Ask the Expert – Design Discussion with James White

Advertisement

Ask the Expert is a popular series here on Design Informer. "Design discussion" is the theme for this interview. The renowned designer, James White is this week’s expert.

James White is a graphic designer from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. His personal art and design ambitions has landed him in many worldwide creative publications such as Computer Arts magazine, Computer Arts Projects, Advanced Photoshop magazine, Wired UK and the spanish DT Platinum magazine where he was included in their ‘21 People of the Century’ article. Additionally, James was also named as the Best Visual Artist in The Coast’s ‘Best of Halifax 2009’ readers poll.

James White also maintains a popular design and inspiration blog called Signalnoise1.

James White and the Design Process

Jad: James, first of all just wanted to thank you for doing this interview. I absolutely love your designs. Let’s get started. Can you give us a little background of your training in design? How did you get started with it all?

Thanks very much for the opportunity to speak to your readers! My creative side started very early on, as soon as I could hold a pencil at the age of 4. I didn’t stop drawing all through school and upon graduation of grade 12, I enrolled in graphic design at a local community college in my hometown, this was 1995. I learned all the basics there, including using Photoshop and Illustrator for the first time. After that I took 2 years of interactive technology in 1997 where I learned how to make websites, CD-Roms and other technology . . . new at the time. :) Upon graduation in 1998, I was swept up into the web boom and have been working in the industry ever since.

Jad: Now, on to the design process. Do you think that sketching on paper first is necessary, or do you just jump straight into Photoshop or Illustrator?

"Sketching is where everything needs to start."

I have a couple of sketch books on the go all the time, whether it’s planning a current project or jotting down ideas on the fly. To plan out a specific poster design, I might sketch 40 thumbnails before landing on something I’m confident with before moving to the computer.

The power of sketching is:

  1. Getting ideas out quickly.
  2. Pre-planning how the composition will be built.

There are times when I jump to the computer too quickly and get mired in Photoshop trickery where I should be concentrating on the concept itself. So I’ve found the best thing to do is go to my local watering hole with a sketchbook and draw for an hour or two away from the computer. I’m normally armed with a few choice books of inspiration to keep different ideas flowing.

Abduzeedo Wallpaper2

Colors

Jad: You have pretty much mastered the use of color in your designs. The colors in your design are bright, bold, and vibrant. How important is choosing the right colors in design? With pretty much an unlimited choice, how do you determine what colors will work on your designs?

That’s a very difficult aspect of my work to nail, and it’s an element that shifts and changes as I build each piece. Under normal circumstances, I have a very general idea of the palette I would like to use, but that inevitably changes as I start experimenting with my overlays. Typically, my colors start with simple gradient overlays which I duplicate over and over and adjust opacities and blending modes. Each time I alter a given color layer it throws the entire palette into a new direction, which 9 times out of 10 looks terrible.

“But I enjoy looking for that one happy mistake that breaths new life into the color palette.”

I’ve worked on a few pieces where the colors turned out completely different then I intended, but this is a result of my organic process of trial and error. It’s all about watching what happens with color and making sure it benefits the design while not overblowing or taking over.

Jad: Your work definitely stands out from the crowd with the use of prismic colors. What inspired you to start using these colors?

I’m very inspired by things from my childhood, the greatest of which is old television logo animations aired during the late 70s and early 80s. The motion graphics people back then couldn’t rely on fancy computers to create their effects, so they had to create most everything by hand in order to make their logo stand out from the crowd. In terms of color choice, my biggest influence is the NBC peacock. NBC always had the brightest colors onscreen with a logo that included the full spectrum, certainly a huge influence on me and my work.

Nke and PSDTUTS+3

Retro-Futurism

Jad: Most of the great designers that I know have a certain style that they are known for. Most people would classify your work as retro-futurism. Would you agree with that? What is retro-futurism anyway?

The majority of my influences stem from the past’s interpretation of the future. When you look back at design (whether it’s motion or static) where a specific time period is trying to visualize the future, it is always bright and optimistic full of fancy colors, bright lights and ‘state of the art’ imagery. As time passes, those futuristic representations become part of the era when they were created, which is kind of opposite of what the image was intended to be.

My work is created in the ‘now’, but is made in a way to mimic the past’s interpretation of what the future might be like. I’m very fascinated with that idea, and ‘retro-futurism’ seems to be a pretty suitable name. I started calling my work ‘retro-cosmic’ a while back as a fun nickname because I use so many themes from outer space and science fiction.

Jad: What advice can you give us that can help us create some awesome, retro-futuristic art?

Research! If you have an interest in that kind of style, don’t look at my stuff. :) Check out the real deal like old magazine ads from the 70s, Atari video game covers, television network id animations, Swiss poster design, special effects in sci-fi movies, the list goes on. Photoshop is wonderful for creating effects and fancy colors, but you have to keep in mind that people back in the 1970s didn’t have Photoshop, they created everything by hand which brings with it a certain human appeal. It’s not perfect, they have imperfections whether caused by the human hand or aging. And when coming up with a concept, try to get into the time period you are inspired by.

  • What was popular back then?
  • What were people talking about?
  • What were the kids into?
  • What was happening in the world?

Tron Legacy4

Lines and Shapes

Jad: You have some amazing shapes in your designs. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

I started experimenting with my vector ‘shard’ shapes while I was building a randomization generator in Flash a few years ago. Much like the work of Joshua Davis115, I wanted to have a little program on hand which would take vector elements I create and lay them out randomly on the fly. I’m normally very meticulous about the elements I use, so this relinquished a bit of the control I had and allowed the shapes to fall randomly. I would then port these groups of shapes into Illustrator where I cleaned them up and manipulated them. After much experimenting, I discovered that overlaying these groups onto one another in Photoshop yielded some cool results, a strange intricate mess of shards and lines. I then added colors and effects to these shapes. It was all one big experiment.

Shapes6

Typography

Jad: I had to ask a few questions about typography since i’m a big-time fan of nice typography. What are your favorite fonts?

During my education, typography was one of the areas we didn’t get very deep into which was a bit of a disappointment. So, I had to take it upon myself to learn what typefaces were usable, and in what area. A lot of what I know comes from looking at design icons from the past, specifically Swiss, to see what they used and why. Josef Müller-Brockmann is a huge influence, as well as his usage of Akzidenz Grotesk. After looking through many magazine ads from the 1970s I discovered Bookman Swash, a lovely display face with nice swoops yet still highly readable. I’ve used Bookman many times in my work. Egyptienne is the face I use on Signalnoise.com7 for the titles and things, which I came across back in 2000. I’ve been using Trade Gothic quite a bit these days, a direct result of Scott Hansen over at ISO508. I think I learn more about type from Scott’s blog then anywhere else. :)

Jad: How can we achieve the shiny-type effect?

That’s all vector, man. I started dissecting the type effects found on Metallica’s ‘Ride the Lightning’ cover, as well as ‘Painkiller’ by Judas Priest to see how they created that cool chrome effect. It was a lot of experimenting in Illustrator but it all came down to Offset Path, adding Clipping Masks and applying selective gradients. I’d like to say there is one way of achieving the effect every time, but every set of letters is different and the method varies from word to word. After the vectors are done, drop on some big lens flares and start your guitar solo. :)

Shiny Type9

Improving and Inspiration

Jad: I saw your website’s design graveyard. Man, your designs have come a long way since your original sites. What are some things that you did to improve your skills?

"I never stopped working, it’s that simple."

Even now when I look back at my earlier designs I can see what I was trying to accomplish, what I was inspired by, and what tools I was learning at the time. I cringe a lot when looking at my work from 10 years ago, but it’s all just a path that leads to something else. If I didn’t make that crumby looking angel thing, I wouldn’t have understood how layer masks work. All of those designs from the Graveyard are things I did on my own time, outside of my day job. I felt compelled to make something that was my own, away from clients and employers, which is why I kept trying as hard as I could to create things . . . anything really. Website designs, comic books, character designs, flyers. I just kept learning because I loved it.

Jad: Can you give us your main sources of inspiration?

I have a lot of art and design books onhand all the time to keep the inspiration flowing. I not only have books about Swiss poster design and Bauhaus, but also more traditional works by Roger Dean, Drew Struzan, Picasso, Norman Rockwell, Moebius, etc. I love looking at traditional works with design sensibility, and these guys used their hands to create, not a computer.

That said, I gain lots of inspiration from modern artists and designers such as Scott Hansen10, Joshua Davis115, Chuck Anderson12, Aaron Draplin13, Robert Hodgin14 and Mike Orduna15.

Outside of specific artists, I get a full meal of inspiration everyday from websites such as Ffffound.com16, Abduzeedo.com17, Drawn.ca18, The Canadian Design Resource19 and Surfstation.com20.

Jad: Looking at so many different designs and websites every day, how do you keep yourself from becoming a copy-cat?

"I proudly wear my inspirations on my sleeve."

If I create a poster inspired by the work of others I’ll talk about it on my website and provide links or images to tell the story. When it comes to any given poster, the idea is the at the epicenter. When I’m coming up with the overall idea or message I want to put into my work, I stay away from inspiration so I can get an original concept free from influence. This way it’s more personal. Style is one thing, but ideas are what sets us all apart as artists.

Jad: In closing, any last words of advice for those designers who are aspiring to be a the level where you are at?

Never stop! If you love what you do, never stop creating things as you will only get better. Make things for yourself, think about what makes you happy and why you enjoy them and use that creatively. Don’t bide your time waiting for a client to come along in order to create something, just do it yourself and things will happen. In short, never stop creating. Work hard!

Signalnoise21

The Work of James White

James White is an amazing designer. Not only is his work quality, but he also has a large quantity of finshed work. Here are just a few of the many wonderful designs that James has done over the years. By the way, every single design that James creates is definitely breathtaking and you can definitely tells that he gives it his best. You can also see more of his work on his Flickr22.

Signalnoise23

Signalnoise24

Signalnoise25

Signalnoise26

Signalnoise27

Signalnoise28

Signalnoise29

Signalnoise30

Conclusion

Again, I just want to say thanks to James for doing this interview. I really appreciate the fact that he took time from his busy schedule to give detailed, well thought out answers to the interview questions. Personally, I have learned so much from the interview and it has also inspired me to create and design better things.

The next topic will be another interesting and helpful one. I don’t want to give out too much details just yet, so please stay tuned. You can follow me on Twitter31 and subscribe to the RSS feed here32.

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://blog.signalnoise.com/
  2. 2 http://blog.signalnoise.com/2009/12/29/abduzeedo-3-inspiring-years-wallpaper/
  3. 3 http://www.flickr.com/photos/signalnoiseart/
  4. 4 http://blog.signalnoise.com/2009/08/17/tron-legacy-wallpaper/
  5. 5 http://www.joshuadavis.com/
  6. 6 http://www.flickr.com/photos/signalnoiseart/
  7. 7 http://blog.signalnoise.com/
  8. 8 http://blog.iso50.com/
  9. 9 http://www.flickr.com/photos/signalnoiseart/
  10. 10 http://blog.iso50.com/
  11. 11 http://www.joshuadavis.com/
  12. 12 http://www.nopattern.com/
  13. 13 http://draplin.com/
  14. 14 http://www.flight404.com/blog/
  15. 15 http://fatoe.com/
  16. 16 http://ffffound.com/
  17. 17 http://abduzeedo.com/
  18. 18 http://drawn.ca/
  19. 19 http://www.canadiandesignresource.ca/officialgallery/
  20. 20 http://surfstation.com/
  21. 21 http://www.flickr.com/photos/signalnoiseart/
  22. 22 http://www.flickr.com/photos/signalnoiseart/
  23. 23 http://www.flickr.com/photos/signalnoiseart/
  24. 24 http://www.flickr.com/photos/signalnoiseart/
  25. 25 http://www.flickr.com/photos/signalnoiseart/
  26. 26 http://www.flickr.com/photos/signalnoiseart/
  27. 27 http://www.flickr.com/photos/signalnoiseart/
  28. 28 http://www.flickr.com/photos/signalnoiseart/
  29. 29 http://www.flickr.com/photos/signalnoiseart/
  30. 30 http://www.flickr.com/photos/signalnoiseart/
  31. 31 http://twitter.com/designinformer
  32. 32 http://feeds.feedburner.com/design-informer

↑ Back to topShare on Twitter

Former editor in chief of Designinformer.

Advertising
  1. 1

    Brilliant in-depth interview. Great to actually hear James explain his thinking behind things – rather than ‘I like green’ – very honest and informative… Keep it up Jad!
    .-= Acuity Designs´s latest Blog Entry – Factors To Consider When Pricing A Project – Part 2 =-.

    0
    • 2

      Thanks for the comment Mel. Yes, I really appreciate the effort that James put forth in this interview. You can tell that he really thought about his answer before writing them.

      0
  2. 3

    This was an excellent interview with much depth and clarity.

    James White is quite simply a very brilliant artist. The retro-futurist approach is very enlightening. The other day I was reading this book by George Orwell, titled 1984. The novel is about the future and it was written way back in 1949, but several topics that were brought up (esp. about technology and the whole idea of networks) have become reality today.

    It is interesting how James’s craft is about visually reigniting past impressions of the future, and resurfacing it in contemporary design. The whole intergalactic and space theme was really executed to seamless perfection.

    This piece was a joy to read!
    .-= Josh´s latest Blog Entry – The Risk of Being Unique – The Logic of Design Styles =-.

    0
    • 4

      I’m glad you enjoyed reading this post.

      About the whole retro-futuristic theme, James White has really mastered that style. It’s also great to see his style in each of his works. It’s very unique, bold, colorful and visually appealing. I really like the “retro-futuristic” style.

      0
    • 5

      Nice Article. Never knew of something called Retro Futurism in design. So it taught me something new. Will try to include in my art in the future.
      I completely agree with James’ idea of Photoshop trickery at work when you do not have a solid idea of what you want to design. I have often ended up designing something poles apart to what I began with when working wthout a sketch.

      0
  3. 6

    Very cool interview, love the work of James White, I actually found his website by mistake last year and was so amazed at what he accomplish in Photoshop. The interview gives another layer into the artist, great to hear from such a talented artist :)
    .-= loswl´s latest Blog Entry – INSPIKS Flickr Group Roundup #17 =-.

    0
    • 7

      Hey Mark, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. Yes, it’ definitely amazing what he can do with Photoshop, but actually, I’m more amazed what he does with Flash.

      I wish there would be a tutorial on how to create those amazing lines and shapes that he does on Flash. It’s incredible, really. :)

      0
  4. 9

    Thanks for the great interview. Glad to read there are still designers, like myself, that start from sketching first. I’ve noticed a trend, amongst the community, that is beginning to reject this practice. I can’t tell you how invaluable to me the sketching process is, even when designing a website. I often have so many ideas floating around in my head that, if I sit in front of the computer first, I end up wasting valuable hours trying to get the ideas out in a cohesive manner.
    .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – Our Goals for pixel8 in 2010 =-.

    0
    • 10

      That’s a great point Erik. I can’t imagine how many times I have gone into Photoshop without even the slightest clue on the concept that I plan to design. I guess the sketching process really helps.

      0
  5. 11

    Great artis James White. Very nice interview. Thanks
    .-= Texturezine´s latest Blog Entry – The Best Free Textures of 2009 =-.

    0
  6. 13

    Another awesome interview, love the works. RT & bump done ;)

    0
    • 14

      Thank you very much for bumping and retweeting the interview. I think this interview with James White is a really nice read for any designers who want to get better at what they do. We can learn so much from reading his answers.

      0
  7. 15

    Nice interview…this is my first time hearing of “retro-futuristic” design. But I’m simply enamored with the use of color throughout his works–which are an obvious reflection of his brilliant skill.
    .-= Melody´s latest Blog Entry – Ugly Underwear: Plus Size vs Average Bra Design =-.

    0
    • 16

      I’m surprised that you haven’t heard of “retro-futuristic” before, as the term has gotten quite popular in the design community in the past year. ;)

      But definitely, I agree with you on the use of color by James, it’s simply enhances his designs with the use of bright, prismatic colors.

      0
  8. 17

    Great interview, Jad!

    However, he said “Getting ideas out quickly !” Do you think that would be easy? No I don’t think so. Most of time I spend for design is the idea, and the ideas come along when I was designing!
    .-= Lam Nguyen´s latest Blog Entry – 20 Free Office Stuff Icon Sets For Your Design =-.

    0
    • 18

      Hey Lam! What I meant by that was sketching is a great way explore various ideas and concepts on the fly without spending too much time on them overall. Sketching little thumbnails and thinking of variations is essential for concept development, and is really fun to do. But that being said, everyone is different with how they work :)

      0
  9. 19

    Excellent article on an asset to the design community. Good job – great questions as usual. Very useful answers. Thanks guys!!
    .-= James Costa´s latest Blog Entry – “Sunday Special” Round-Up V =-.

    0
    • 20

      Thank you for stopping by and reading the interview James. I’m glad you liked the questions and more importantly, the answers. :)

      Keep up the great work on the Phuse. :)

      0
  10. 21

    Excellent Interview!!

    I am a big fan of James White and it’s really great to know about his working style.

    I have been writing science fiction for quite some time and when I came across his work, I was like- “WOW!! WOW!WOW!” I wish that someday I would be working along with him on a poster for my science fiction! :D

    I truly support his view of getting the ideas out quickly. Sometimes you tend to think so much about an idea that you loose the initial feel of it. Hence, it’s always better to sketch it out first and then it can always be refined.

    This was truly an awesome read! Thanks Jad!! :)

    0
    • 22

      Thanks for the kind words Adit. I’m really happy to know that you are also a big fan of James White.

      I didn’t know that you were a science-fiction writer? That’s pretty interesting. I think that James is an excellent designer, and I think he would really design some nice science-fiction stuff.

      Again, thank you for commenting Adit. I’m sure James appreciates it as well.

      0
  11. 23

    Great Interview!
    Do your thing James… you are killing it! I am still eying that “Awesome” poster in your store. Thank you for sharing your design process with us… very informative.

    ~ Aaron I

    0
    • 24

      Thanks for dropping by and reading the interview, Aaron! :)

      That poster, AWESOME, is well, what can I say, awesome! What I really want though is the Liquid Gold poster. Looks incredible!

      0
  12. 25

    James White is a true Graphic Designer! A great quote: “Sketching is where everything needs to start.”

    0
  13. 27

    ‘Inspirational’ is the word that comes in my mind after reading this in depth interview. I am a fan of James’s work and I always wanted to know how he works and what are his inspirations. Learnt a lot . Thanks Jad. Keep up the good work.

    0
    • 28

      It is definitely “inspirational.” I’m glad you are a fan as well, and that you have learned a lot, because I have really learned much from the interview.

      0
  14. 29

    Thank you so much for this interview, Jad. This was just what I wanted. It is undeniable that James has mastered the use of colors. I have been following his work for the past year or so and it has been an endless source of inspiration to me. Everyday I look at the posters he has created, to derive inspiration.

    He has a unique style that cannot be matched by anyone. Like he quoted, “sketching is where, everything needs to start”, if you want to be a good artist, always start with a pencil and a paper ……. contemplate ideas and then use Photoshop to bring it to reality.

    The fusion of the past, the present and the future is clearly seen in most of his works and it shows how specifically he seeks inspiration. If you are bored or out of ideas, just look at James’ works and instantly creativity starts flowing. It is definitely a source of motivation for any designer and I love to see his saga continuing further!

    Thanks James for sharing some of your insights and Jad, for the wonderful interview. What a way to start the new year!!!
    .-= Richie´s latest Blog Entry – Create a shiny and realistic pearl in Photoshop =-.

    0
    • 30

      Thanks Richie! I guess you really got what you wanted. ;)

      “He has a unique style that cannot be matched by anyone.”

      Yes, his style is very unique and I have seen a lot of people try to imitate him, but no one really comes close to him.

      By the way, I agree with you. Every time I look at his work, it definitely sparks some creativity. Thanks for the kinds words.

      0
  15. 31

    A very informative piece from James here, I like the amount of detail that he went into for this interview, I am especially thinking it’s time to break out the sketch book apposed to jumping in heads first. That’s always been my approach, but find that you hit a block much quicker than if you were happy with a sketch you had already drawn.

    Thanks for such a great interview, I will definately be bookmarking this for future references and inspiration. I love your work. Keep it up.

    Thanks Jad for a great interview.

    Regards,
    Jon

    0
  16. 34

    NIce interview mate. i really love the work of james.

    0
  17. 36

    The “Ask the Expert” section here on Design Informer is simply fascinating. I think you read the minds of most designers out there when choosing the people that you interview.

    James White is an unbelievable designer and I have followed his work for sometime. I usually fall victim to jumping straight into Photoshop when it comes to creating a new project. I think that I will take the advice of an expert and sketch out some ideas first.

    Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your creative mind James. Excellent questions Jad, keep up the amazing work!!
    .-= Bluefaqs´s latest Blog Entry – 50 Amazing Home Office Workstation Setups =-.

    0
    • 37

      Thanks Shawn. I’m really thrilled that a lot of people are really finding the “Ask the Expert” series useful. That was my original intent when starting the series.

      “Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your creative mind James.”

      Yes, I’m really thankful that he has decided to do just that. It’s always nice to learn more about the process, inspiration, and mindset of the designers that you admire.

      0
  18. 38

    A very interesting and inspirational interview. Great words!
    Thank you Jad, thank you James.

    0
  19. 40

    Excellent interview! James does some incredible work, great to get some insight from him. Also, I love this ‘Ask the Expert’ series, and I’m looking forward to the next one.

    0
  20. 42

    thanks for the nice and useful interview at right time in the beginning of the year, i always admire his works, and the 2010 latest design for tuts is so cool. and beginners like me this post med it a N2O boost for designing, i made a mind how to design, and come to know that wont work in every time. thanks once again, the retro design i like it, but never tried it. and the tips he gave for us is treasure. the swiss poster, Atari covers, ill start collect it ;), have a wonderful day James and Jad :D
    .-= sriganesh´s latest Blog Entry – AnimHuT with a Fresh Look | Updates =-.

    0
    • 43

      Thanks man! I have learned a lot from this as well, especially when he stated his inspirations. Those are definitely worth looking into, the Swiss posters and those great websites that he mentioned.

      0
  21. 44

    Very inspiring interview! I learned a lot of new and the most useful was sketching tips. Thank you Jad and James!
    .-= Tomas´s latest Blog Entry – 90 Best Premium WordPress Themes of 2009 =-.

    0
  22. 46

    Great interview! And James White is truly an amazing artist. I think I discovered him a few months (or a year) ago or via the +tuts sites or Abduzeedo, not quite sure. Anyway. What I really liked about his work were the shapes and compositions and arrangements. I also remember liking his Tron Legacy wallpaper a lot.

    There were some great questions covered in this interview. It’s always great to see how people/designers (or photographers/typographers/videographers) tackle things and what their approach is on bringing their ideas and visions to life and what their inspiration is. It’s interesting and funny, because when I read the question about colors and deciding on colors, I was like “Yeah, that’s a great question and finally we can hear from a living legend how he approaches colors”. But then of course it’s sometimes hard to somehow put into words ones visions and decisions on why and how he chose to do that particular thing.

    Other great moments of the interview was the talk about the Metallica and Judas Priest artwork and trying to recreate the effects from them.

    I also admire James’ work because of his honesty about “wearing his inspirations on his sleeve”. Because let’s face it, there’s a lot of copying/stealing ideas out there in the design world today without acknowledging other people as inspiration or without giving credit, where credit is due. So it’s great to know that there’s also people who are honest and open about this.

    As a closing thought. Thanks for the great interview and happy new year! Oh yeah and I’ve been rocking James’ 2010 wallpaper these past few days that he created for +tuts. :) Fantastic stuff.

    Szabi

    0
    • 47

      Thanks for leaving a comment Szabi.

      It’s no doubt that you really took the time to read the interview carefully. It shows with your detailed comment.

      I agree with you, it’s really nice that James talks about “wearing his inspiration on his sleeves.” We all need to do the same. That’s one thing that is plaguing the design community and it is copying/ripping/plagiarizing. I don’t think it’s that hard to give credit to someone if they deserve it.

      Oh yeah, that PSDTUTS wallpaper is really nice. The colors and shapes are stunning. :)

      0
  23. 48

    Amazing, all I can say is that I truly admire the work that James does and I just love how his neon-retro style. Definitely one of my favorite artist! ; ) Keep up the amazing work!
    .-= Qustom´s latest Blog Entry – 15 Great sites for Inspiration =-.

    0
    • 49

      Thanks mate. By the way, I just ran across your blog and it’s pretty nice. I really like that “2010” wallpaper that you made. It looks great. :)

      0
  24. 50

    Great interview on process. As a CD I coach designers on how to use their own process but to never create without one. A process keeps you honest to your outcomes. The trick is to allow for failures and experimentation to always keep your ideas fresh. James has done just that. Good interview. –Bruce

    0
    • 51

      That’s a great idea Bruce. Personally, I have a process as well. It can really be distracting and time-consuming if you don’t have a methodical way of doing things. Some people thinks it stifles creativity, but does that look like it’s the case with James White?

      Thanks for stopping by Bruce. :)

      0
  25. 52

    Great interview! I work with high school yearbook staffs and the importance of sketching out ideas before heading right to the computer with all those palettes and tools is a really important lesson. Thanks!

    0
    • 53

      That’s true Adam. I actually was the President of my yearbook staff and I didn’t do that, and I wish I would have, as it would have really saved me a ton of time. :)

      0
  26. 54

    Really enjoyed this article. Often times with designer interviews I get kind of bored with the same old q & a but I liked how you catered the questions to the artist. This article has inspired me to push my boundaries as a designer and to experiment with new styles.

    0
    • 55

      I appreciate it Aaron.

      “This article has inspired me to push my boundaries as a designer and to experiment with new styles.”

      That’s great! it’s always good to hear that the articles and interviews here on Design Informer has been helpful to the readers.

      0
  27. 56

    Very good interview. Really an inspiring designer. I design every day and find the high level of James motivates me. Thank you very much, thumbs up. Greetings

    0
  28. 58

    Thanks so much for all the wonderful comments, everyone. When it comes to art and design, I do my best to try and help out others in any way I can, it will only make us stronger as a collective. So it means a lot hearing this bit of insight is hitting home. Keep rockin’!

    0
    • 59

      Thanks a lot for agreeing to do the interview James, as well as for really thinking about the question before giving you an answer. It has been a help to the design community to read your thoughts about design. Keep up the great work! :D

      0
  29. 60

    Thanks, I also learned a lot from this interview, I really liked his advice:
    “Never stop! If you love what you do, never stop creating things as you will only get better. Make things for yourself, think about what makes you happy and why you enjoy them and use that creatively”.

    0
  30. 62

    Well I’ve interviewed Veerle Pieters many time ago, I ask her favorite designers and:

    “There a few people that I look up to like Scott Hanssen of ISO50, James White, Monica Calvo…”

    You are one of my faves man, I like the retro futurism and your style, cool interview; I learned so much of this.

    0
    • 63

      Hey Luis, I’m sure James really appreciates the kind words. Veerle Pieters is an amazing illustrator and for her to say that one of her favorite designers is James White is awesome!

      0
      • 64

        Wow, James White’s retro-futuristic designs are so cool. What really caught my eye were those amazing neon-infused bright colors designs.,,,very impressive.
        Thank you Jad for the very informative interview and a well thought answers of a brilliant designer under the name of James “retro-futuristic” White. :)

        0
      • 65

        Thanks Zanzu. His artwork will definitely catch anyone’s attention. :)

        0
  31. 66

    Great interview!

    I have seen your work for some time now, and each piece you share with us always looks amazing. I love your style, especially the way you use color… it is truly inspiring! Thank you for this interview! It is such a great read!
    .-= Yuffie´s latest Blog Entry – yuffiedesu: @tttee82 LMAO! *dead* @ that video!! LMAO what they both said to each other is #priceless! lmao! Thanks for sharing that lol! =-.

    0
  32. 68

    a great interview, very inspiring both from the pictures and the insights!

    0
  33. 70

    James,
    I am sooo bad at sketching first! I jump into digital space too quickly. Maybe something to work on in 2010!
    Great work as usual.

    0
  34. 71

    @James Thanks for clarifying that. I do agree with you, I can probably save so much time by sketching first. Maybe, like Barton, I will try to do more of that in 2010. I can probably try practicing that with my Daily 365.

    @Barton – You might be bad at sketching but the final outcome of your designs are really nice! I’m a big fan of your designs. :)

    0

↑ Back to top