About Scott Smith
Background

Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, I studied art at several colleges including the University of Colorado in Boulder, the University of Utah, and the National School of Art in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea before completing my BFA at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. At Otis I learned the fundamentals of color theory, typography, craftsmanship and conceptual rigor that influence every decision I make as a visual communicator.

Professional Experience

Long-term creative gigs have included:

  • A good run as staff photographer, designer, and later creative director at Reagan National Advertising (outdoor and print)
  • Production manager and editorial designer of the Mountain Times, an alternative newsweekly based in Park City, UT
  • Web designer and content producer at Yack.com, an internet startup that bit the dust in 2001
  • Principal artist and lead web designer/developer for the University of California Office of the President, overseeing UI design for many of the the California Digital Library sites, UC’s systemwide site, and a variety of multimedia projects
  • Associate Creative Director at Kessler Group and Expert Communications, two direct marketing agencies in San Francisco. I managed creative for interactive projects and did a lot of business development and pitch work.

Though much of my design career has been spent in-house, I’ve freelanced regularly for a number of agencies including ZENxd, H3C, SNP Communications, Expert Communications, and Loud Dog. Independent clients have included UC’s California Digital Library, Seebold Marketing Communications (CEO Summit), Food for Soul, the Four Winds Society, St. Regis Hotel in L.A., Procreator Golf, Suzi Smith and Associates, the Utah Advertising Federation, Earthlink, and KRCL community radio.

Design Philosophy

I’ve spent the past 12 years focused on interactive design and have seen a lot of trends come and go. Thankfully, an emphasis on user experience and content is gaining new support among both designers and clients. Whether designing for the Web, for print, or multimedia experiences, my focus has always been on communicating ideas as simply and elegantly as possible using whatever technology and medium best serves the client’s needs. Generally, I believe that less is more. I believe in editing relentlessly, optimizing constantly, and never forgetting who the audience is.

I am committed to designing Web experiences that are accessible, easy to maintain, and flexible for future updates, so naturally I’m a big fan of web standards and semantic markup. Being as picky about how a site looks “under the hood” as it does in the viewer’s browser often requires a bit more planning and forethought in the early stages of a project, but the results—sites that load fast and look and function as intended—are clearly worth the effort.

Scott Smith