Design by Disorder is a creative power plant headed by Nick Beaulieu. After tackling the position of lead designer, Nick set out to create top level designs for his freelance clients. Over time, however, his designs revealed a through line that resembles a brand. Nick’s crisp vector lines and excellent typography sets him apart from the pack and his subtle but cynical attitude always ads an extra flare. While maintaining continuity Nick also has deep diversity. Design By Disorder’s winning designs have captured the abstract space fanatic, but it’s his vintage type and animal motif’s that attracted our attention.
Introducing DesignByDisorder, Compelling Artist and Computer Nerd
Q: So, who is Designbydisorder?
I will try to keep this out of existential land for the time being and just share the facts. My name is Nick Beaulieu. I am from the wilds of beer drinkin’, deer killin’, tree cuttin’ northern New Hampsha…ehumm sorry New Hampshire. I am 29 years of age and have been designing professionally for 10 years. I live in the woods with my wife and 2 cats. Live Free or Die!
Q: How did you get into the apparel graphics industry?
After college I managed to land a job working as a lead custom apparel designer at a world renowned cycling company. I know, sounds fancy. I created vector artwork for digital sublimation on cycling spandex. After about 2 years, I quit and started DesignbyDisorder as a creative outlet. At the time, my wife and I were moving around and finding steady work proved more challenging than anticipated. So, creating a job for myself was really the only option.
Since I started designing, I always loved t-shirt graphics. My dream as a kid was to own an apparel company and make billions. I soon realized that creating a successful brand needs more than boyhood charm and an idea. So I shifted gears and decided to create artwork for shirts and learn the business from this angle instead.
Q: You’ve got some skills when it comes to typography, did you go to school for typography or graphic design?
I attended Franklin Pierce College in Rindge, New Hampshire and garnered a degree in Graphic Communications. Along with a silly piece of paper, I also received a smug sense of self importance – oh, and a shit ton of debt.
My love for typography really grew and blossomed out of wanting to expand my graphic design empire. I started by creating vectors I would sell on my big cartel page. Then I expanded to sell custom fonts I would create. It really all came from studying other fonts and seeing how beautiful lettering, calligraphy, and typography can truly be.
I was actually hired by a client when I first started doing freelance. He wanted me to create a ton of apparel artwork and he was adamant about DBH being the only design resource I could pull inspiration from. I ended up perusing the website and tailoring my designs for the DBH crowd. The client ended up being very unhappy with my work and we ended up dissolving our very dysfunctional relationship.
Like a drunken phoenix I arose from the ashes and submitted some of the designs I created for him to the DBH TOTD contest. Admittingly, as a big FU to the client. Turns out they worked well and ended up getting picked up by DBH for mass production.
Q: Your winning graphics are so different from your current work, tell us about your progression.
I suppose there isn’t much of a progression in my work. Like I mentioned, the winning designs were created to be tailored to the DBH crowd at the time. I feel that since then, DBH has shifted gears and pulled closer to my own design style.
Q: I see a lot of vintage motorcycle inspiration in your work, do you ride motorcycles?
I actually grew up riding a Ktm 50cc Cebu dirt bike that I loved. I then turned 10 and discovered my penis, which took up most of my time after that. Ha… I actually have had a huge appreciation for motorcycles and motorcycle culture. Both my father and stepfather rode vintage bikes and I always loved the beautiful simplicity and craftsmanship of motorcycles.
Q: As creatives, we all have our triggers of what inspires us, what do you feel is a consistent theme of inspiration for you?
I won’t go through the normal inspirational blogs or numerous social art sites like everyone else. ‘Instead, I think I will tell you a secret about my own creative process and self discovery as an artist. You ready? Here it is, DO WORK. Look, staring at how awesome your favorite artist is and culling inspiration from him like an art vampire is great and all, but at some point you have to put pen to paper. The action of doing is what inspires me. I feed myself by pushing out ideas and playing with concepts. Sometimes I make shitty designs that no one will ever see and sometimes I create things that I don’t like but I see the value in. Those are all valid forms of creativity and triggers that push me to forge a future for myself that inspires and focuses my own creative limits.
Q: I’ve noticed that you have recently uploaded some new works to DBH, what can we expect to see from you in the near future.
I am trying to get more into trending designs – realizing being a self proclaimed fringe artist is fun and all, but it doesn’t pay my electric bill. I love video games, and although I don’t get to play a lot, I will be creating a lot more video game inspired and mash up style art. I also will be creating some typography based designs.
Clients are really my biggest source of income and pleasure. I love working with people that really want to create something out of love instead of profit and hope to really make some great connections in 2014 that can flourish and blossom.