The path to becoming a graphic designer isn't set in stone—some of the best designers in the world come from the strangest backgrounds. For designer David To, visuals have always played an important role in his life, but he started on his journey of artistic expression in photography. Now he applies his skills to bringing the most creative and functional visuals to life on the web.
Here's 20 quick-fire questions for our Image Magician:
Why did you want to be a designer?
My interest in art and digital photography fuelled me to become the graphic designer I am today.
Were there any other subjects or career paths you considered?
In High School, I wanted to be a photographer at first. After taking a co-op placement at a photography studio, I realised I enjoyed editing and manipulating photos more than taking photos.
What got you into front-end development?
I've always been curious with how websites are built, it all started with building cheesy personal web pages in MySpace.
How did you come to work at Radii?
I started working at Radii as an intern and worked my way up from there.
What do you like best about your job?
I like seeing projects progressing from rough concepts to finished pieces.
What's your routine when you first get to work?
I start my day by getting a large, fresh cup of coffee and reviewing emails. If I have time, I usually get my daily dose of design inspiration from blogs/creative platforms.
What's one problem you are best at solving for your clients?
I'm usually the go to guy for Internet Explorer 6 bug fixes. I'm also a Photoshop wizard.
Any accomplishments you're proud of?
I'm proud of the OPTrust 2010 Annual Report outcome.
What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a graphic designer?
Don't stop learning. Schools don't teach us everything we need; learn from online resources, gain inspiration from design blogs and everyday life.
What's the one item or app that you couldn't go a day without?
I can't live without my iPhone; it keeps me organized, connected and entertained.
What's one thing you've always wanted to do?
I've always wanted to do an across Canada road trip — it's on my bucket list.
What's your favourite way to spend a weekend?
I enjoy eating out or driving to different places in Ontario.
Coffee, tea or water?
Coffee — 2 sugars, no milk.
Chrome, Firefox, IE or Opera?
Chrome. Firefox on occasion for web development.
Most useful design or dev tool/app?
Adobe Photoshop, it's a powerful image editor with endless creative possibilities.
That's a tough question. I have many favourites, but if I have to choose one, it would be Kill Bill.
What's your hobbies?
I like jogging / hiking when I have time, watching movies and shows, eating out with friends / family and playing MMORPGs (Massively multiplayer online role-playing games).
Any pet peeves?
I'm a pretty easy going guy, I can't think of any pet peeves off the top of my head.
Play any sports?
If jogging counts as a sport, yes. I also play tennis on rare occasions.
Univers is my favourite font, followed by Helvetica. I love the perfect proportions, 16 weights and the low stroke contrast on Univers.
That's it for this edition of Eye on Radii! Coming up will be an interview with Sharepoint Specialist Suolon Hu. In the meantime, take a look at Our Work and see which projects our Image Magician has worked on.