A spotlight on Xtian with 8 questions and our favourite pieces.
Xtian Miller is a multidisciplinary designer in Detroit with a specialty in graphic and interactive design. Currently a design lead at Vectorform working with world-leading brands.
Founder of SIGNAL A and creating typographic posters. Formerly on board of directors at AIGA Detroit. Creator of Design Titles and Emergence.js.
Do you remember the moment you knew you wanted to become a designer?
As a kid I vaguely remember having this notion of wanting to do something creative that a lot of people would see, and then when I was about ten I won this competition to design my school’s official artwork on their mugs—not exactly glamorous! But it spurred me on.
Did you go to design school? Do you think it was necessary to get to where you are today?
I studied Graphic Design at University, and in all honesty it didn’t really help me get my foot in the door—only some unsolicited design work I’d done on the side did. But later I believe it helped me get interviews—most recruiters for agencies like to see that. As far as what I learned on the course, they gave me a good foundation for type, composition and some experience in collaboration, but nothing as far as how to use the tools, so that aspect had to be self-taught.
Who is your favorite designer right now?
I’ve been really enjoying the nonchalant simplicity and humorous works of Eike König. Historically-speaking, I’ve recently gone back to Bob Gill and learned a lot from his philosophy and approach.
What is your method of getting out of a designers block?
Just start on something. I read a quote by Zat Rana who said action stimulates inspiration more often than inspiration stimulates action. I can attest to that.
Can you describe your ideal working environment?
If I don’t need to collaborate I’d prefer distraction-free isolation, with a comfortable temperature and ergonomic chair!
Some of our Favorites
What advice would you have given yourself 3 years ago?
Stay focused and don’t worry about perfection.
What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your career so far? How did you overcome it?
Just overcoming the voices in my head saying I’m not good enough or ready. I just accept it’s a mental game to help me improve and that with each project or challenge I can take those lessons and make something better the next time round.