Vibe Out w/Ryan

Written by Rachel L. Ritter

RyanRyan Cates started at the Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham before Mike, Mel and I were there.  He was on his way out when we were just getting started. His focus is Graphic Design, Illustration & Web Design.  According to his LinkedIn profile, Ryan describes himself as

“A creative obsessed with dynamic type, content with depth and effective interface interaction, with a passion for fine art”.

You’ve been doing graphic design work at DZone, Inc. for almost a year.   Tell us more about them and what you do there? DZone is an Internet start-up.  We run a website (http://DZone.com) that is built around a global community of developers.  We also have software that the owners of DZone created called AnswerHub, it’s basically a Q&A platform mainly for enterprise level businesses but we also cater to smaller companies that want to use the software.

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Visual Identity Package created for DZone Inc.

How long has it been since you graduated, and how long did it take you to find a job after that? I graduated December 2010 so a little over 2 years.  And I would say it took me around 3 months to get my first freelance job then I ended up getting a job at a print/sign shop in Durham, NC about 2-3 months after that.

Traditional tattoo style illustrations w/added texture.
Traditional tattoo style illustrations w/added texture.

What’s your favorite design rule that you follow, or favorite design quote? I never really followed ” rules of design” even in art school I would break the rules but I always had an explanation which most of the teachers didn’t mind.  Everyone has their own way of being creative.

cool pink

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Custom vector illustration. “CMYK” 2011

What’s your favorite typeface or site? Not sure if I have a favorite typeface but I really like what Lost Type has been doing for years now.

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Logo concept. “Anonymous” 2011

Are you organized or do you work around your mess? I’m all around pretty organized.  I think designers are predisposed to being clean and organized.  We have such a different outlook on life and I’d say that’s applicable to any artist.

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Custom vector illustration. “The Print Shoppe” 2011

What’s a regular work day look like for you? I go into work at 9:30am and recently since the year started I’ve been designing and building http://answerhub.com for the software I mentioned before, but I also have other weekly tasks for DZone as well so I have to manage and prioritize my schedule and time.  It’s kind of like working for 2 companies at once sometimes but it’s satisfying work.  I typically go to lunch around 1pm then I come back and work some more and leave around 6pm.

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What organizations are you a part of that you regularly attend and/or network in? I used to go to the monthly AIGA meetings but I don’t really get a chance to go anymore from just being busy with work.  But I still receive the newsletters so I always see what’s going on.

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Thanks so much for being a guest on our blog!  Visit Ryan’s Portfolio to get links to these favorites of ours and to see more of his work. | Email him at ryancates12@gmail.com to let him know you liked his interview and post below to let us know too.

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