Interview with Spencer Nugent


This interview truly is something very special to tireless designer. We have a man for our „2×5 Questions“, who definitely taught thousands of students, without even being a Professor at an University -Spencer Nugent! He is not only a great Product Designer, he also is the founder of and, two of the first sketching tutorial sides ever.

1. Hey Spencer. Why did you become a designer and why did you start

 I became a designer because I love tinkering with and making things. In other words, I’m obsessed with creating cool „stuff“ for lack of a better word. idsketching and sketch-a-day are websites that I created based on my love of visual communication. I wanted to create a place where people could find videos, inspiration and examples of good visual communication.

2. What are the most fun projects you are working on? What kind of project do you enjoy the most?

The most fun projects I am working on are personal right now. I’m in the middle of building my first home for my wife and I. We designed it ourselves ( she’s a graphic designer )  and have been enjoying the process of designing and making. I also enjoy working with startups and love the high energy and optimism of groups like that.

3. Are there good chances for European students to get internships in the USA?

Certainly! The visa thing can sometimes be a problem, but if you have the talent, you can find a place to land.

4. Do you or did you take part in design competitions? What do you think about design competitions for students? Are they important for applications and the portfolio?

I don’t take part in competitions. I think if an idea is good, people will naturally recognize and validate it as a whole, rather than having  a small group of „peers“ give you a pat on the back. For students, it’s about tailoring yourself to your chosen audience. If your audience loves „award“ winning products, then go enter competitions. You have to design yourself and who you are.

5. Is there a difference between American and European design?

I think so. I think European design seems pretty emotional and comes from the gut. I love the heavy focus on aesthetics and beauty. American design can be somewhat harsh at times and a bit less unrefined.

6. In your opinion, how important is good freehand sketching these days in everyday work?

It’s important to me. I couldn’t function without being able to quickly capture my ideas on paper or digitally. Things are changing, however. As digital ideation tools get better, they will help freehand sketching get better. Some try to replace sketching with CAD etc, but that will never completely be the case in my opinion. 

7. What software do you prefer in your studio and why?

For ideation, Autodesk Sketchbook pro is my go-to solution when i am working digitally. I use Photoshop for rendering and creating presentation pages. Solidworks for CAD and Alias for light surfacing „sketches“. For rendering, I use Keyshot.

8. Who inspired you when you were a student?

When I was a student, I was a Feng Zhu fan. I still love his work and style, but in particular, then, I tried to emulate him before I found my own voice.

9. MAC or Windows?

MAC and Windows (Only when I have to)

10. Do you have a tip or advice for all the students out there, that you would have loved to hear back in the days?

Be a sponge and take it all in. Life is short. Be fearless.

Thank you very much Spencer for your thoughts and advise. We wish you all the best for your career and new home and we are looking forward to see some more great tutorials, sketches and products of yours.
Check out Spencer’s websites: and studio tminus.




In connection to this interview and in honor of Spencer Nugent’s love for freehand sketching, we raffle a 6-Pack Copic Markers and some papers to create great stuff. If you like sketching or if you want to learn sketching, just leave a comment below or “like” our facebook page content here, to get the chance to win. We will contact you, if you are the lucky one!
Good luck and stay tireless.

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