You may know Will Paterson from his Youtube Channel where he gives you an insight into his Graphic Design Career, and an in-depth and personal perspective of working within Graphic Design. He is also passionate about Hand lettered vintage logotypes. As of writing this article his Youtube channel has 246,326 subscribers and since joining youtube in june of 2012 the channel has had 13,796,288 views and rising and this is no suprise as Will’s videos are very insightful and entertaining to watch and his videos consist of hand lettering tutorials, logo design tips and the insights of working in the graphic design industry.
He is also a freelance Logo Designer and Hand Lettering Artist specialising in logotype design. He is also the Author of the book Learn in 15 Minutes: Calligraphy: 15 exercises, 15 letterforms, 15 variations
The Logo Creative – Hi Will thanks again for taking part
Will Paterson – Hey Andrew, Thanks for the email! I would love to do this with you!
The Logo Creative – What was the turning point in your life when you decided to become a designer and how did you proceed?
Will Paterson – I never did well in school, I wasn’t good at exams. I understood what I was being taught, but I was never able to put what I understood into written words easily. So I basically failed all my GCSE’s. I then went to college to study Business Administration (basically learning how to be a sexy secretary).
When I spent two years there I decided that I didn’t want to learn how to write reports but I wanted to do something creative – I knew little about Photoshop but decided to learn how to use the program in my bedroom when I wasn’t busy. From this came an increasing passion for design. I love the order and system of graphic design – it was predictable but not overbearing.
So I decided to leave college when I knew this was something that I was going to want to do. I was faced with two options, I could leave college and learn on my own for a few years about the design industry, or I could take the safe route and get be hired as a sexy secretary and learn when I had time. I, of course, took the risky route – I paid off!
The Logo Creative – What does your day consist of?
Will Paterson – My days are slightly strange. I wake up, check my emails – I then ponder about life in the shower and run through my todo list and goals for the day.
I then head to a cafe or hotel to do some emails and write up some ideas for videos. I love to work in a cafe as it helps me focus on the certain tasks. I really don’t know why!
I then take a 10 minute walk to the office where I start my design work and videos. I’ll then spend the next 5-7 hours sat by myself grinding and doing work. With the odd guitar playing break.
I’ve tried to condense my “normal” day down but I’ve missed out the Skype meetings and phone calls I normally have during most days. These are organised by my wife, Naomi. She’s amazing.
The Logo Creative – What was the first logo you ever designed?
Will Paterson – My first professional logo I designed was for a painting and decorating service across the road from where I used to live. I must say that logo is a great reminder of where I came from! The best part about the logo is that it’s still in use today on business cards and on a white van. It looks amazing!
It was a very simple logo, I used a serif font, but it worked really well. I’m still so glad that my neighbour hired me to work on that logo as it boosted my confidence hugely. It’s also nice as when I leave the office I normally see the van with all the branding on it!
The Logo Creative – What is your favourite Logo you have designed?
Will Paterson – I don’t have a favourite logo – normally the newest logo I’ve made becomes my favourite, just because of the amount of time spent on that logo
The Logo Creative – What is your favourite Logo of all time?
Will Paterson – My most favourite logo of all time is the Kellog’s logo. It’s super simple works well. I love the fact that the “K” can be used as an icon. I love how it’s a household logo now and how it’s not just been rebranded but has evolved.
The Logo Creative – Can you describe or give us an overview of your logo design process?
Will Paterson –
- Meet The client (over the phone)
- formalities – contracts payments branding proposal etc.
- Researching – into the company and competitors.
- Mood Boarding
- Bad Ideas – get all the ideas I have in my brain so far out of the brain by just badly sketching
- Initial ideas – I normally sketch really bad logos until one appears that works. I then work of that one idea.
- 10 second sketch test – all good and effective logos can be sketched quickly and still resemble the brand.
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?
Will Paterson – I work only at fixed rate. It takes a lot of pressure away from the client and me. Sometimes I work quickly, sometimes I work slower than normal. No one should be penalised for working too quickly or slowly on a logo design, so I always have a fixed price.
It makes life so much easier.
The Logo Creative – How long does it take to complete the average logo design project from start to finish?
Will Paterson – This is a tough question because there isn’t really an answer. A logo for me can take between one week to four weeks or even longer!
The Logo Creative – Are you a MAC or PC User and is there a reason for your choice?
Will Paterson – I’m a Mac. I like PCs but Macs just work better for me. I find them more reliable. I also just like Apple
The Logo Creative – Which software do you use frequently?
Will Paterson – I use Adobe Illustrator and Procreate
The Logo Creative – What is your favourite style of logo design? And why?
Will Paterson – Logotypes are my favourite style. They work so well! I love how you can change the overall appearance of the company by their typography. Logotypes are my favourite for a number of reasons, but I think it’s because there’s so much you can do with them.
The Logo Creative – What is your daily inspiration when you design?
Will Paterson – I find my inspiration comes from the town I live in. I live in a Georgian town, so many of the shops (although they are modern) have a vintage vibe to them. I love looking through vintage books and looking at old cigarette packets. Anything from the golden age of design.
The Logo Creative – In your opinion what’s the best and worst part of your job been a designer?
Will Paterson – The best part of my job is that I make the decisions. I don’t have a cap on the amount of money I could potentially make and I have full creative freedom.
The worst part of the job is isolation and loneliness. I work alone most of the day, this can have a huge impact on your mental health, so this has to be the worst part about the job.
The Logo Creative – Who is the most inspiring person to you and why?
Will Paterson – I don’t have a certain person that inspires me, but I have a few groups that do. Linkin Park – the way they create music is phenomenal. They change their music and don’t play it safe – they speak about issues that others don’t. I want to be that type of person, someone that isn’t afraid to really get creative and think differently.
The Logo Creative – Who is your favourite Graphic Designer and why?
Will Paterson – My favourite designer, I don’t really have one. It sounds bad but I really don’t – I don’t know many other designers other than their work. I just can’t think of someone that is my favourite as I don’t know them. I really like the work a lot of high profile designers put out, but I don’t know them.
The Logo Creative – What’s your favourite design quote?
Will Paterson – “Great design is silent” – I don’t know who that’s from but it’s stuck with me.
The Logo Creative – In less than 10 words what is graphic design?
Will Paterson – Making Information Look Good and work better.
The Logo Creative – What steps did you take to start your graphic design business? Did you have to make any sacrifices on your journey?
Will Paterson – I started my career with no money, so I relied on my parents. The biggest sacrifice I made was time – I spend nearly six hours everyday working on getting better and building this business. I won’t get that back.
I made sure that I had a family that would care for me even if everything went wrong. I also made sure that I cut naysayers out of my life for that specific time.
The Logo Creative – Do you have any regrets? Is there anything you would have changed early on in your career?
Will Paterson – One of my biggest regrets was listening to people. A lot of people (understandably) told me that I was probably going to fail at this. Or told me I was going about things in the wrong way. This wasted my time.
The only other regret I have is not spending enough time enjoying life with my wife. When you volunteer, run a business and have a wife – life gets filled up. Something needs to give and it can’t be my relationships.
I would make sure that I would spend more time with my wife.
The Logo Creative – If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
Will Paterson – Just stop worrying about things – it’s not as bad as you think it is. JUST DO IT!
The Logo Creative – What’s the most important piece of advice you have received as a designer that’s helped you?
Will Paterson – It’s okay to be paid well. A lot of people (especially those outside the industry) believe that the older you are the more you should be paid. So, in turn, that means that because I’m only 23 I should be paid less than someone who is older than me.
Being paid well isn’t bad – charging clients for the great work you do doesn’t make you a terrible person.
The Logo Creative – What would be your advice for new Logo and Graphic Designers?
Will Paterson – Spend more time on your craft than playing video games. Don’t miss out on your relationships but make sure you’re organising your time and being intentional about learning and getting ahead.
Also published on Medium.