My name is Ian Paget, but most designers online know me as Logo Geek! I’m a 34 year old graphic designer from Manchester, UK.
I don’t have a formal design education. I was very fortunate at the start of my career to get an office admin role that had a small amount of design work within the job. As I was good at the design tasks, and weaker at telephone bookings I was given more and more design tasks. That allowed me to learn more, sparked a passion and evolved into a full in-house graphic design job.
I was a very creative child. Drawing, art and design was a real passion for me. I spent most of my time drawing, making models and entering competitions on the TV. I had my work on a few kids TV shows, and was encouraged as a teenager to pursue a design career. I studied art and design at college, but never had a formal design education, so I felt as a young adult that the career I have now was impossible. My very first job right out of college was a print finisher role. This is where I was first exposed to designers, and I quickly realised I wanted to pursue that more than the ‘hands on’ material side. I then left this position for an admin based role at a medical company. That role was 90% admin, but a very small part of the job involved designing banners for a national sales team. As I was very shy at the time, I wasn’t confident on the phones, so given more of the design tasks, which allowed me to learn on the job. At that time the company outsourced the graphic design work, but as my skills improved it moved in-house, and I was in the fortunate position where the company invested in me. I was in that role for 5 years, and learned to design brochures, posters, video illustration and photography. As my design skills became more advanced, I moved on to a full time lead design position at a web design company, which later became a Design Director role where I oversee all aspect of design for the business. On the side I’ve always liked to practice my skills, and push my design capabilities. I’ve worked on numerous things like movie posters, album covers and computer games, but one thing that really took off was logo design. In 2012 I set up a fun side venture called Logo Geek, so I could offer my designs to friends and family, as well as share things as I learned more. From that day, my website is now on page 1 of google, my social following has rapidly grown, and it is also my main source of income. 2 years ago I went part time so I could focus my energy into Logo Geek.
What is your inspiration? Where do you go for inspiration?
I have a large collection of design books that I can refer to, and also look up to design agencies. I find Google useful to search related keywords, which can spark ideas. Sites like Behance, Dribbble and Logo Lounge are useful for finding a desired aesthetic for reference.
Who inspires you?
From a design perspective, I would have to say Paul Rand primarily. His advice and approach to logo design is by far the best. I also look up to agencies like Pentagram, and CG&H who do incredible work. From a business perspective, I enjoy listening to podcasts and videos from people like Pat Flynn and Chris Do. I also find many members of the Logo Geek Community inspiring too. Seeing the work, and thoughts from others really helps me to learn and improve my craft.
Who is your biggest support?
There’s been a few people along the way. When I first started, Phil Ellis, who was the designer at a local print helped me out a lot, and showed me the ropes! Some of the managers in that role also gave me opportunities, even though I didn’t know I could do it. They let me try. In my design role at the web agency I work at, the owners of the business have also encouraged and pushed me to be better, and to keep learning and improving. They’ve also supported me whilst I grow my own business part time. My girlfriend is also always there. She gives me the space to work, and listens when I have ideas, or struggles. She also gives me blunt direct feedback even when I don’t ask… but that pushes me to keep going!
Have you won any awards or appreciation for your work? What was the award for and when did you get it?
A few years back I won Gold in the International Visual Identity Awards. That was for the logo I designed for Bathily. I now rarely enter design awards. Instead I focus on being on the jury which I feel looks more impressive to design clients.
What do you like about your work?
I love that I can help peoples dreams come true. If they have a business idea, there’s something about a logo and brand identity that makes it ‘real’ – it’s exciting, and I love working with people that have big goals.
What do you find the most challenging?
I’ve always struggled with confidence, so still today I find it a real challenge to take sales calls. By email it’s easy, but despite years of practice I still feel very anxious picking up the phone to a new customer. I have techniques I use, but it still feels quite daunting at first.
What do you want to say to your fans?
I feel those who follow and look up to me do so because they want to achieve the same. All I can really say, is to focus on your goals and dreams and push forward each day towards them. I got where I am today though daily actions. Each day aim to do one small thing towards your goals… even just 30 minutes a day mounts up… doing that every day is 180 hours a year! imagine what you can achieve if you worked towards a set goal. You can do anything.