Work inspiration with Erin Lynch

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Erin Lynch

UX designer from Vancouver

I’m Erin Lynch. I own Shop, a design studio in Vancouver, WA. The hats I hold are many, but here’s a few of them. In addition to my daily work with Shop, I hold an adjunct faculty position at The Art Institute of Portland where I teach web design and ux classes, I’m the Production Manager of A List Apart Magazine, which I dearly love and stand in awe of on a daily basis. I also own The Portland Egotist, a blog dedicated to documenting and supporting the work coming out of the creative community in Portland, OR - another group of individuals I stand in awe of every single day. I also co-run a few smaller side projects, and I’m always up for collaborating on projects of just talking about design. If that’s not enough I’m also slogging through and MFA program at the Savannah College of Art and Design.


I split my time between my main work machine, which is a 2.5ghz iMac with 8gigs of RAM and my laptop, which is a Macbook Pro, which is a 2.4ghz with 8gigs of RAM. I was getting ready to upgrade the Macbook, but decided to drop in a solid state hard drive, which made it like a new machine (speed-wise). Upgrades await, but I hate feeling pressured by Apple every year to get the newest machine, so I’m making mine last a bit longer.

In addition to those machines I use two iPads (one retina and one not), Samsung Galaxy Tab and a Nexus tablet. I generally have a camera with me, so that will be an iPhone5, Nikon 1 or a GoPro.

And Finally, on the traditional materials side I carry a sketchbook (any type with thick paper) for drawing, three small notebooks (Rhodia) for writing and rely heavily on my Alvin mechanical pencil, Uniball Super Ink and Pentel rolling Writer pens.


I’m all over the board with software. For coding I use Coda 2 with CodeKit for my stylesheet processing, for illustration and design work it’s an even split between Photoshop and illustrator and for writing I start my drafts in a raw version of Text Edit (I love raw text files) and then move to Editorially to clean them up before publishing around the web. 

Browser-wise, I spend my time evenly between Safari and Chrome. I generally have a lot of tabs opened up in both, but I really love Safari’s reading tab. I also use Evernote for note taking and storing inspirational work I come across. For moving about I have Readability for storing stuff and Good Reader on my iPad to store magazines and books. I also utilize IFTTT quite a bit for custom scripts that help me speed things up a bit. For online storage I use Dropbox with the 150gb storage option.

Dream setup

That’s a harder one. I already have so much equipment I use. I’d love less cross-over between devices, but that doesn’t look like a possibility at any point soon. Probably a couple of faster machines. My dreams would center more on the space than the equipment. I’d love to have a large space like NY filmmaker Casey Neistat where I could have the digital side as well as a functional side for traditional materials and wood working. An all encompassing space where I could work on all types of projects from painting to coding to furniture design.


I read a lot and spend quite a bit of time online looking at work from designers and studios. I love movies and graphic novels as well, so there’s always something there to grab hold of and use for inspiration. I take a lot from my family and getting to do a limited amount of travel really puts me in the right mood. Daily writing helps quite a bit as well.