As a 2016 graduate of the Iowa State University College of Design, Will Bassett is the newest member of our design team. He has quickly become an integral member of our agency, working closely with clients to deliver hardworking print & digital communications.
What’s your favorite color palette to work with?
I’m not sure there is a specific color palette that I enjoy over others. I would say in general, my favorite palettes include black and white, plus some soft, natural colors with a powerful, vibrant spot color. I love design that pops, and it usually starts with a strong spot color. If I had to choose, I’d say reds and blues are my favorite to work with, though depending on the day it could be something completely different. It really depends on the project and which side of the bed I woke up on.
What is your favorite typeface and why?
My favorite typeface is probably Futura. I love how simple yet versatile it is. It works when it’s thin, and it works when it’s bold. Futura makes a great headline typeface, body copy, all caps, or upper and lower case. It’s absolutely one of my go-to’s.
For a serif typeface, I really enjoy Bodoni. It’s super clean, and the contrasting thin and thick lines make it a beautiful choice when I need a more formal option.
Where do you find design inspiration?
My favorite place to find inspiration is on Behance. It’s a great place to see what designers are doing all over the world. From small, personal projects to corporate branding and major promotions, I think Behance is a wonderful source of inspiration and trends.
Another great place for inspiration and design knowledge is Skillshare. Skillshare is a site where anyone can become a teacher and post tutorials, how-to’s, and technique videos for others to learn from. The site has videos on everything from cooking to technology to business, but the design videos are extremely informative and helpful. There are some really well-known designers who post tutorials on Skillshare like Paula Scher, Aaron Draplin, and more. I highly recommend checking it out!
Tell us about your most memorable project.
I think my most memorable project would have to be a semi trailer wrap that I did for the Iowa DNR’s mobile exhibit. It is certainly the largest project I’ve done in my career so far. Every day I am learning new things, and this was one of the largest learning curves I’ve had as far as scope and technicality.
The trailer exhibit debuted at the Iowa State Fair and travels around to schools and educational events around Iowa to inform the public of the impact of how we live on the environment. I believe that the best design is design for good, and getting the opportunity to create something with so much public impact was incredible. It’s always fun to see something you’ve done out in the world, especially with so many people interacting with it at a place as iconic as the State Fair.
Who are your favorite artists or designers?
One of my favorite design groups out there today is DKNG Studios. DKNG is an illustration-based design firm out of LA consisting of two designers, Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman. I was turned on to them in college, and have been borderline obsessed ever since. They do a lot of promotional work for movies, bands and festivals, and their designs are both intricate and beautiful. These guys are also very involved with Skillshare and are regularly posting tutorials on Adobe Illustrator shortcuts and techniques.
A local designer that I really admire is John Bosley. He is also an illustration-based designer who does mostly screen printing for events and locations around Iowa and the Midwest. His designs are super clean and the compositions are brilliant. A few of his posters may or may not be on my Christmas list this year.
What are your favorite well-executed brands?
In my opinion, Nike is one of the most well-executed brands out there today. They do a great job of appealing to about every demographic while keeping their look and brand consistent and recognizable. You can’t go anywhere without seeing that swoosh, and people (myself included) will certainly pay extra to have that logo on their outfit.
Apple is an easy answer, but I have to say I wasn’t an Apple convert until a few years ago. I used to try to fight the overwhelming Mac/iPhone trend until I visited my dad’s cousin’s house/design studio. He opened up a Power Mac G5 computer so that I could see the inner workings, and it was beautiful. The inside of this computer (that most people would never take the time to look at) was a work of art on its own. Everything had a place. Since then, I’ve been fascinated by the clean design and order that Apple prides itself on. I didn’t even want to throw away my MacBook or iPhone boxes because the packaging is so well done. That attention to detail and presentation goes a long way in selling and building brands, and Apple is probably the best there is at it.