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.
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 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. I do have some lovely rejection letters to show for it though.