Mark Narusson is a freelance graphic designer based in Birmingham UK and the founder of Mark Narusson Design. He is passionate about WordPress web design and logo design. Offering his creative services to businesses and entrepreneurs in the UK and beyond.
— The Logo Creative™ (@thelogocreative) 3 July 2019
Mark has been working a professional designer since the 1990s and has amassed a whopping 20 years of creative industry experience. And he still, loves it!
The Logo Creative – Hi Mark it’s great that your taking part in our designer interviews its a pleasure to feature you.
Mark Narusson – Hi Andrew yes I’m honoured to be part of your community and to be interviewed.
The Logo Creative – What was the turning point in your life when you decided to become a designer and how did you proceed?
Mark Narusson – I was in my early 20s and working for local government as a cartographer. Every month we’d get a copy of the staff newsletter. I became interested in the way the item has been created so proceeded to track down the person who put it together. I managed to get a meeting with him and he showed me how the newsletter was created using a large screen PC. I was blown away by the software and what you could do with it. Up until this point I’d been using Letterset (some of your older readers may remember this). So the fact you could call up any font and manipulate it was pretty futuristic to me.
The next day I persuaded my boss that we needed to get a computer and start creating graphics and information leaflets for all the departments. It was pretty basic and slow in those days (the mid 90s) but that fired my fascination with design. Sometime later I managed to get on a one-year graphic design course which then gave me the confidence to apply for a junior designer job with a local agency. The rest is history.
The Logo Creative – What does your day consist of?
Mark Narusson – I usually wake about 7.15am and get to my desk by 8.15am. I do some social media posting, commenting and read any interesting articles. I’ve recently tried to write blog posts on a regular basis, so I’ll spend maybe 30 minutes each day of the week working on the next piece.
Or I’ll work on some SEO for my website. Then it’s reading emails and getting down to client work or quoting for new projects. Other than that I try and get some exercise, eat well, spend time with my partner or relax with a good box set.
The Logo Creative – What was the first logo you ever designed?
Mark Narusson – I think it was for an IT company. I forget the name and I’ll gladly forget the design…
The Logo Creative – What is your favourite Logo you have designed?
Mark Narusson – I don’t really have a favourite. It’s generally the next project I’m working on.
The Logo Creative – What is your favourite Logo of all time?
Mark Narusson – There are so many… but if I were to commit I’d say the Coca Cola logo. In its present form, I think all that is used is the shape of the bottle. It doesn’t get any simpler or more iconic than that.
The Logo Creative – Can you describe or give us an overview of your logo design process?
Mark Narusson – I start by sending the client a list of targeted questions so that I can understand their business, competitors, clients and get a general feel for what they like.
I’ll then usually follow up with a phone call and chat with them just to fill in any gaps.
Next, I’ll put together a collection of competitor logos as it’s important to know who we need to beat. After that, I’ll make a list of associated words and any ideas I might have. This list provides the basis for the sketching stage.
Once I have 3-4 possible ideas I’ll draw these up and develop the idea. I’ll also look at possible fonts for the typography.
I’ll then put the best 3 ideas into a presentation and leave it alone for a day or two. A fresh pair of eyes on a set of ideas is a good way to weed out any weak designs or inappropriate font selections.
Once I’m happy I’ll send the ideas to the client for their initial thoughts. The client then picks one design to which I’ll add some colour options too.
Depending on the scope of the project I’ll then provide the artwork files and a logo style guide.
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?
Mark Narusson – I generally work at a fixed price. I have a set of price points for different clients needs. So depending on the scale of their business, the price will differ. Big organisations need more work so the cost is more.
The Logo Creative – How long does it take to complete the average logo design project from start to finish?
Mark Narusson – It takes 2-3 weeks for a basic logo design. This allows for design/development time and client feedback.
The Logo Creative – Are you a MAC or PC User and is there a reason for your choice?
Mark Narusson – I’m a Mac user. Having used both PC and Mac, I find Macs are easy to manage on a day to day basis. Plus they’re pretty robust as far as virus’ go.
The Logo Creative – Which software do you use frequently?
Mark Narusson – For logo work its Adobe Illustrator. But because I also provide other creative services, I’ll use InDesign and Photoshop.
The Logo Creative – What is your favourite style of logo design? And why?
Mark Narusson –I generally like simple well-executed ideas that work brilliantly in black and white. If it uses negative space then all the better. If the idea is simple then it should translate well in different sizes and languages.
The Logo Creative – What is your daily inspiration when you design?
Mark Narusson – Pinterest, Behance, and Google are all great. I do have a small collection of identity books that I will sometimes reference as well.
The Logo Creative – In your opinion what’s the best and worst part of your job been a designer?
Mark Narusson – Being your own boss and having the ability to work from home is definitely a big plus. Admin and accounts…. who likes those?
The Logo Creative – Who is the most inspiring person to you and why?
Mark Narusson – Probably Chris Do. He’s so laser focused and provides some great insights on being a designer and on how to deal with clients.
The Logo Creative – Who is your favourite Graphic Designer and why?
Mark Narusson – Graham ‘Logo’ Smith. I’m not sure he’s an international great but his work is certainly very inspiring to me.
The Logo Creative – What’s your favourite design quote?
Mark Narusson – Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated. – Paul Rand
The Logo Creative – In less than 10 words what is graphic design?
Mark Narusson – The art of combining text, images and colour
The Logo Creative – What steps did you take to start your graphic design business? Did you have to make any sacrifices on your journey?
Mark Narusson – While in full-time employment, I was approached to undertake some freelance work from a client who I still work with today. I initially worked on projects during evenings and weekends until I’d built up enough work to approach my employer to go part-time. They were very supportive and I managed to split my working week with another designer who wanted to do the same.
After about 6 months of this arrangement, I had pressure put on me by my employer to either go full-time freelance or go back to work with them. I took the decision to go it alone and have so far not regretted that decision.
The Logo Creative – Do you have any regrets? Is there anything you would have changed early on in your career?
Mark Narusson – During my earlier years, I wish I had known what I wanted to eventually do. I took the long way around, but I ended up in the right place eventually.
The Logo Creative – If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
Mark Narusson – Forget trying to be an artist. Study graphic design and don’t stay at any agency for more than 2 years. Believe in yourself.
The Logo Creative – What’s the most important piece of advice you have received as a designer that’s helped you?
Mark Narusson – Don’t try and be an expert in everything. Learn to know what you are good at and be bold and focus on just one or two things.
The Logo Creative – What would be your advice for new Logo and Graphic Designers?
Mark Narusson – Study. Work hard on your portfolio. Understand what your passion is. Be good at one thing and excel in that.
learn more about Mark Narusson | marknarusson.com |