AIGA SB is shining a spotlight on our membership in 2014 with our “Three Questions” series. Today’s star is Laurence Orr, principal at NFX Design.
1) Your creative process is refreshingly open. How has that helped your business?
It has helped me quite a bit. Clients who have read my process come into the first meeting already having a good understanding of how I work and where we can start. This speeds things up and helps to minimize the “I need someone to make this pretty” mindset some business decision makers have, opening them to different possibilities.
2) Who are your biggest design heroes, and how did they inspire you or keep you inspired?
- George Lois, “The Big Idea Guy” from the 60’s onward. He is a graphic designer who inspires me to think differently and not be scared to present weird or nonconventional ideas. To this day the MTV logo alone still stands out from the sea of boring television station logos.
- Mike Monteiro, a San Francisco-based web designer who has a great knack for going against common “designer thinking.” He put out a great book, Design is a Job, on not being scared of the business side of design. People like Mike are needed in the design industry to cut through a lot of trendy groupthink. His approach regularly makes me re-assess my own rants.
- Jim and Akiko Davis, Santa Barbara-based architects who inspire me to be precise and pay attention to every detail (especially when those details hold up a whole building!). They design and oversee building beautiful structures that are both functional and quite aesthetically pleasing.
3) Do you have a favorite design or project that you feel best represents your creativity?
I’ve recently come up with a few homebrew beer recipes and I gave them names and labels. I love to concept the weird ideas in my head sometimes. Plus, it has been a good exercise to try to up my typography skills.