Justin Ahrens challenges common ideas of what design success is and discusses how it is achieved by other means. This eye-opening video will broaden design’s potential for self-gratification and improving the world.
Name: Alex Egner
Name of Firm/Studio:
eggnerd (Which is kind of a regrettable name, but also which is an anagram of Egner GD, which is an abbreviation of Egner Graphic Design, which is kind of boring. So eggnerd it is.)
Location: Denton, TX
How would you describe your work?
I try to produce work that is stylistically diverse, but rooted in strong ideas. I call this proprietary combination Smart & Sassy™.
Design school attended:
BFA in Communication Design from University of North Texas
MFA in Design: Visual Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University
Where do you find inspiration?
My sources of inspiration are pretty much anywhere and everywhere. At the risk of sounding like a motivational desk calendar, I just try to keep my eyes and mind open.
Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?
It’s very hard to pick favorites, so I will list the first 15 names that come to mind at this moment: Michael Beirut, David Shrigley, Alan Fletcher, Gary Larson, Dave Eggers, Maira Kalman, Paul Rand, Louise Fili, Graham Roumieu, Cristoph Niemann, Paul F Tompkins, Paula Scher, Jonathan Franzen, Louis CK, and Shel Silverstein.
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?
The title of favorite probably goes to MainlyAnimals.com, a blog I created to display my captioned drawings of animals (and some other things). The website is presently on hiatus, but dreaming of a comeback. Though I continue to sketch tons of ideas for the blog, I haven’t managed to post any for quite a while. The internet doesn’t seem to be clamoring for more animal-related content.
Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
I recently wrote and designed a book for Chronicle Books titled Experience Passport. Writing all of the content, collaborating with an editor, designing the book top to bottom, working with a sales team—these were all new processes for me, each with its own learning curve. It was highly rewarding, but a definite challenge.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
I’m pretty content with the present. More of the same, please.
What’s your best advice for designers today?
Perhaps I should mention here that I teach full time in the communication design program at the University of North Texas. So I find myself doling out unsolicited advice to young designers almost daily. Here’s the best I have to offer: It is important to create your own definition of success. If you try to adhere to someone else’s definition, you will soon end up in a very unhappy place.
Additional work by Egner:
Thinking of entering the 2015 RDA? Here are two reasons why you should:
“Print is one of the most influential publications in our industry; having the opportunity to even be considered for inclusion in the RDA is a no-brainer.” —2e Creative
“We are proud to be able to talk about our Print RDA award on our website and in social media. We hope that it will boost our studio’s recognition within the design community. We also think potential clients view award-winning design studios as a valuable partner that can potentially produce award-winning work for them too.” —Jen Thomas, The Beauty Shop