Interview with Daniel Coverdale of Shred Creative!

Today, we share with you our latest interview with 27 year old designer and the face of Shred Creative Daniel Coverdale. Shred Creative specialises in website design for small to medium sized businesses in the North West and beyond.

Who is Shred Creative?

A keen photographer, blogger and brand owner. I also like to snowboard in the winter, although I profess i’m no Shaun White!

Shred Creative is an outlet for all those little “what if’s” I get during the day. From pet projects, to client work, I take things around me that fuel my passion and bring them to life. I’ve been a website designer for over 8 years now but I’ve recently moved to undertake other disciplines.

Who were your biggest creative influences growing up?

Growing up I was always fascinated by the work of Peter Dixon and his team in house at Sainsburys. Through 1962 to the late 70’s they produced some really fascinating branding for all Sainsburys products. There’s an excellent book by Fuel called “Own Label” which documents it which is never far from my side for inspiration.

Similarly the Design Research Unit which undertook the branding for British Rail in 1965. Design for information really inspires me and my love of these two agencies filters through into my work.

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What design work do you specialise in? What projects are your favourite to undertake?

Primarily I specialise in website design for small to medium sized businesses. Recently I’ve produced anything from logos to full ecommerce shops. If a project inspires me I’ll grab it with both hands and give it my all. If it’s not something I’ve done I’ll learn how and make it happen.

I very much enjoy branding, there’s a real joy for me in taking nothing and building it into something. From a sketch on a sheet of paper to producing something tangible there’s nothing better. Having that trust placed in me to bring someone’s vision to life in it’s entirety. Is something I’d love to do more of.

Is the web design industry a tough one to stay atop of? With so many new developments, is this a good or bad challenge to learn new skills on an almost daily basis?

I think it’s clear to have an understanding of what’s a trend and what’s something you should really be paying attention to. Keeping on top of every new development can be a massive amount of work. As a rule if I think something will improve my craft I’ll learn it but I’m aware I have limitations. The focus should be on what you think will benefit you and your work with clients.

Too many people strive to cater to trends without focusing on the fundamentals of solid design, efficient code and usability. It’s all to easy to focus on just being a web designer, but branching out and trying new things in other mediums can really benefit your website work.

On which sites and creative communities do you interact online?

I’m a member on Dribbble, I find it immensely useful to receive and give constructive feedback to my peers. It’s a great way of bouncing ideas off people and just being inspired by what others are doing.

If I’m ever short on creativity or I need a break from what i’m doing. I’ll have a read of ‘The Fox is Black‘ Architecture, illustration and product design are big influences and stepping completely away from my work helps me get motivated.

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Is there ever time to reflect and look back at a design, or are you too busy looking ahead to improve and complete the next project?

Sometimes it can be a struggle to take the time and be self critical. Personally I find talking to other designers can be the most useful way of self improvement. Sometimes a designer will overlook something because its their own work. As a rule I’ll try and have a small break between projects, working full time and undertaking this is my free time can sometimes be a difficult balancing act.

Who are your favourite people to be following on Twitter?

Ashley Baxter for sure (@iamashley). She’s one of my favourite photographers and a constant reminder that I need to step up my own game behind the camera. As a business owner i’ve found her tweets very inspiring. Especially making those early steps with my brand.

Mark Arcenal of Fatlace (@fatlace) also is a favourite. Formerly of Nike, Mark’s created a brand and a business around his passion for cars and street culture. Mark has a pretty talented team of designers and staff around him not to mention a very nice car collection.

What are your plans for 2013 and beyond?

Short term I’d like to focus on my own projects. In the past I’ve had lots of illustrative ideas but not the skills to produce them, this is something I’ve worked hard to rectify. I’d like to produce some t shirts designs and push myself creatively.

I’d love to do some design work for a charity it was on my 2012 to-do list but I’ve just not had the opportunity to bring it to fruition.

Since starting my brand “wetheterrors” in early 2012 I’ve had a big list of targets. I’ve achieved and often exceeded these this year, but 2013 is the year where I’m hoping it’ll really take off.

What can we expect from wetheterrors in 2013?

I’ve used wetheterrors as a platform to really push myself with design. With myself as the client I’m able to really strive to learn and try new things I wouldn’t normally be able to. I’ve ambitious plans for a full apparel range, what started as a single shirt has now expanded to five designs. So things are starting to snowball!

I’m supporting from young drivers in the sport for 2013 so my aim will be to increase the exposure of our young drivers. Rallying is a cutthroat world particularly for the younger entrants so the aim is to raise their profile through marketing through our social media channels.

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What do you do to relax away from work?

I’m a keen photographer and I’ve a passion for rallying. I run wetheterrors a brand which combines both of these loves. So you’ll find me in a forest somewhere most weekends. Whether gathering content or reporting on events it keeps me active.

Sometimes it’s difficult to step away from work, I think most designers struggle to relax. There just isn’t enough time in the day for everything I’d love to do!

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See more on the Shred Creative Website, Dribble, Facebook and @shredcreative on Twitter.

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