Brian Gardner recently asked me, and some design friends, five questions related to design and blogs. Here’s the short Q and A session.
What is something that would surprise people about you and design?
Most of my graphic design knowledge is completely self-taught, and I’ve learnt perhaps 100 times more since leaving education. I don’t regret my student years one bit, but I’m sure that if I started into businesss sooner, rather than further study, I’d be more ahead of the game at this point in my life.
Regarding WordPress, and blogs, I first found out about both less than a year ago, and I’m sure I’ll be involved with them for a long time to come. It’s amazing what you can pick up in a short period of time (although Brian really has me outdone here).
If you could design one blogger’s site for free, who would it be?
I can’t honestly say. Not because I haven’t done any charitable projects, but because I’m still wet behind the ears where blog design is concerned. My own blog theme is the only one I’ve built from scratch, so I need some practice.
When it comes down to it, I’d like to re-design for someone with similar design tastes, although that would mean they already have a clean, minimal blog design. Just how different can one minimal blog design be from another? Probably quite a lot.
Perhaps it would make more sense to take a cluttered design and turn it minimal? That’d certainly have more impact, and may give greater satisfaction.
What blog platform do you prefer, and why?
WordPress (hosted and self-hosted) is the only blog platform I’ve ever used, so I’m not all that qualified to answer. However, I feel no need to switch to another, and the vast majority of blog authors would back me up. If you think differently, I’d love to know why, and what platform you use.
Aside from your own, what is your favourite blog theme / template?
I reckon Brian asked me this because he knew I’d pick his Vertigo theme for WordPress. I used the three column version for four or five months, heavily modifying it along the way. Vertigo served me very well, which is testament to Brian’s blog design skills.
Do you use any of Brian’s WordPress themes?
Regarding my own layout, I’ll be writing more about it, and the process I went through to get here, in an upcoming article.
Do you have a blog-reading guilty pleasure?
To be honest, lately I’ve not had as much time as I’d like for reading other blogs, which is a blogging mistake, I know. I make a point of accessing my Google Reader almost every day, to see what some choice authors are writing about. In my feed reader are people like: Andy with his niche marketing blog, Daniel who provides some excellent daily blog tips, accomplished graphic designer Mark, Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin, and about 25 or 30 others.
I like to read blogs where I’m going to learn something, which is why I often take a step back and look at my own blog posts. Am I teaching or preaching? I’ve nothing against preaching of course, and I’ve come to call Armen, the Preacher a good friend.
A short footnote
I’ve participated in a few memes in my short time blogging, and have written posts such as 8 facts about David Airey, and The Face Behind The Blog. This one from Brian was a little different, however, as it posed some specific questions relating to design.
If anyone else wants to pick up this meme, by all means go ahead. Char at Essential Keystrokes was the first to pick up Brian’s meme baton.
Brian, thanks for asking.