Sharon Stanton: What do you do to stay on top of your craft?
Adam Naglich: I read digital arts publications and research and study new websites that are worthy of appreciation. I also like meeting with other designers to discuss projects we are currently working on.
SS: What is your favorite medium? Why?
AN: (Without hesitation) Web, which is really more in the field of user interface and experience. I like that there is function to the form.
SS: Name your favorite company in terms of branding.
AN: Fifty Three. Their passion for design and branding shows and I love it.
SS: How do you approach a new logo design?
AN: When I am developing a logo, the first step is to understand the business. How do we want people to feel when viewing the logo? (This emotion is based on both the audience and how the company wants to be perceived.) The goal of a logo is to evoke that emotion in a way that is timeless and practical – it should be usable wherever it is needed: for example on a website, in a print ad, on apparel, et cetera.
SS: How about a website design?
AN: I approach website design very similarly to logos, but they end up taking different paths. With a website, the user experience (UX) component is critical. I’m able to put myself in other people’s shoes after knowing them for a short while, which helps when developing the user experience. My intuition helps me understand what feels natural when I am designing the UX. Good design is obvious; great design is transparent.
I think the ability to think like others comes from playing chess with my dad from a very young age. I like to plan ahead and have a tactical advantage. I could never beat him until I started putting myself in his shoes and trying to figure out what his next ten moves would be. Then I started winning.
SS: If you weren’t a designer, what would you be doing?
AN: (Laughs) I would like to try everything once – I’d probably be a DJ.
SS: Do you have a favorite color?
AN: Nope. I don’t play favorites, but I often choose black.
SS: Who inspires you?
AN: Jony Ive inspires me because of his no compromise attitude. When I was in school at Lawrence Tech I learned a lot from Peter Beaugard. He was always pushing for more out of his students, which I appreciated.
SS: What is the most misunderstood thing about design?
AN: The thought that goes into a design. Anyone can appreciate a good design and try to recreate it with a different color or typeface, but in an effective design, there is a reason and a purpose for every single element. As a designer, you have to be able to explain that reasoning and bring people around to your way of thinking. You have to stand your ground and be confident in the work you have done. Design is so much more than aesthetics. There is a lot of psychology involved.