An Interview with Steve Wolf

From time-to-time we interview designers whose work we really love. Lately, we’ve had the privilege of interviewing Steve Wolf, a designer from Austin, Texas. Steve has a truly impressive portfolio of work and we’re really thrilled to have him on here.

Can you give a bit of a background as to how you got started as a designer?

I actually wanted to be an Industrial Designer during high school and when I went off to college in Nebraska. In college, I took a lot of fine art classes such as drawing and painting because I have always loved making art my whole life and wanted to continue practicing this craft. One day, my college professor stopped me in the hall and invited me to a graphic design meeting. I went with no expectations or any knowledge of graphic design. After hearing all of the possibilities graphic design had to offer, I instantly fell in love and knew this was actually the path I was looking for all along! I graduated with a degree in graphic design and have been in this field for roughly 8 years now.

War and Peace by Steve Wolf[Above: War & Peace by Steve Wolf]

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?

I realized I wanted to be a designer after I saw all of the things you could make in this field. I realized I could combine my love for art with the computer to create endless designs.

Where do you get your inspiration from, and which other designers work do you admire?

Some other designers work I admire include Paul Rand, Saul Bass, Ikko Tanaka, Lance Wyman and Alvin Lustig. I wanted to be just like these great design legends so I would stay up late every other night reading and researching about them until I started to develop my own style based off of these legends.

What are some of your favorite designs that you’ve created?

I don’t really have a favorite design but I enjoy working on branding and logo design projects the most. It is very rewarding to see this kind of work live in the world and it is something I want to continue to do as long as possible.

Fairisle Coffee Co by Steve Wolf[Above: Fairisle Coffee Co by Steve Wolf]

You’ve developed a really great style that’s both modern but with strong vintage elements – is that something that you deliberately chose to do or is it something that’s developed naturally over time?

I would say a little bit of both. The designers that influence me were in their prime during the 1950s through the 1970s. The style during this time period really stood out to me and has influenced my own style. I always research design from this period for every project and combine some of the elements from this era with my own modern style to create a hybrid of vintage and modern. I consider the design during these years to be some of the best ever made so I see this as somewhat of a standard for my own design. The more I research about the styles used during these years the more I find it influencing my own work.

Museum by Steve Wolf[Above: Museum by Steve Wolf]

What tips would you give to someone looking to get into design?

First and foremost: always keep learning. Research old design books, magazines, and find designers that influence you. Practice new techniques and experiment with different styles until you find what works best for you. There are no short cuts in this field so hard work and consistency will pay off.

Thanks for agreeing to be interviewing Steve! If you’d like to see more of his work, check out his website and Dribbble, and you can follow him on Twitter @STEVEWOLFDESIGN and Instagram @stevewolfdesigns.

Check out our series of designer interviews here and find out more about our favourite artists.

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