Ryan Prudhomme is an independent designer who specializes in logo design, illustration and icon design. We interview him as part of our Logo Designer Interview series to get an insight into the lives of the designers and the processes of how they create timeless logos.
What was the turning point in your life when you decided to become a designer?
I only really knew I wanted to be a designer three years ago. When I was young, I was always enrolled in art classes. I loved drawing and photography but never seriously thought I could make a career out of those skills. In College I switched majors at least 4 times and never really knew what I wanted to do. Finally, I got my first real job at as a retoucher at a photography studio. One of my co-workers was a design student and he showed me all of the cool stuff he was currently working on. At that moment my life changed forever. I realized that I could essentially get paid to draw and doodle. The rest, as they say, is history.
What does your day consist of?
The first thing I do when I wake up, is make a cup of coffee. I can’t do anything without coffee. While I’m having my cup of coffee I take some time to browse design sites like Dribbble for inspiration, and to see what my peers are working on.
Next I start actually working. For new projects I typically begin in my sketchbook like any good designer should. Then I scan some concepts I think might be worth exploring, and play around with them in Adobe Illustrator.
Later in the day, I take my dog to the park and let him run around while I decompress and try to clear my head. This is especially helpful when I’m stuck on a project. I try to end my day at 8pm but that almost never happens.
What was the first logo you ever designed?
The first logo I ever made was for a local coffee roaster. At that time, my design skills were pretty awful to be honest, and the logo I made was complete crap. Thankfully I reconnected with that client a few years later and was able to design him a brand new logo.
You specialize in logo design, illustration, and icon design, what do you prefer the most?
It’s really hard for me to choose, because I love doing all of those things. But If I had to choose, I would have to say logo design is my favourite. I love taking a complex idea and boiling it down to a simple concept that helps express that complex idea.
Are you a Mac or a PC?
I know this is going to make me a pariah, but I am a PC. PC gaming is one of the only ways I can unwind after a long day working, and I just couldn’t have the same experience on a mac. Sorry!
Which software do you use frequently?
I live and breathe Illustrator, that’s basically the only software I use. I do use Photoshop to export all of my designs into raster formats.
What is your favourite style of logo design? and why?
I really like minimal logos but I also really like logos that make great use of negative space. I believe that you can say more with less. People who aren’t designers don’t spend enormous amounts of time dissecting logos, so the quicker you can get a message across with a logo, the better.
What is your daily inspiration when you design?
I find my inspiration in the most unexpected places. I usually have AH-HA moments when I’m sitting around not thinking about projects I’m working on. You will never get anything done by staring at a screen for hours on end.
What do you reckon is the best logo you’ve designed?
That’s a tough one. I think the best logo I’ve made was my FLY SOUTH logo I made for an Australian clothing company. It just felt really well put together. I was extremely happy with it, and so was the client.
What are your top 5 favourite logos? (from all the logos ever created by mankind) What’s the best part of what you do?
Geez, now that’s a tough question. My top 5 are:
What else do you do apart from design?
Outside of design, I love to scuba dive. I’m currently working up to my dive master certification. It’s probably my next favourite thing to do besides design. I am also an avid gamer, lover of science fiction novels, and a movie buff.
One thing you always carry with you?
I always carry a mechanical pencil and a tiny notebook with me. ALWAYS! You never know when that next great idea is going to pop into your head.
What’s lined up for Ryan Prudhomme in the future?
I mainly want to keep growing as a designer. I’ve already grown a lot over the past few years, so I’m really excited to see what the future has in-store for me. I would also like to get a job at a large design agency and have the chance to work with some big name clients. I think that that would be a great experience.
Who is the most inspiring person to you?
My inspiration doesn’t come from just one person, but a whole bunch of people. More specifically the people over at Blackformat. Blackformat is a collective of designers, illustrators, and animators who come together to support each other, and collaborate. Check them out at blackformat.com!
But on some real levels, my greatest inspiration is my girlfriend. She has pushed me to become the person I am today. Without her I probably wouldn’t have pursued a design career.
What is your message of inspiration for budding logo designers?
Practice, practice, and practice some more. Becoming a great designer takes time. It’s not something that just happens overnight, so keep pushing yourself to learn more and be better. Don’t worry about how many ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ you get because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that you are both satisfied with and proud of what you’ve made.
Promoting great logo design.