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Office tale of Brett Lair, graphic designer

Office tale of Brett Lair, graphic designer

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you :
Coffee enthusiast, die-hard Volkswagen driver and wanderlust… or Brett Lair. I’ve been designing professionally for 4 years now, collaborating with both agencies and personal clients.

Your current job :
I’m a freelance graphic designer with a focus on print design, web design and branding.

In which city are you located?
In beautiful Sault Ste. Marie.

A word to define what kind of worker you are :
Precise. I obsess over the small details that aren’t immediately obvious, but all come together to make the final product that much better.

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
Adobe software, Rdio/iTunes, my iPhone and the classic pen & Moleskine.

What does your office space look like?
Clean and monochromatic. I find myself easily distracted so I keep my workspace organized with only the necessities within reach.

What kind of music do you listen when you are working ?
It all depends on how I’m feeling or what I’m working on. I’ll always try to set the music to the style or tone of the project, otherwise it can be a cluster of anything like Andrew Bird, Between The Buried And Me, Frank Sinatra, Mastodon, Tom Waits and Wooden Shjips.

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ?
Always start with a coffee, nothing happens until the cup is full. Also, a simple to-do list helps me focus and stay on task.

What tips would you give to improve productivity ?

It sounds counterproductive, but take breaks. When I start finding ways to become distracted, I’m better off taking a few minutes to browse some design sites or make a coffee. I always return with a clear mind and get right back into it.

You’re better than your colleagues to :

Make the best pour over coffee.

What is the best advice anyone has given you ?
Live your life. Don’t let other people’s idea of a “job” guide the way you live your life. Work on the projects you’re passionate about, and put in the hours you want to, just make sure you’re loving every day.

What is your best tip for saving time?
When it comes to design, sketch, sketch and sketch some more. My college professor Ron Beltrame pushed this on us and I’m forever grateful. Too many designers open up Illustrator without an idea, essentially wasting their time. Let the pen and the creative process take over, you’ll be amazed at what happens.

What is your routine start and end of the day?
Every day starts with a coffee and checking my email and social media. I’ll reply to any client emails, email prospective clients and get started on my projects. When the work is done, it’s more of the same: reply to any remaining emails, check social media and log off for the night.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?
Definitely a pen and Moleskine. It’s a good idea to keep one around because inspiration can come at the strangest times.