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Author: Dave Harfield
6th May 2009

Five Questions with Calvin Lee of Mayhem Studios

So who’s Calvin Lee

So who’s Calvin Lee? If you’re a designer who’s into social media then you really ought to know…

Five Questions with Calvin Lee of Mayhem Studios

He’s Principal & Creative Director of Mayhem Studios, an award-winning design firm located in Los Angeles, California, developing identity and brand recognition for the business sector across the United States. He also serves on the Creative Latitude Management Team and boasts a twitter following currently pushing the 20K mark. If that’s not enough then Mr Lee also features in the new book by Steve Gordon jnr titled 100 Habits of Successful Freelance Designers: Insider Secrets for Working Smart & Staying Creative.
Calvin recently took time out from creating identity and branded collateral pieces, annual reports, brochures, logo design, advertising and interactive web sites to share his thoughts and experience with Web Designer magazine. Thanks Calvin.

Creative Latitude Management Team
100 Habits of Successful Freelance Designers: Insider Secrets for Working Smart & Staying Creative

Describe yourself in five words?
Spiky haired designer with Twitter addiction

Which design tool makes the biggest contribution to your creative output and why?

Photoshop is the most used in my creative process. The reason: I’m able to quickly and easily layout a design in a rather short amount of time. The tools within Photoshop are incredible. The ability to restack the layer order, non-destructive filters and effects. Photoshop also has the ability to drop in vector graphics without losing quality. Making changes are a breeze, really speeds up my process.

Tell us what you consider to be the most useful technique in the design/development process?
I always start any project with research, more information the better. Then sketch out small quick thumbnails of my ideas with pen and paper. This really helps me with developing the concepts and layout. I use a pen, so I can’t erase. The point is to explore, as many ideas as possible and not having to worry about how it looks. Once I have the concept nailed down. I jump on the computer.

Web creatives love designer fonts. What’s your favourite and why?
Avant Garde has been my favorite font since I was in college. It has remained my favorite to this day. Avant Garde is elegant, classic and clean. I also like how it’s a bit wider then most fonts, it gives you a much better readability.

What is the one tip that you would give to anyone trying to get into the industry?

Networking is one of the most important tools in finding work, clients and projects. Get the word out to friends, family and anyone you know. Let them know what you do and you’re looking for work. Most times, someone has a connection that will get your foot in the door.
Also sign up for social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Bizik and portfolio sites. From my experience, Twitter is the best way to network and connect with potential clients.

Five Questions with Calvin Lee of Mayhem Studios

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    • stuartflatt

      Great guy, always helpful and never sleeps. Though one of you can’t count for question one ;o)

    • Dave Harfield

      Ha ha. You’re right.

      Calvin is on twitter when I come into work and on again when I leave. Considering I’m GMT that’s some dedicated twittering!

    • Andy Sowards

      Calvin is the Man, Nuff Said ;) Great Designer and a Great Friend. Legendary Tweeter

    • mayhemstudios

      Thanks Dave for the interview again. I had a great time doing it. :)

    • Michiel Nagtegaal

      Calvin Lee is a real addition to the Twitter community, especially for those who are interested in (web)design, typography and illustration.

      I hope we can enjoy much his work for a long time in the future.

    • Dave Harfield

      You’re welcome Calvin, looks like it’s a popular article!

      Thanks for supporting us and hope to get you on the podcast sometime soon…

    • http://elysiumdesigned Paula LeBlanc

      I love Calvin. I really appreciate all the great tutorials and information. Thanks Calvin!!!!

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    • Roberto

      Great tips. Thanks.

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    • Sarah Edwards

      Love the article and your tweets Calvin…

    • Anita Nelson

      This is great! What a nice interview format. We all love Calvin! So much so he’s less than 50 away from 30k already! Keep up the greatness!

    • Syed Balkhi

      Calvin, I can’t agree with you anymore on networking. Dude I really appreciate all the links you share on Twitter and contribute value to the community.

      Rock on

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    • IconNinja

      This is a great short interview. I hope to read a more in-depth interview in the near future.

    • mayhemstudios

      Thanks again guys! :)

      @IconNinja there are quite a few much longer interviews of me floating around on the web. Do a search for Mayhem Studios. I’m also working on a few new interviews too. :)

      - Cal

    • hermes kelly bag

      [...] The reason I was mentioned in the magazine was because of the Designer Interview I did on the blog, you can check out the interview here! There are also some other awesome Designer Interviews in their interviews section, check out the other interviews! One of my Fav interviews(other than mine of course!) Has to be one of my bud Calvin Lee, He is a great friend and a twitter legend. So check out Calvin’s Interview! [...]

    • Hoda (aka @hoda007)

      I have the pleasure of knowing Calvin personally, I met him through my involvement with social media (Calvin aka @mayhemstudios was one of the first people I connected with on twitter). I can personally testify to the fact that he is not only talented in his graphic work, but also one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He is always there to lend a hand, and with all the recognition he has been receiving these days, he has remained the same person, and very humble. I consider my self lucky to have met Calvin and be able to call him a friend and one of his 60k+ twitter followers.
      A big thanks Dave & the Web Designer Mag for the interview. By the way I really enjoy your excellent magazine, just wish it had a lower price tag here in the US :)
      Thank you,
      Hoda (aka @hoda007 )

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