END BAD DESIGN: This Week – Missy Austin

END BAD DESIGN: This Week – Missy Austin

Missy Austin, designer at Zeus Jones (with me!)

Tell us a bit about who you are and the work you do:

I’m a recent grad of the University of Minnesota, native Wisconsinite, and I just started my first “real” job as junior designer at Zeus Jones. When I’m not busy figuring out how to be an adult, I find myself working on a lot of visual identities and iconography systems, which is great fun. Hand drawing type and pretending to know css has been taking up most of my free time lately.

What is your go-to font or font combination as of late? Can you provide a screenshot?

I’ve been using faces like Ziggurat and Neutraface Titling a lot (only in all caps).

Why do you like that combination?

I’ve always liked strong, blocky typefaces in their boldest weights. Something about it must make me feel tough.

What font do you think is overused and about to go out of style?

Brothers. I’ve been seeing it a lot, and I’m pretty sure Old Chicago uses it on their menu. That was it for me.

What do you wish you could tell new designers to quit doing?

I’ve heard a lot of new designers who are fresh out of school saying things like “I’m not into interactive, I like tactile things.” While, yes, we all can appreciate letterpress, I think statements like that can shut you out of opportunities. You’ll never know what you like (or what you don’t) until you give it a legitimate try.

Also, if you think something is cliché, it probably is.

What’s the next trend?

Otters. Period.

Or replacing bicycles with something far less mundane. Like a pony.

Which trend is about to be over?

I’d say uber gender specific design (i.e. ribbon banners and super masculine seals) and making everything look fuzzy. I am completely guilty of giving things the “old carpet” fuzzy effect as of late, but I think it’s out, for a sheer lack of a better answer, which I’m not proud of. I’m also waiting for the day “put a bike on it” is no longer an acceptable solution.

What designer do you want to turn our readers on to?

The first designer that I ever learned about was Josef Müller-Brockmann. I became borderline obsessed, which I think played a big role in why I pursued design. The sheer thoughtfulness and clarity of his work is still astoundingly beautiful to me.

Becky Lang has learned a lot more about design from sitting next to a designer at work than from reading any book explaining what ascenders and descenders are. END BAD DESIGN is her attempt to give everyone that access to designer opinions.

Former editions:

Travis Stearns

Caroline Royce

Chris Larson