Designer Spotlight: Wyndsor Hug
Wyndsor has worked with Storyware going all the way back to our early days in the late 2000s. Wyndsor and our CEO, Todd Wickersty, met and worked together at Musictoday from 2001 – 2004 on a variety of large eCommerce projects in the music biz. She has been an extremely important member of our team and we would not be where we are today without her. We are thankful that Wyndsor continues to work with us as a design partner on many of our projects.
Why design? Growing up, I always loved art and music and had some sort of creative outlet. I loved books, magazines, stationery, and pretty much anything made from paper. So, I knew I would do something with art. I took a few detours along the way, but ultimately—and this is somewhat of a designer cliché—becoming a graphic designer just seemed like a more practical path than being a fine artist.
What/Who inspires your work? This another cliché, but I pull inspiration from all parts of my life and experiences. I try to learn and grow from past projects—things I would have done differently. My design education happened as computers were becoming a big part of the design process. We were very conceptual, and there was a lot of discussion and exploration into post-modernism and new technology and its emerging influence on our lives. The program I was in really blurred the lines between design, photography, printmaking, and illustration. David Carson and Ray Gun were big. This analog, experimental approach continues to influence my work and inform my process.
How do you come up with your top design ideas? I take a strategic approach. When working with a new brand, before even thinking about visuals, I help to identify their brand voice, values, and personality and how to uniquely position them in their market and resonate with their target audience. Most of the time, a visual direction will start to form during the brand strategy process. Once I have a solid grasp on the client and their audience, I pull inspiration in the form of colors, fonts, textures, etc., to define a reference point for the visual tone of the brand. I don’t spend a lot of time sketching, but I always start with a small collection of initial ideas on paper before moving to the computer, and then I move back and forth from paper to the screen until I find the idea. Once the idea is there, I use iteration and intuition to finalize the design. Coco Chanel famously said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” I try to apply the same concept to design. It’s easy to get carried away, over-design, and lose sight of the objective or overshadow the essence of the idea. So, as a final step, I like to go back and look for elements I can take away or scale back.
What intrigues (or frustrates) you about web design currently? I don’t do much web design currently, so I’m turning this to brand design – This is a great time to be a designer. Design and branding have so much influence on our world. I’d love to see more attention placed on ideas and less design just following trends. It’s intriguing to see how motion is transforming brand design and helping communicate ideas to audiences who have increasingly short attention spans.
How did you connect with Storyware? Todd and I started working together in the early 2000s at e-commerce start-up, Musictoday. After leaving Musictoday, both of us went out on our own and maintained a working partnership over the years.
If you had 5 minutes to teach someone something new, what would you teach? Typography. As a designer, typography is probably the most important skill you can learn. Understanding and applying basic typographic principles helps communicate your message more beautifully and efficiently.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Don’t take it personally.” “Sometimes you just need to start over.” “Finished is better than perfect.” – good advice in life + design.
Current favorite designer? Paul Rand. His body of work and influence on brand design are timeless.
Favorite project you’ve worked on with Storyware? The Silver Wall. This project was a big undertaking and involved the entire team. We worked on everything from naming to brand identity design to e-commerce, and the end results are beautiful and functional. It didn’t hurt that we had the opportunity to meet our wonderful clients and kickoff the project with a trip to New Orleans.