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Q&A with Liam Mooney

Conceptual design thinker and humanist

I am a conceptual design thinker and humanist. I've been a farmer, janitor and sandwich maker in the past. In fact I am still a janitor here at the studio - our team can be messy. I lead our studio's creative process, and review cretive work. We believe that only the best is the best so I do my best to make sure our work always meets this standard. I also develop our business and sign up the studio for crazy experimental projects. Oh, and I also collect abandoned signs from Chinatown and cycle a lot.

Software / hardware

For design:  Adobe's creative cloud. These days I pretty much exclusively use Photoshop and InDesign. The odd time I'll edit in Premier. For everything else I use Google Drive - in fact the entire studio uses it. It can be a mess and super hard finding docs quickly, so ideally we find a better way someday. For project management we use teamworkpm. Helps us monitor billing, project tasks, and centralize work in progress. I do use GitHub from time to time to check in on web work.

As far as hardware goes: we have really crappy Dell speakers in the office (we're pretty gritty). I do use an iMac, a mac air, iPhone 5 and iPad mini. All for various parts of my job. The iPad mini is super sweet for presentations on site with a client. I connect the iPad with an adapter and away we go. Am definitely not a fan boy. I'd use blackberry or android if the devices looked just as tight and made my work life easier and more productive.

Ideal work environment

Ideally I am out in the open. Right now my space is right out in the front of the studio - the intern used to sit beside me. He was always on time. Other things: lots of space for conversation, lots of music, lots of laughs, lots of work to crit, open and transparent flow of information and knowledge, lots of books. Always looking for members of the studio to challenge ideas and work - yes men are dangerous. We do need a bigger fridge. And, ideally the work environment is free of jerks.

Work inspiration

Inspiration comes from all sorts of places and spaces. We share a lot of design inspiration, that helps. A lot of it though comes from living a full and bizarre life outside of the studio. Hanging out with musicians, experimental photo essays, going to concerts or art shows, talking to strangers, listening to people, friends and family. Asking questions. Form in it's many forms is also inspiring. Life is full of inspiration so I just try to be receptive and open to anything and everything at all times.

Artists you admire most

Bruce Mau is a philosophical inspiration. Frank Chimero, Teehan and Lax are visual and technical inspirations. Geroge Lois' work on Esquire from '62-'72 is always refreshing. New media artists like Ryder Ripps (Brooklyn, NY) and Jeremy Bailey (Toronto, ON) are incredible examples of the power that the New Aesthetic has when executed well. Mac Demarco's music is really special. Reid Flock is a really cool ceramics artist that blows my mind. Two dead guys: Jackson Pollock and Carl Beam. Here in Ottawa: Stephen Frew I really like.