Design Splat | Interviews with Awesome Designers and Creatives


Posted January 30th by Design Splat in Graphic Designers, Illustrators, Web Designers

Good Morning Vito! Welcome to Design Splat and thank you for giving us 5 minutes of your time!

Tell us a bit about what you do:

In a nutshell I run a full service design studio called mettacreative. Our core capabilities include web design/development, print design, brand identity, and illustration. A variety of work as well as detail descriptions of our services may be found at

How long have you been a designer for?

Mentally since i was about 7, I used to walk around local video rental stores and study the movie covers, later I began doing that with comic book and album covers. Starting from a very young age up until high-school I also used to spend many hours a day drawing.  My first experience with graphic design began towards my late high school years creating flyers for various bands that I played in.

How did you get into Web & Graphic Design?

Before even owning a computer I would design flyers for my bands gigs by cutting out pictures from magazines with an x-acto knife, pasting them together as a collage and then xeroxing black and white copies, punk rock style. Once I bought my first iMac a friend of mine turned me onto photoshop and that’s when it all really started. I designed my first site around ‘96 , one of those sites showcasing artwork by my friends and I.

Do you have qualifications in design? How important do you think qualifications are for designers?

I never went to school for design, kind of just jumped right into it.  I started working for a local print company 7 years ago called metroink where I became well acquainted with different design styles, learned about typography and further developed my technical knowledge of photoshop and illustrator.  After a few years I went freelance and took my dedication to whole new level. I also began to study workflow and productivity techniques to sharpen up my business sense, which I still continue to work on.

When creating graphics, what to you is the most important aspect: planning design or implementation? and why?

They are both just as important.  When I consider to take on a new project the first step is always to guide prospects to fill out our project planner (  This provides a foundation and pinpoints the specific goal(s) to ensure the best path to take depending on the clients requirements and budget.  Once we have established a solid plan the next step is to implement it.  

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In the middle of the woods somewhere directing my business remotely and working on music for a multimedia live show.

If you could design a website for anyone who would it be?

Bill Murray.

How do you rate yourself as a designer?

I think I’ve come a long way over many years of experience, I rate myself pretty high as a designer but would like to grow much more as an illustrator and combine more traditional forms of art with digital mediums as well as print and apparel.  

In your eyes what makes a good designer?

The ability to pinpoint a specific goal or problem and create a solution that is most appropriate to achieve that goal or fix that problem.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I like parks and hiking or just spending time with creative people and sharing ideas. My favorite websites for inspiration are,,, And of course good tunes always help.

What obstacles – if any, have you encountered along the way?

Hiring the right kind of people and making sure that you are all on the same level and working as a unit. One bad apple could really poison the entire batch if your not careful.

Do you think the design industry is difficult to break into as the industry is forever growing?

Its certainly a challenge especially in the beginning. To start off you may have to do some free work or at a very low rate, just to start getting some experience and building up your portfolio.  I would recommend inquiring at a local print shop or design firm even if your just sitting in to learn from more experienced designers. The most important thing is to get your foot in the door and once you grow as a designer you can gradually raise your rate. You can also try websites like 99 designs and use the mock designs you create for your portfolio even if they don’t choose your design. Just keep practicing and once your confident with your skill-set network endlessly, both online and in person.

What drives you/give you the ‘go’ to keep at it and do everything?

Positive company, reading about influential & successful individuals, exciting projects.

Does fame attract you?

Only if it helps achieve my goals.

Do you get bored with your job if yes how do you overcome this?

If a project begins to feel dull I find that the best solution is to take a break, switch gears to something else, maybe go for a walk, go to lunch etc.. Usually when you come back to it you will feel refreshed to attack properly again. Also the goal is to plan your time to work on appropriate tasks during certain parts of the day. For example I like to work on my most creative and important tasks early in the day when my mind is sharp and fresh, at that time there is much less of a chance that I will get bored.

Favorite typeface?


Software you couldn’t live without?

Photoshop & Illustrator.

Three words to describe yourself?

Creative. Passionate. Persistent.

Hobbies and other interests?

I like to check out local bands and art exhibits. From time to time I still draw and paint, whenever I have the time and feel inspired. I’m very interested in future technology and the evolution of man-kind.

Tools of the trade?

iMac, iPhone, graph paper, pencil, pen.

Best and worst piece of work?

My favorite piece of work is a tie between the Bearfest Poster & Therina Bella Illustration for her T-Shirt. Worst Piece of work is a logo I designed bout 6 years ago for a company called Party People Promotions. It was a cd with a mic going through the hole,. Pretty cheezy, but they loved it.

Any Tips or advice to share with aspiring designers?

Keep doing what you love. Work smart, take breaks and don’t burn out, maintain a steady flow of creative energy. Eat well, exercise and drink plenty of water.

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