most of you know him, “Logo Geek”.
If you love design and would like to know how influencers made it to become who they are today, then make sure you keep reading! Say hi to the Logo Geek!
Logo Geek: The Printsome Interview
1) Could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Ian Paget. I’m a graphic designer from Reading, UK (a 30 minute train ride from London).
Full time I work as creative director for a web design agency that specialises in eCommerce. In my personal time I run Logo Geek, a logo design service. Along with this I run a social media community of the same name, where I create and curate the latest design news and resources for the design community.
2) Where did you grow up and how would you describe your childhood?
I grew up in a small village in Gloucestershire called Siddington, where I lived with my parents, and brothers and sisters.
I’m the youngest of a fairly large family. My parents met later in life, having families of their own before meeting, so in total I’m the youngest of 10 (4 on my dad’s side, 4 on my mums, and a sister with the same parents).
I spent a lot of time with my sister Hayley, who is almost exactly 2 years older than me. We used to visit my dad’s allotment where we would search for frogs and insects in the grass. We would also frequently go down to the river with glass jars and fishing nets to catch little fish.
I loved to draw, paint, and make models. I loved Wallace and Gromit, so would use plasticine and wire to make models, and would build little homes for them to live in from card. I loved it when the village would have its annual flower show as we could make things, and win a little certificate and a small cash prize for our efforts.
Art was the one thing I was really good at, so I frequently won school competitions and had my work on TV a few times.
3) Did you always want to be a graphic designer?
Not really. I wanted to do something creative, but I wasn’t sure what that would be. At one point I wanted to work on movies as a set designer, but that idea fizzled out. Before I was 16 I was asked a few times if I ever considered graphic design as a career, despite not really understanding quite what that would involve.
To some extent I found myself becoming a graphic designer by accident and with little effort, simply being in the right place at the right time. As I loved what I was doing, and was keen to learn how to replicate things I had seen, my knowledge and career quickly progressed.
4) What’s creativity for you? How do you find it?
I think I’ve always been creative. I’ve loved to draw and create since I was a kid, and I feel lucky that I can create something now that didn’t exist before.
With design, you are presented with a problem and can use information to come to a solution. There is some element of creativity involved, but I prefer to think of design as something more strategic than creative.
5) Do you ever suffer creative blocks? If so, how do you get through them?
I have done in the past, but very rarely now. I’ve found that when you research well and understand the problem at hand it’s impossible to get to a complete standstill.
There’s no shortage of ideas – rather a shortage of good ideas. When brainstorming I will scribble down any idea, even the rubbish ones. That clears my mind to move on, and have found it can unexpectedly trigger bigger, better ideas.
6) You have a very thought-out research process for each design, how did you come to it?
I consume a lot of content (books and blogs) and based on the things I learn I will modify, test and refine my process.
I think the turning point for me was after reading David Airey’s book ‘Logo Design Love’. In that book David mentions that he presents the designs based on goals, so I made that an integral part of my design process. In the book Logo Creed by Bill Gardner he goes through specific areas you should research, so I made sure to explore these areas too.
7) You work full-time and design logos on your spare time, how do you find the energy?
Design has always been hobby as well as a career so ever since working I’ve had side projects of some form. This has included CD covers, film posters, computer games artwork, and most recently logo designs. I’ve always tried to take on projects that will challenge my capabilities.
It’s certainly not always easy and can be exhausting at times, especially with a demanding job. To prevent meltdown I take on no more than one project at a time, which means I can spread the project comfortably across a couple of weeks, and have the choice to have a break at the end of the project. As I don’t like to let people down I’m able to show up, push through the hard times and do good work.
8) Who’s your dream client?
Elon Musk? I’d love to design the logo for one of his future space ships to mars! A logo on on its way to mars would be kinda cool.
9) How do you think social media has changed the graphic design industry? If it has.
It’s definitely given more power to the individual, and based on this I expect there are more successful freelance designers out there. I also think designers can learn more. As there’s a much greater demand for content to be created, the volume of freely available training resources has grown substantially. It’s also made it easier to network with other designers, and as we’re a friendly supportive community designers are growing and improving together.
In terms of design trends, I have started to see that logo design has needed to change to adapt to it. Social media has become one of the first and most popular places people will engage with a brand, so your social icon will become the most recognisable brand asset. The recent logo design for Premier League is a great example of this shift, and I expect vast volumes of companies to follow in their footsteps.
10) How did you get so many Twitter followers?!
I love marketing, and have been working on my twitter page for around 3 years. I’ve had a strategy that has focussed on establishing me as an authority in the design industry with the hope it will open doors for opportunities long-term. I’ve had goals for myself, and do all I can to hit them.
The first and most important part of that has been to create a page that people with an interest in logo design will want to follow and engage with because it adds value. I find and share the best daily content I can find, never missing a day. I also ensure to always reply to messages, and join in with relevant discussions. Doing this alone will naturally grow followers and trust.
I’ve also had a growth strategy that has involved following people that I know will like the content I share, and will most likely follow back. At first I had concerns this approach was spammy, but it’s allowed me to make some really great friends, and gain some loyal followers – the pro’s of taking this approach has significantly outweighed the con’s.
Daily routine with the aim to develop a habit has been essential to the success of this. First thing every morning I’m sourcing new content, and growing my network.
You can read how I did this in more detail here, or just check out some of his tweets:
11) How important is storytelling for branding? And does the logo play a part in it?
People buy products that align with their beliefs, to make a statement, be it intentionally or not. Story can significantly help that, making it easier to understand and follow, but I personally don’t think it’s an essential factor in the success of a brand.
How much story effects logo design really depends on its importance from the outset. Personally to date it hasn’t been something that’s played a role in the development of a logo. I typically focus my logo design decisions around the company’s mission and values, its position in the market, and its target audience.
12) Of your entire career, what logo are you most proud of?
I’m really proud of the ‘B’ monogram I designed as part of the Bathily logo. The client was so happy and impressed with the design first time with no changes, and it won an award too. I wish all projects went that way!
13) Any advice for anyone starting on their own creative path?
Show your work. Opportunities only ever come your way if people know you’re capable of doing something, so make sure to show off and don’t be shy about it.
Also only show the type of work you want to be doing. It’s easy to become typecast as a designer, so if you don’t like doing something, don’t show it.
When you present your work, tell people why it’s good, and be passionate – even if you think the design is weak. If you say a design sucks, people will nod along and doubt your abilities, whilst if you present the same thing with pride and confidence, and explain your design decisions, no matter what the person’s opinion of the work, you will impress them.
Hope you enjoyed the interview as much as we did talking to him! If you want to know more about him, don’t forget to check out his site: LogoGeek.uk, and as usual, for more awesome content, keep reading the Printsome Blog.
Printsome is an apparel printing agency delivering all across the UK, offering t-shirt printing Gloucester to t-shirt printing Middlesbrough and everywhere in between. For a quick quote on custom tote bags or simply a nice chat about graphic design, don’t hesitate to get in touch!