Follow Friday – March 11, 2011

I’ve been “stalking” these two for weeks and all my hard work finally paid off this week. I was able to have a long Skype chat with Boston-based designer and web developer Jen Strickland from Ink Pixels Paper and a great lunch with Mike Gastin, president of Bob Wright Creative in Rochester, NY.

Designers should check out my chat with Jen. While awesome in general, there is a gem there regarding how she deals with project content. I’m curious to know if there are any other designers with the same policy. Please comment and let me know!


Jen Strickland Twitter avatar

Jen Strickland (@inkpixelspaper)
I met Jen briefly at a Refresh Rochester event back in November 2010. Unfortunately I was leaving early the next morning for New York so we didn’t get a chance to talk for very long. We’ve communicated regularly on Twitter since then and I had a chance to have a long Skype chat with her this week. Jen is the creative force behind Boston-based Ink Pixels Paper. In addition to web and print design, Jen is also a musician and visual artist. Her work overflows with creativity influenced by those mediums. And her background is as colorful as her work; including an offer to work for Ian MacKaye (Fugazi) at Dischord Records and a stint at Aerosmith’s Boston club, MamaKin. One of the things I found most interesting about Jen, relative to web design, was that she doesn’t begin design work on any project without all the content up front. I don’t know how many other designers work this way but it makes SO much sense. If a designer’s job is to communicate an idea, how can they do that without content?


Mike Gastin Twitter avatar

Mike Gastin (@mikegastin)
I really enjoyed getting a chance to finally sit down and chat with Mike. Particularly because although our lines of work are somewhat different, we both came to entrepreneurship in roughly the same manner. After a series of jobs, we both realized we didn’t like working for somebody else, that there would never be a “perfect” time to forge our own path, and that the best time was now. So in 2003, Mike’s entrepreneurial drive kicked in and he bought Bob Wright Creative, where he uses years of marketing and sales experience to expand the business through strategic development and to foster a culture of blessing. Check out the packaging design work they did for Wegmans. I love their use of color and texture, particularly on the BBQ sauce bottles. Just looking at them makes my mouth water. So you know their work is effective.