My name is Dave Hall, and this is my journal about the annoyances and delights of working in design, being an obsessive creative and surviving as a dad.

I like to ruminate on music, photography and anything visual, subjects that keep me inspired and ultimately sane in the face of random temper tantrums.

When I was young

It all started with my scientific father and theatre-going mother. They piqued my interest in how things worked, and also how they were presented. What I really wanted to be was a writer or a war photographer. I was nine. I promptly drop those dreams as a teenager and joined a band.

After unsuccessfully lighting the world on fire as a musician, I studied literature and philosophy, then began a career in advertising as a copywriter. It wasn’t quite Mad Men, but it did teach me that content is key. 

Mac-Quadra

I loved writing, yet became curious about what the bearded designer guy did with my words all day. After pestering him, I got hold of a spare Macintosh Quadra loaded with Photoshop and Illustrator, and a copy of Designing Web Usability. Now I could combine words with images. I was obsessed. In my spare time, I taught myself the fundamentals of design, psychology and an ancient form of HTML.

A new experience

In early 2000, the first dot-com bubble hit the online company I was working for as a Features Writer. It was a good time to change career and explore being a designer for a living. 

What got me excited about design in those nascent days was the fact that I could explore my ideas from start to finish and do it myself. Working for various design firms over many years, I finally went out on my own as graphic and web designer in 2007, learning how important psychology and research is to creating a usable experience.  

I never quite became a novelist, although I completed a draft that has never seen the light of day. Though I do have some lovely rejection letters to show for it. 

Dieter Rams

Some of my inspirations are the images of Saul Leiter, films of Adam Curtis, design philosophy of Dieter Rams and Alan Fletcher and wordplay of Samuel Beckett.

Where you can find me

You can view my design work on Behance and photography on Flickr.

I listen to a lot of music while working. Here’s my list on Spotify. Get some book recommendations from my reading list on Goodreads.

Contact me on TwitterLinkedIn or email me for a chat.