When you were a child did you always want to become a designer?

Aaron Horkey
Yeah, I’ve been drawing non-stop since I was 3 but was always torn between making stuff or being a paleontologist. Still toy with the idea of going back to school for the science now that I’ve made the drawing thing sorta work for me. We’ll see what happens...

Adam Tickle
Design has always been in my family, so I have always been doing something creative, I enjoyed art and design at school but only really realised I wanted to do design when I got to college

Adrian Shaughnessy
No. I didn’t know what graphic design was until I was a teenager. But certain things stuck in my mind; one was a beautiful sign that had been hand lettered by an architect. Even as a child, I thought there was something magical about this sign, although I didn’t know why I liked it. It was a sans serif font. Clean and pure.

Andrew Blauvelt
Not as a child but when I was in high school.

Dan McCarthy
My parents say they used to ask me what I wanted to be when I was little and I would always say “Snoopy”. My mother is an artist/musician. Music and art were a big part of my childhood. I’ve always enjoyed painting and drawing and there has never been a time in my life where I didn’t want to do it.

Ed Fella
No, I didn’t know what a designer was. That term didn’t exist when I was a child. I wanted to become an artist.

Eric Karjaluoto
I suppose so, but I likely couldn’t have articulated it then. I spent a great deal of time drawing logos and letterforms. At the time I didn’t really know that the term “designer” really existed. That being said, I was always interested in creative things, and my obsessive tendencies seem to couple with that for just the right mix. ;-)

Evan Leake
When I was young I knew I liked to draw. That’s about it. I didn’t get interested in design until jr high / high school age.

Experimental Jetset
The actual concept of being a graphic designer was still far away when we were kids. As young children, we were already interested in putting images and text together: creating small comic books, drawing rockets and robots, writing vampire stories. But, especially in the minds of Erwin and Danny, the idea that there was such a thing as ‘graphic design’ was simply non-existent.

The fact that we grew up without computers might have something to do with it. Nowadays, practically every household has a computer, so children are aware of graphic design from a much younger age. But when we grew up, we had no clue just how these blocks of texts miraculously appeared in books and newspapers.

Marieke was slightly more aware of graphic design, since her father (Rob Stolk) was a well-known printer in Amsterdam. As one of the main founders of the anarchist Provo movement, Rob was involved in producing protest posters, and from there, he started his own print shop, which grew out to one of the main cultural print shops in Amsterdam. And Marieke’s uncle (Swip Stolk) is actually a well-known graphic designer. But still, even to Marieke, the actual thought of becoming a graphic designer never occurred when she was a young child.

We all wanted to be NBA players.

Flip Flop Flyin
An artist or architect were thefirst choices when I realized I’d never play soccer professionally.

Friedrich-Wilhelm Graf
Not really. But my first memories related with graphic were: Sundays in church I was always thinking about a better way to layout the lines in the hymnal books/flyers.

An artist or a free person yes.

George Lois
I drew on every surface in front of me, on paper sheets, on newspapers, on magazines, in composition schoolbooks. Draw, Draw, Draw. Drawing led me to design. (To me, if you can’t draw, you can’t design.)

Hula Hula
I always wanted to draw. As a child I wanted to be a punk rocker. Then, in high-school I decided I would be a painter or sculptor, but I got acquainted with design in college and fell in love with it.

Ian Stevenson
I always wanted to work in the land of cartoons as a child but then stopped drawing by hand and slowly moved into graphic design. Then after working as a graphic designer for a few years I wanted to start enjoying things again and started drawing. “Draw with a pen” I heard the voicessay.

Jeff Domke
I always wanted to be a creative person. As a child, I had no idea what design was, but I did know what I liked: comic books, robots, computers, movies and special effects, building forts, making dangerous toys and other similar junk. I also took private art lessons for drawing. Once I got a hold of some 3D software for my mac in 1998, I was completely hooked. I would spend days obsessed with creating 3D models and animations. I was pretty terrible at it, and looking back I produced lots of crap, but I enjoyed it. I had found my primary addiction.

Justin Ouellette
Not exactly. I was very interested in science and history. Later I realized that the things I loved learning about the most involved human communication and the nature of understanding. I see design and photography as a practical extension of that.

Lance Wyman
I wanted to be a cowboy. My grandfather, as a young man, went out west during the time of Billy the Kid, and he told me a lot of great cowboy stories. Thank goodness I discovered I could draw when I was in grade school. I still didn’t know what design was but that’s when I started to think about wanting to do more drawing (on paper, not like Billy the Kid)(I can’t ride horses very well either)

Martin Anderson
No, I wanted to be a zoo keeper or a band member in Duran Duran. But I did have a passion for logos (which I would redraw in my little drawing book) - I also collected circus posters from the age of 5, so this was the beginning of being interested in graphic design

Milton Glaser
No. I wanted to be an artist, although I had no idea what either would entail.

Please Let Me Design
Damien: At first I wanted to be an Adventurer, then an architect. After that, I almost became a rockstar but prefered staying all day long behind my Mac to touring all around the world with my band.

Pierre: I didn’t even know what that meant...

Rick Valicenti
I suppose I was always making and arranging things artistically. I am still doing the same. Back then there was no consciousness of being a ‘designer’ in my household even though back then my mother was an interior decorator. Today she is an interior designer and I am a graphic designer, perhaps simply a semantic shift.

Wolfgang Weingart
No, but a creator for something to dedicate to others, even cooking. To create something for eating has something to do with inventing.

Zoe Bather
No. Anything but a teacher, a vet, a professional hockey player, swimmer etc etc. I think at one point I wanted to be an architect and then an artist. I started my Art Foundation course (pre-degree) knowing I wanted to do something to do with art but not knowing what.

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Fill/Stroke is a collection of three individuals who have always been good at collecting content, but never really good at sharing it. We formed in early 2008, and have been honored to interview some of the greatest designers of our time.

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