Q: As an artist, what are some of the things you draw inspiration from?
A: That’s a hard one to pin down. As a graphic designer I’m always looking at branding, advertising, layouts, social media, and websites to keep things fresh for myself and my clients. I get to work with a lot of different subject matter. I love logo design, sports design, retro, art deco, iconography, comic books, Pop Art. Instagram is a wonderful place to get lost in looking for inspiration. My wife and kids are also artists so naturally that’s one of the first places I go to for ideas and critiques. I like clever, things that have personality, and humor never hurts.
Q: Looking at your winning design, has this always been your style, or is it something that’s developed as your career progressed?
A: It is something that has developed over time. This style evolved out of an Avengers t-shirt design contest when the first Avengers movie came out. I deconstructed the Avengers "A" logo using simplified versions of the core characters, Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. It was very minimalist, limited colors, and it just caught on with an audience. So I explored this minimalist approach and applied it to the X-men and their "X" logo. That one earned me a trip to Comic Con! Over the years I’ve used it for other Marvel properties, Star Wars, and Dungeons and Dragons.
It’s a very graphic style and as a graphic designer, heavily influenced by my love of logo design. My goal is to try and keep it simple or minimal using positive and negative space and color to fill in the visual gaps. The level of detail used in Megatron and Optimus Prime are probably the most I’ve strayed from my minimal style. But I wanted them to be the stand outs of the design in this case. The detail in those two are still very shape oriented and graphic in nature. I don’t use line work or outlines with this style.
Q: Are there any artists you can point to that had a significant impact on your stylistic development?
A: Bruce Timm, definitely. Batman the Animated Series came out when I was in college. His very graphic and art deco inspired take on backgrounds and character design has impacted how I approach logo development, sketching, and brain storming. I’ve always been a big Pop Art fan, so Andy Warhol and his screen prints made an impression. I worked at a screen printing plant as my high school summer job so the process of screen printing has always stuck with me. So designing for t-shirts, I always have that old school process in the back of my mind. Frank Stella’s minimalist style is also a favorite of mine.