In keeping with my new design and my new outlook for this website, I proudly present the first interview with graphic designer Richard Holt. Richard, or sometimes just ®, is based out of London and the owner of www.holster.co.uk. Some of his client work includes Sony Music ISM, Silverback, and more recently he branded the logo for the new Alfa Romeo Mito.
1 - What is your art and design background and what made you become a graphic designer?
I guess I don't really have a formal Art and Design background as such. I enjoyed drawing when I was little and I grew up doing imaginative things, inventing, writing, drawing and just generally having mad ideas. I remember cutting up old Radio Times magazines and things to make cassette covers, painstakingly positioning the individual letters along the spine to spell out the title. I even had a little logo I used to put on all my schoolwork but I didn't know for a long time that there was a job which might allow my to pursue those sorts of things. I always liked art and was a bit of a geek too, so loved technology. I guess graphic design neatly lets me indulge both of those sides of my character and I'm still equally excited by the screen as I am paper. I did the usual stuff; school then art college. I took a job as a junior designer in my home town for a year before I went to university which was good experience and headed straight for London after finishing my graphic design degree at Bath. I was lucky to get a job straightaway and I've worked my way up from there. No-one's rumbled me yet...
2 - When did you first become interested in design?
In terms of design being about problem solving, I think I've always been interested in that. Kids try and fit square blocks into round holes don't they and I guess that's still what I'm trying to do. I first realised that graphic design might be an actual job that I could pursue while doing art classes at school. We were asked to make and label a folder for the year's work and I think I spent more time on getting that right than the still life stuff afterwards. From then on I seemed to be given more projects with a graphic aspect. I used to draw pictures in huge pixels using whatever prehistoric version of M$ Paint we had in the IT room, I still have those pictures somewhere...
3 - Who has the biggest influence on your style of design?
The people I work with and have worked with. I admire lots of well known designers but you never get to interrogate them, you can't debate the merits of one idea over another like you can with the person sitting next to you. I always make my best advances as a result of interacting with other people, the client, a colleague, a friend down the pub...
4 - What tools do you normally use for a project from start to finish?
Ears, eyes, brain, pen, Mac.
5 - How does being a designer influence your life? Would you say you have a different perspective on things around you?
Yes, I find it particularly hard to walk past bad signage or apostrophes in the wrong place without taking pictures. I have an almost obsessive need to document everything (see www.holster.co.uk/more/photoblog ) I figure that the more things I can recall, the more combinations of things there are to try as part of a solution to the next problem I'm handed...
6 - How do you spend your spare time?
Writing lists of how to best spend my spare time.
7 - What are 5 of your favorite websites and why?
1 - www.netvibes.com is invaluable for bring the bits of the web I'm interested in to me, saving me having to go and look for them. 2 - www.ffffound.com is a fascinating can of worms which I haven't got bored of yet. 3 - www.last.fm makes sure I always have something to listen to. 4 - www.delicious.com shows what an organic thing the web is and always turns up something fascinating 5 - www.johnsonbanks.co.uk/thoughtfortheweek usually has something sensible to say.
For even more Richard Holt you can find him around the web at these social networks: