Simon Lunt never meant to be a web designer.
In 2008, U.K. based Lunt was happily working in advertising, pinch-hitting for big agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi, Mother, Publicis, EHS and more. Then the financial crash hit and the whole industry was turned upside down.
By the following year Lunt was laid off from his job, and, unsure what he planned to do next, he quickly realized he had no desire to go back to a job working for someone else. "I hate routine. Going to work at 9am every day felt like being back at school."
After taking a look around, polling friends, and doing some research, he began to notice that everyone seemed to need a website. However, all of his design experience had been in print thus far, and, as he puts it, "I knew jack about websites."
A friend of Lunt's suggested that he look into Squarespace as an option. He signed up for the 14-day trial and the rest is history. While Lunt continues to do some branding/logo work, the majority of his time is now spent as a freelance Squarespace site designer through his company Lunt Design.
Who are some of your design influences?
I don't go to galleries, collect books of other people's work, or anything like that. I love old school movie posters and great typography. Banksy is doing some great stuff, but I mainly thrive off of and am inspired by my friends. I am surrounded by photographers, designers, writers and film makers. We are always chucking ideas about and creating great work. 'Don't look up at anyone, do what you want' is my motto.
Why does Squarespace work for you?
Squarespace gave me the ability to use my design skills rather than get bogged down by code.
The web for me is full of rubbish and that makes me angry. There are so many poor looking sites, and lots are created by companies or individuals saying they are "designers," but these guys have had no training or experience, and it shows.
Don't get me started on WP Themes because it might make me cry. I used to think the existence of those devalued my skill set, and that clients wouldn't pay the rates that I charge. But soon enough they all come back.
So to me, Squarespace gives "real'" designers with no knowledge of coding the tools to create something pretty damn good. And once you get to grips with a bit of code and dig deeper, it's wonderful. In 18 months I have now done sites for at least 25 clients across the globe and exclusively work within the Squarespace platform.
Aside from web design, what else do you dig doing? And what would you be doing professionally if you were not a web designer?
I still design logos and do branding. In the past I have rebranded Playboy, Tesco Clubcard, Churchill and Scottish Widows, to name a few. I have also started developing for iOS and have a site up, Teleportfolio, which offers custom-made iPad portfolios apps for creatives. You cannot beat a print portfolio for impact but the next best thing is the iPad. It will become the standard way to show off your work I reckon. So we took what was the best features of the other existing apps and made them better. And got rid of things that made them break or didn't work. The result is Teleportfolio.
Most importantly for me is the time I have now to take photos, do illustration, mess about with video, knock a tune out -- anything creative really. It's in my blood.
I cannot imagine doing anything else aside from design. Maybe playing football in a dream world (am not calling it soccer!) -- Liverpool FC no.9!
What's next for you?
I have big plans for our iPad portfolio app and some other iOS stuff we are working on. And I would also like to concentrate on doing folio sites for creatives. The main aim is to be able to work from anywhere in the world, whenever I want. I cannot think of anything better than living on the beach with a wifi connection. That's all I need.
Where can we find you online?