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Author: Dave Harfield
8th April 2009

Five questions with Andy Sowards

So who’s Andy Sowards

Five questions with Andy Sowards

So who’s Andy Sowards? He’s a freelance web designer, prolific twitterer and the selfless provider of the Web Development Nerdy Daily Links; a huge collection of links, tips, resources, tutorials and inspiration that he collects and shares with web designers the world over, every day. Andy recently took time out from providing innovative and extremely high quality custom Web 2.0 sites, Web Applications, e-Commerce Solutions and WordPress Blogs (and posting on twitter) to answer five questions for the Web Designer magazine blog. Thanks Andy.

Five questions with Andy Sowards

1) Describe yourself in five words?

I’m a Funny, Ambitious, Dedicated, and Fearless Creative

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

Photoshop, hands down. It is probably the very first Adobe product I ever learned, and probably one of the most used ones still to this day. Photoshop can easily and effectively create a beautiful Graphic Design, Print Design or help me to layout pages and web app interfaces so I can quickly judge what is going to work, and what isn’t without having to waste a lot of time actually developing the interfaces themselves. Once I decide it’s good to go in Photoshop, that is where the creativity ends and the ingenuity begins. Photoshop opens worlds of possibilities, and has changed the world’s creative process.

3) Tell us what you consider to be the most useful technique in the design/development process?

My partner in crime would have to be Firebug. If you don’t know what Firebug is then you should go get it now. It’s a FireFox add-on that will shave hours off your workflow when you are creating CSS/javascript intense development or trying to debug pretty much anything. Whether I am creating a hot new site design in XHTML/CSS from a brand spanking new. PSD, debugging some jquery/javascript in a dynamic web form, or even exploring a sweet idea I had for during some downtime, Firebug is there to fire up and just dive right in and test stuff! Best part of it is, that you can change anything, and when you find what works, go with it, or not, it’s up to you! Either way it helps you develop sites faster, Highly recommended. Get it here.

4) Web creatives love designer fonts. What’s your favourite and why?

Wow, this is a tough question, because there are tons of fonts I use regularly and I love them all equally. It is always up to the look and feel of the project that decides which font(s) I use. If I had to choose one font to live with I would probably choose Verdana, the trusty and versatile san serif font. At first I did not really think much of the font, but over the years I have seen it being used over and over again, but always looks original and awesome. From a readability standpoint it is also very easy on the eyes and flows well with most content. So the font has grown on me and is now one of my favs.

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

Fantastic question. When I was trying to get into the industry I wish someone had an answer to that question!
It’s hard to narrow it down, but if I could give one tip to someone trying to get into the web design/development industry it would be this: find someone that already does it with passion, and work for them or apprentice with them, whatever you do just LEARN from them. There is no better, or faster way to learn the industry, than getting tips/tricks from someone who does it day in, day out, for a living, and loves it. Even if they are not the best, they are doing what they love, and that is the goal isn’t it? Some quick guidelines for the journey are: 1) Get used to learning, a lot. 2) Don’t give up, it gets hard sometimes. 3) Have fun.

Five questions with Andy Sowards

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    • Lee Graham

      Congrats Andy! Great article & go VERDANA!!!

    • Jon Marc

      Andy, you are seriously awesome man! You are my hero.

    • Arif Gangji

      Nice Job Andy…I agree btw, Photoshop and Firebug are mandatory tools for any web designer.

    • Gaya

      The last question was a good one! Love the answer too! To become better, you seriously have to look and listen to the better people out there. Without help of my colleagues and some peeps on the internet, I’d have never been able to do what I do today.

    • Navdeep

      Nice answers. Andy, you rock man!


    • Bernd Artmüller

      Nice interview, thanks andy.

      As you mentioned in tip 5 to find someone who is already in the design industry. The problem is, where can i find him/she? I think not every designer wants to help you, so lots of people who wants to get into webdesign give up, because it takes lots of time and practicing.

      Regards, Bernd

    • Andy Sowards

      Thanks for the kind words everyone! I appreciate it! I am truly Honored!

      @Bernd Its crucial to be motivated to learn on your own terms for the most part, but when you get stuck and have a question that is a good time to seek out someone to answer your question. It doesn’t have to be just 1 person, it can be multiple! Everyone is willing to help/share to grow the design community! Twitter is a great place to find instant access to literally Thousands of great web developer/designers, just be mindful of ones time :) Good luck!

    • Sean Baker

      Congrats on the interview Andy; keep up the hard work and keep at it, my man!

    • Saronti

      Great interview. Love your answers to the last question! Spot on!!!

    • Nick Pagano

      Very cool! Congrats Andy! Great job, and a great read.

    • Misty Belardo

      Great interview Andy. I love Helvetica but Verdana is another favorite. I love your nerdy links and look forward to it everyday. And yes I totally agree, always have fun in whatever you do.. I’m glad we became Twitter buddies, I learn from you everyday = ) Congratulations!!

    • Gaith

      Congrats Andy, ride on :)

    • Rob MacKay

      Great interview Andy :) And thanks for your nerdy links :)

    • Ricardo chiappe

      Andy, I must say it’s a great interview.
      Also feel the same about helvetica ;)

      Keep the great work


    • Lasha

      Awesome interview, and an awesome read! Great answers to all of the questions. Go Photoshop/Firebug!

    • marieidat

      Great interview, last answer especially is a really useful one for me as a wannabe web designer. Thanks, Andy!

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    • dsfs

      Very nice…

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