Del Mauricio is a Graphic Designer and Founder of Aesthetic Philosophies (“Aesphi”) – a graphic design company in the Greater New Orleans area. The business specializes in logo design, graphic design, branding/brand identity design, and video editing. In addition, Del has extensive experience in marketing communications.
— The Logo Creative™ ✏ (@thelogocreative) July 11, 2018
When he’s not designing he enjoys writing articles for his design and marketing blog, online gaming, and travelling.
The Logo Creative – Thanks for taking part Del it’s great to have you.
Del Mauricio – Thanks for reaching out Andrew. It’s an honour to be interviewed and be a part of this series of interviews
The Logo Creative – What was the turning point in your life when you decided to become a designer and how did you proceed?
Del Mauricio – I was interested in graphic design since high school. I loved formatting documents in Microsoft Word; not just for school projects, no. I would do this for fun in the afternoons, playing with fonts, color, shapes, and images. I found it so fascinating and enjoyable. I also used to play with CorelDraw to draw shapes, faces, and landscapes. It’s a shame I never saved those projects, though I’m sure they were terrible.
In a Desktop Publishing class in high school I realized design was something I was not only good at, but enjoyed doing. My senior year I joined the Business Professionals of America (BPA) Club and competed at the state level in Massachusetts in Advertising Design. I placed second – and that motivated me to seriously consider a career in graphic design.
After high school, I got a job as a Sales Administrator at Precision Digital Corp. Soon I began helping with their marketing projects, which included the first logo I ever designed.
A year later I was promoted to Marketing Communications, with full autonomy and responsibility for the design and marketing of the company. I learned a lot on the job. A year after my promotion, I decided to pursue a degree from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in six years while I worked full-time for eight years at Precision Digital Corp. I was crazy busy in those days, managing school and work projects.
The experience taught me the initiative, skills, and discipline required to become a successful freelance designer. In the end, the hard work paid off. When I decided to freelance, Precision Digital Corp. became my first client.
The Logo Creative – What does your day consist of?
Del Mauricio – My day consists of a steady routine. I start work at 8:00 am. I have multiple work email accounts to check before mapping out my day. I proceed by working on the projects I have scheduled for that day. I work full-time as a design contractor for my former employer, so a big chunk of my day is dedicated to them, but that can change depending on the workload and priority of other client projects. The rest of my work time is spread out between several part-time clients as jobs come in via email or my website.
The Logo Creative – What was the first logo you ever designed?
Del Mauricio – The very first logo I designed was for my former employer, now client, back in 2005. It was for a brand new product line they were launching called “Loop Leader Series.” I still remember the day the President of the company called me into his office to brief me on the project. He already had a rough idea of what he wanted and I was able to bring it to life. At the time I had no experience with logo design, but that never intimidated me; instead, I felt fascinated by the challenge. The logo is still in use today.
The Logo Creative – What is your favourite Logo you have designed? (Can include if you like)
Del Mauricio – It’s tough to pick a favorite. So far my favorite logo is the one I created for my own design business. Although it looks rather simple it is packed with meaning. The top two segments of the symbol are an “a” and “p” for “Aesthetic Philosophies”. Both segments together also form the Greek letter “Phi” which is a symbol for aesthetics and/or the Golden Ratio. The symbol taken as a whole illustrates and evokes a butterfly, signifying the creative process.
The Logo Creative – What is your favourite Logo of all time?
Del Mauricio – The Beats logo. I love its simplicity and how the logo is made to look like a person listening to headphones. I think it’s brilliant and on point.
The Logo Creative – Can you describe or give us an overview of your logo design process?
Del Mauricio – I have written a summary of my logo design process here:
- The Creative Brief
- Research & Discovery
- Sketching Ideas
- Logo Design Concepts
- Presentation Revisions
- Colour Exploration
- Final Approval
- Delivery of Files
The Logo Creative – In your opinion regarding Logo Design pricing do you prefer working on a fixed rate or customer budget and can you explain why?
Del Mauricio – I prefer a fixed rate, however that rate varies depending on the client’s needs.
The Logo Creative – How long does it take to complete the average logo design project from start to finish?
Del Mauricio – This depends on a lot of variables, but the average logo takes anywhere from 2-3 weeks to complete.
The Logo Creative – Are you a MAC or PC User and is there a reason for your choice?
Del Mauricio – A Mac user since 2010. I remember hearing that Macs were better for designers. Eventually, I heard it so much that I just had to get my hands on one. I had been a PC user for many years and it took me some time to get used to Macs; now I can’t imagine going back to a PC. My experience with Macs has certainly been better in terms of reliability and user-experience.
The Logo Creative – Which software do you use frequently?
Del Mauricio – I use Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator for the most part. I also use Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing, Dreamweaver for web, Microsoft Office, and LiveSurface for creating environment/item mock-ups for logo design presentations. I recently installed Adobe’s Project Felix, which supposedly works like LiveSurface, but have not used it yet. It looks very promising for creating 2D renderings of 3D objects and environments.
The Logo Creative – What is your favourite style of logo design? And why?
Del Mauricio – I love logos that are simple, geometric, and particularly ones that pack meaning and/or make ingenious use of negative space. These are the kind of logos that are harder to produce and require a strong design wit.
The Logo Creative – What is your daily inspiration when you design?
Del Mauricio – Music inspires me. When I’m at the early stages of the logo design process, such as word mapping and sketching I put on music and it gets me inspired and in the mood. Music helps me connect with emotions, and sometimes even sadness can trigger some powerful and interesting ideas. Travel inspires me, I love it and try to do it as much as I can. Designers around the world inspire me. I love seeing their work on Instagram, Twitter, and Dribbble. It’s really inspiring to see their clever designs.
The Logo Creative – In your opinion what’s the best and worst part of your job being a designer?
Del Mauricio – The best part of being a freelance designer is the flexibility to work your own hours. However, being your own boss is a huge responsibility because you have to also take on the sales, accounting, marketing, etc. of your own business. I probably work more hours now that I am self-employed than ever before, but it’s a rewarding experience that has turned me into a well-rounded designer and entrepreneur.
The Logo Creative – Who is the most inspiring person to you and why?
Del Mauricio – It’s hard to pick one. I’m inspired by all sorts of people who work hard, dream big, and are successful. They make me think “what do I need to do to get to that point?”
The Logo Creative – Who is your favourite Graphic Designer and why?
Del Mauricio – I really love the work of Saul Bass because his aesthetics really resonate with me.
The Logo Creative – What’s your favourite design quote?
Del Mauricio – “I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.” – Lindon Leader.
The Logo Creative – In less than 10 words what is graphic design?
Del Mauricio – Editing and communicating messages creatively.
The Logo Creative – What steps did you take to start your graphic design business? Did you have to make any sacrifices on your journey?
Del Mauricio – I was fortunate to engage my former employer as my first client – a source of steady income. During my 8-year tenure with them I designed product logos and marketing materials, and when I decided to move from Boston to New Orleans they offered to hire me as a design contractor. Thus, my business was born.
There was a period in 2016 when I saw their steady workload, and income, disappear for a few months. I got a taste of what it means to be a freelance designer, constantly looking for work and clients. It was tough. I worked non-stop during that time building my website and social media presence, contributing to blogs, starting my own blog, and marketing my business. During that time, I made the decision to narrow my focus and market myself as a logo designer rather than a multi-media designer. I knew logo design was a very specific need, in high demand, and relatively routine. My strategy worked as I got more logo clients than say brochure clients. I also found that logo design was an excellent gateway into additional projects like brochures, business cards, video work, etc., from those logo clients. I got to work with businesses all around the United States.
Today I am, thankfully, busier than ever. I am back working full-time with my former employer along with a few new diverse set of part-time clients.
Though that period of not getting steady work was hard, it made me a better designer, entrepreneur, marketer, and creative thinker.
The Logo Creative – Do you have any regrets? Is there anything you would have changed early on in your career?
I have no regrets. I am happy doing what I do. The only thing I wish I had done sooner was build my website, social media presence, blog, and other marketing items when I started the business in 2013 rather than waiting till a time when work was slow – in 2016. The sooner you begin getting exposure, the better. Today the traditional printed portfolio is obsolete, especially for freelance designers working with clients across the country. The portfolio of today’s freelance designer must include a mix of things like a solid portfolio website, an active social media presence, and content marketing. With these things in place, you demonstrate your skills and position yourself as a creative expert and thinker.
The Logo Creative – If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
Del Mauricio – Keep doing what you’re doing because your hard work and dedication are going to pay off in the end. Oh, and buy some Apple and Google stock!
The Logo Creative – What’s the most important piece of advice you have received as a designer that’s helped you?
Del Mauricio – My father often told me this: “Every sacrifice has a fruitful reward.” It’s not designed specific, but I keep it in mind when times are tough or extremely hectic.
The Logo Creative – What would be your advice for new Logo and Graphic Designers?
Del Mauricio – Start building your design portfolio (website, social media, and blog) as soon as possible. If you really want to be successful in this industry you need an online portfolio to make yourself marketable as well as position yourself as a creative thinker and expert.
I strongly recommend David Airey’s books on freelancing and logo design: Work for Money, Design for Love and Logo Design Love. I also recommend Luke Sullivan’s Hey Whipple, Squeeze This to help you become a better creative thinker.
learn more about Del Mauricio | aesphi.com
Also published on Medium.