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Featured Designer #11 – Vandelay Design

Starting this edition we are changing a bit the “Featured Designer” section. From now on this article series will be in the form of an interview. We feel this format will bring you closer to your favorite designers and, considering they’ll be sharing good advices, it will also be a learning experience for beginner and advanced designers altogether.

I am … and I do …

I’m a web designer and blogger from Pennsylvania (US). I run Vandelay Design, which includes a design blog , and a few months ago we launched a membership based site, Vandelay Premier.

I got into designing …

I took a web design course my last year of college. It was an elective as part of our business program and the class was very basic, but it got me started and then I continued to learn on my own through books and online tutorials. In the class I learned the basics of HTML and table-based design, but then I learned CSS later through books like CSS Mastery. I wound up designing sites for some friends and family, got some referrals and then wound up going from there.

I get my inspiration from …

I get inspiration from a lot of places. Managing my blog keeps me online a lot, so I get exposure to plenty of great websites and other digital designs by working on blog posts, reading other blogs, and looking at links sent to me by readers. Just a few weeks ago I sold a small network of galleries that I had been running for the past year, so maintaining those sites always kept great design in front of me as well. I try to also get inspiration offline from sources like magazines, brochures, and even junk mail. I keep a binder of those types of printed materials so I can go back to it when I need some inspiration.

In the beginning I promoted myself  … . Now I am marketing myself …

In the beginning most of my clients were friends or family, or referrals. So I initially marketed myself by simply talking to people I know, which got me several small jobs. When I wanted to take it from more of a hobby to a business I started Vandelay Design. The blog was launched a few months after the business was started, and a few months after the first blog post I started posting consistently, and since then I have never really done anything else to market myself.

I think the future of design …

I think we’ll see HTML5 and CSS3 contine to grow in popularity and to be used more commonly. Also, with the increasing popularity of mobile devices and better connection speeds for users on those devices, I think designing for mobile users will also become a bigger concern.

3 websites I couldn’t live without …

Three websites/apps I visit frequently are BuySellAds.com, Delicious, and Google Reader. BSA manages all of the banner ads on my blog, I use Delicious to keep track of things I find online and to return to things I have bookmarked in the past, and Google Reader helps me to stay up-to-date with the design industry and with a few other things that I like to follow.

You can find me …

The Vandelay Design Twitter account is @vandelaydesign. There are plans to start a Facebook page very soon, but that is not available at the moment.

Some of my designs …

Vandelay Design - Portfolio 1

Vandelay Design - Portfolio 2

Vandelay Design - Portfolio 3

Vandelay Design - Portfolio 4

Vandelay Design - Portfolio 5

Written by CrazyLeaf Editorial

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