Tim has over 10 years of design experience. He has a passion for information design, brand strategy, consumer analytics & user experiences. His clients range from small startups to multi-billion dollar companies. Tim transforms complex data into simple visuals. He loves creating infographics, presentations, data viz websites, dashboards or simple one-pagers. He has also made thousands of prints & graphics for numerous apparel companies. Currently, Tim is a Freelance Designer at Nike.
Please summarize your professional career in 1 to 3 sentences; what should everyone know about you?
TD: Tim Degner graduated from Savannah College of Art & Design with a BFA in Graphic Design. He has over 10 years of design experience. He is a Textile Designer with a fascination for analytics and all things digital. His clients range from small startups to multi-billion dollar companies.
How would you describe what you do?
TD: In simplest terms…I’m a graphic or textile designer. That’s what I tell most people But it really various per client, per project, per day. Sometimes I’m a Typographer, Infographic Artist, Data Visualization Designer, Brand guy, Marketing dude or Print Designer.
Why did you choose to be a designer?
TD: My brain. I suppose I’m a very visual thinker. The hot phrase is design thinking, but its just make sense to me to illustrate things. I love illustrations and information design when I learning new things or explaining something.
What steps did you take to become a designer?
TD: I took no art classes in High School (I really wish i did). I attended SCAD and majored in Graphic Design.
Best/Most Challenging part of your job?
TD: Best – everyday is generally different, every client has different problems to solve.
Most challenging – never enough time / small budgets / people underestimating how long the design process takes.
If you weren’t a designer what would you be?
TD: Making something with my hands, something “creative” without calling it art or design. Basically not knowing what “Design” was.
How did you get started in design?
TD: SCAD helped be push myself further. I was always drawing when I was younger. But its desire inside myself to keep making things.
What do you like about what you do?
TD: The whole process is pretty interesting. Creating something from nothing. Working on different mediums. Mastering one aspect of design and applying that to something else. Design skills overlap into all areas of art and the “real world.”
What’s a common misconception people have about what you do?
TD: Design is easy, it’s always fun and anyone can do it.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
TD: Still in the design & tech industry. Focusing more on the strategy and analytics side of design.
What sparked your interest in design?
TD: I’ve always loved art & design. just embraces it more in college and declared it as my “passion” for life. That’s when i realized i could major in art. I had no idea you could really make a good living off of art. But honestly, I’ve always loved art, colors, geometry, drawing, music, etc.
How has your work evolved since you began your career?
TD: Absolutely, i think it should evolve. You have to as an artist or designer. Some years I make big jumps other years I’m refining & revising my approach. But something designs are truly timeless, but most are trendy.
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
TD: NIKE, I’m still learning about the rich brand history, product line, the overall business, athletes, materials and trends.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your career?
TD: You never have enough time. move fast. Don’t over think it. Just get stuff done. It’s never finished. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
What advice would you give to young designers?
TD: Have fun, make things, travel, learn, explore, watch TED Talks, try new things, visit museums, sketch and/or write everyday. don’t listen to negative people. Do what you love, everything will fall into place.
What would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
TD: Make more fonts (typefaces). Continue to grow my client list. Sell my Portland Postcards to local shops.
Are you superstitious or do you have any rules you live by?
TD: Don’t be afraid to try. Fail Fast.
What’s your motto?
TD: Enjoy your life, it’s over before you know it.
Other (feel free to tell the readers anything about you that we didn’t ask)
TD: Apparel Clients: American Eagle / Belk / Carter’s / Chico’s / Eddie Bauer / Forever 21 / Jack Wolfskin / K2 Sports / Nike / PacSun / Poler / REI / Soma / Sports Authority / Tail Activewear / Urban Outfitters / WHBM