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Designed to Inspire; Meet Taryn Fransen

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

2021 begins with a new series of designer showcases. We're talking to people making noise in the design world, today, meet Taryn Fransen

Taryn is a designer working out of Calgary for Stunt Pilot, a super sharp design agency , she has worked on a bunch of projects throughout a tough 2020.

Stunt Pilot's recent work on the Palmetto Portal was a winner at the Clio Cannabis Awards.

Bringing Ideas to Reality

Taryn steps into a 'problem solving mindset' as she seeks to inspire through image, and keeps her hustle on, working with cool people, cats and sharks.

Yes, Sharks! She's working to help ban the obnoxious act of cutting the fin's from Sharks for food.

The video below is her awesome creation. Too cool not to share.

As for cats, she probably just likes them, I mean, who doesn't. Below are some cats.

Finding Vision and Voice

When a creative has a vision, it's important to keep the design process moving quickly, finding tools to help you work, and ways to take them that internal creative spark to the wider world.

That's why Rollover was built in 2014, as a design tool to support the native Wix tools. So when we see the app used in exciting ways that meet the needs of demanding designers, we're

We put these questions to Taryn...

Tell me about your life as a designer, what inspires you? What gets you excited and up in the morning

I love being a designer. I have a hard time imagining my life doing something other than creating. Thats what I love about being a designer or art director, there are no limits. Everything has the power to inspire. If you have an idea for a video, or animation, a campaign or poster, it’s all within your reach. Design is all about problem solving, and once you figure out the insight or the first bit of the solution, the rest hopefully comes with ease, and if it doesn’t, it only makes you better.

My default is to make something thats eye-candy-overload and I usually have to tame that and dial it back,

What made you choose Rollover for your website

I knew I wanted motion and interactivity on my site, the rollover app had the right amount of decoration to usability ratio that I wanted.

What effects styles have you used?

I have used the 3D tilt effect and the ‘Calm Serenity’ of the distortion presets.

Do you think animation and movement are important on a website?

Incredibly. Websites need to be engaging. We have the ability to add any kind of content we want, make it move if you can. It's becoming a default expectation and if you’re not on that train its going to take off without you. Our job as designers to distill it down to only what is necessary, so it's about balance, but I don't know if there is a thing as too much motion? Even motion overloads are more eye catching and exciting than something static.

Tell me about your design style?

Well, I have never been much of a drawer, and although I always start with sketching ideas on paper, I think very abstractly. I always strive for the right balance of style and minimalism. My default is to make something thats eye-candy-overload and I usually have to tame that and dial it back, but sometimes it works out in favour of it, especially with motion.

I think people gravitate towards genuine self expression.

How did you get to where you are today?

I have a 4 year bachelors degree in design, so that’s helped immensely. Other than that I just keep trying to get into cool companies and convincing them I make cool enough stuff they should pay me. It really helps immensely to be in an agency or on a team that is more talented than you, they will always push you to be better.

What was your first big break

That’s hard to say. When I was 17, I was all about photography and lucky enough to come third in Canada in a photography competition. That solidified my career trajectory as a creative, and later went to an art university and found design and art direction. Years later, I’m lucky to have gotten some fun opportunities, but am still looking for my next ‘big break’. Is this it? That would be fun!

use bright colours, use fun fonts, make it look as dope as possible while keeping it useful.

Taryn is an award-winning photographer

What was your biggest nightmare situation with work?

There are some things that are never fun, like emergency changes, clients saying “make the logo bigger” or “make it pop!”, but my actual nightmare is making a mistake and only noticing after it's too late. Once, while I was in university, I was incredibly proud of this poster I designed that took weeks, and I lost a whole letter grade because there was a tiny spelling mistake. That kind of stuff is all on you as a designer and if you get caught, there are no excuses.

Any advice for younger designers?

1) I think we all have a starving artist inside of us; it eats up inspiration and creativity. Remember to feed it.

2) This is something I still struggle with, but don’t be afraid to reach out to people. I get caught up in what I’m saying or if it’s weird to say this or that, and the answer always changes depending on who you ask.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Think of the most ambitious person you know, and what they would say or do. Try that. We have nothing to lose except opportunity. We have to be bold to pave our way or even make a dent in this industry.

What trends have you noticed in design in 2020?

2020 has been insane, conventional ideas are being tossed, this is a time for trial, error, and growth. I think people gravitate towards genuine self expression. Whether it be on instagram or large companies like Spotify, we’re getting more bold and stylistic professionally. It’s refreshing. Use bright colours, use fun fonts, make it look as dope as possible while keeping it useful. If bright colours aren’t your thing, do whatever is you. Let your design flag fly free, be bold, try new things and keep the ball rolling.

How relevant / important is web design

I think it's incredibly important and relevant. It’s really great to have design templates on platforms like Wix, but the knowledge of how to make them your own while still making it UX friendly is key. If a company is looking for a web design from you, they’re expecting something better than what is available to them, and we have to keep pushing the boundaries of what is conventional in order to be engaging.

Tell me about Wix, why do you like it?

I liked that the templates are a good starting place, then you can massage them into being something that is perfect for you. I loved that you could add CSS directly and edit your site that way. It seems like an open door to customization, which is so important.

What would you like to do if you weren’t a designer?

Probably something where I could use my hands and get off the screen, maybe carpentry.

Any other random thoughts you’d like to share?

Thank you for highlighting me and my site! It means a lot that it impacted you in a positive way. If anyone wants to reach out and be friends I would be so honoured, if you want to disagree with anything I said, even better.

If you like what you see, I am available for freelance and contract work, and if any of this resonated with you, I would love to hear it. Thank you for your time, stay classy San Diego.

Get More of Taryn Here:

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