Timeout with Louie Mantia

Timeouts are lightning-quick interviews. Five questions to help you get to know the players holding court at Dribbble. Many thanks to Louie for being today’s interviewee.

Who are you? Let us know where you hail from and what you do.

avatarMy name is Louie Mantia and I’m a visual designer. I focus on making UI beautiful at Pacific Helm, a design studio in San Francisco I founded with Brad Ellis and Jessie Char earlier this year. I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and bounced around the country a bit before settling here for a while.

What are you working on?

Right now I’m working on a variety of things. At Pacific Helm, we’ve been drawing some iOS apps for clients and we just finished up a logo/motion graphics project which was a lot of fun. There are a few unfinished personal side projects like my Disneyland map and a physical Monopoly set. I’m also always working on new wallpapers for my website.

Choose a favorite shot of yours. Tell us why it’s a favorite.

If I had to pick, I’d say the redrawn iOS icons I made a few months ago. I think some of my earlier success can be attributed to making iOS icon theme packs with Winterboard back in ye olde jailbreak days and this little thing I did one day reminds me of that. Taking something that is already good and perfecting it, really caring about all the tiny details.

real artists ship

Tell us about your setup. What tools did you use to create the shot(s)? (e.g. hardware, software, pens, paper, blowtorch, etc.)

On my desk I’ve got a 27” display, the hero. I use a MacBook Pro with Retina Display as my machine at home, at work, and on the go. I use Photoshop for making most of my artwork. I try not to open Illustrator, but sometimes you just have to round corners or expand a vector stroke. Keynote is the unsuspecting app which I use all the time to present to clients or test simple animations for apps. I don’t sketch much, but I do have a Reporter’s Moleskine because I prefer the “widescreen” format.

My desk at home is littered with junk, toys, and a few Mickey Mouse ear hats. At work, I’ve got a little bit of a cleaner situation but still must have a few Vinylmation toys to keep things interesting. I’m afraid I don’t use anything as awesome as a blowtorch, but I do occasionally need a Wacom tablet that I have tucked away in a drawer.

Choose a favorite shot from another player. Tell us why you dig it.

It came to a tie. I am very sorry, but everyone’s gonna have to deal with that.

shot

First is this Hook poster by Julian Burford. Hook is my favorite film, and I’m sure I’ll get some flack for saying that. I’ve always loved the original black and silver hook poster, but by taking the blackletter and letting it drip with blood with a simplified hook piercing through the o’s, I must say it supersedes the original. Gorgeous. I need to get a print of this somehow. 

shot

And my other favorite shot are these game icons by virus. I cant say enough how impressed I am with these icons. They have this wonderful quality about them that I can truly appreciate as a fellow icon designer. The simplicity, the vibrant colors, the sharp glow from underneath the objects… it reminds me of Zelda and I love it.

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