Ben Downing – Tullamarine, Victoria, Australia
99designs handle: weppadesigns®
Projects won: 15
Ben Downing is an Australian designer that is currently studying Commercial Arts. He draws inspiration from both the stunning natural and manmade environments of his hometown of Queensland, which he describes as, “indeed a beautiful place with inspirational natural surrounds from surf beaches to rainforest and waterfalls.”
As both a student and independent freelance designer, Ben has been able to practice his skills on both a corporate and small-business level. He expresses that his personal development and successful experiences as a designer have been the greatest motivation to continue down the career path of graphic design. Ben has found the key to success is to always put the client’s needs first while incorporating your personal creative abilities to produce the best possible outcome.
How did you get started in design? Do you have experience working in any other forms of art?
Design has always played a part in my life ever since childhood. As far back as I can remember I have loved to draw, create, build and tinker. I had the chance after finishing Senior School 11 years ago to pursue Graphic Design, but instead I chose I.T. It was during my previous employment that I really grew into design, starting with the creation of signs and print advertisements for my employer. My keen interest in design and branding resulted in me currently studying Commercial Arts (Graphic Design).
What led you to start using 99designs.com? Can you tell us about your experience thus far?
My brother referred me to an article about 99designs. I thought I had nothing to lose and plenty to learn by submitting some branding and identity (logos) designs to the 99designs marketplace. I was delighted to later win my first contest for “The Icon Group LLC.”
Since then I have been lucky enough to create logos for several large companies through 99designs. I approach each contest determined to understand the client’s needs. I continue timely and polite communication with each contest holder in order to meet their needs and expectations.
What do you love most about being a designer?
My design preference is in the branding and identity (logos) space. I am satisfied when I create an identity or mark for a company which might be used for many years and seen by millions.
Describe your design style.
Simplicity, is my core design goal. I find this allows for flexibility in outcomes and adaptability to meet the contest holder’s needs.
What do you think is the most important part of the design process? Do you have any suggestions to offer to fellow designers or contest holders?
With pen and paper, ideas come faster compared to mouse and screen.
My suggestion to fellow designers: when designing don’t be trapped into thinking that the design has to depict what the contest holder’s company does. Remember to supply an explanation to the contest holder so they understand what you are trying to achieve … and always be polite!
My suggestion to the contest holders: always try and supply designers with as much information in the brief as possible. This helps the designer to focus their creative mind on the outcome you specify. But please be patient; some designers will try different concepts “outside of the square.” If it is not what you are looking for, politely inform the designer but give them a chance to explain their concept. Be as clear as possible about what you want from the design. View the process as a collaboration between you and your preferred designer.
Describe your hometown
I grew up on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, referred to as the “Sunshine State” but presently reside in Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria. The Gold Coast is blessed with sun, surf, clear blue skies and natural beauty. It’s biggest industry is tourism (no surprise there!)
What are some hobbies that you enjoy doing outside of design?
Since I have mainly worked and played with computers for more than 20 years, there is nothing more satisfying (except winning a 99designs contest!) than building and tweaking my PC. After all, I want it to be running at its best to keep up with my work. Whilst I could never describe this as a hobby, I love spending time with my family, friends and pet dogs.