Interview With David Airey – Graphic Designer And Blogger

Hi everyone, I recently had the pleasure to interview David Airey, I’ve known David for some time now, almost a year now I think. He is someone I highly respect, and he’s a very talented designer. He recently launched a new blog which we talk about in the interview. Hope you enjoy it! :)

David Airey - Graphic Designer

Jon: Hi David, thank you very much for taking the time for this interview. Can you tell our readers a little about yourself, what you do and where you’re from? A typical day in the life of David Airey, how is it like?

David AireyDavid: First off, thanks Jon, for thinking me worthy of an interview. It means a lot, and I’ve enjoyed your blog articles for some time now.

I’ll keep my background intro brief so as not to send anyone to sleep.

I was born in ’79, in the small town of Bangor, Northern Ireland (just outside the capital Belfast). I’m a self-employed graphic designer, working from home in Edinburgh, Scotland. I moved to Scotland at the age of 19, for studies, and decided to stay, as it’s a beautiful city. I’m now 28 years old.

A typical day involves getting out of bed at 7am and having breakfast with my girlfriend, before she heads off to work. I’ll check my emails at about 7:45am, and that’ll be my working day started. Work involves identity projects, blogging, print design, accounting, and attracting new clients with online marketing efforts. My working day ends around 6, 7 or 8pm, depending on whether I’m heading out to play football, go to the cinema or gym.

Jon: How did you get started? Did you study anything in particular?

David: At the age of 15, I studied art and design in college. That lasted 4 years until I left for Scotland, where I studied graphic communications management at uni. I went on to take a post-grad course in management, and have continued teaching myself about design from then on. It’s a never-ending process this design education caper, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop.

Jon: I know you’ve been blogging for almost a year and a half now, how is blogging helping your business? Do you find it’s a useful tool and do you find clients through your blog?

David: The vast majority of my clients arrive through my blog, which is incredible! Before I started, I had no idea how powerful a tool your blog can be. It has helped me rank highly in search engines for relevant terms, and at the time of writing, I’m #4 on Google for ‘logo designer’. Without a doubt, my blog is the single most important marketing tool I have.

Jon: What are the tools you use, the ones you could never get rid of (softwares, apps, etc…) ?

David: Adobe’s Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop). Adobe Acrobat. WordPress. Those are certainly the most valuable tools in my arsenal.

Jon: How do you find clients? Do you use job boards and classified ads websites?

David: I’ve touched on this already, and my WordPress blog is my main method of attracting new clients. I don’t use job boards, although experimented with them when I was first starting out. Now that I’m a little happier with my online portfolio, job boards might bring about more success, but thankfully things are going well for me, so I don’t have to worry about that.

If you can find clients through word of mouth, which I do, then you’re onto a winner. It means your past clients are happy enough with your work to do your marketing for you. I always ask clients for a testimonial, so I can show them on my website.

Jon: If you know you’re not going to be able to meet a deadline (for whatever reason), what do you do? How do you handle it?

David: Under-promise and over-deliver. That helps me meet any deadline I set. I purposely tell clients that I’ll deliver a project stage a few days after I know it’ll be complete. That way, I can allow for unforeseen circumstances, but more often than not, I deliver before I’ve said I will, giving the client a pleasant surprise.

Jon: What would be your best productivity tip?

David: Close your email application when working, and only check emails once every hour, or a three or four times per day. In the past I used to have my inbox open constantly, so I’d see every email as soon as it arrived. This proved a big distraction, and I save a lot of time by only checking emails on the hour.

Jon: Where do you find inspiration? Any websites or places you like to go to get the creative juices flowing? (online and off)

David: Offline, I find inspiration in the great Scottish outdoors. The scenery in and out of Edinburgh is spectacular, and it’s vital to take regular breaks from the computer. Online, I subscribe to around 70 or 80 RSS feeds, and every couple of days I’ll scan through my Google Reader for design / blogging inspiration.

Jon: You recently launched a new site,, can you tell us a little more about it? What are your goals with this site?

Logo Design love

David: I’ve been thinking about a more focused blog for some time, and had been encouraged by my regular readers to launch one. On my main portfolio site, I blog about a wide range of topics, but what I enjoy most is logo design. So it makes sense to build a specialised resource, both for my own learning and hopefully for the benefit of others who are interested in the craft. My goal with the new blog is to attract a new audience, helping build a different network of contacts. I purposely registered a domain with ‘logo design’ in the name, to help with search rankings, and logo design love’ was the most appropriate one available.

Within the first week I’ve had over 450 people subscribe to the feed, so hopefully I’m doing something right.

Jon: What’s in your Ipod? And if you don’t have one, why?

David: I don’t have one. Is that bad? I keep a lot of music on my hard drive, and some of my favourite groups include: The Doors, Massive Attack, St Germain, Dave Matthews Band, Lamb, Nick Drake, Jack Johnson, Zero 7, Jefferson Airplane, and many many more.

Jon: Thanks a lot David for taking the time for this interview, it is really appreciated. Keep rockin!


*note: I hope you enjoyed this interview with David Airey. We will have more interviews soon, if you know someone who you would like us to interview, drop us a line.