Inside a Creative Director’s Head

Today, we’re putting the spotlight on Echo-Factory creative guru, Dea Goldsmith, to talk about everything from where she gets inspiration to what she eats when she’s stressed.

Q: What inspires you?
People inspire me. I’m always amazed at how brilliant people can be, there are always ideas out there I wish I’d thought of. For design inspiration, I’ve started to use coolhunting.com. The site covers trends in art, culture, design and technology. It lets me see what’s happening all over the world and that, in turn, informs the way I design.

Q: Who are some of your favorite designers/artists?
I love Stefan Sagmeister’s design. As far as artists go, I’m drawn to abstract art. I love the intense colors and lack of order that you find in works by Deschamps, Van Gogh and Jackson Pollack.

Q: Do you have a font you love? One you hate?
I love condensed fonts except futura condensed. I know a lot of designers will hate me for saying that but I absolutely hate that font. It’s clunky and unwieldy, not something you want to use in a design.

Q: What are you reading now?
Designers Don’t Read

Q: How did you get into design?
I started doing design before I knew that’s what I was doing. My first job was at a clothing store, I was only 16 and I just started doing the window and wall displays for the store. Then, I became a cocktail waitress and started designing banners and other promotional items for the restaurant. No matter what I was doing, I always found myself designing. So, I became a designer.

Q: What’s your favorite “I’m on a deadline so don’t bug me” snack?
Nachos. Really, melted cheese in any form.

Q: What’s the best part about being a designer? What’s the worst?
Clients are the best and worst part. I love creating design that they can get excited about. On the flip side, I hate fear. Fear of failure gets in the way of really good design. It’s hard knowing you’re not doing the best work for someone, not because you don’t want to, but because they’re afraid.

Q: If you could be anything else besides a designer, what would you be?
I’d love to say I’d be a nurse or an environmental activist, but it’s just not in me. I’m best when I can design and help people through my design. Last week, I designed a website for a non-profit that raises money for breast cancer research. It made me feel good to design a site that will help bring in more money to beat this disease. I like working on projects like that, where you can really see how much you’re helping people.

Q: What advice would you give a designer looking for a job in advertising?
Talk intelligently about your design. If you can explain your design decisions articulately, it gives you an advantage over designers who scratch their heads and say, “I dunno, it just looked cool.”