Q&A | A Deep Dive Into Branding & Design with Graphic Designer, Deon Mixon
With an eye for design and a mission to help people find the inner designer within them, Detroit native Deon Mixon is on the right path to making his and others' dreams come true. His latest endeavor is the Design Eye educational board game that teaches the main functions of graphic design and helps people flesh out and execute their creative ideas.
Deon's actually in the midst of raising funds to help launch the game on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform right here. He's also aiming to win FedEx's Small Business Grant Contest. To enter your vote, click here.
We got a chance to speak with Deon about his creative journey as a graphic designer and author, the purpose behind Design Eye, why Detroit is in need of a new flag and much more. Read on to get the goods on Deon Mixon.
The GOODS: Talk about your journey as a creative. Why graphic design? Are you self taught or did you pursue college to learn this skill set?
Deon Mixon: "I chose graphic design in 8th grade before I went to high school so I could have an idea of what I would pursue in college since my school functioned as college prep. Prior to that, my middle school counselor told me about design and I was persuaded by the idea that I could help bring either my ideas or others' ideas to life. Although visual design was something I already had an affinity for growing up, drawing and anime was something I was extremely passionate about."
TG: What are some of your best/recommended works?
DM: "My best works are my board game Design Eye, my novel series: The Lethal Creed Saga, and my Detroit Rise flag."
TG: What defines success for you?
DM: "Success is achieving at doing the will of God."
TG: You live in Detroit, Michigan. How has the city influenced your love for design and art?
DM: “My love for design is greater than my love for art (post 8th grade) this is because fine art doesn't yield the motive to help others bring their ideas to life. Typically, art is done for art's sake and to make people feel or think something, so connection or rhetoric. I love that, but doing the same for design is better because you get all of that, but with purpose AND function."
TG: Talk about the flag project.
DM: "I designed a new flag for Detroit because I was inspired by a TED Talk by design expert Roman Mars who talked about the "scourge of bad US city flags" and how they must be stopped. The premise was, "Detroit is a great city. Detroit deserves a great flag." In flag design (vexillography = design of flags; vexillology = study of flags), as in many types of design, there are rules.
The current Detroit flag disobeys 3/5 basic rules of good flag design. There's no lettering or seals, no use of 2-3 basic colors. It should be kept so simple that a child should be able to draw it from memory. The current Detroit flag also inaccurately symbolizes the spirit of Detroit and its people. It only symbolizes European colonialism which is not unique to Detroit, so it fails symbolically and visually."
TG: You just released a board game for graphic design which is very interesting. Explain what your main focus is for this project.
DM: "I created Design Eye as a solution to the problem of the lack of diversity in the design industry. According to the 2019 Design Census (and 2017), a survey done by AIGA and Google, the design industry is 71% white, 3% African-American, 8% Latinx, 9% Asian, and <0.2 Native American/Pacific Islander.
I thought, "How do we get minorities interested in design to pursue it as a career so that those numbers improve?" More importantly, how do we expose them to design, letting them know that it's a practical and legit career path?
So that's what Design Eye is and the idea is for people to discover the designer in them. You'll learn about the six main disciplines of graphic design: branding, print, packaging, experimental, web, and motion. From the game, you also learn four fundamental subjects which is color theory, typography, gestalt (form), and design history.
It's a mini crash course on design, and you're having fun while learning this stuff by sketching your own ideas and talking about it with your opponents. The big takeaway is that you learned and that you sketched all of these original ideas that you could one day turn into a million-dollar reality."
TG: What’s the future for Deon Mixon?
DM: "My future in this lifetime involves me finishing my novel series by writing its last two books, seeing to it that Design Eye becomes a hit, and ensuring the flag reaches the hands of more believers. I want to continue helping brands bring their identities to life and teach design to the youth and others, and work on other opportunities and ideas I come up with. I want to create, create, create, and do the will of God."
TG: Any last remarks?
DM: “No matter what anyone sees me do, they must know and understand that I'm not about making a mark, I'm about making a point.”
To stay up to date with Deon Mixon, visit his website: deonmixon.com
And if you would like to donate to his Design Eye game, click here.
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