Work inspiration with
Brendan Dawes

  • Brendan Dawes

    Brendan Dawes

    Designer of digital and analog objects living in the UK

My name is a Brendan Dawes and I'm a designer. I design and make all sorts of things from iOS apps to posters to electronic products both for clients and myself.

Hardware

My main machine is an iMac with loads of RAM, a rather un-magical, mostly annoying, Apple Magic Mouse and a Drobo for storage. I have lots of pencils – draws full of them, but my main everyday pencil is a Palomino Blackwing 602. I usually scribble in a Forrest reporter's notebook which is great to have on your desk as it sits nice and flat. Next to my main desk is a Makerbot Replicator 2 3D Printer which I upgraded to after owning a Makerbot Thing-o-matic for two years. I have lots of electronic bits like Arduino, Electric Imp, MBed and a myriad of components. On the workbench sits a Hakko FX-888D soldering iron which is ridiculously good. On the road I use an 11" MacBook Air and a Smythson Featherweight Panama notebook together with a Caran D'ache 849 pen. I also have a load of leads and adapters, stored in a Gridit. Oh and an all important Altoids tin which contains emergency materials like a sewing kit, plasters, paper-clips, a spare credit card and spare money. This little tin has saved my bacon many times over.

Software

Love Sublime Text 2 - best text editor there is especially as it integrates with Processing. I use Photoshop for mainly big image compositing and Sketch for UI work. Photoshop seems completely wrong for the job of UI design these days as it's still encumbered by the past. Processing sits at the heart of pretty much everything I do, whether that's using it to create final output or using it to make a tool to make other things with. On top of that Dropbox is a core part of my work flow, not only for day-to-day stuff but also using it to send files to clients. Other things I always install on any new Mac are Default Folder, Fresh and Sizeup, which is great for managing windows.

Dream setup

When I went solo just over 18 months ago I refurbished the office at home to be a perfect space to work in, so I think I already have my dream setup. Ultimately though I'm reminded of a interview I read once with an artist who said something like "it doesn't matter what your space looks like because when you're working you have your back to it anyway".

"it doesn't matter what your space looks like because when you're working you have your back to it anyway"

Inspiration

I watch a lot of films and take a lot of inspiration from them; art direction, timing, communication — it's all in there. Around my desk I have some of my favorite objects like the original Nintendo Gameboy and A Dieter Rams designed Braun calculator. Just those two things are great examples of beautiful industrial and interaction design and a lesson in the power of amplification through subtraction. Even supposedly mundane things inspire such as paper-clips; you think they're all the same? Think again! There's a myriad of shapes and sizes yet that still perform their utilitarian task effortlessly. There's always new ways to do things. You can find inspiration in anything, you just have to practice everyday to see it.

You can find inspiration in anything, you just have to practice everyday to see it