Designer Interview with Meg Summerfield
Interview with Meg S. from Meg Summerfield Studio.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DESIGNING?
I always knew I was going to be a graphic designer, as a kid I took photoshop classes at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) in the summer. I am from Rhode Island, so I always was taking art classes. When deciding on college I thought it would be better for my "career" to do architecture. Reason #1 not to decide on your career at 17/18, you have no idea what you want in life. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't bad at it, I just knew my heart wasn't there. So after a year of architecture, I switched to liberal arts <insert parental woe>.
From there without a great graphic design program at Rice University, I decided to take every opportunity I could, including going to SACI in Florence for a semester to get my portfolio together. After Rice I went directly into my MFA from SCAD and worked as a graphic designer locally while doing my degree remotely. So... the answer to the question is... always but professionally since 2008.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO SQUARESPACE?
While working at a few different in-house design jobs I was tasked to help manage the wordpress site, at that point in my career I thought, I refuse to do web design if it includes wordpress. Ick. Bugs, issues, limitations (esp since we couldn't switch themes). I was looking for a quick site that had more blogging ability than Cargo Collective which I was using at the time, and started blogging at my food blog Summerfield Delight. It was honestly just a creative thing on the side for fun! I never turned back from there and have dedicated the last two-three years to learning the platform inside and out.
DO YOU DESIGN EXCLUSIVELY ON SS? IF SO, WHY? IF NOT, WHY?
You bet I do! Even after deciding not to design on wordpress, I have worked for projects on the platform and know it's just not for me - sorry. I think with a little ingenuity and good design experience the platform can outshine wordpress anyday. Just try me!
FAVORITE SS TEMPLATE?
I have based a lot of sites on Five for those who need sidebars, Naomi for those who want gallery indexes (just an easy Pacific based template that is faster to set up in my opinion). A new favorite is definitely Haute (which this site is based on).
ARE YOU A FULL TIME DESIGNER OR SIDE-HUSTLER?
I am currently a side-hustler! As a single-gal without roommates (and I refuse to go back), with school loans to pay, it's the time in my life to focus on career and saving money.
IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB IN THE WORLD WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Honestly, I'd be a creative content consultant. What in the world is that? Yeah it just basically means you are a hired art director on a project-by-project basis. After years of experience in photography and fashion (while doing graphic design) I love planning photoshoots, projects on a freelance basis so I could help business create the content they desire. A more hands-on art director of sorts.
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE IN A CREATIVE FIELD?
The moment I put a crayon in my hand. I was a "project kid" always creating, inventing, drawing and crafting. It would be weird to assume I would be in a career that was not creative.
FAVORITE MUSIC IN THE BACKGROUND WHEN DESIGNING?
Sufjan Stevens. Guster. Melodic tunes that I can either tune out or turn up and sing along with to get my energy back up. Keeping it upbeat helps my mood!
TEA or COFFEE?
Espresso, and also some espresso. Herbal tea at night is lovely, and maybe I'll switch to tea if I have had too much coffee but want a caffinated hot drink...
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SITE EVER DESIGNED?
Hmm... usually my most recent site. Right now that's www.redoakweddings.com - I love the extra features and creativity we were able to infuse without it seeming "too much".
WHAT FEATURE ARE YOU HOPING SQUARESPACE FIXES OR PROVIDES IN THE FUTURE?
Duplicating blog posts. For clients this would make life so much easier in learning all the elements they need. Also more than 30 elements in a summary block for clients without jumping on developer.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SS TRICK?
Currently my favorite trick is using a carousel gallery in fun ways to create slices. I'll keep that one pretty vague for y'all at this time!