Meet :: scott :: – a designer who loves building brands. He is an active member of design community at 99designs, winning 48 contests in his first 7 months.
Scott Gladd – USA
99designs handle: :: scott ::
Projects won: 178
How did you get started in design?
I always knew I was going to go to a University and major in some form of art. I actually started out as an Animation Major, and quite honestly had no idea what graphic design was.
I quickly realized that I was not patient enough for animation, and after only one class, began to gravitate towards the order and structure of graphic design. When it came to the problem solving aspect, I relished any challenged. I loved how I was designing something that had an immediate impact on the viewer.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that if you are going above and beyond what is expected purely for the fun of it, then you’ve found your calling.
How do you get your design inspiration?
I pull inspiration from everything and anything that is designed well. There is something to be said for a well-designed house or a vintage sign from the ‘50s. I am kind of in love with anything mid-century. That era had some of the cleanest lines and type we have ever seen.
Design blogs and designer portfolios also inspire me. There are a lot of great designers out there, and I admire their work ethic and process.
My style is gravitating towards a more hand-drawn feel lately. There is something rewarding about seeing a design take shape from a rough sketch in a notebook. It’s a uniqueness that you can’t find anywhere else.
What led you to start using 99designs.com?
I started using 99designs as sort of an experiment to stoke my competitive fires. As I’m sure many of the designers on here can attest, it quickly became a bit of an obsession.
Anyone who is in freelance design knows that it is very hard to build a client base and 99designs helps bridge that gap. I’ve gained numerous great working relationships that to this day still remain in good standing.
99designs helps you solve problems on very minimal feedback and info up front. Discussing design concepts sharpens your communication skills as well as your power of persuasion, which helps you work more efficiently and expeditiously.
What are three things designers can do to have success at 99designs?
I’ve gotten a few emails, skype calls and chat questions from people asking me this very same question…
What can we do to win. Is there a secret… if so tell me. Ok here is what I think about this:
1.) Don’t be a jerk- Learn to take criticism on the chin and turn the other check. If it doesn’t seem to be working, walk away politely and cut your losses.
2.) Design a brand rather than a logo- How can this work in other areas of the business? What can I do to create tangents off of this logo and keep things cohesive? A great logo does this; a bad one is stagnant.
3.) Build a rapport early- We, as designers, know you only get one chance to make a first impression (yes, I know that phrase is cliché). You need to wow them immediately to keep them coming back for more and then they will compare everything else back to your original work.
What do you love most about being a designer?
Problem solving and creating something exciting and timeless from scratch. I love that a great font can do amazing things. I love that in this industry, if you work hard and produce beautiful work, it can snowball into great things. I get to create an identity for someone who is trying to start a business; it’s a good feeling that you played a big part in the success of that individual.