It was the best of #DesignTwitter, it was the worst of #DesignTwitter, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of trolling for LOLs. Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen both the dark side and the bright side of everyone’s favorite social network. We’ll start with the bad.
“Public design critic” Eli Schiff, whose incendiary comments have long stoked outrage and debate within the design community, finally crossed line with Twitter last week with a racist screed about Uber and Lyft drivers. Shortly after it was posted, Twitter suspended his account.
Schiff is a known entity on Design Twitter, and his banning did not go unnoticed.
— Skyler Westby (@skyler_westby) February 19, 2020
In fact, it was widely celebrated.
a gasping and exhausted liege bursts into my bedchamber to inform me that Eli Schiff has been banished from the kingdom
— ཊལབསརངཧ (@David_Rudnick) February 19, 2020
It is a beautiful day on https://t.co/dodZdyICMH, eli schiff has been banned 🙂
— Erik Carter (@erikinternet) February 19, 2020
When I saw that El* Sch*ff was banned today, it reminded me how when I told design colleagues about his toxic, racist, xenophobic, disableist, anti-trans takes, many gaslit me. They defended his “value” to the community, that it was “just part of his schtick.”
*Listen. to. us.*
— Tatiana Mac (@TatianaTMac) February 19, 2020
I’ll follow anyone celebrating that Eli Schiff was suspended.
— Nathan Lawrence (@NathanBLawrence) February 19, 2020
Yet out of the ban, “Eli’s Intern” has spawned. The likeness is….striking.
Eli’s Power Grows.
He will return. Updates from his intern on this account pic.twitter.com/7VzgB5Z9jl
— Humans of Coronavirus (@HumansOfFlat) February 19, 2020
Perhaps it is just a matter of time before someone pops up to fill the void. For now, we can celebrate that the bad guy got banned in the end.
And on that note, the good news:
In its best (and fleeting) moments, Twitter does, in fact, fulfill the idealized rhetoric of its founding principle to connect people. This week on #DesignTwitter we saw Jonathan Hoefler embrace the platform’s promise with one of his impromptu type clinics, where he offers free advice to type designers looking for a little guidance in their work.
From time to time, I’ve done impromptu type clinics on Twitter. I thought I might try and make this a regular feature, so if you’re working on letterforms and could use a second set of eyes, feel free to DM me. —JH pic.twitter.com/x73Eu28ipM
— Hoefler&Co. (@HoeflerCo) February 24, 2020
When we say a little guidance, we mean a full-on crit, as Hoefler undertook with a designer stumped by the (admittedly imperceptible) problems with the connection between an E and T.
Ahoy, Paul! Happy to offer a second set of eyes. I like where this is going: personally I’m not seeing anything wrong with the E-T join, but maybe this is what you’re seeing (& a way out)? —> https://t.co/rAryLpiWTZ
— Hoefler&Co. (@HoeflerCo) February 23, 2020
Not to be all sentimental, but we love to see people coming together for the greater typographic good. Especially if those people happen to be the “lone type fanatic in an organization,” as Hoefler so eloquently put it.
But not all advice is solicited, and that, too, can serve a purpose. As winter slush turns into spring sun (anytime now, please), another ritual is on the horizon: year-end portfolio reviews. Professor Mitch Goldstein happily and helpfully doled out a whole thread of advice for students looking to up their portfolio game:
OK THREAD TIME: Students and emerging designers: we are soon heading into Spring Portfolio Review Season™. Here are a few things I would suggest paying attention to as you show your portfolio around during interviews, recruitment events, and portfolio reviews.
— Mitch Goldstein (@mgoldst) February 13, 2020
Grooming tips included…
8. Breath mints. Shave. Haircut. Present yourself like you give a shit.
— Mitch Goldstein (@mgoldst) February 13, 2020
And just when you thought you thought school was the last time you’d be taking a test, we caught this long thread of the concept of “design take home tests” that some employers give to potential hires as part of the interviewing process.
Take-home exercises are trending on Design Twitter again. I’ve never hired so I will just say this:
Your company is one of many. The best designers have the most options for interviews. Why would they choose the option that requires them to burn their time for free?
— Pavel A. Samsonov (@PavelASamsonov) February 24, 2020
Many shared the opinion that a take home test is asking for free work and the same things could be gleaned through a portfolio walk-through.
I’ve hired designers and I will never ask for a design exercise for a couple reasons:
1) A good portfolio already showcases talent
2) An in-person meeting would include a deeper dive into a couple case studies/projects
— Ryan Fernandez (@ryfernandez) February 24, 2020
Others said it depends on the level of the designer, and how much of their work you have to go off of.
As someone who has hired, it depends on where in the career the individual is.
If the portfolio is full of amazing work, and they have 5yrs+ experience, cool.
If some work is good, or they are newer, a take home test is valuable to see approach & ability under pressure.
— (@QManning) February 24, 2020
Then we learned that Square is covertly collecting knowledge on teleportation…
Interestingly, that’s the same one Square gives candidates
— Gabe Will (@agabewill) February 25, 2020
In conclusion, #DesignTwitter has been a lot lately. We’ll leave you with some lovely accidental images and the reminder to get offline at some point today.
my studio laser printer is running on empty and producing miracles 👨🏻🍳 pic.twitter.com/ljHtofr108
— Travess Smalley (@travess) February 24, 2020