I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing Brian Hoff, the man behind the popular design blog The Design Cubicle. I hope you enjoy the interview! Of course feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions for Brian or you just want to say hi! :)
Hi Brian! First I’d like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Can you tell our readers a little about yourself, what you do, where we can find you online and where you’re from?
I’m an independent graphic designer from Philadelphia focusing on brand identity and web design. I am the founder of the design blog, The Design Cubicle, which focuses on helping and inspiring other designers and promoting design awareness to clients. It also showcases my work, creative processes and experiences.
My site, www.brianhoff.net is a more personal extension of my blog, which shares more personal resources, information and work. I call it my INFOlio, information portfolio.
How long have you been blogging and how (or why) did you start a blog?
November 11th is my one-year birthday of The Design Cubicle (so stayed tuned for a complete redesign and giveaway!). I started blogging for a number of reasons: To share and interact with other designers, to help educate and inspire both clients and designers and also serve as an extension to my visual portfolio — I’ve always felt that my blog and writing has helped me become a better designer.
A typical day in the life of Brian Hoff, how is it like? What do you enjoy the most about your work?
My day begins around 8:30am and starts off with a bowl of cereal and strong cup of tea — then it’s off to reading my RSS feeds, emailing, proposals (if need be that day), Twitter and then on to the projects.
I absolutely love typography and simplicity so I would have to say those are my two favorite aspects of my work, and something that I strive to become better at — I don’t think I will ever be satisfied with my work, both good and bad, but it drives me to keep improving and learning.
What does your workspace look like? Clean and organized, messy and chaotic or somewhere in between?
When working my workspace can become a bit messy, but as soon as the day is over, my obsessive tidiness kicks in.
What would be the biggest mistake you’ve made as a designer / developer / blogger / entrepreneur?
Although this sounds like a cliche answer, I would have to say every ‘mistake‘ I have made was a learning experience. I would not be where I am today had it not been for mistakes.
Having recently in the past 8 months gone full time independent, running a business and handling clients has been an on going learning process for me, as well as time management. Both are on my top priority list for improvements to my business.
If you could give a single piece of advice to people who would like to follow your steps, what would it be?
You have to be passionate about what you do — if you start blogging or designing (or anything) for the wrong reasons you will never succeed to the best capability.
Although running your own business has it’s advantages, it’s a full time job. And when I mean full time, I mean my work and my business never ends. I’m always responding to emails, blogging on weekends, networking with people when having drinks at bars, etc — It never stops.
What project are you currently working on that you’re particularly proud of, or excited about? If you can’t talk about it for some reason, can you tell us what project you had the most fun working on in the past?
Although I am not able to release the name of the company at this moment, I have been working on a huge branding project for an online-based company that involved color scheming, logo, stationery, merchandising collateral (bags, wrapping paper, etc.) and an e-commerce website (which I’m currently working on at the moment). It’s progressing beautifully!
If you had to chose only one typeface or only one app or software, what would it be and why?
One typeface… ouch that’s a tough one! How about one type foundry? Anything by H&FJ is brilliant!
As far software that is not the obvious for a designer, I would say LittleSnapper. It’s great solution for capturing and organizing inspiration.
Your 3 favorite blogs or online resources (not necessarily design related)
What’s in your iPod?
Too many to note here, but a few of my favorite bands/artists at the momemt include The Decemberists, Air, Cake, Manchester Orchestra, Modest Mouse, Tool, Pixies, Plus/Minus, Ratatat, The Shins, and Sigur Ros. I’m also a huge fan of ambient drum and bass — great design music!
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Brian!
Stay tuned! We have one more interview scheduled, which will complete our interview series! :)