Earvin Fanfair

Earvin Fanfair — Fjord

Earvin is a Toronto-based designer, with a focus on crafting intuitive user experiences and systems thinking in the digital space. Aside from work—his interests span across all forms of art, playing and watching basketball and documentaries.

What led you into design?

From drawing ReBoot to Dragon Ball Z characters as a kid, I’ve always been into art and creating things. When I was in the 8th grade or so I remember going over to a friends house and seeing him on his computer creating a mixtape cover for some artist in Photoshop. I had no idea what Photoshop was but I was instantly mesmerized, like woah... what is this and how do I do it. He gave me some janked version of Photoshop and I literally spent hours every single day for years just making random stuff.

When I was in high school I started making mixtapes covers for DJs and musicians all over. For me at the time that was the end all be all. I thought I was going to be making mixtapes cover for the rest of my life. But through that, I really started to see the fulfillment of creative expression.

As I got older my interests started to shift towards brand identities and other forms of communication design and I started to learn more about the history of design and its foundational aspects.

What does a typical day look like?

My day usually starts with chugging green juice (If it’s early in the week).

When arriving at the office my work day starts with catching up on emails. Then browsing my feed on Feedly to catch up on local, industry, tech, design and sports-related news. Following after that would be attending your typical agile scrum ceremonies.

My mornings are when I do a lot more thinking and conceptualizing ideas. The afternoons are a bit more tactical or organized in terms of gathering and consolidating my thoughts. I really like to get my scattered and scribbled thoughts in an organized placed by the end of the day so I can pick it up the following day with clarity.

What’s your setup?

Currently, I’m embedded in our clients' office for the project that I’m on, so I can’t take pics of the space. But here’s my home setup for that weekend work.

Where do you go to get inspired?

Dwell is probably the one I visit the most for inspiration. I’m so fascinated by prefab modular homes. These new ways of thinking about the architecture world draw great parallels to digital products.

Siteinspire is high on my list for most visited sites. DesignerNews to see what other peeps are chatting about. Siiimple and Brutalist websites would fall under that same category as Siteinspire.

I also keep a Design inspiration board on Feedly with a running list of sites for inspiration.

For inspiration around organizational approaches or thought leadership on specific subjects, I go to Medium

Offline, I get my inspiration from my parents. I never forget the sacrifices they had to make to provide a better life for me and my siblings. I’m also inspired by my co-workers, friends and also just changing my perspective or scenery. That can be as simple as taking a new route to work or just approaching those daily habits we get accustomed to differently, which is something I try to be very mindful of.

What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?

This is not really new, but I’ve always been, and still am very curious to see what Airbnbs acquisition of Lapka meant for its service offerings. There’s some much opportunity with the merger of those two companies and I’m still eager to see where they take it!

What pieces of work are you most proud of?

Probably some of my earliest work, which was on Volkswagen and McDonalds. McDonald's was the first product piece I work on and was pretty cool to help them bring their first mobile app experience to Canada. Volkswagen was the first project that I really stretched the ask.

It’s also cool when I get freelance projects that aren’t digital. I worked on this script piece for a clothing brand, which was a play off of Fela Kuti’s song “Expensive Shit.” It was super fun to get to play in this world again.

What design challenges do you face at your company?

The range of problems Fjord/Accenture solves for is wild! The biggest challenge with that said is the process for each project can vary drastically. You are usually not working with the same group of people from project to project so you have to be really adaptive in that sense.

What music do you listen to whilst designing?

Any advice for ambitious designers?

Speak directly, big words don’t make your ideas any clearer. This applies to the output of your work as well. Design is a process of reduction don’t muddy your idea up. Don’t be precious about your work, learn how to let go and don’t be afraid to show people early on. Be as empathetic as you can in your work. Lastly, take breaks and relax...no seriously do it.

Anything you want to promote or plug?

Sure, hit me up on Instagram. I also have some writings up on Medium ✌🏾

Share this interview

Related Interviews

Gabriela Iglesias — Frog

Gabriela is a New York-based art director, digital experience designer, fashion history lover, art enthusiast and gif connoisseur. Currently at frog, working with clients to drive growth and innovation through design.

Fabio Basile — Mikleo

Manchester, UK based designer who wears many hats but is widely known for his vibrant, elegant and fun designs.

Bill Kenney — Focus Lab

A natural, lively, and charismatic people person, Bill focuses on the value of surrounding himself with great people, whether mentoring his team or facilitating collaboration with awesome clientele.

Alberto Calvo — Cabify

Product Designer based in Madrid with a passion of learning how things work. He likes to make clean, thoroughly thought and organized stuff.