Mike Dew is a
designer based in Philadelphia. His work has proved to be incredibly versatile,
he moves seamlessly between strategic thinking, identity, editorial and
packaging, among other stuff. In addition to his
impeccable work, he has been extremely popular these days for being the most
followed guy on Pinterest. Mike has become a tastemaker; this man has a hell of
an eye for spotting beautiful and inspiring stuff. We are big fans of his well-curated
boards, it’s such a pleasure to have him answering our informal interview.
What do you like/dislike to wear?
I'm a jacket-aholic. I just picked up a rad Uniqlo Undercover rain jacket last week in NYC. I wish I could get into dress shoes but I never feel like wearing them. Maybe one day I will grow up.
What would be your last meal?
I love food and cooking, so for me this is an impossible question. As long as it was an all day event, cooked over an open fire, shared with people I loved in an amazing setting and included a cooler full of beer and multiple bottles of good red wine, that would be alright.
Name two things you would like to be good at?
Soccer and writing/singing/playing music.
Who is the most played artist in your iTunes?
The Black Keys by a surprisingly large margin. Lately I've been ripping through Turf War, Alabama Shakes, Nick Waterhouse, and the new Hot Water Music.
What did you have for breakfast today?
I think I had a granola bar. It was a while ago.
How did you come up with the idea of working in Design?
I've always been into art, and as I got older around 12 or 13 I became really drawn to logos and designing roller coasters. It was a natural progression from there. It also helped that my mom was an artist and I was exposed to a lot of that stuff from a young age.
Tell us a little bit about the way you work? Places, people, tools, etc.
As I've gotten older, my process has evolved somewhat. It used to be about experimenting with styles, learning the design programs and trying to make stuff that looked cool. I find now that I do my best work when I'm not actually working and I free my mind up and let ideas germinate in the background while I cook or exercise or go watch some live music. I write a lot of notes into my phone or in notebooks.
So far, what’s been the hardest part of bringing your design ideas to life? Any advice for those who are starting?
The biggest thing for young designers is to figure out who they are as a designer. Are you an illustrator? Are you a jack-of-all-trades? Do you want to be known for a particular style? It takes time to figure this stuff out (at least for me it did) so get started right away, and try out lots of things; you might be surprised where you end up. Never limit yourself.
What is the most rewarding experience you have had with your work?
I'm not really hung up on whether or not any of the work I make is "real" or not (most of the work I've done will never see the light of day due to confidentiality) but I'd be lying if I said that it's not awesome that no matter where I go in North America I can see my Bounce work in almost any store. It was a monster of a project. That being said, there is nothing more satisfying than when you solve a difficult problem, come up with an exciting solution and see a project through to completion and everyone (you and the client) is happy.
How would you like your work to be remembered?
Smart, solid and engaging. Never self-indulgent or overly serious.