Interview with Designer: Marius Roosendaal

I do a lot of things, but I’m guessing you want to know more about my professional life. I mostly keep myself busy designing interactive and digital stuff, and I’ve been doing that for about 6 years. I also like to look over other people’s shoulders and tell them they need to align something or make something or other red.

Aside from that I like to do explorations with abstract geometry, patterns and typography. Some call it art, or at least want to put it on their walls or albums covers. It’ s a lot of fun, and it gives some variety to my usual work of designing menus and layouts.

Marius Roosendaal

What got you into design in the first place?

I was pretty technical in nature in my high school and college years. Had fun doing design, animation, video, coding. Pretty much everything multimedia. Eventually settled on design at one of my intern jobs. And glad that I did. I haven’t had any specific graphic design education, so the choice wasn’t as clear cut or obvious.

What has had the most impact in getting you where you are today?

I don’t think I can point out just one thing. Or at least not a single person or event. I think mostly because of the self-motivation to get better. To get a better understanding on design as a whole and a better grasp on the tools that I use. There was some encouragement, which I was lucky enough to have, and finally choosing the path of graphic design was key of course.

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Is there anything you’d have done differently in your career knowing what you know now?

Probably attend a good design school. Maybe it would’ve given me more insight or development in design, more quickly. Maybe not, it’s all hindsight.

Do you have any goals you are currently aspiring to?

I’m cooking dinner as I type this, so eating that is one of my main objectives at the moment. Professionally, keep having fun at what I do.

What has been the most rewarding project you’ve worked on?

In 2011 I did a make-something-cool-everyday thing. Which was a blast and got a lot of attention. It also taught me more about design and creativity than any other project I’d done before. That was a great experience in itself, and getting the publicity was a nice bonus.

Which artists or designers do you follow?

A lot of artists/companies in different fields, but to name a few, I love Andy Gugel/32round’s stuff. It’s industry standard setting design. Also a big fan of Sebastian Gram, amazing brand and interactive work.

How important is social media and online communities for you?

I suppose they’re important, they can be a great tool in getting your voice heard or keeping fans updated. Because of today’s society they do feel mandatory at times. I’ve got a Facebook page I update occasionally. And that’s cool, you can get conversations going and connect with people.

How are you enjoying the new ‘flat’ trend?

I’m excited, and kind of relieved. It withstands the test of time a lot better. You can clearly see it looking at iOS, it doesn’t feel so fresh. I had an Android phone for a while and switched to an iPhone. I was almost appalled by the look of it. So I’m thrilled Mr. Ive is starting to get involved in the design of the OS, and apparently steering towards a more flat design.

What’s your favorite part of the design process?

Probably starting a project, when everything’s new and you have a lot of ideas and freedom to explore your options.

What is your biggest design related pet-peeve?

I’m a pixel perfectionist. Which annoys people around me sometimes. Even myself. Good alignment and hierarchy just get me all warm and fuzzy.

What one thing would you like every designer to know about graphic design?

Don’t be afraid. Show some passion. It’s often a lot of bullshit. (Sorry, that’s really three things).

Are there any tools you absolutely love and would recommend?

Guideguide. This plugin for Photoshop is just great. You still have to do some calculation to get a perfect grid, but it just belches out the guides for you after some basic input. It should come with Photoshop by default.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever heard and how has it helped you?

Not necessarily one thing, but this line stuck with me a few years ago: Love your experiments, as you would an ugly child. It’s from Bruce Mau’s manifesto for growth. This whole thing is just filled with good advice. I had the tendency to be overly critical of my own work, but realized progression was more about iterations and trial and error.

Are you currently working on anything amazing?

Nothing mindblowingly amazing. I have a few fun projects going on. Also hope to do my yearly portfolio update some time soon.

Links:

Portfolio: mariusroosendaal.com
Behance: @mroosendaal
Twitter: @mroosendaal

Paula Borowska

Paula runs a user experience blog BeingLimited and an author of an upcoming book about mobile design, the Mobile Design Book. You can connect with her on Google+.

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