Skip navigation

My name’s David Gillett and I’ve been working in Bath as a digital designer for about 9 years, creating games and websites for the likes of Oxfam, RSPB, Orange, Mr Bean and Teletubbies. In the past few years I’ve also been getting involved in Graphic Design BSc courses in my local area, both as a tutor and lecturer.

Over the years I’ve come to realise designing for the web can mean going against one’s natural instinct as a designer to have total control over the font choice, colour rendition and pixel perfect positioning. Those losses come with a huge gain though, interactivity.

Steve Jobs once said:
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

One of the major reasons I like to work in digital media is that you get to design interactive experiences and not just aesthetics. Take for example “We feel fine“…

We Feel Fine is an exploration of human emotion on a global scale. Since August 2005, We Feel Fine has been harvesting human feelings from a large number of weblogs. Every few minutes, the system searches the world’s newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling”. When it finds such a phrase, it records the full sentence, up to the period, and identifies the “feeling” expressed in that sentence (e.g. sad, happy, depressed, etc.). Because blogs are structured in largely standard ways, the age, gender, and geographical location of the author can often be extracted and saved along with the sentence, as can the local weather conditions at the time the sentence was written.

There’s no medium apart from the web that would give the designer the chance to play with information design, typography, colour, form, motion graphics and create such a dynamic and engaging experience.

The web compared with all other mediums in which Graphic designers work in is in it’s infancy, with the rules on digital design being written and rewritten on a daily basis. That’s what makes it just a vibrant area of design to work in.

A personal website has become at least as important as a CV for promoting yourself as a designer and gaining employment. It’s your only opportunity of showing your skills and personal style to an employer before meeting them. Invariably the first thing an employer looks at on a CV is the student’s website, if they like what they see they’ll read on, if not it’s heading for the bin.

I recently attended a talk by Tom Lane from Ginger Monkey and he mentioned all his commissions from the last few months have come directly from his website. Personal sites make it much more likely that an employer could come across your work without you having contact them. That’s vital as a lot of young designers are graduating in a harsh economic environment.

The web is driven by content and highly interconnected so if you can provide your design imagery/video in a easily portable way then you never quite know who will end up consuming it. Often I see recent graduates work appear on site like

It’s also an opportunity to show you’re an active member of the design community and not a passive consumer of it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: