Tattle-Tales: Interview with our In-House Designers: Dan & Jon

Dec 6th 2023

Tattle-Tales: Interview with our In-House Designers: Dan & Jon

We have a super talented crew here at Busy Beaver! Two of these members are Dan Charleston and Jon Peschke, who make up our in-house Design Studio. You may have received a proof from one of them or talked to them on the phone regarding some artwork questions. We wouldn’t be able to do it without these two. Either of them would be happy to customize buttons, stickers, enamel pins, fridge magnets, or packaging special for you!

I sat down and chatted with the both of them to learn some more about what design means to them. Also, everything you see in this blog has been designed by them!

ED: Who are some artists you look up to?

DC: There are so many talented artists and we are lucky to have so many available at our fingertips in the digital world. A few of the top that come to my mind are the designers over at House Industries. They’ve been in the business so long and really enjoy the process from start to finish. I love artists who have dedicated their life to their craft and aren’t out to make a quick buck on what’s trendy in design at the moment. Shout-out to Ches Perry at Right Way Signs in Chicago who has been at it since the 70s. Absolute legend.

JP: I try to avoid comparison- everyone’s born with the capacity to be creative, and artistic success is mostly circumstantial. Van Gogh was a loner with bad eyesight and a lot of free time to paint haystacks. That said, I’ve always admired teachers for sharing their creative passions with others- Dave Bliss and Gale Trausch are two former instructors who really changed the course of my life at an early age.

ED: Where do you find inspiration?

DC: I think a lot of the best inspiration comes from things outside of the design world. Nature, architecture, & motorcycles come to mind immediately. All of the best color palettes and combinations already exist in the natural world. Go look at a flower or take a walk and just exist in the world around you.

JP: I used to worry a lot about originality, but over the years I’ve come to understand that art imitates life- distinct styles arise from major shifts in society outside of the individual’s control. There are clear trends in fashion, music, and visual art in the decades preceding the advent of the internet, but we’ve entered an era defined by the endless doom-scroll of content imitating itself because the socioeconomic order is at a standstill. For now, I’m mostly inspired by the major events and relationships of my personal life- things like addiction, loss, and love.

ED: What is good design in your eyes?

DC: I think a lot of good design is about knowing your audience. With the amount of visual information that we are all receiving on a day to day basis it has to be something that will make you stop in your tracks and actually take in the information instead of just passing by. Bright and bold is always a good strategy.

JP: The most important thing for anyone trying to be successful in the field of design is to recognize that it’s not art. Art is about personal expression, breaking rules, and is inherently political. Design is a set of psychological principles that help communicate a specific message effectively. In other words, a good designer removes their ego from the task at hand and uses concepts like iconography, hierarchy, color, unity, proximity, and balance to direct the viewer’s eyes around an image and make it stick.

ED: Tell me about your favorite font and why!

DC: Starsiak! It’s bold.. it has Chicago history… I mean just look at it? It is a really unique set of letters.

JP: I don’t pick favorites- variety is the spice of life!

ED: What are your favorite kinds of design projects to work on?

DC: My favorite design projects are working with new media. It keeps things interesting. There are always little problem solving puzzles in order to get a design to work on different materials or items.

JP: I love creative challenges, especially those that allow me to work with others to bridge disciplines and senses. It’s extremely gratifying to translate a flavor into packaging, a fragrance into an image, or a song into an animation. Designing at Busy Beaver rules because I’m constantly working with talented folks to make things that push me out of my comfort zone.

Thank you Dan + Jon for answering my questions and providing such thoughtful answers! Do you need some help with a brand new design or an edit to a pre-existing one? Whatever it may be, you are in great hands! Do you need a button designer or a sticker designer? Look no further! Reach out and get something custom created today!

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