One Minute With…
Hi Kendrick, thanks for taking time to chat with One Minute With. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.
Thanks for having me, Conor!
Well, I’m currently working out of Jacksonville, Florida for a local advertising agency called Shepherd. In addition to that, I’m one half of Halftone Def Studios (a small screen printing business), and I freelance for myself on nights and weekends. It keeps me pretty busy, but I like it.
Walk us through a typical day in the life of Kendrick Kidd.
Hmm, typical day… I’m usually up by 5:00 a.m. everyday, and depending if there’s waves, I try to squeeze in morning surf session with friends before work. I’m at the office by 8:30, salty. After a couple cups of coffee, and visiting several design sites, I start cranking on my work list for the day. If I’m lucky, I’ll grab a slice of pizza with coworkers for lunch, but more-often-than-not I eat at my desk. By 6:00 I’m heading back to my house to see my wife & son. After dinner my freelance work starts and last until it’s time to go to bed. Wake up – repeat.
How did you get into design? Was there a defining point in your career, and if so, how did it shape you as a designer?
It’s hard to pinpoint one thing that got me into design. I think it’s something I’ve naturally been attracted to my whole life. My parents were great about encouraging me to draw when I was growing up, I think that, with some direction from my high school art teacher eventually lead me to a design career. I feel lucky that I took a definitive direction at a pretty young age, while some of my friends struggled to find a major in college, I knew going in what I wanted to do.
How do you approach a new project? What’s your creative process like?
When I was younger I use to wish my creative process was more sexy & magical, but I’ve come to appreciate its’ meat & potatoes reality. So I start with a client input meeting and get as much direction as possible. From there I do a bit of research and start sketching out rough ideas (this step usually includes a Yuengling or two). I try to work as fast and loose as I can at this stage to keep the thoughts moving. A quick edit of the sketches for relevance, and I present the roughs to the client. If there’s any major direction changes I try to address them at the sketch stage. Once a direction is chosen it’s off to the computer for rendering. There’s usually some back and forth with the client to tighten down the finer points, then Pow!!… I fly home in my private jet & have dinner with my wife & son at Disney (that last part’s a lie).
Typography is clearly a strong point of yours. Do you see a clear distinction between lettering and type design, and would you ever consider releasing fonts professionally?
Thanks man, that means a lot! Not always sure how well I do it, but it’s totally something I try to focus on.
I definitely see a difference between lettering & type design, for sure. Though some folks can do both, I feel like both require a unique skill set. It’s like the difference between being able to bake a really awesome cake, and being a baker (sorry, I watch my fair share of The Food Network).
I’m pretty intimidated by the idea, but designing a font is on the bucket list, for sure. Would love for it to happen sooner than later, just waiting for some gusto and the right circumstances (ie enough free time).
Your work includes a vast range of fields, such as print, logos, apparel, and illustration work. If, in some weird hypothetical universe, you could only do one of these, which would it be, and why?
Wow, thats tough.. I love variety. I think I’d get bored if I could only do one thing. I guess if I had to choose one it’d be identity work. I love thinking about branding systems & how designs will carry from office pencils to outdoor signage and everything in between.
If, in some Freaky Friday-like situation, you could live the life of another designer, illustrator or creative, for a day, who would it be, and why?
Hmm… I’d split the day: 9:00am – Noon Ken Barber, Noon to 5:00pm Draplin. Ken because I’d love to have his understanding of lettering for a few hours, and Draplin just cause the man is rawesome.
What design tools could you not live without?
A pencil & Adobe Illustrator. If you took those away I’d have to find a new vocation.
And finally, what tips would you give to anybody who is looking to get started in design?
I heard Candice Olson say something to the effect of, “Take your work seriously, and not yourself.” Always thought that was solid advice.