We ask the world’s top designers and illustrators to answer 13 questions and create a visual response to one of their choice.
Aron Fay is a graphic designer and associate partner at Pentagram New York. He’s also the man behind the new notebook, Comp—which gives the cheap and quickly tattered composition notebooks of your grade school days a fresh, considered, quality upgrade. Do yourself a favor and follow him on Instagram @aronfay.
Describe what you do in four words or less: Listen. Synthesize. Strategize. Visualize.
When did you know you wanted to be a designer? Making band T-shirts in high school. I realized what I was doing was called graphic design, and it opened up a whole new world to me.
If you weren’t a designer, you’d be: A printmaker, a furniture maker, a chef, or a musician.
The typeface you love/hate/love to hate: I love Neue Haas Grotesk: perfect proportions, looks simple and neutral yet authoritative. I also hate it because I use it more than I should.
Your dream design (or redesign) project is: An identity for a logistics or a construction company. There’s something about how no-nonsense those two professions are that really appeals to me.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received (and who said it)? Michael Bierut tells the story of how he worked his way up at Vignelli Associates. He would design during the day, leave the office, have dinner with his wife, and then come back to the studio for a second shift. I’ve always admired that work ethic. I might not be the most gifted designer, but I try to work hard to make up for it.
The quality in others you most admire is: Clarity of thought.
You’re secretly really good at: Being a generalist and figuring out how to do something I don’t know how to do after I’ve already said yes.
The biggest design cliché right now is: Extended or stretched type, but I don’t really know. I try not to follow trends or push a graphic agenda.
What contribution will you make to the creative community in the next 10 years? I’ll get back to you in 10 years—maybe for the 10th anniversary of Eye on Design magazine.
What question are you dying to answer that we haven’t asked? Can I ask you a question instead?
What’s the answer? Hopefully: “Yes!”