Chances are, if you’ve been following the design wing of the blogosphere, you know the name of logo designer David Airey. He’s been writing inspiring content for just over two years and has developed quite a following, inspiring many to start their own blogs. He’s also the person behind one of the web’s best logo blogs — Logo Design Love. David was kind enough to answer a few questions about his home, his process, blogging and thoughts.

AC: Hi David, thanks for taking the time to have a chat. Let’s start with your home of Scotland. You’ve said before that you find inspiration in the Scottish outdoors—can you provide any photos or describe some of your favorite spots? What is it that you love about it and how do you find it stimulates your creativity?

DA: Hi Alex, you’re more than welcome for my time. Thanks for asking me to contribute to your website.

I did find great inspiration in the Scottish outdoors, though for the past couple of months I’ve been living in Northern Ireland, my birthplace. There’s an equal amount of beauty in the Irish countryside though, so I spend a fair amount of time in the fresh air.

My creativity is stimulated by everything around me. Nature, architecture, people. There’s no one source that’s greater than others.

A photo of Dunluce Castle from the North coast of Ireland

AC: When you think about your first job as a designer, is it a fond memory or a terrifying one? How would you have done the job differently now?

DA: My first employed design position was one I greatly enjoyed. I was responsible for the branding and marketing material for a small Scottish cancer charity, and I learnt a great deal about the print industry by being thrown in at the deep end. If I was to take on the task again, I’d be more confident in expressing ideas, although back then I knew a lot less than I do now (still a long way to go, however).

By treating my clients with respect from the outset,
I find they’re much more likely to do the same

AC: What is it that you do in an effort to work with a client, rather than for one?

DA: Good question, and one that’s hard to answer. I find the vast majority of my clients come to me because they believe I can offer ideas they wouldn’t have necessarily thought of. I like to think my website gives this impression. By treating my clients with respect from the outset, I find they’re much more likely to do the same.

AC: How do you feel about the work you’ve done in the last 12 months? Are you satisfied with what you’ve learnt and designed?

DA: I’m fine with how I’ve been progressing, and as each month goes by, I know I’ve learnt a thing or two (be it from my client relationships or through the excellent design blogs I subscribe to). That said, I find it important to push myself as much as I can, and there’s nothing like being outside your comfort zone to heighten the learning curve.

Effective graphic design was
with us long before computers

AC: How important is research and development off the computer to you? Of the two, which is more important?

DA: Work away from the computer is of great importance, and I stress this fact when publishing blog posts. Effective graphic design was with us long before computers.

AC: Do you ever look back at old sketches? How do you feel about those ideas that you rejected? Ever wish you went down a different road?
(Are you able to please supply any sketches/development drawing you’ve done for some of your favorite jobs to go with this one?)

DA: Alex, you’ll find sketches on these two posts that you’re very welcome to use:

I’m often directed back to old design sketches when people comment on my blog posts. I’m certainly no Picasso, but that’s not the point of sketching. I leave masterpieces to the pros, and pick up a pencil in order to record my thoughts as fast as possible. Computers are very restricting when you need ideas to flow.

No, I never wish I went down a different road. I’m extremely grateful to be where I am today, and will never forget how fortunate I am to have been born into a safe and secure environment.

As a lot of designers insist, David explores a range of options on paper,
refining several ideas before hitting the computer.
A write-up for this logo can be found on his site.

AC: You’ve written that Marks of Excellence by Per Mollerup is the logo design book you’d recommend above all others. What other books on logo and graphic design, typography or any other topic (fiction or non-fiction) would you consider to be favorites of yours? What would you recommend as a good read?

DA: Ed de Bono’s Lateral Thinking is a superb book, written by one of modern time’s greatest thinkers. I’d highly recommend picking up a copy.

For an excellent fiction read, give Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist a try. You won’t be disappointed.

I have a great deal of respect for
AIGA medalist, Michael Bierut

AC: If you could sit down and have a conversation with any designer, alive or dead, who would it be? What do you think you’d ask and like to talk about?

DA: I have a great deal of respect for AIGA medalist, Michael Bierut, and would love to hear his advice concerning my own work, and what he’d do differently.

You’ll find some information on the man here:

AC: Is there any designer’s work that you remember encountering for the first time? Something that blew you away and served as a reminder as to why you love what you do?

DA: To be honest, I can’t name just one. My design education is quite varied, and I ended up focusing entirely on management with a post-grad course. I see new design work almost every day that inspires me, and I’d be doing many people an injustice to name only a few.

A job in which both speed and attention to detail were needed to complete the design, David developed this logo for an LA based organisation early this year.

AC: Do you think the quality of logo design that has been coming out over the last year or so has been up to scratch? Do you feel better work could be produced?

DA: Is there a perfect logo? It’s impossible to please everyone, so if I think a design is ideal, you’re sure to find someone who’ll contradict me.

AC: What do you think a blog needs to be successful? Are there any common traits that your favorite blogs share?

DA: To be successful a blog needs readers. It sounds obvious, but it’s much less straightforward to accomplish. My favourite blogs share one common trait – originality. It might be putting their own spin on a common topic, or publishing information I’ve not seen elsewhere. So my answer is originality, but in different forms.

My favourite blogs share
one common trait – originality

AC: What do you look for in a blog post, logo or piece of design you’re doing for you to be able to say “this is it, this is finished”?

DA: To realise when a logo project is finished, I must first be satisfied the design is effective for the client. Next, the client must be satisfied my design is right for them. Both aspects can take an equal amount of time, or swing one way or the other.

Thanks again for considering me as an interviewee, Alex. All the very best with your own design endeavours.

Thank you David

I first came to know of David and his blog in December of last year, when he had issues with a hacker getting into his Gmail account and did a nasty thing or two. The two things that impressed me then, as they do now, was David’s candour, attitude and his community of readers towards the whole ordeal. Almost a year later and I’m still impressed as David regularly engages in communication with his audience, rather than just speaking to them, something many bloggers should embrace. Not to mention his design sensabilities and passion that come through in his work and his articles. Keep up the good work David, and thank-you for inspiring me and the rest of your audience.


David Airey’s Blog
The homepage of David’s blog. Make sure to check out the Featured Articles to get a taste of David’s writing. If you’re anything like me, you’ll lose a considerable amount of time going back through the archives.

Logo Design Love
Logo Design Love is David’s second blog, a brilliant site for anyone even only slightly interested in branding.