Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we have Brian with us. Just a little background before we get started, Brian is one of Eleven Peppers Studios more recent hires. He is one of our Principal Software Engineers and works directly with our federal clients to build websites and web apps to help make their jobs easier.
1: Do you have any nicknames?
“Brian” doesn’t lend itself to many nicknames. Bri is about the best I’ll get and will occasionally just sign an email that way, if not just B. Or I guess there are other names that just aren’t appropriate to be repeated [grins].
2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
After my alarm goes off – only on a work day – and my wife jumps in the shower, I usually just lay in bed with my eyes closed not wanting to open them. Not too long ago I set up some home automation stuff in my house and I can now tell my Echo “Alexa, turn on bedroom lights” and they come on at about 30% brightness. I’m still not happy about the light being on, but at least it’s not a complete shock. Otherwise, some phone surfing before crawling out of bed and getting dressed.
3: How would you describe your design style?
Since I’m not a designer, I do better when trying to mimic or improve rather than create new. The best perk-up to my career was meeting the Peppers. I worked with several before becoming one myself, so having my now, coworkers put together designs for the websites I build, or at least having them to bounce ideas off, has become my design style.
4: How did you get started?
This could get really long if I let it… but, my dad was in the computer field my entire life and that let me get into the weeds of them very early on. I took a lot of electronic and programming classes throughout school, and graduated from UMBC with a Computer Engineering degree. It then took me another five or so years to realize that front end development – mobile, web, etc – was what I liked the most.
5: What are you favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
If I say MS Paint, I’ll have to duck from the things getting thrown at my head, but I’m not a designer so I mostly use software development tools. Any uncomplicated IDE is generally all I need. Eclipse is far too bulky, but I’ve figured out enough of its shortcuts to make it useful. Apple’s Xcode for mobile development has a nice look and feel to it, but also has somewhat of a learning curve. Atom on Linux isn’t too bad. Notepad++ is always a great go-to. It’s hard to say I have a favorite. Give me jQuery and something to type some code in and I’ll spit out a website in a week. However, development platforms that need a month to configure with several dozen files cluttering up space and style platforms that try to put a one-size-fits-all approach to displays are the worst in my opinion.
6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
I might run through a few looks at the data I’ll be using and if I’m lucky enough to have a few designs to build from I’ll start creating some skeleton files for my site. If I have access to some of my past work that could be used in the new project, all the better. Otherwise, I just start knocking out some code just to get a display up on the screen. I tidy it up later once most of the functionality is in place. [Thinking out loud] Maybe I do have a favorite tool of the trade… in-browser dev tools. They let me do some on-demand styling to see what I might need to plan for later.
7: What do you draw inspiration from?
Definitely my fellow Peppers when I have access to them. Otherwise, if I need to style a button or table, I’ll usually poke around google images or some CSS sites to see if a style pops out to me.
8: Rapid-Fire Round:
Caffeine or no:
Yes, Caffeine. All the coffee.
Sweet or Savory:
Fight Club and Deadpool are my go-tos.
Hmm… Bourbon Barrel Aged beers?
Playing guitar, brewing beer, making things look good, pretending to be athletic.
9: Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
I think I have more of a problem with not following through with my ideas and seeing someone else do the same later on. I wish I could say that hasn’t happened more than once.
Thanks for meeting Brian. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!
One of our founder’s favorite logo redesigns of all time is The Islands of the Bahamas, and we can see why. Shout out to Duffy & Partners who reimagined and expertly captured the true nature of the islands.
Did you know that The Bahamas is comprised of 700 individual islands? That means 700 different spots to call your personal oasis on your next vacation… it’s a lot for a logo to have to live up to.
And… we don’t believe that the previous logo hit the mark. The muted colors paired with the swaying palm tree, even the font, promotes a very “Tommy Bahama” feel (i.e. laid-back and relaxed). You are immediately transported to a hammock rocking gently under the shade of that same palm tree, possibly sipping a ice-cold, tropical drink with a little umbrella in it. Now let us say up front, there is nothing wrong with that… at all. There are definitely people who travel to the islands to get away from the daily grind, who just want to “shut-off.” The combination just seems a bit limiting for all that the 700 islands (we know, we can’t get over it either) boasts.
Image Source: The Islands of the Bahamas (left: old logo), Duffy & Partners (right: new logo)
We are 100% on-board with their redesigned logo; it better symbolizes what the islands really are about – diversity. Diversity of activities, food, people… you name it, they have it. The islands are for every type of traveler. The updated color palette evokes that never-ending variety of fun in the sun and really opens the brand up to a broader audience. The kaleidoscope of colors also epitomizes the strikingly beautiful backdrop on which all of these experiences are set.
We also like that they pulled a “The” Ohio State University and added “The” in front of “Islands of the Bahamas.” It lends itself to the assertion that there is no other place like The Islands of the Bahamas. It is unique, special, unforgettable — all qualities vacations seekers look for in a destination.
The logo strikes the perfect balance between attainability and an out of this world experience.
Woman-owned small business specializing in print, web and interactive design.