Freshly Laundered 026 / Mackey Guenther


Mackey Guenther is a student, designer, and developer hailing from the great PNW, Seattle to be exact. While Mackey is our youngest designer, he’s also one of our most prolific. Over the past two years (literally, he was one of the designers on the site on the very first day we were open for business!), he’s had seven designs on our site, four of which have gone to print. No small feat for someone who is just getting started in the professional design world. Read on to learn more about Mackey, how he became interested in design and development, and which designer he’d love to work with someday.

CB: We hear you’re only in 8th grade - how’d you get into design at such a young age?

MG: When I was in 5th grade, I took a web design class, hoping to learn how to build web sites. What I ended up discovering (other than how not to use <div> tags) was that I really enjoy building things with code. However, my creations weren’t exactly… beautiful. I decided to figure out how to visually clean them up, and, with lots and lots of practice, learned my way around web-based and graphic design.


CB: Mackey that is amazing! When I was in 5th grade I was trying to figure out Where in The World Carmen Sandiego was. Occasionally I was successful. You mentioned practicing a lot, how many hours would you say you were putting towards your skill, each week?

MG: Hahaha! Thanks! Each week, I would spend about 10 hours working on design projects - homework allowing, of course.    ;)


CB: That’s pretty impressive, nice job! How do you keep up with design trends, learning new skills, etc right now? What are you excited to learn how to do next?

MG: I keep up with the design world by following my favorite designers on Dribbble - quite often, the latest design trends are evident in their work. I learn new skills by identifying the holes in my existing design and code capabilities, and putting aside time to fill them. (As a student, my schedule - while often tight - has some flexibility.)

I’m currently learning Node, and looking forward to all the possibilities it opens up to me as a developer. I’m also enjoying exploring the “internet of things” with my Arduino Yún, and building web applications that integrate with it.


CB: What type of applications have you built for your Arduino Yún?

MG: For the last couple weeks, I’ve been working on a goal tracker. It detects the outer-facing color of a red-and-green wristband I wear, and sends it to a database. The wristband starts at red at the beginning of every day: if I complete my goal for the day, I flip it to its green side, and if I don’t, I keep it on its red side. (Green represents goal completion, and red represents goal incompletion.) I’ve also built a weather logger that gathers temperature information and logs it to a database.


CB: Wow - both of those projects sound great. The weather logger could have quite a few wide-reaching practical applications! If you could work on a project with any designer currently living, what would the project be and who would you want to work with?

MG: This is kinda far out there, but I think it would be really interesting to design icons for use in manned ​space-exploration vehicles -​ basically, for their signage and digital interfaces. The icons would need to be incredibly clear and understandable, but detailed enough to convey complex maneuvers. In a high stakes situation, as might occur in space, you might need to obtain lots of information from a single glance at an icon. I’d want to work with Luis Prado on this project. His icons are tremendously expressive, understandable, and really quite ​beautiful.

CB: Thanks Mackey!

You can check out more of Mackey’s work on dribbble and github. You can follow him on twitter.