Keith talked a little about his influences in a recent post, so I thought I would share mine:
David Siegel – The first person who really brought that slick Photoshopped look to the web. Sure we wouldn’t think of using 1px transparent gifs as spacers, but what he did was bring typography to the web and beyond the grey background that most sites used.
Steve Krug – I picked up his book to read during a trip to Texas. I dug deep into the book and was just wowed by the insight he possesses. So in Texas I attended this little healthcare web meeting and had lunch next to a nice man who asked everyone what they did…the man was Steve. He is such a great teacher and a good insight into the web and some old Apple projects of yore. Had dinner and beers with him later and he’s just as honest and funny in person as in print.
Paul Rand – Not a web designer, but THE graphic designer. Few people can say that they’re the definition of graphic designer, but Paul Rand was one of the true masters. Creating logos for IBM, GE, UPS, & NeXT, his work made me personally want to build sleek and basic designs that he was known for.
The crew at 37signals
Let me also add that a lot of my influences are unknown. A poster hanging up in a room, a book design, some strange 19th century clip art, a company’s badge on a case, etc. I pull a lot of these influences into my designs. Let me also add that there are thousands of people out there doing great looking designs that aren’t receiving attention. They’re stuck in some back corner of the blogosphere and just write the most beautiful code and simple designs that make me want to stop what I do.