Yiannis Konstantakopoulos [porcupine]
What is your specialty?
Web design, front-end development. Writing comes as a bonus.
Where can we view your portfolio online?
What made you interested in design?
I don't know exactly. I guess it's part of my nature.
What has been your professional career path?
I started as a tutor. Then I worked for several companies as a designer and art director. Now, I'm running my own, tiny but neat, design & development studio.
Have you received any awards for your work in the field of design?
I got my first award several years ago. It was a Greek contest and my work was awarded as the best one in the relevant multimedia area.
Since then my websites have been included in many design galleries around the world. I don't think it's so important but since you asked...
What is your motivation? What makes you get up in the mornings?
I love my work. I many times dream of a solution to a particular problem and that's enough to get me started.
How would you define your design style?
According to what people say my designs are clean, respect the grid and embrace the principles of good typography.
How do you promote and move your work?
I mostly use Twitter but the real promotion is the good old word of mouth process I guess.
In which new areas would you like to experiment?
I mostly care to be better at what I do, not to expand in new areas. However, HTML5 and CSS3 is where I usually focus.
Shapes, color, concept: where do you usually begin when conceiving a design?
Creating the grid and breaking it when there's a reason to do so is another area I care for. Of course art direction is one of the first issues when conceiving a design.
What are your sources for documentation and to generate ideas?
Turning off the Internet is an indispensable part of generating ideas.
Content leads design and content very often imposes the implementation of new ideas. Each idea becomes sharper during sleep or in the shower.
Which festivals or awards in your field do you find most interesting?
Top class events such as An Event Apart or the New Adventures in Web Design conference are my favorite ones.
What is your favourite type of customer?
A customer who listens and respects. That's enough.
To a certain point, is copying justifiable?
It is as long as you push yourself to move beyond that. You have to start from somewhere, but this can never be enough.
List some things you dislike seeing in design.
1. Not enough work behind a design
2. Bloated designs
3. Muted colors
4. Not attention to typography
Do you believe the newer generations are better at designing?
With which type of client would you decline in working for?
Clients who don't pay. Clients who don't respect the effort and the knowledge of the designer.
How do you calculate budgets for a design project?
I try to find out how many hours it's going to take me. Then I multiply the number of hours with my hourly/daily rate and I get a result. The status of the customer can dramatically change this result though.
Which professionals in your field -contemporary or past- do you most admire?
Doug Bowman is the man.
Dan Cederholm, Andy Clarke, Jason Santa Maria and Simon Collison are more than great. And of course the father of all, Jeffrey Zeldman.
Which software applications do you most utilize in your work?
Textmate, (alas) Photoshop and Pixelmator, Transmit and the fresh iA Writer are the main ones.
Up to what point do your designs reflect your personality?
When designing for clients my work doesn't (and shouldn't) reflect my personality. When I design for me my work is 100% me.
How do you distinguish passing fads from mainstays in new trends?
By thinking a lot. By questioning whether a technique solves a real problem or it's just decoration. It all takes a lot of mental work.
If you weren't a designer, what would you be doing?
I'd be an architect maybe.
At this moment, what would be your dream job or project?
To complete the re-design/re-align of my portfolio which is currently a nightmare.
Can you see yourself in this field twenty years from now?
Which design resources online do you frequently visit?
A Lis Apart and WIRED magazine are enough for me. However, I'm trying to keep my mind open and see potential resources nearly everywhere.