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A while back I did an imaginary Q&A answering all of the questions that people typically ask their wouldbe graphic designer.  But what about the aspiring graphic designers out there?  Well, I recently had the opportunity to sit down (via email) with a graphic design student who was writing a paper for one of his classes.  Here are the questions and answers from that discussion.

How did you initially break into the business?

I guess you could say that my "break in" was a three stage process.  For a very short time I worked with a consortium of creative people.  The relationship very quickly proved to be rather fruitless.  I then did things strictly on my own, building relationships with new marketers and going after new businesses.  Once my name had some buzz to it, I bought out a local designer and insodoing, bought into the good graces of the top tier marketer in town.

How would you describe your typical work day?

My typical work day is atypical.  We are never entirely sure what kind of work is going to walk in the door.  Typically, though, whatever the project is, I handle the big picture and my assistant handles the details.

What are the things you love about web design?

I love the marriage of the technical and the artistic.  This dual reality is present in everything but becomes very pronounced with web design.  It has to look a certain way and work a certain way.

What is your typical work flow when building a website?

My typical workflow deviates from what a lot of people do.  I don't design first and script second; I do them simultaneously.  I conceptualize and then start making it work.

What tools and technologies do find play a major role in your career?

Honestly, the tool that I absolutely love the most is FireBug.  I know that's a little silly, but it is extremely helpful.  (Unfortunately, it doesn't work as well on Chrome as it does on Firefox.)

What design practices do you find play a major role in your career?

I was very excited for a while about SVG and then about Responsive Layouts, but to be honest with you, the best thing to happen to web design has been solid Content Management Systems.  We developers can get in this technical rut--completely concerned with what we do for the clients.  In the end, though, it's what we enable the clients to do for themselves.  It's my job to provide the clients with the best websites for them.  The best websites for them are dynamic and frequently updated with compelling content.  That happens best with a solid CMSs that they can update.  At the very least a good CMS speeds me up and saves them money.  For me, it's the non-negotiable.