Ally Spotlight: contest winner GAMUT speaks!
Creative Ally Gamut, aka Christian Lindsey, is a three-time contest winner. We decided it was about time we asked him a few questions about his mad logo design skills. Check out this Q & A to learn a little more about him and maybe even pick up a few tips.
Q: Tell us about your graphic design career. How did you break into graphic design?
A: I started college in the fall of 2000. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do as far as a degree, so I took some random art classes because I was interested in art in high school. Little did I know that the college I was attending had one of the best graphic design programs in the country. The teachers and facilities were amazing, so I instantly fell in love with graphic design.
After five years of college, I began putting my portfolio together to look for a job. While at an AIGA portfolio review, I met a creative director from an up-and-coming company that said I had the kind of portfolio that they were looking for in a junior art director. Five years later and 60 more employees, I am still at the same company I started with. JOIN AIGA.
Q: Tell us about your influences.
A: I have always been influenced by my family members. They are the ones who introduced me to art and music. My sister does some of the most amazing children illustrations, so naturally she was a big influence on me growing up. My father always had the latest camera and computer, so he also had a large influence of me as well.
As far as designers, I always looked up to David Carson. I found his designs to be beautiful chaos. As I started to find my own style, I started getting influenced by Scott Hansen of ISO50 and Fabien Barral of Graphic-Exchange because of their similarities to Carson. But after I started my career, I found myself designing logos on a regular basis. Hundreds of logo designs later, I feel like I’ve found my style…simple and clean, the exact opposite of the guys I mentioned earlier.
Q: What do you enjoy most about being a graphic designer?
A: I guess I’m just like any other artist. I enjoy being able to take an idea out of my brain and manifest it into something that people can understand and relate to. If you think about it, a designer’s art is a direct reflection of their thought process. So you’re kind of seeing the way a designer’s brain works by seeing their work.
Q: Do you have a favorite piece of art that you have created that you would like to share with us?
A: Since I’m really passionate about logo design, I would say my favorite piece of art is a logo I created for a friend in Austin, Texas. She and her husband bought a 60-foot chrome trailer called a Spartan and turned it into a pizza joint. She asked me to create an identity for it and of course I accepted.
I immediately did research on the trailer they bought, and also on the history of Spartans. After researching, I started sketching. I came up with some ideas, and the logo I really dug into consisted of a Spartan soldier’s mask with the outline of a pizza around it. I used the shape of a slice of pizza to form the top of the soldier’s helmet. The cool thing about the trailer was that it had some seriously awesome type on it. So I then created a variation of the font from the trailer to spell out the name. It turned into a really cool identity that captures the uniqueness of their pizza joint.
Q: Is there any advice you would like to share with art students and up-and-coming designers?
A: Indeed. Do not be afraid to be critiqued or critique other designers’ work. You will never learn until you first fail. Do not take criticism negatively. Use it to your advantage to become a better designer. DO RESEARCH. Become an expert on the subject before you start doing designs. See what other people have done, and then do the opposite.
DO NOT use display typefaces…ever. It automatically makes you look like you opened up Illustrator for the first time. Buy a book on typography and dig into it hard. The last thing I would share is to design things for fun. Don’t just work on assignments for school. Design things that make you happy, and then put them in your portfolio. Those are the projects that people look for to see if you have true love for graphic design.
Christian’s three wins: check out these “simple and clean” contest-winning logos. Great stuff.
Keep up the great work!