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Becoming a Designer in a Ruthless Industry

An interview with
Caz Cusumano


Becoming a designer is no easy task. It can often be a ruthless industry, with thousands of designers all fighting for the same jobs and opportunities. But if you work hard, and have the right attitude, you can succeed.

In this weeks episode, Ian interviews Caz Cusumano to learn how he's navigated the design industry from the start of his career, and how his mindset has allowed him to have a successful career. We discover how he first got attracted to logo design, how he got his first design job, the struggles faced with mental health and how he's faced them, how he started his own studio, and how he works with design agencies to get a steady stream of work. We also discuss his podcast See Through Design, which he co-hosts with Liam Jackson.

Caz Cusumano Interview Transcription

Ian Paget: So if you listen to any of the podcasts that I've released recently, something that I've started doing is slightly change the format of the show so that it's focused on helping people to make a living designing logos. And Caz, we've been friends for a while. You are at a point where you are working for yourself and you are designing logos fairly consistently. I see you doing them a lot. So I want to go into your story. I want to go into your background, and hopefully people in the audience can learn from you. So I think what we should do is rewind, go back in time a little bit. Can you talk through how you origin you became a graphic designer, so how you first started out?

Caz Cusumano: Yeah, absolutely. So I think for me, when I was, well, I guess from a real young age, I was sort of always quite creative, doodling as a child. And I was kind of in an environment where my dad's good friend at the time was a designer. And it was the old school style of designing with kind of Pantone markers, mechanical pencils. I kind of remember it all quite vividly really, going into his room, if you like, and seeing all these art materials. And I remember certain things that he was doing were so intricate, the illustrative stuff. Even then, thinking about maybe logos that this guy was doing, they were quite illustrative, old school style logos that had an elegance about them that maybe don't conform to certain logo rules now. But looking at them as a piece of design, I was just so inspired. And I'm talking about really quite young, eight or nine, maybe.