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A picture of Darby Thomas

Darby Thomas

Product designer (Patreon)

in designer

Who are you, and what do you do?

Hello, I'm a designer and illustrator in San Francisco. I spent three years making weird, fun stuff with Photojojo and Parabo Press. Now my day job is getting creators paid at Patreon. I'm increasingly getting more chill with calling myself a part-time political activist.

What hardware do you use?

The nerdiest thing about my digital setup is my Cherry MX keyboard with custom rainbow keycaps. I recently replaced my Bamboo tablet with Wacom's Intuos. Both those plug into my LG monitor.

What surprised me about activism is even in high-tech San Francisco an in-person conversation and a printed flyer is the best way to reach people. I hit the limit of what my Epson XP-640 inkjet printer could do and upgraded to the Canon MB2720 color laser printer and got the Canon PIXMA so I can do supertabloid prints. I picked up the cheapest 1" and 2.5" button makers you can get because omg people love pins! So if you're interested, you too can turn a corner of your junior one-bedroom apartment into a propaganda machine for about $500.

I'm a pretty frequent surfer and I have a 6'4" Modern Love Child surfboard. It's wide enough that I can teach my friends how to surf with it and short enough that I can stuff it into my hatchback.

And what software?

The switch from in-house designer to product designer was interesting. At Photojojo I'd be making goofy illustrations for pranks (like making a package smell like fresh baked cookies) in the morning, and then I'd be coding the frontend for a promotion in the afternoon. At Patreon I'm mostly in Sketch, Dropbox Paper, and Google Sheets.

Signal, Google Groups, and Google Drive are the apps that make organizing possible. I don't know how people did this stuff before.

What would be your dream setup?

This is pretty typical of someone in a city but more space. Right now I'm a few shelves and a desk away from feeling like I'm not drowning in stuff.