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Interview with Joshua Ribbeck

Home > Designer Interviews > Joshua Ribbeck

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

Interview with Joshua Ribbeck at Tuesday 18th of October 2016
Joshua Ribbeck
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?
JR: I do not have a formal design background. I started as a child playing with electronics and eventually got into computers. Growing up, my friend was a great comic book style artist who would try and teach me to draw, but it never stuck and my family was in the construction and architecture business which exposed me to lots of different design. In early 2000 my clients started asking if I could make websites, so I started practicing graphic design heavily to fulfill that need, and that’s where my true design background started. As I began to master graphic design with years of practice, I expanded into 3d design and visual effects as our projects grew. So, in a way I chased design as a 20-year-old kid, to expand my services, but have always had an appreciation for hand drawing. Just was never able to do it myself. I can’t say I envisioned myself to be a designer, it was just always there around me in some way or another. But I absolutely enjoy designing everything from graphics, 3d, visual effects, furniture, consumer products or industrial.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
JR: Although I run a few companies, my primary is Theory Evolution started in 1998 when I was 18, and was primarily an IT firm that specialized in networking, systems integration and software. As I started to branch out into web design in 2000, the services also expanded into business consulting, advertising, visual effects, graphic design, and product design. Over the years I have started other companies in luxury furniture, writing instruments, business software, and military hmmwv restoration.

FS: What is "design" for you?
JR: Design to me is communicating an idea or message by creating something which grabs a person’s attention and draws them in without the need for words.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
JR: Anything to do with Graphic User Interfaces, Consumer Products, and Packaging

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
JR: I have multiple favorites and very hard to say. My handmade Stark Pens, and Stark Furniture lines are definitely a few.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
JR: 1998. It was our first logo on a dinner table cloth…. It was horrible :)

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
JR: My favorite materials are wood, metal and glass. Cocobolo is top on my wood list. I would have to say that when it comes to technology and platforms, I will try just about everything and use what works best and most efficient. With my electronics and IT background, it definitely helps.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
JR: I feel creative all the time. It’s not something I ever stop thinking about.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
JR: Looks and usability. I think you can have the best of both

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
JR: I feel great!

FS: What makes a design successful?
JR: If it’s for commercial use, then a successful design will help sell the product, or attract the consumer… spur action or emotion!

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
JR: For product design I check the overall shape, proportions and look. How well everything flows together and what materials and colors where used. It needs to have a good balance of function and design.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
JR: I think designers should always be on the search for more eco friendly materials, in product design. It is important to think about the life-cycle of the product way beyond its initial use. Having this foresight is important for a designer to craft products that have less impact on the environment.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
JR: I think the design field is broadening heavily with the availability of learning materials and access to software at your fingertips. The future of design is the same as today, to convey and idea or message. But with new tools and methods always evolving, it will impact the ways in which we can design.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
JR: I have never been one to enter my design into an exhibition

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
JR: My design inspiration comes from everywhere. I am always looking around at nature, science, other designers, etc. The more visual input, the more you have to work with!

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?
JR: My design style varies on what I am designing, and in general I like modern style design. Because I’m not good at sketching by hand I rely on 3D modeling and Photoshop to work out my ideas. I don’t have a particular approach to design, and it depends on the project. For consumer electronics I design from the circuit board out, which is backwards in a way. When designing my furniture line, I will start with a base 3d model and just reshape it until it looks exactly how I want. Sometimes I know immediately and that idea will just hit you. But most of the time, it’s just endless tweaking until it’s just right.

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?
JR: I’m from the state of Louisiana in the U.S.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
JR: There is a lot of bad design out there. My best advice is to know what standard of design you are looking for. Look at the awards for design and see what “the best” looks like. This is a good way to have some kind of benchmark to compare against who you are hiring and most importantly knowing what good design looks like. If your standards are low, you will hire those same standards.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
JR: Don't think there is enough space for this, haha. It's very hectic!

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
JR: Look at awards for inspiration. Look at the top companies. You need to set a benchmark at what is considered top design, so you develop those skills. Learn to look objectively at your work, and know if it’s good or not. Most importantly, loose the emotions! If you let your feelings get hurt because people don’t like what you design, or can’t take constructive criticism, it will hinder you in the long run.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
JR: Don’t half-ass it.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
JR: Depends on the type of design I think. Good color logic is a must no matter what.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
JR: Because I jump across so many design themes, efficiency is very important to me. Having the optimal setup allows me to accomplish a lot more than normal. Using the right software like Outlook to manage time and schedules is a must.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
JR: Depends on what I’m making. Furniture can take months when designing from scratch sometimes.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
JR: How much will it cost.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
JR: Being a business owner teaches you to look at things from many perspectives.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
JR: Over the years I have had the privilege of working with international clients in music, advertising, automotive, architecture, legal, consumer products.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
JR: GUI’s and consumer products. Graphic User Interfaces I really enjoy, because you have to design an interface that someone uses every day. It has to be intuitive enough where the user can learn it fast, and also be attractive so it draws the user in and make them want to use it.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
JR: Keep learning and practicing new skills.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
JR: I develop designs by myself most of the time. Occasionally on really large projects I’ll work with a team.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
JR: Sure! Currently we are designing and developing the Fellowship for Animals, which is the most advanced animal shelter ever conceived, and has been an absolute blast. I have a new coffee table and bookcase design I am releasing for Stark Form, and all new pen line called the “Fusion Series” for Stark Pen Company. There are a few others, but these are absolutely on top.

FS: How can people contact you?
JR: Email, Website, Phone, Social Media


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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