Author Archive


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His work does all the talking… until now.
David is a designer, art director, illustrator, + artist. His work does all the talking… until now. We chat for a quick hour about the plethora of work he’s done on Threadless, for agencies and for himself. David’d Make Something Cool Everyday project has helped fuel the recognition he gets that now leads to illustration jobs for magazines like Wired. His strongest message of the night was about how you “Have to fail a lot before you can succeed.”


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Just prior to her year anniversary in San Francisco, Samantha Warren reflects on her transition from DC and her time at Twitter. When talking about how other generations don’t really connect on Twitter, she drops a hint about an upcoming product by saying, “…we’re working on connecting with Twitter on a different level.”

My Name is Samantha Warren

I LOVE FUSING SMART CONCEPTS WITH CREATIVE, STANDARDS-BASED, accessible web design. I know that listening, understanding business and user experience goals, and adhering to standards are keys to well-executed design online.

On the internet I most often frequent Twitter, Dribbble, and Instagram but can regularly be found on LinkedIn, Lanyrd, and Slideshare. Let’s be friends :-)

I’m a people person. Whether connecting with clients at Phase 2 Technology — where I’m the Design Director — or moderating a panel on typography at SXSWi or catching up with other web professionals at Refresh DC, I love to participate in web community activities.

During my career so far, I’ve had the chance to work with established clients (e.g. Choice Hotels International, National Geographic, and Dupont) and individuals alike (e.g. journalists, surgeons, and environmentalist). It’s rad.


I leave the studio (occasionally) to engage in the community, give back, and find inspiration. I teach foundation-level graphic design and web design courses at the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University in Georgetown. I’m also a board member for the Art Directors Club of Metro Washington DC (ADCMW), where I’ve been leading the charge to introduce more web-related events to its yearly programming.

I actually enjoy speaking and writing. I have organized and moderated a panel at the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin and given a solo presentation, I have presented at numerous national events, and I’ve spoken internationally at dConstruct and Interlink. You can also find me in issue 188 of Practical Web Design Magazine (.Net Magazine for those in the UK) talking about how to perform a web site critique and in issue 191 walking through a website redesign [download lo-res PDF]. Blogging has introduced me to so many people online who crave design as much as I do.


I find time to escape to the beach, plant patio herb gardens, and spend time with my partner in crime husband, Jim, who is a fantastic designer. We have a cross-eyed cat named Grace who thinks she is a human and talks more than most people do. I’m a huge fan of Janis Joplin, Andrew Byrd and Devotchka, and I love hanging out with my family and friends — most of whom have given up on trying to understand what the hell I do for a living.


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Mr. Loukotka joins DesignChat for a thrilling 60 minutes and waxes poetic about the industry and his personal projects. Ryan can barely contain his inner nerd when Rob discusses his Daft Punk helmets and laser cut business cards.

1. Who are You?
My name is Rob Loukotka, and I’m a graphic & web designer in Chicago, IL. I was raised in Ann Arbor, MI, went to school in New York City, and now my professional design life is here in Chicago. Professionally, I design websites and brand identities for awesome clients. Personally, I’m interested in photography, visual effects, motion graphics, and throwing paint on canvas.

2. What is Fringe Focus?
Fringe Focus is my design blog, portfolio, and all around digital playground for the stuff I like to do. It’s an aggregator of everything awesome that I design or discover. But mostly, it’s a blog focused on design techniques, trends, and inspiration.

3. Why is this called ‘Fringe Focus’?
Have you seen my last name? It’s unspellable, and unpronouncable. Sadly, Loukotka ( Loo-kut-kuh ) is simply too complicated of a name for anyone to remember or care about. So I adopted the name Fringe Focus to cover any and all aspects of my design life. Plus, I think I address a wide array of ideas that traditional design sites ignore, so focusing on the ‘fringe’ seems appropriate. Plus it’s alliterated, so… there’s that.

4. What’s some cool stuff you’ve done?
I’ve been published in two books about Photoshop, designed t-shirts for two NBA teams, had one of my logos get sculpted in ice, sold ridiculous abstract paintings to people on eBay, and I used to help a sculptor carve birds out of wood.

5. Anything cooler than that?
YES. Over the course of two Halloween seasons, my best friend and I constructed exact replicas of Daft Punk’s helmets. It involved a couple months of sculpting, sanding, and building our own vaccuum-form machine. Plus, looking like Daft Punk gives me an excuse to wear black leather pants.


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This year will bring the 3rd iteration of Cusp Conference, the mind-melting, thought gorging, two-day event on ‘The Design Of Everything’. As with years previous, Cusp is looking for students to assist in all areas of the production. This is a cherry way to get into the conference for free so if you are currently a student and want to volunteer your time and energy, get in touch. Here are a few ways: