22 Web People In Ten Years

in-ten-yearsTen years, it’s a long time. Aspirations of what you’ll be doing in ten years could be absolutely anything. I personally look to the things which I’d like to have achieved in ten years time and a few of these are; authoring a book, speaking more frequently and having multiple businesses. In ten years time I’ll be 36 and while I think it is a long way off there will be one day when I think it has gone way too fast, so by the time I am forty I want to achieve as much as I can. I wanted to know about other 10 year plans and  asked some awesome people from the web community about what thoughts they had for the future.


Ashley Baxter – www.iamashley.co.uk

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time, what would you like to achieve?

I consider myself to be an ambitious person, which makes answering this all the more difficult. In 10 years I’ll be 32, and I see myself having taken my current business to new heights, as well as having started up another business more in line with my personality. But variety truly is the spice of life, and I’d like to dabble in many things alongside that. In the future I’d love to get involved with presenting in a video game niche, as well as keep myself busy with various web projects as I continue to learn Ruby. Basically, I see myself doing quite a few things. Life will never be boring.

On a personal note, I definitely see myself happily settled with Daniel Craig and our beautiful babies, which we very much enjoyed making. Ahem.

tim-van-dammeTim Van Damme – www.maxvoltar.com

That’s a question to which I don’t want to know the answer. What I love so much about this business is you don’t know what you’ll be doing next.

Also: I’m not much of a 10-year plan guy. I don’t plan, I wait and see. If there’s one thing I want to do some day, it must be teaching. Teaching people the right way to make a website is very satisfying, and I’d love to teach the next generation everything I was lucky enough to learn myself.

aaronirizarryAaron Irizarry – www.thisisaaronslife.com

In ten years time I would want to be doing what I love on my own terms. I love talking, and writing about design, the design process, and the practical aspects of working in the design industry, so it would be awesome to be speaking on these topics and or contributing to books on them. To sum it “doing what I love on my own terms, and spending more time with the people I love (family, and friends).

john-chowJohn Chow – www.johnchow.com

I really have no idea where I’ll be in 10 years. I don’t see that far into the future. However, I would hope by then I will be able start my foundation to help fund causes that I believe in. I always said the worth of a man is not how much he makes, it’s how much he gives. I hope in 10 years, I will be able to give more than I’ve ever dreamed possible.

gabriel-seguraGabriel Segura – www.cssmania.com

I see myself working at home full time dedicated to web design and other design trends (industry design), together with my wife doing some illustrations i normally use in my webdesigns. I would love to start up my own design studio, and have a less stressed life.

Paul_BoagPaul Boag – www.boagworld.com

In 10 years time I would hope that Headscape will still be going strong. However, I would like to see its daily operation less reliant on myself and the other directors. This would free up my time to develop personal projects and maybe even have a life beyond the web. I have been working with the web since 1994 and although it has been an incredibly exciting ride I am not sure I see myself developing websites forever.

Andy_RutledgeAndy Rutledge – www.andyrutledge.com

Thanks for your note. I appreciate your request, but I’m afraid I’ll not be able to provide very good fare. I’m already doing what I’ve wanted to work toward. I own a nice design agency and work with great people who do excellent work. So, I’m good; mission accomplished. I see perhaps adding one or two more agency partners over the next few years, but as far as plans …I’m not looking for much in the way of change. I certainly want to be doing better work in 10 years, but I’ve already achieved what I set out to achieve.

elliott-kemberElliott Kember – www.elliottkember.com

I have no idea where I’ll be in 10 years. Every time I try and answer this question, I end up being wrong, so my answers get more and more vague.

I’d like to be in charge of something – most probably a startup. I’ve been setting myself up to run a startup for some time now – I just haven’t figured out what to do. Ideally I’ll be working with a small team, and having a lot of fun. I certainly hope I’m not working in a cubicle somewhere, for somebody else, developing Death March software and hating it. I don’t know where I’ll have to be to make this happen – possibly San Fransisco or London.

In my opinion, it’s a very difficult question to answer – as soon as you start deciding, you begin to limit your options. Ten years ago, I’d never have expected to be living in the UK, or even working in this industry. So far I’ve played it by ear, and it seems to have worked out fine. As long as I can be flexible enough to jump at opportunities, things should be okay!

David_LeggettDavid Leggett – www.tutorial9.net

In 10 years, I’d like to be making annual trips around the world working as a volunteer for understaffed schools and orphanages. I really admire the people who are able to organize projects that allow the world as a community to help each other (a kind of organization I’ll never be able to achieve), and it’s something I think would be very interesting to be more involved in. Of course, I’d like to still be working on the side with various blog projects like UX Booth, Tutorial9, and Better Blogger.

marc-perelMarc Perel – www.obox-design.com

Ten years time, that’s a far way away, that’s about half my life!

I would say there are a few things that spring to mind, career wise; the mose basic goal would certainly be to have a stable, scalable business; be it in themes, site development or anything else which Obox ventures into in the coming years. I don’t need a sport scar or a mansion, if I have a house with a garden and a business which gives me enough time to ride/run/chill in the day, work in the mornings and evenings, then I’ll be happy.

Paul_RandallPaul Randall – www.prandall.com

In 10 years time I would still like to see myself primarily designing websites, but working more on logo and print work running a small design agency or online business.

I hope to have my work featured in a publication such as .net or a book at some point, and for it to be well received within the web community.

Gary_VaynerchukGary Vaynerchuk – www.crushitbook.com

No idea, my goal is to enjoy the process of gettin there but I am a reActionary businessman and don’t make predicitions or have jar thoughts where I will be.

Jon Phillips – www.spyrestudios.com


In ten years I hope I’ll be traveling around the world and answering emails from my laptop on some airport wireless internet access. Though I see no reason for not doing this now, I’m not sure I want to wait 10 years to be where I want to be and go where I want to go. I will surely still be designing websites but probably work more on personal projects rather than client projects.

amy-mahonAmy Mahon – www.amymahon.com

In 10 years time, if all goes to plan, I hope to be primarily focusing on raising a family. It’s a tad old-fashioned, I know, but I was fortunate to have had a stay-at-home mom and I’ve always wanted to be as involved with my children. This doesn’t mean I’d abandon web design altogether – just schedule projects in a way that will allow me to maintain a nice balance between work and family. That’s if all goes to plan.

My Plan B is to really focus on my career, get a few big name clients under my belt after which I would speak in peer conferences, teach college classes and/or write a book.

chriswallace-bio-picChris Wallace – www.walmedia.com

In ten years I’d like to be at a point where I am able to do some traveling, see parts of the world that I’ve never seen before and spend time with my family. Running my own business is fun and I’d like to continue doing that as well, creating and defining user experience on the web and beyond. I’m positive in 10 years the “Internet” will have evolved to the point where it’s rarely just a mouse and keyboard, but rather a window into other parts of the world. I want to be heavily involved in that.

chrisspoonerChris Spooner – blog.spoongraphics.co.uk

It’s pretty hard to imagine where I will be in ten years time, or even to imagine what I’d like to be doing. A career in web design ten years ago would be a completely different scenario than what it is now, so who knows what the industry will be like in another ten into the future?!

With that said, I’ve recently moved myself into a position where I’m supporting myself working as a self employed person doing something I love, so I can only hope this will continue into the future. It would be awesome to be able to lead a fulfilling life from a mix of blogging and design projects that offers plenty of exciting work while also allowing for personal time to head off and do whatever I like!

matthew-smithMatthew Smith – www.squaredeye.com

In ten years. Well, let me think about where I was on this day ten years ago first. Okay, I got it, I was in my third semester at Colorado State University, a year before I left for England, and I was totally dissatisfied with my art education. I thought then, that commercial art was a form of selling out to the man. I like beer and raising a family, so I’m a little more open minded now.

So, ten years? Sheesh! I have no idea where I’ll be in ten years, but I can say a few things I dream about. I dream about starting a school/agency that builds young people up into powerful thinkers, designers, citizens, and provides quality services and products to the design industry and the world at large. I dream about having opportunities to work on projects that change people, change institutions, and help people grow. I’d like to be a fun dad, and a kick ass husband. I’d like have written a book or two.

All the stuff I wanted to do ten years ago, now seems wimpy though. I’ve done and seen so much more than I thought I would, and the smallest things ended up being the most important. It’s not easy for me to answer a question like this with a simple “I’d like to have made my first million”, though that’d be nice too 🙂

adiirockstarAdii Pienaar – www.adii.co.za

When I look back on my life in 10 years’ time, I’d love to see that I had been slowly improving myself on a daily basis during those 10 years. Fact is, I’m an entrepreneur and I’ll most probably (touch wood) be involved in a few businesses in the next 10 years; so my only goal relating to my “career” is to be successful enough not to ever have to go back to back to full-time employment.

Beyond that, improving & challenging myself is much more important, as I know that those two things will mean that I’ll be happy with my life in 10 years’ time.

gracesmithGrace Smith – www.gracesmith.co.uk

Without a doubt I would still be working in the creative industry, but focused on writing while perhaps pursuing photography on a more professional level. While I love web design and development I am becoming extremely passionate about developing my knowledge and skills as a writer and blogger and I’ve recently become obsessed with photography (having bought my first DSLR this year).

Ideally in the future I would like to be a published author within the design sector as well as exhibiting my work as a photographer.  I would also hope in 10 years to still be publishing online and be heavily involved within the web community.

My thoughts on where I will be in 10 years are diverse as I hope I will have several creative outlets that constantly challenge and inspire me. If that’s the case then I know i will be both happy and fulfilled.

Martin BeanMartin Bean – www.mcbwebdesign.co.uk

It’s no secret that us humans are creatures of learning and I’m know different. I love expanding my knowledge on every subject possible (yet still fare badly in pub quizzes and IT-Boxes). As a result of this, I hope that in ten years time I’ve managed to expand upon my knowledge of the web and related technologies and practices. And a pay rise or two.

At the moment, I work as a web developer, mainly developing websites in HTML/CSS and building applications with PHP and MySQL. In ten years time, I would like to be proficient in at least two more server-side/programming languages. Ruby on Rails strikes me as one of those that’s good to know. Java and .NET are also alluring to me, but I feel those are a definitely a step up from my good ol’ trusty PHP.

Sarah_MadysonSarah Whinnem – www.maysondesigns.com

Right now I seem to be at a bit of a crossroads, where in ten years I can see myself following two different paths. My original goal was always to make a career of being an in-house graphic designer, whether through a private company (like my current position) or with an agency. Following that path, in ten years I would like to be in an art/creative director position, being part of a team of like-minded creative people all working together to produce an exceptional and beautiful product, whether it be literature or software or art. Recently, however, I’ve also been able to see myself accomplishing a different, but similar, goal, that of the successful freelancer. The freedom, variety, and independence that it offers are very alluring to me. Communicating as often as I do with people who are making it work being their own boss and calling the shots makes me believe that it’s a great opportunity. And in the end, if the freelance path is successful, I may end up with a team to work with and rely on. What this means to me is that it’s not so much specifically where I am that is an important goal for me, but that creativity, collaboration, excellence, and teamwork are abstract goals that no matter where I end up in ten years, I want to make happen.

Emma_TaylorEmma Taylor – www.twigglegraphics.com

I never thought it would be such a tricky question…it’s definitely got my brain ticking!! I LOVE the freelance world and feel quite content with being a one (wo)man band. I’ve never been one to plan so far in advance and i’m still learning a lot about who i am and about our industry. I love designing for the web and hope to continue doing what i love for many years to come. I plan to start working with more freelancers and design agencies and focus on what i know best, setup a few personal projects helping others and reflecting on my experiences, travel more, continue to work along side my husbands business and most of all, enjoy myself in the process!

adellecharlesAdelle Charles – fuelbrandnetwork.com

In ten years I see myself still running FUEL and not working for anyone else but myself. I know that’s a long time from now, however there are so many possibilities and growth to be had that I won’t be able to stop until I have achieved all of my personal goals as well as company goals. (Currently finishing up a solid year one). We have many more additions to the publishing (Fuel Brand Network) side of Fuel Brand Inc. as well as some non-profit goals and teaching through conferences & workshops. Maybe catch up with me in ten years?

Thanks to all who were involved in this post, if you’d like to be featured in future posts, drop me an email with a little bit about yourself.

Be proud, your favourite pieces of work!

There is always a time when we’ve kicked back our chair and thought, “Heck yeah, I’ve just done an awesome job!”. It could be writing an article, making client/customer interaction better, an awesome design or other piece of work where you know in your soul you’ve achieved something great.

I wanted to know what others classed as their most proud piece of work was to date and the reasons why. I’d love to hear about the work you’re most proud of!

jeffrey-zeldmanJeffrey Zeldman – www.zeldman.com

Web standards. The phrase, the group, the education effort via A List Apart and Designing With Web Standards. We changed the web. We changed the world.

Clumsily pecked into a tiny picture of a keyboard.

steven-snellSteven Snell – www.vandelaydesign.com

I would say that I’m most proud of the Vandelay Design Blog, not necessarily from a design perspective but just the overall results of the blog. When I started the blog I really knew nothing about blogging, so it’s been an incredible growing experience. I’m excited about the community of readers that have chosen to subscribe to the blog, and I’m proud that I’ve been consistent with it for more than two years.

jacobcassJacob Cass – www.justcreativedesign.com

My blog would probably have to be my proudest achievement and has been my longest ongoing project. It’s a great feeling to be able to do what you love for a living and my blog allows me to do this, all while having a readership that teaches and motivates me to do it better each day.


mattdraperMatt Draper – www.identitygraphics.org

When I took a step back and really thought about it one piece kept jumping into my mind “Xycoon”. I have never been able to put my finger on exactly why I like this piece so much. Perhaps because when I look at it even now 5 years later, I still would not change a thing about it. I doubt many of us can say that about to many of our pieces.


adiirockstarAdii – www.woothemes.com / www.adii.co.za

In terms of greatly influencing my online reputation, I think the Polaroid Redesign V2 (my project codename – see attached) propelled me into some kind of a spotlight. Beyond the positive feedback I got on the design, I was actually also featured on quite a few CSS galleries and whilst I now (slightly) cringe when looking at the design, I can still acknowledge the fact that it increased the speed in which I established my online branding.


I also later released the design (twice) as a free WP theme (see: WP-Polaroid V2 WordPress Theme ), which probably single-handedly sent about 250K unique visitors to my blog. The Polaroid Redesign V2 was also the first blog design that paid for itself in terms of the ads I sold, so it signaled a “first of many” trend for me.

collis_taeedCollis Ta’eed – www.envato.com

I’m most proud of the very original FlashDen.net site from back in 2006.  It’s not my best design or CSS work, and looking back it had a long way to go to becoming really usable, but I’m proud of it because it was the site that started Envato!


davidaireyDavid Airey – www.davidairey.com

I’m most proud of my two blogs, the self-titled David Airey and Logo Design Love. I’ve learned a great deal from the people who visit, and the content helps potential clients to decide if I’m the right man for their design project. They’re also the longest combined project I’ve worked on, approaching three years now.

elliotjaystocksElliot Jay Stocks – www.elliotjaystocks.com

It’s hard to pick one, but I think the ‘Blue Flavor’ poster I did for Blue Flavor was one of my favourite projects. I had loads of fun doing it and I was really pleased with the end result, as was the client. It was the kind of job I’d do for the pure enjoyment anyway, so it was great for it to actually be paid work! I got to do some drawing, mess around with a few cool typographic and textural treatments, and generally have a lot of fun mixing up illustration and design.

leemunroeLee Munroe – www.leemunroe.com

The Big Word Project [www.thebigwordproject.com]

I co-created this website while at University with Paddy Donnelly. It was a ‘small’ side project to help me research web apps and to try out Ruby on Rails (and to try and make a little bit of money). The Big Word Project we set about listing all the word of the dictionary and selling them for $1 per letter. By buying a word you linked it to your website of choice. First family and friends started buying words, then John Gruber mentioned it on his blog and that kicked off a hoard of bloggers buying words to their sites. The highlight was getting interviewed by Wired magazine. The website still survives today and has sold over 6,800 words.

chrisspoonerChris Spooner – http://blog.spoongraphics.co.uk

My piece of work I’m most proud of has to be my site over at Blog.SpoonGraphics. I built it purely as an experiment to gain a feel for the world of blogging, and it soon started to take off and developed a good profile in the community. It has continued to develop and now has reached an amazing level of exposure, seeing huge traffic and subscriber stats. It has also built me a great profile against my name, bringing stacks of opportunities from interviews on various sites, appearances in magazines and even the odd book! With none of this never being expected it’s definitely my most valuable achievement.


andy-sowardsAndy Sowards – www.andysowards.com

My most prized piece of work so far is definitely my blog/portfolio site – http://www.andysowards.com . The reason for this is simply because it was my launching pad to what I am today, its my constant piece of ongoing work. It will never be perfect but with each revision (it was recently/currently redesigned and is now almost officially on version 2.0) it gets a little closer to what I want it to be.


I have had a LOT of fun working on it and in the process have learned so much about WordPress and its inner workings so that I can pass on that knowledge and value to my clients. Everytime I see it, I get a feeling of accomplishment, and am always thinking of ways I can improve it and bring more value to my readers/clients.

jonphillipsJon Phillips – www.spyrestudios.com

For some reason I’m particularly proud of Design-Newz.com. It took me about 5 or 6 hours to design and code this site (much less than usual) I was feeling inspired and creative and just went ahead with this simple idea I had. I’m known for redesigning my sites all the time, but I haven’t touched this one (except minor tweaks) since its launch and it’s been online for a while now. This design has been stolen, copied, plagiarized, etc… many times! And that’s probably why I’m proud of it.


cindy-liCindy Li – www.cindyli.com

Back in 1999 Star Wars Episode 1 came out. My coworker, Jonatha Caspian and I were discussing the costumes that year and I told her how I thought the Queen Amidala costume was beautiful. She suggested I create that. I told her I didn’t even know how to sew. I believe I started that project in August. The first month I spent researching every photo I could get my hand on of the dress and gathering supplies. Jonatha taught me how to sew and I ended up creating that costume at night after work for another month. I would photo copy the embroidery on the front panel of the dress and enlarge it so I could draw the pattern in paint on the fabric. I had to think out of the box to create that costume for instance the bubbles at the bottom were plastic and I bought three Nerf footballs and spray painted them with transparent stained glass paint. I even added lights to the inside that were battery operated so they glowed at night. The headdress was made of cushion that is used in couches and carved for the shape then wrapped with hair extensions.

In 2001 when the Smithsonian museum hosted the Star Wars exhibit I wore it on the metro into the exhibit (they asked people to dress up on the first day). I had been in a car accident the week before so I wasn’t moving that fast and I missed the group photo but I still had fun because tourists kept asking to take their photo with me (they thought I was part of the exhibit).

Now this costume sits on a mannequin and gets worn by various geeky friends when they come into my apartment and you can see it here.

sambrownSam Brown – sam.brown.tc

The CV design I created for the Steve Stevenson Challenge (part of the Smashing Magazine article How To Create A Great Web Design CV and Résumé) is a piece I’m unusually proud of. It’s not something you come to design very often, and it’s not my preferred method of design but the work I put into this I am very happy with.


Not to mention the fantastic response it received, I’ve had many an email thanking me for releasing the template that has been downloaded thousands of times and most recently it has been licensed to be included in a new CV building application that is on the horizon. It might have been a spare time effort, but I am indeed very proud.

oliverkerOliver Ker – www.oliverker.com

What am I most proud of? This is probably a mixture of personal and ‘work’ related. I chose this piece of work as, number one, it is my Son which I am always proud of and all the new things he does every day (he is two years old now). And number two, it is a personal project that I really enjoyed working on, and it came out pretty much exactly how I envisaged it. Working on a computer everyday limits the time I get to pick up a pencil to work with.


davidperelDavid Perel – www.obox-design.com

First off is GTPlayground.com. It was the first of it’s kind at the time and filled it’s niche perfectly. It was also the first time I ventured into the CSS and Div world. On top of that I programmed the entire thing myself. Not a single plugin was used. Considering that my main focus has always been design I am still proud that I managed to create that beast.

Secondly, I am proud of what we did with From the Couch. That site took about 10hrs to create but has changed the way we do business online and offline. It has opened doors that we never knew needed opening and given us access to some pretty influential peeps in the web industry. I am proud that we got there first (daily web vlog) and never gave up. I am also pretty stoked with how the redesign came out

matthew-smithMatthew Smith – www.squaredeye.com

I would honestly say that I’m probably most proud of this design at  this point (of those I can show) attached. The Matthew Henry Project.


Martin BeanMartin Bean – www.mcbwebdesign.co.uk

What piece of work am I most proud of? Probably one my latest pieces, a website for a family member’s pub. It doesn’t sound that fantastic and it may not be a website for a multimillion pound organisation, but it was still fun and rewarding to see the finished product launched.

Why is this project the one I’m most proud of? Good question. Maybe it’s because being primarily a website developer, I normally don’t get unleashed on designing a website from the very beginning. Maybe because it was a break from crafting away on the back-end of corporate websites. Or it may be because it was the first project in a long time where I got to see it out from the very beginning to the end, when the site was launched.


The website is fairly basic and not that complex, but I felt the way the site ended up looking and working was a success, especially when you consider it was designed and built over the course of a couple of days. The site is˜like many others˜powered by a bespoke content management system and features various modules for different types of content, such as news articles, upcoming events, a photo gallery and feedback form. There is also a few enhancements powered by jQuery, such as pop-up details on events and gallery images that adds a little sparkle to the finished product, which can be found at www.doga68.com.

kyle-steedKyle Steed – www.kylesteed.com

My favorite piece of work, or the work I’m most proud of (to date), isn’t just one piece but a collection of paintings I like to call the “inner beast” series. I completed these 6 paintings nearing the end of my military service in Japan in the summer of 2007. They reflect the inner struggles I (we) all go through in life. I like to think that we all have animal instincts. So instead of paintings some abstract colors or shapes to express emotion, I wanted to dress my emotions up and give them some character.


The reason I chose these as my favorite is because they are so personal and really the first official collection of anything I have done to date. I hope to complete more work like this in the future.

chris-pirilloChris Pirillo – http://chris.pirillo.com/


But don’t look to me to tell you why – look to the reviews we’ve received over the years, especially this past weekend’s event.


Thanks to everyone who got involved in the article, it is greatly appreciated. I look forward to hearing about your own work and which pieces you’re most proud of.

If you want to get involved in future posts, get in touch via the contact page with a bit of info on yourself and what you do and I’ll be in touch.

Dont stick with what youve been taught

I recently contributed an article to Fuel Your Creativity titled “Don’t stick with what you’ve been taught, you’re a creative so get creative!” I enjoyed writing the article and was honored by the comments left over at FyC.



Too many people look at other work and are again directly influenced by what they see. I say look at other mediums that are not directly linked to your own, look out for works of art that you could indeed work with for colour palettes. Look at beautiful brochures that could be linked to a new blog design, the world is your oyster.

Check out the post at Fuel Your Creativity and let me know your thoughts on the subject.

I interview Prisca Schmarsow

I recently had the chance to interview Prisca Schmarsow about work, teaching, web dev/design and everyday life. Thanks Prisca for taking part!

prisca_portraitSQFull name and Age please

Prisca Schmarsow, 39

Favourite Biscuit and Drink?

Amaretti & Capuccino

Last book your read and last movie you saw?

Book:: “Designing for the Web” (Mark Boulton)
film:: “Coraline”

Where and when did it all start?

Well, I was one of those people …. I used to think I am not cut out for working with computers. I started with hand-drawn visuals, doing pub blackboards and drawings/illlustration for adverts and did not think I would get my head around being creative on a ‘machine’. Quite funny now to think of it….
Gently pushed by my partner – I eventually did venture into the digital arena by doing a graphic design course – and it all started there. Painter was, and in many ways still is, my favourite app at the time. Doing graphic design work – I was soon drawn to the internet and its design possibilities. Though I was by then quite happy to work digitally – I was still a bit of a techno-phobe, thinking my head would not be able to cope with the technical complexities. So when I did start with webdesign – I took the then easier road of flash design. It gave me complete control over my designs. I absolutely loved creating flash websites though I of course soon realised its drawbacks and its place within webdesign overall.

And then there was “designing with web standards” by Jeffrey Zeldman, introducing me to webstandards and a better web 🙂 After finding Eric Meyer and his site – I went onto to learn handcoding and CSS from online resources — and here I am 🙂

Is there anyone in the industry you look up to?

There are many, too many to list really. I love the web for its online community spirit — I feel I owe my knowledge and understanding to all the helpful and lovely geeks out there. I could tell you lots of stories on how various people have helped me through various stages of learning webdesign – this would fill a book 😉


Suffice to say that Eric Meyer is my all time guru – I feel I owe him and Jeffrey Zeldman my current career. Had it not been for their writing, sharing of knowledge and inspiration on so many levels – I don’t think I’d be doing what I am doing now and loving it. And of course now there are many more inspiring people, too many to mention.

You teach web design, how did you get in to teaching?

Teaching is not something I ever envisaged myself doing, to be honest. I’d been working with graphic and flash design for about 2 years when the training place where I had done my first course had a vacancy for a graphic design and multimedia tutor. I would not have dreamed to apply but work was slow and my former tutor encouraged me to go for it. So I did – and to my surprise got the job despite my complete lack of experience. And though it was incredibly nerve-wracking initially – I loved it. Now I run the ‘design for the web‘ (as well as the ‘digital animation‘) course at TowerHamlets College and can teach what I consider good working practices to my students, hoping to send them into our industry with good skills – aware of what matters: good user-friendly design, web standards, accessibility and so on. And the ones who make it – make me proud 🙂

What does a general day consist of for you?

Always start with a cup of coffee 🙂 I usually work on several projects at the same time, splitting my day’s time between them. Depending on whether the academic year is in flow or whether I can focus entirely on design – I divide my time up between my 2 jobs, taking care of my clients as well as my students. I usually take care of formalities in the morning and do a lot of the creative work towards the end of the day or evening. Love the holidays from teaching for being able to keep my own hours so I can do some late sessions if the mood takes me.

As well as teaching you also have your eyedea.eu team, how is that going?

The eyedea team is currently undergoing a change – we’re working on our new site at the moment as  we are shifting our focus now primarily onto webdesign. It all started as a freelance collective, combining multiple skills and working together as a team. Two heads are always better than one and we love collaborating on various projects and learning from each other.


As time went on we continued to work mainly on webdesign projects so we’ve decided to refocus. We’ve all still got our own areas and specialities, from photography over illustration to writing – but our main field remains the web. So I’m really enjoying designing our new site and looking forward getting it out there.

Where does your heart lie, with design or development?

Design all the way… I do enjoy the challenge of coding and certain aspects of front end development – but if I had to chose one over the other, nothing can beat design. I’m a big fan of the Bauhaus and its principles which are my motivation. Design is for people—has purpose—aims to be used and enjoyed though it might go unnoticed through its successfully designed and implemented functions.

Do you prefer teaching or full time design and development?

It’s the balance between the two that I like. Though teaching can be very hard work at times (mainly due to the bureaucratic mountain of paperwork it involves) it also keep you on your toes. I enjoy the challenges it brings and the learning environment, I remain a student myself.

And I do love design work, from start to finish – love the entire process and couldn’t do without it. And I do consider myself a designer who teaches and not the other way around so I suppose design would have to be my final choice.

What do you consider to be the biggest contributing factor to your success?

The open and sharing spirit of the web. Without the many many friendly and sharing people online I would not be doing or loving what I do. In my early days of flash design – I learnt everything from online resources. I had had 1 day of flash introduction and went from there. Learning from online tutorials, forums, even personal support from individuals. My first ever site went online with someone in the Netherlands holding my hand – taking me through every single step via online chat. Overwhelmed by the technical aspects – it would have taken me ages by myself so this was a major moment for me – and I could not believe how supportive the online community could be.
Fast forward to “designing with web standards” – had it not been for Jeffrey’s book – and then Eric’s site…. I would not be handcoding now, or even have a clue about good webdesign. And then there are people like … actually too many to mention, I’d only forget some vital names. Sites like ‘A List Apart’, blogs by inspiring designers as well as developers who explain in plain English complex techniques and so on keep me learning all the time. (This is why I don’t really agree with the term ‘self taught’. Though I did the learning by myself in a physical sense – I would not say I am self taught – but rather have been taught by so many  lovely geeks online)

So the short answer simply is: the biggest contributing factor are is the open and sharing spirit online.

Are you a mac or PC user?

Mac – though I think I was just lucky to learn on a mac. Saying that – I have to admit I am always in favour of gorgeous visuals which is why I’m happily sticking with Apple 🙂

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Hopefully continuing to try to make the web a better place alongside everyone else.

Will you be heading to anymore conferences in the near future?

Would love to – depending on time and money. At times some of the best conferences clash with my teaching — or are simply too pricey for a freelancer… But I do love the talks and the slides seem to be getting more creative now as well.

Prisca Schmarsow Portfolio Website

Logo Design process for Stratega Group Ltd

The logo design project was completed as part of a full branding project. Stratega Group Ltd is a new financial company based in the United Kingdom dealing with large clients in various financial fields.

With no previous brand, I was given free reign to develop something new. With some guidelines and wishes from the client I started the process;

Brainstorming and Sketching…

logo brainstorming

logo design process

Logo Design Sketches

logo sketching

logo sketches

I presented ideas based on the meanings of the core subjects and in this case Stratega, Strategies, Strategy expanding into Achieving, Tactics, Goals and Planning.

The core meaning of a strategy is;

To achieve an action through use of tactical dynamic planning and skill.

The ideas were expanded and I looked at how strategies are enabled specifically looking at battle strategies and more so the most prominent and effective strategies or formations in recent and past history.

This led me on to thinking about the “Art of War” by Sun Tzu and his conception of the “3 Pronged Attack” where a centre force would go straight for the enemy and the left and right forces would move left and right to flank the enemy force and crush them in their centre disabling the enemy in one fell swoop.

The visualisation in my sketches show how financial planning and strategies can achieve goals, i.e. cutting costs or expenditure.


During the design phase I considered various colors;

Primary Colours:

  • Black – Wealth and Sophistication
  • Soft Grey – Respect & Wisdom
  • Strong Purple – Efficient and Intelligent

Secondary Colours:

  • Blue – Trustworthy
  • Red – Strength and Passion

For the initial designs I chose “Bree Bold” which I wasn’t particularly happy with..

I had been sketching various versions of the three prongs and had to progress from my initial drawings as it looked slightly wrong, something I was obviously keen to stay away from.


The client was perfect every step of the way, providing feedback when needed. Some of the feedback on the ideas above came back like this;

Reminded us of opening sequence of Dad’s Army

The other logos gave us the impression that the word had almost been miss spelt, if you see what I mean, through the highlighting and the arrows on the “E”.

The feedback requested that I also look in to the Power option. I wanted to steer away from the ‘Money’ side of things as it would be far to tacky and ‘normal’ for my liking.

So I spun the whole strategy and power on it’s head. The most powerful formation within an armed force, especially in a cavalry troop is the Wedge or ‘Flying V’ as it is sometimes called, this formation can pierce the hardest infantry line and is extremely powerful.

I mixed the flying V into a few different version and came up with No.3 (purple background), the individual triangles are broken down to represent the units within the ‘Wedge’, the three separate ‘Wedges’ on top of each other represent the 3 pronged attack and powers in numbers. It’s all just an abstract view which works very well together. I changed the typeface, moved it away from “Bree” which it was originally to “Often” and believe it suites very well.




Options 1 and 2 were brought out of doing No.3.

The client chose Option 3, which was my preferred choice.

The Stratega Group Ltd branding process was an awesome job to work on, the clients were an absolute dream to work with.

It’s coming, 30 Christmas eCommerce designs

As mad as it sounds, it’s now August and we’re getting closer to Christmas. I decided to look back at last Christmas and the design trends of 30 eCommerce websites.

Overall there was not a significant winning idea on what to do, with some retailers not bothering at all. Below are the companies which did…

Starbucks have gone for a full design of red, but only on their .com website.

Borders are sticking to the red theme using some snow as a nice touch.

macy’s are sticking with their red homepage after their fall sales design.

Continue reading It’s coming, 30 Christmas eCommerce designs

Designers, what was your first piece of work?

As designers progress through their careers they sometimes forget where they started. Some designers can spend well over 40 years in the industry and will still carry on designing well in to retirement. The trouble of HDD errors and random formatting throughout a computers life can erase a designers early days. Unless you’ve been willfully backing up your work from the early days it’s very difficult to keep track of where the “old stuff” is.

I spoke with quite a few designers who still had some of their “old stuff” to show off, and to see what kind of work they started doing way back when. A lot of the text is un-changed from the emails I received as I wanted the designers themselves to critique their own work. It’s amazing to see how far most of them have come.

David Perel – http://www.obox-design.com

I do indeed, in my spare time I used to design helmets and the first design I ever did was a helmet which created using Microsoft Paint in order to create the outlines and then Fireworks to paint it. It is attached.


Ryan Downie – http://www.ryandownie.com

Here is a screenshot of the very first full websites that I did. I am not scared to show it.

It was my own portfolio site that seemed to do pretty well on the CSS Galleries, and was launched just over fifteen months ago.

It was coded all in html and css without a CMS solution (as I didn’t know what one was back then) and i soon got fed up of having to go through and edit all the pages. I soon realized the error of my ways and scrapped it.

Version 2 is in the pipelines and a few of you will have seen this, and is expected to be launched towards the end of August.


Tim Van Damme – http://www.madebyelephant.com

[Gavin] – Tim was in London at the time of the post being but together and still very kindly emailed providing a link to his old work. One piece is below. [/Gavin]


Pasquale D’Silva – http://www.darkmotion.com

These are my first vector pieces from back in 05ish:


David Airey – http://www.davidairey.com

I’ve kept that online to remind myself how crap I once was. It’s a veritable feast of MS Frontpage and tabular design, with a horrific logo and a jumped-up, generic business name.


Chris Spooner – http://www.spoongraphics.co.uk

An old print design project from my first job, a magazine page ad for local events.


Gabriel Segura – http://www.cssmania.com

My first design in 2004 worth to show, attached. The rest, can be seen in http://nv30.com up to today, 2009.


Oliver Ker – http://www.oliverker.co.uk

I created this way back in high school, must be about 1999/2000 when we were just allowed to start using computers and photoshop for projects. This isn’t the first piece I did but I remember the first piece. It was when we got our first PC for Christmas ’95 and I drew a golf green with flag pole in PAINT – it was awesome! Back to this piece – it was for a packaging project as part of my GCSE’s. The Video cover (yes video!) was created in photoshop and I managed to squeeze in as many cliches in as possible (hey, it was the first time I’d used a computer for design!) Look at the ‘graphic pen filter’, unnecessary emboss, and really bad cut outs! The photos were fine, but the deadline got so tight that when it came to printing it out there was a problem with the printer and not even the teachers could get it to work correctly and this is how I had to hand it in!

I could have chosen a piece that looked kinda ok but thought this is the fun of it and probably the first time I got onto a computer, all my designs previous is drawn and sketched and not too bad!


Chris Merritt – http://www.pixelightcreative.com

Screenshot of version 1.0 of pixelightcreative.com. Tables, baby! Be gentle in your article!


Jon Phillips – http://www.spyrestudios.com

I did this website for a friend of mine. He’s a magician and the website was (and still is) for promoting his services and booking. Of course when I built this website I did it all with tables and inline CSS and put as many keywords in the meta keywords and description as possible. I did this website back in the days when people thought you could just stuff a page with related keywords and easily end up on the 1st page of Google for those keywords. Things have changed a lot since! 🙂


Kevin Crafts – http://www.kevincrafts.com

I’ve attached a screenshot of my personal site in flash (yikes).


Steve Smith – http://www.orderedlist.com

So, I remembered this website that I made back when I was in high school. I used to keep and breed a fish called the Jack Dempsey, and I made a Geocities website about them. I haven’t seen this site in years, but thanks to archive.org, I managed to pull up a version of it from 1999, which would have been about a year after I stopped updating it. Hope you enjoy! (oh, this is hideous!)


Lee Munroe – http://www.leemunroe.com

I did this for a cinema about 5/6 years ago (It’s still online)


Jonathan Snook – http://snook.ca

A portfolio site that I had put together in late ’99. I did sample company layouts to demonstrate my design and HTML skills. Sadly, I don’t think it helped me land a single job. 🙂


Matthew Smith – http://www.squaredeye.com


Mike Kus – http://thethingswemake.co.uk

Whilst the site is very nice, Mike assures me this is the first site he built. I checked the code, it’s all in tables so it must be a first!


Jason Santa Maria – http://www.jasonsantamaria.com

Sure thing. I actually wrote about this a while back and the previous versions of my sites are online:




Jacob Cass – http://www.justcreativedesign.com

This was one of my very first logos for a heavy metal band called Anno Domini or “After Death” back in 2004 (was aged 16) before I had any design training at all.


Veerle Pieters – http://veerle.duoh.com/

I had to dig into my archives and go look for stuff that is not laying around here since it is so old 🙂 I started out in ’92 so that’s ‘pre-internet-dino’ time 🙂 I was a print designer back then. I still am, but it’s not the mayor part anymore like it was back then.

My very very first design of a brochure is incomplete (I only found parts of it) so I’m showing you my 2nd one. It dates back to ’92. Computers (Macs) had only 4 MB of RAM back then (imagine!) 🙂 So some of the things were done by hand (analog) still: photos were placed into the layout at prepress agencies etc. This 2nd brochure is also designed that same year. The logo is not designed by me btw, so it’s just the layout of the brochure. On the back there is a watercolor I made. I still have the original watercolor.

This is really old stuff and definitely not ‘my best’ design (I came a long way since then). The means were different to, like I mentioned before. All imagery was still done analog e.g. the illustrations of the tiles, is not digital, it’s paper that was scanned in at the prepress agency.


Cameron Moll – http://www.cameronmoll.com

There’s something so childhood-photo-ish about diving into one’s personal website archives. But it’s amazing to see how far we’ve really come—or how far we have yet to go.

Prepare yourself for legendary FrontPage 98 code.


Andy Sowards – http://www.andysowards.com

Basically when I was learning to use photoshop I was like 18 or 19 at the time, and would take pictures from my camera phone and grunge them up and post them on myspace, thankfully I don’t use myspace anymore LOL. This is probably one of my first attempts of that.


Rob Palmer – http://www.branded07.com

Ok don’t laugh!! Please find attached a visual of the first website I ever designed!

The site was called Torqair, and it was a micro site advertising Brake and Motor products. (Built solely in flash!) Oh the fun!


Elliot Jay Stocks – http://www.elliotjaystocks.com

This is nowhere near my first design project, as I’ve been designing forever, but this was one of the first websites I designed after joining EMI as Junior Web Designer, and that was my first ‘proper’ job after leaving uni:


Not everyone had a screenshot…

Paul Boag – http://www.boagworld.com

Unfortunately I do not have a screen shot of my first website anyway. It wasn’t much to look at to be honest. It was a site for Rank Films and consisted of the rank logo (you know, the guy hitting the large gong) centred on a grey background (no background colours at that stage) with a load of left aligned text underneath (no table based layout yet!).

Hundreds of Free Grunge Photoshop Brushes

Are you looking for FREE grunge photoshop brushes? I have compiled a list of resources where you can find hundreds of free photoshop grunge brushes. If you can find anymore, send the link through and it will get added to the list.

Brusheezy have a massive range of brushes which you can filter to gain access to their hundreds of FREE grunge photoshop brushes.

Bittbox have 5 sets of grunge wings providing 10 brushes in total.

The Outlaw Design Blog have a range of photoshop brushes which are free. Some of the best brushes in this post are on that blog.

We Function have a free grunge brush set holding 33 subtle grunge textures and effects. They have a lot more to offer so head over.

Continue reading Hundreds of Free Grunge Photoshop Brushes