Interview with Web Designer & Blogger Niki Brown

This next interview is with Niki Brown, a web designer and blogger living in Boston, MA. Niki works by day at a small web design firm and by night (and in the wee hours of morning) cranks out freelance design and content for a design blog, which I am sure you all know and love, The DesignOBlog.

What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired or burnt out? Do you have any rituals to help you cope? Resources to get you inspired?

One of the first things I do when I feel uninspired is to get as far away from my computer as possible. Last time I felt uninspired I hopped on the subway and headed to an old historical neighborhood of Boston called Beacon Hill. So many old buildings, texture and lovely typography.

Whats your favorite project to date?

My favorite project to date has been my blog, I get to write whatever I want and design things how I like it! :) People say they hate designing for themselves, but I love it.

What do you do at your 9to5?

My 9-5 (or 10-5) ‘day job’ is a Designer at Brunello Creative. We make the internet a better place one website at a time :) We do a lot of web work for Mens Health: (Mens Health Yoga Center, Eat This, Not That.)

How many hours per week do you spend on freelancing/blogging/building your personal brand?

I usually spent 10-20 hours a week freelancing and blogging. Right now its skewing more towards blogging :)

What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and the internet did not exist?

I’m sure I would attend more local networking events if the internet did not exist, and I would probably go crazy…

What do you think of the Tropicana packaging Re-design?

I think Tropicana’s new packaging is horrible.* My friend Steph wrote a good blog post that basically sums up my opinion. I think that drastic redesigns are not the way of the future. Realign, not redesign.

* since my interview with Niki, Tropicana released word that because of negative feedback, they’ve received. The newly designed cartons would be discontinued. Read more about this at NYTimes.com.

Why do you think design is important? How do you see design effecting the day to day lives of ordinary (non-designer) people. What makes “good or bad” design?

Design affects everyone because it influences our decision making. It can be as trivial as a choosing carton of orange juice, or as serious as a way of finding design for a hospital.

I think good or bad design is sometimes in the eye of the beholder (although there are definitely rules that design should follow)

Favorite HEX? #ff0000 although I never use it :)

Do you say “font” or “typeface”? I use both interchangeably, I like breaking the rules like that :)

When setting live San Serif text, which do you choose more often; Helvetica, Arial or Verdana? Unlike some people who hate helvetica, its my trusted and true sans font.

Favorite Keyboard shortcut? Apple + tab

Favorite internet celebrity &/or internet celebrity crush? Gary Vaynerchuk, but only for his wine prowess.

15 Comments

  1. Thanks for interviewing me Liz!

  2. thank YOU!

  3. Fingerprint is like my favourite design/inspiration book of all time. Great interview! That was indeed a lovely banana painting as well!

  4. Great interview… i definitely agree with getting as far away from the computer as possible, when feeling uninspired or burnt out.

    ~ Aaron I

  5. I’ve been starting to worry about getting burnt out or uninspired soon, and wondering what I might do about it. It seems like getting away from the computer for a while should be my first option!

  6. yea, I like to go for really long walks and bring my camera – having a camera with me kind of forces me to pay closer attention of the things around me and I usually end up seeing something that gets my creative juices pumping!

  7. Great interview. I like the idea of getting as far away from a computer when searching for inspiration.

  8. Great little video of your daytime work space and night time work space, very interesting.
    You must get through a lot of bananas!

  9. Nice insight, Niki, and I completely agree about relaxing as far away from computers as possible.

    I also enjoyed your quote, “realign, not redesign.”

    I hope all’s well.

    1. Hey David, thanks for visiting the site! I think Niki is quoting Cameron Moll – am I right Niki?

      His old List Apart article from ’05 is a must read!

  10. Hey, thanks for the shout-out, Niki. :)

  11. John1383 says:

    Very nice site!

  12. Very good post, thank you!

  13. Deepu says:

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Comments are closed.