Don Halstead [dhalstead]
What is your specialty?
I specialize in creating integrated marketing campaigns (print + web) for my clients including copy writing and developing marketing strategies.
Where can we view your portfolio online?
What made you interested in design?
I don't ever remember a time when I wasn't designing something.
What has been your professional career path?
In over 30+ years working in advertising, I spent the first 12 years working for major ad agencies (including 10+ years with Ogilvy & Mather) and the last 20 years working for myself.
Have you received any awards for your work in the field of design?
I don't enter awards competitions.
What is your motivation? What makes you get up in the mornings?
Seeing the beautiful design work around me, including from other designers, in museums, in nature, gives me inspriation in my work.
How would you define your design style?
My design style is best described and clean & simple. I have always believed "my style" should be whatever is appropriate for my clients' work.
How do you promote and move your work?
I promote my work with my website, blog, Twitter, Facebook and the usual networking.
In which new areas would you like to experiment?
I have worked in digital art for about 15 years, with inkjet prints as the finished product. I work with my own photography. Some of my work is posted at:
Shapes, color, concept: where do you usually begin when conceiving a design?
I always begin with a marketing strategy and concept with my designs. I generally begin with the written word - words motivate me more than anything else.
What are your sources for documentation and to generate ideas?
I try to look at as much design around me to keep my inspiration full. Of course, the web is a constant source of inspiration, and everything else from museums to nature inspires me.
What is your favourite type of customer?
My favorite clients are ones which want to contribute to the creative process and participate in their own advertising campaign.
To a certain point, is copying justifiable?
Everything has been done before. No designer creates anything completely original, though I believe it is entirely possible to develop a new take on an old design technique or look. Blatant plagiarism is never justifiable.
List some things you dislike seeing in design.
I dislike copying trends for the sake of being trendy. I find that designers who don't ask why certain things seem to be done the way they are by everyone else are doing themselves, and their clients, a great dis-service. Every aspect of any good design should have a reason for being done and serve a purpose.
Do you believe the newer generations are better at designing?
I believe newer generations are better at the latest design techniques & tools, and every new generation is comprised of a large segment which lacks basic design principles. It seems there's always a large group of designers in every generation who are taught about the tools and not the foundations to use them properly. Anyone can learn to use a tool.
With which type of client would you decline in working for?
Any client who doesn't see the value in what I do would be a client whose work I would decline. I find so many clients who hire designers don't really have any appreciation for the skills and time needed to do a good job. And this manifests in all sorts of problems in the working relationship, from power struggles to an unwillingness to pay for finished work.
How do you calculate budgets for a design project?
After meeting with a client a getting a sense of the project(s) and the nature in which any client would work, I prepare estimates based on time and always allow a range of costs for the unknown.
Which software applications do you most utilize in your work?
The Adobe Suite of products, and all the sundry word processing, spreadsheet & database software needed to conduct business along with the wide range of on-line tools for working and communicating.
Up to what point do your designs reflect your personality?
It depends on the nature of the project. When I am contracted to create an entire campaign for a client, from logo and website designs, my personality is very present in the work. Sometimes my job is to create new pieces in an existing campaign which requires interpreting another designer's personality.
How do you distinguish passing fads from mainstays in new trends?
Passing fads tend to have no foundation is good, basic design principles. Trends which become mainstays are firmly rooted in good design, and are rare.
If you weren't a designer, what would you be doing?
I will always be an artist of some type, and think being a writer would be my alter-ego.
At this moment, what would be your dream job or project?
A dream project would always consist of having a client who believes in being part of the team, and believes in fair payment for superior work.
Can you see yourself in this field twenty years from now?
I ask myself this question every day and still have no answer!
Which design resources online do you frequently visit?
Too many to list.