Has anyone else been following the GAP logo debacle? After relaunching their logo just last week GAP has have reverted back to the original blue box. According to Ben Parr at Mashable social media played a big role in the speedy turn around. “Ok. We’ve heard loud and clear that you don’t like the new logo. We’ve learned a lot from the feedback,” the company said on its Facebook Page. “We only want what’s best for the brand and our customers. So instead of crowdsourcing, we’re bringing back the Blue Box tonight.”
Twitter and Facebook played a big role but it was also blogs like Scott Hansen’s ISO50 with their GAP logo redesign contest that helped turn things around (a contest entry above by Stephen Jowett). I asked Scott if we could take a tour of his home workspace and learn more about what goes into creating such a successful site.
How long have you worked from home? And where is home? I’ve worked from home for around 10 years with a couple brief interruptions. I split my work into four sections, graphic design, music, the online shop, and the blog. I started out doing visual work (ISO50) and music (Tycho) and both sort of grew out of each other. For instance, I would design the covers and show posters for my music releases. To support myself I started a shop to sell the prints and music. Eventually I created the ISO50 blog as sort of a forum to share my influences and the things that inspire me. Over the past few years I’ve brought on more contributors to broaden the scope of the posts which now includes subjects that are more interactive, like the Gap logo redesign contest. (Alex Cornell, below, is one such contributor and it was Cornell who came up with the contest idea. He is travelling right now but sent an email through last week – “This Gap contest sure has been crazy! I get about one email every 30 seconds with a new submission — I can’t keep up!”)
Describe your style? How would you define your aesthetic? I’d say everything definitely has a sort of tactile cast to it. I want things to feel real, a little aged, even when they’re displayed on the screen (which is how most people experience graphic design these days).
How do you keep your office organized? I’m thinking here of the physical space but also your computer. Are there any particular programs you find really useful? I am not a very organized person in either the physical or digital domains so there’s not much I can say on the subject. I try to keeps a lot of shelves and drawers handy so at least the mess is out of sight. On the computer side I do use a program called Hazel which automatically cleans up designated areas of your drive; that helps a lot.
When you were setting up your home office what did you keep in mind? The problem with the multidisciplinary aspects of my work is that the space is dictated by the function that requires the most equipment. If I was just doing design I could have a super clean workspace but music requires quite a bit of equipment that needs to be conveniently located. I’ve had to make compromises in the way my workspace is set up to suit it’s dual purpose as both music and design studio. My main concerns are lack of clutter and ease of access, but these are often hindered by the needs of the music studio. I play a lot of live shows as Tycho so I also consider the stage to be part of my workspace, or at least and extension of it. In this environment there are many more variables and considerations that have to be made. First and most importantly, everything has to be portable and easy to setup and break down. There are also more considerations for ease of movement and instantaneous access. I’d say I spend more time thinking about this space than my home workspace, because when you’re up there everything has to work and has to work quickly without a second thought.
Is there any piece of home office furniture you wish you had? Of course, that list would never end. I love furniture, particularly furniture of the functional variety. But as a self-employed artist I have to be pragmatic about my application of resources so I limit expenditure to what’s absolutely necessary. The two extravagant pieces I do have are the Embody and Setu chairs. Given how much time I spend sitting at a desk, I have to make health a top priority. All that said, I lust after anything by George Nelson or Dieter Rams.
What is a desk accessory you can’t do without? I’m assuming this doesn’t include input devices because an ergonomic mouse and keyboard are at the top of that list. If we’re talking strictly extraneous, I’d say my articulating monitor arm. I just got it about a year ago and don’t know how I ever lived without it.
What would you change about your own workspace? Make it not be in a basement. I love light and fresh air, two things I don’t get enough of down here. But in a city that’s about the only place you can make this much noise.
What do you most love about your space? That it’s right under my house.
What inspires you? Leaving home, getting outside of my everyday space and my own head. Whenever I travel for an extended period I see it as a sort of self-imposed exile from my obsessions. To walk away and return with a fresh head is the best thing a person living life fully immersed in their work can do for themselves.