Design, CG Graphics & Inspiration
Meet the Designer – Interview with Michael Kochersperger

Meet the Designer – Interview with Michael Kochersperger

Recently, we’ve interviewed a really talented and creative designer. Michael Kochersperger is a person who doesn’t stop on the attained and continues to teach himself new tools related to the field on a daily basis. He is the embodiment of a modern designer, because he strongly believes and executes the importance of functionality and usability, and also aims to find the balance between functional and great looking design.

Please, tell us a few words about yourself

My name is Mike Kochersperger and I am a 24 year old graphic/digital designer from Ohio. Since graduating from Ohio University in 2010 I have been involved with a variety of work including branding, environmental graphics, HTML,CSS, Flash, and motion graphics.
ABC Primer book in Meet The Designer - Interview with Michael Kochersperger
ABC Primer

ABC Primer book featured at Ohio University student-juried exhibition.

tools: Adobe Illustrator and InDesign

When did you start doing digital painting? What was the reason of choosing this occupation? Did you start it as hobby or your aim was to build up a career ? Did you have any art related schooling?

I have always had an interest in generic art since I was a child. I always was strong in art related courses throughout my life. It was not until the start of my Freshman year at Ohio University that I began considering the option to pursue art as a career. In fact I was torn between going into a business related field or an art related field, therefore I attempted to merge those two interests. I began taking core graphic design courses that year and built a passion for graphic design and marketing simultaneously. Ever since those core classes at Ohio University in 2007 I cannot see myself doing anything else as a career.
Take the Lead in Meet The Designer - Interview with Michael Kochersperger
Take the Lead

Client: Eaton Corporation, Fortune 500 company headquartered in Cleveland Ohio. Take the Lead was a campaign centralized at Eaton Corporation to raise $1.8 million toward the United Way of greater Cleveland. Eaton Corporation contributes to the United Way Campaign each summer.

tools: Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop

The subjects on HTML5/CSS3 are very popular lately. Today, resources devoted to the web development are dazzling with different tutorials in which one or other techniques are realized by means of new technologies. Sites with html5 badge appear as mushrooms after a rain. In this connection we would like to ask you a question – Is the use of HTML5/CSS3 possibilities which not always correctly work even in modern webkit or firefox justified? Now, the number of people who use IE is still great.

I still believe in designing websites that are user friendly and not always groundbreaking. I believe the content in your site is what should be the most intriguing. I appreciate those who experiment with new ways of delivering web content to the public. I still find many of those sites to be hard to navigate. This is coming from a graphic/web designer. If your customer or viewer cannot understand the navigation and basic structure they are turned off and instantly leave your site. It is critical to build sites that are user friendly. I always think back to what Apple is doing with their product. Their products are very user friendly; they reach a huge demographic. Websites should not be designed to attract only other developers. They need to reach a broad audience.
Acetech in Meet The Designer - Interview with Michael Kochersperger
Acetech

Client: Ferno-Washington Inc. Full branding campaign including a website, mobile website, icon system, animated video, 300 pound 3-dimensional model ambulance and supporting print literature.

tools: Adobe Flash, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator and InDesign

Visit site: WWW.FERNOACETECH.COM

How do you think, what trends characterize the web of 2011 and what will be popular in 2012?

I do strongly believe that Flash will continue to drift away from mainstream web design. Flash in general is too problematic and even more so when you bring the mobile element to the table. The year 2011 for web design can be described as an explosion of texture, great typography, enhanced photography, and mobile friendly all due to HTML 5 and CSS3.

In 2012 I believe we will be seeing more single page layouts which will reduce navigation and get the point across. I see an expansion of social media integration into web design. I see textures and photography to continue to be highlights of web design. Overall, web design has really opened the door for creatives in the last two years. I think there is still a lot for us to explore and there will be no set standards when it comes to webdesign.
Endurance Energy in Meet The Designer - Interview with Michael Kochersperger
Endurance Energy

Brand and identity for an energy drink. After intensive research of the market in which this product would be positioned, Endurance was created. The goal was to establish an overall brand personality and set of brand standards.

tools: Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop

It is known that problem of many freelancers is the making of the effective time-management strategy and also the lack of motivation. How do you organize your working process thus, to use time maximally effectively and at the same time to keep the interest for your work?

I am still very new to taking on freelance projects. Over the past few months I have organized my work and built my portfolio site to attract future projects. I am currently employed, working full-time as a Digital Designer. Working as either a freelancer or full-time employee, staying organized is a daunting task. With my experience I would say first and foremost is to keep your communication methods clean and organized. Keep your email inbox clean and organized. Keep your client contact information nearby. Also keeping a log of the hours you have spent on various projects is critical. To avoid clutter on your desk, there are several apps available in the Apple Store and the Android Market that can help keep this information organized digitally.

I also have several places where I back up all of my work in case of a hard drive crash. I also keep a folder of my assets that I have created over the years. I can then quickly reuse or edit existing pieces, rather than constantly starting from scratch.

There are times where designers certainly feel unmotivated and bogged down. For me the real trick to avoid being bogged down and unmotivated is to chose time frames and days that I will spend on a certain project. If I am juggling more than one project I will set aside a half day to work on project A and the second half of the day to work on project B. I am very confident in this approach.
A Life is Counting On You in Meet The Designer - Interview with Michael Kochersperger
A Life is Counting On You

Client: Life Resources Center, Dayton Ohio
Educational literature for young mothers.

tools: Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop

Recently, looking over a news feed I’ve read an interesting article “Why Minimalist Web Design Is Dead“. Interesting to hear your opinion on this topic.

I don’t completely agree with this article. Overall, a minimalistic web design does not give a designer an excuse to slack. A minimalistic site can still be very visually pleasing with impressive typography, a carefully planned composition, and of course great content. The goal of building a minimalistic website is to showcase the website’s content, not distract the user away from it. I suppose if you are building a website for a client who does not have any impressive materials, then by all means go crazy with the design. This may make up for that lack of content. Think back to Apple’s brand or IKEA’s brand and website; these are very minimalistic, but it does not matter, they make impressive products. There is no need to distract the user away from this.

I think it is a bigger challenge to make a successful minimalistic site than a site similar to walking down the Vegas strip, a sensory overload.
Two Logo in Meet The Designer - Interview with Michael Kochersperger

It would be interesting to our readers, many of whom are beginning web designers, to know where do you get the inspiration for your projects? How the ideas come into your mind? How does the process look from an initial idea to the complete large project?

Inspiration comes to me just as it does to many designers. I travel as much as I can and always bring my camera. When I see something worth remembering I capture it. I’ve built quite a collection of photos to help generate ideas. I am always searching forums, Behance.net, and other design blogs to see what other designers are up to.
Carolina in Meet The Designer - Interview with Michael Kochersperger
Carolina

Illustration depicting South Carolina’s coast.

tools: Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop

What tools do you use in the work? Explain your choice.

My tools consist of a camera, sketch book, calendar, iPod, and my Adobe Creative Suite. I frequently work in Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash, and After Effects.

Bonnybrook Farms Map

Client: Bonnybrook Farms, Clarksville Ohio
Wayfinding for Bonnybrook Farm visitors. The intent of this design was to visually simplify Bonnybrook’s 350 acre landscape to enhance the customer’s navigation around the site.

tools: Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop

What would you recommend to the young designers. Where to start? How to develop skills? What is your Must have choice of literature, video of web resources?

To young designers, get to know your professors or other mentors. I miss having professors around for ideas and feedback. Get involved in the creative community, post on blogs, create blogs, keep up with the changing technology and trends.
Perceptiv Audio (Reinventing the Album) in Meet The Designer - Interview with Michael Kochersperger
Perceptiv Audio (Reinventing the Album)

The album, which was introduced in 1894, was replaced with the tape cassette, followed by the compact disc. Now, cds are slowly diminishing as people turn to the Internet for their music collection. The Internet allows millions of people to illegally access music. But these people are missing out on half the experience of listening to music, the artwork that accompanies it. There is no physical piece of artwork or packaging. How can I as a graphic designer bring album artwork back into the digital context? How will I spark the users interest in utilizing this?

This interactive Web site, allows users to experience music with its imagery. I chose to use the Doors as my artist. This is due to my interest in the band and their number of albums to work with. The Doors were also a very creative band, which broke boundaries during their time in the late 1960s.

tools: Adobe Illustrator, Flash, Premiere Pro and Photoshop

What changes would you like to see in the design community in the next 5 years?

I would like to see more open sources for code and design assets. With this economy and the changing times, we should be helping each other out as much as possible.
mkdesignmedia.com in Meet The Designer - Interview with Michael Kochersperger

Thank you Michael, it was a real pleasure to get in touch with you. Your reasonable answers might help the beginning designers to enrich their knowledge. We wish you a lot of inspiration in your work, a lot of cool and creative ideas.

To learn more about Michael Kochersperger you can visit this links:

Michael Kochersperger’s Offical site: http://www.mkdesignmedia.com
Gallery on Behance.net: http://www.behance.net/mikekochersperger
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/MKDesignMedia

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Andrew is the chief editor of Splashnology blog. He has many years of experience within the web design industry and has a passion for the latest web technologies. 3D Models Marketplace

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  • An interesting interview, thanks. Positive to hear inspiring comments from a designer so young. Really agree with his views on user-friendly web design. There is no reason to create ground breaking-design for the sake of breaking up the ground. 

  • An interesting interview, thanks. Positive to hear inspiring comments from a designer so young. Really agree with his views on user-friendly web design. There is no reason to create ground breaking-design for the sake of breaking up the ground.