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Interview with Jim Kershaw

Home > Designer Interviews > Jim Kershaw

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Jim Kershaw (JK) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Jim Kershaw by clicking here.

Interview with Jim Kershaw at Friday 8th of March 2013
Jim Kershaw
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
JK: I have always had a strong passion for drawing and building things from Lego's to vintage BMW's. Ironically I stumbled upon Industrial Design in college and after taking a blacksmithing and design drawing course, I instantly knew it was my calling.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
JK: IRWIN TOOLS manufactures and distributes professional grade hand tools and power tool accessories worldwide for trade professionals who demand superior performance and durability on the job.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
JK: A picture hanging level for Bulldog Hardware

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
JK: Listening to good music, outside in the wilderness, or around inspiring individuals.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
JK: End user wants and needs as well as ergonomics.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
JK: Having the ability to design an innovative product that solves a problem for the user and makes their job and life easier is one of the most gratifying feelings someone can experience.

FS: What makes a design successful?
JK: If it solves an unmet need or a problem not currently addressed.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
JK: Design inspiration is all around. Throughout our daily lives we are approached with problems and interact with individuals and consumer goods. I do my best to pull inspiration from outside of a product category I am designing for. Often some of the best design inspiration is derived from nature as well.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
JK: Minimalist and user focused. Every element of my design work has a function or a purpose. I do not believe in adding fluff or flair to a design without reason.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
JK: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - Since our company is global, we often do see how culture and different societies perceive designs differently. Without traveling to particular regions to understand what is acceptable and what the users like, want, and need it is difficult to design a solid well thought product.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
JK: I feel good design always comes full circle. A lot of research and understanding is done towards the initial discovery phase of a project to insure that I am not only full submerged in the category but that I genuinely understand the users needs and frustrations. For new product categories, I will put myself in their shoes, spend the day with the user using the product to get a better feel for what they go through on a daily basis. This also helps guide the initial ideation phases and leads to innovative concepts and solve the frustration points of the user.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
JK: Don't be afraid to challenge the norm and remember some of the best designs and insights often come by mistake or when you least expect it.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
JK: Having the ability as a designer to create something completely new to the world is an amazing feeling. However designers are often "The man behind the mask" and can be undervalued and overlooked.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
JK: Always design with the end user in mind.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
JK: An open mind, communication, observation and interpretation of user needs, visual communication, and design thinking.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
JK: All relative to the scope of the project.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
JK: What is Industrial Design?

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
JK: The designs per product are all individual contribution, however designers do collaborate during brainstorming sessions and concept reviews.

FS: How can people contact you?
JK: www.jkersh.com


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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