Who are you?
I am Daniel Patrick Simmons, a California-based designer and illustrator. I’ve been drawing since I was a kid and have dabbled in web design and user interface, but now I focus all my time on illustration-heavy branding and logo design. I also have a rather large collection of pencil shavings.
What influence does California culture have on your design?
California has a very independent spirit, and growing up here you sort of absorb a laid back, collected approach toward art, design, and life in general. My work has always been messy and unpolished, sometimes because of an impatience I have with getting my ideas into a usable concept, but that’s okay because it’s a constant process of learning, working out problems, and finding different ways to do it next time. As long as I create something that is relevant, delightful, and inspires my clients to be more passionate about their job—I’m happy.
What are you working on?
A number of projects at the moment—a packaging update for a French action sports brand named Clean Hugs, I just finished a custom wordmark and icon for Fabio Capelli, an Ibiza-based audio engineer working under the moniker Lyrebird, and developing the brand identity for Jacq & Jack, a salon, barbershop, and café in Lake Nona, Orlando, Florida. They just opened, go pay them a visit!
Tell us about your setup.
I work out of an office inside an auto body shop. It’s sometimes a bit noisy and dirty, but it’s located street-side on a main drag in Midtown Sacramento and has a big window. I like it. There are a deep dish pizza and sandwich shop across the street which I frequent rather often. On a good day, my setup consists of a large desk, tons of sketching paper, and a sharp pencil. Most of my time, however, is spent staring at a twenty-seven-inch screen answering emails.
Where do you find the most inspiration?
Working in design full-time can be taxing, and when you’re running the show solo it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I find the most inspiration by getting out of the office, freehand sketching, or writing longhand in my own personal journal. These practices allow me to let go of whatever is occupying my thoughts and do something completely unrelated to work.
Walking helps too, it’s amazing how much you can recharge emotionally and creatively simply by going for a walk.
Choose a favorite shot from another Player. Why do you dig it?
Joshua Diaz is a designer who lives a couple hours of south of me, in San Luis Obispo, CA. He’s been doing an illustrated type series featuring some of his favorite music artists. They’re all great, but I particularly love the simplicity of the Willie Nelson one. Long live Willie!