Will Paterson is a Design Guru and YouTuber who is passionate about hand lettered vintage logos, his YouTube channel has garnered over 55,000 subscribers, with close to 3 million views. His videos consist of hand lettering tutorials, logo design tips and the intricacies of working in the graphic design industry.
What was the turning point in your life when you decided to become a designer?
When I was in college, I was studying business administration – basically learning how to be a secretary. I’m in a Church where creativity is a huge attribute within the people running, so I felt deep down the itching desire to start designing.
I then started playing with my dad’s Photoshop CS, I got hooked. Skip a good few years of learning I spent days learning all about logo design, learning from experience.
What does your day consist of?
When I first come into the office, I start my first hour drawing or doing something creative to get my brain into gear. This is normally the hand lettering or calligraphy you see on my Instagram. Logo design for companies. I spend nearly five hours with a client project at a time either designing a logo or working on some hand lettering.
I then normally start to write and plan out my YouTube videos. Each video I make is vaguely scripted with bullet points. I then normally film the video, edit, render and upload within the same day. I normally finish my hand lettering near the end of the day, and work on my website or on a blog post. I go home to my lovely wife, and check emails – normally spending an hour or two going through them and replying.
When did you start posting content on YouTube?
I was just starting out in my design career, so I was looking on YouTube for Adobe Illustrator tutorials, and realised that there wasn’t that many. So I learnt most of what I now know through trial and error and many hours of grinding to learn the program. I then thought it would be a good idea to post some videos on Illustrator tutorials that people haven’t posted. From here I started to gain a following, I transitioned to making video blogs talking about the theories of design and business in the creative industry.
What was the first logo you ever designed?
This is a slightly awkward question for me, because I really don’t know. The first logo I “ever” designed was a logo for my first YouTube channel for gaming. I designed it in Photoshop and copied someone else’s work. The first “real” logo I designed was for my neighbour’s decorating business. I see it every day when I finish work on the way home and it’s a constant reminder of where I’ve come from. I do think the logo design needs a revamp.
Are you a Mac or a PC?
Mac, everyday all day. Even though they’re expensive I think the “design” is incredible. It’s reliable and it’s functionality is amazing.
Which software do you use frequently?
Adobe Illustrator is my weapon of choice. I’ve tried other vector softwares but they’re nothing compared to Illustrator. I design the logos within Illustrator and I also use it for my hand lettering to tweak it.
What is your favourite style of logo design? and why?
My favourite style is Hand lettered / vintage / worn logo designs. I think my main reason is because there’s a lot of room to be creative, I love the human aspect of brush lettered logos.
What is your daily inspiration when you design?
Instagram is my inspiration hub. I follow close friends and anyone where I gather visual inspiration from.
What do you reckon is the best logo you’ve designed?
I’ve been asked this before, so I’ve been thinking. I still don’t have a favourite of all time. The best answer I can give is this: The logo design I’m working on at the time is my favourite. I think this is because I’m constantly pushing myself to improve my skills.
What are your top 5 favourite logos? (from all the logos ever created by mankind)
3. Fuel Bespoke
What do you think of the new Instagram Logo?
I love the new logo. I think people generally don’t like change, so whenever something changes they automatically band wagon on the hate train. The new logo is so functional colourful and happy!
What’s the best part of what you do?
This is a tough one, I think the best part of what I do is the fact I’m my own boss – with normally complete creative freedom. I like the “no limits” feeling!
You offer a hand lettering and logo design course, tell us a bit more about that.
Sure! This course is my baby. The course is about learning everything that I do in my day job. When you take part in the course you’ll learn not only how to use vector programs like Adobe Illustrator, but you’ll learn all the theories behind logo designs. You’ll also learn how to draw letterforms and create stunning typography. The main aim of the course is to build an advanced foundation for anyone who’s new to design, or who wants to advance their skills. You should definitely check it out when it comes out in July / August. SELFISH PLUG – Sign up for the email notification on my website to learn more about it and to be notified when it’s live.
What else do you do apart from design?
I do lots of other things! I play guitar, spend time with my wife, and volunteer in my Church’s Youth and Young Adult’s ministries.
One thing you always carry with you?
I’ll always carry my mechanical pencil with me to draw ideas when I get them!
What’s lined up for Will Paterson in the future?
I’m hoping to advance what I’m doing now, founding a revolutionary studio, teach and speak at events and conferences. I would also like a store to sell fonts and what not.
Who is the most inspiring person to you?
Mattie Montgomery. He’s the vocalist for a heavy metal band I love. His conviction is contagious – and I love angry music.
What is your message of inspiration for budding logo designers?
If you’re designing logos, have fun and work hard! The logo design industry is booming, with lots of competition which is exciting, but also nerve racking. Make sure you take what you do seriously, but not too seriously. Never stop learning new things, and do something creative outside of a design perspective. Like playing guitar or painting!