Geneza School Blog

From A Chance Encounter To A New Path: An Interview With Davio White

June 16, 2023

Meet Davio White, a multiple award winning brand and product designer whose story whose Tech Journey and Wins is proof that dreams do come true.

Tell us about your journey into design.

When I got into tech, it wasn’t something I had a passion for. I used to be a singer from 2016 to 2020. And in March 2020, I made a switch from doing secular songs to gospel songs and made this known on my social media. A few months later, the lockdown started, and I was home going through AGT (America’s Got Talent), where I was learning to sing by watching the top talents do their songs. On one of those occasions, I stumbled on a video of Logos by Nick, which played after the AGT video. It was a video of him creating a logo. It was short, and I don’t know how but I found myself coming back to his channel daily.

What Happened next? 

Before then, I had saved a collection of flyers for music events because I was looking to plan a concert of mine. The flyers were ideas that I was planning to send to graphic designers. And somehow, I started recreating them. 

On WhatsApp, I would post the original designs, and then I would post mine and ask people what they thought about them. I kept doing that until one day, I landed my first client, a friend. 

He reached out, requesting to know if I could design a logo, business card, and a flyer. I took the job even though I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it work. I delivered. After a couple of iterations though. He paid me NGN2,500 for everything, and this was my first design pay. 

I was so excited about this as it was the first time I was earning from creating something I saw as a hobby.


So I posted my paid job and continued with the recreations. Not long after, more people started reaching out for logos and flyers, overtime, I saw myself making up to NGN100,000 per month.

This was 2020, and within the year, in December, I landed my first role as a remote brand designer. I got the job through a friend that I had designed a music cover for. I was still working as a janitor so I had to juggle both jobs.

Did you always have a laptop? And without a background in Design, how did you know the right softwares to use?

In 2016, I bought a laptop from Jumia. It was for my music, but I realized that it wasn’t compatible with what I got it for. So, I had to sell it to a cousin. She didn’t pay immediately…it took a year actually for her to complete the payment. So, this halted my process, but in 2019, she sent me a laptop, an HP Elite Book.

I didn’t begin design with industry-standard tools. Logos by Nick was using a software program, Inkscape, to create logos. So I was using the same software to design logos and flyers. I started using the industry standard tool in September 2021, when I got my first proper laptop. At this point, I had to quit the cleaning job so I could design full-time, from home. 

We see that you’re a mix of everything – UI/UX, Product and Brand Design — how do you juggle everything?

I started with flyers and logos in 2020. Then I learnt a bit of illustration and 3D design. Afterwards, a friend of mine, offered me his Domestika courses on Branding and Logo Design. That was when I started to better understand what I was actually doing because I now had a perfect roadmap to follow through with step by step (reason why I always recommend you start from courses).

Next, I got into product design in January 2022. As usual, I recreated other designs to see if it was for me. And about 2 months in, I landed a product design role. It was surreal really. 

A client from the Netherlands reached out, and my first payment in Product Design was $1000. It wasn’t planned. I simply asked the client for their budget and it was a thousand and I took it. Later on, they offered me a role which paid per project.

Currently, I have 2 jobs and I freelance occasionally so, I juggle everything by setting realistic timelines and communicating clearly with the clients.

Why are you called “The Dreamer” ?

Honestly, I don’t know how I got that name, but it has reflected my journey so far because I never saw all this coming. Something funny even happened last year; I was banned from a group after I posted my achievements. Because a lot of people believed my achievements were unrealistic for someone to achieve in just 2 years. So for me, it has always been a dream because I don’t even know how, but things just happen.

How do you balance creativity and practicality in your work?

Creativity is great, crafting aesthetically pleasing designs and all but functionality and usability are key to the success of every product.

I love to think out of design and focus a lot on how a product would be used in real time, what problems I want to solve in regards to navigations and fewer actions for the user. This helps me balance my creativity by creating a more intuitive approach to the solution.

 How do you approach designing for diverse audiences and ensure inclusivity in your work?

Research is key to every product design, I mean, the more the research, the better. A/B testing helps me achieve. While I am yet to create that product that carries certain features that can promote inclusivity such as hearing and speaking aids, I know how much it helps people, especially those with disaiblities. 

I also try to factor concerns in regards to color, typography and some other special aids features so we can be as inclusive as possible but I’d like to add that a product can never be fully inclusive and that is why we must work to iterate on it as often as we can.

Can you tell us about a design challenge you faced and how you overcame it?

A while back, a client canceled a project he had already paid for and asked for a refund. Work was already underway, so it was inconvenient. It dragged for a while but he got his full refund. 

Must have been hectic. How do you prevent this situation from happening in the future?

A Refund policy. 

The situation is not entirely avoidable but now, my invoices have a refund policy. Whoever cancels get only 50% back. I think its fair because projects take time, sacrifices, and effort. I probably had to turn down some projects to focus on the client’s. So the 50% refund policy protects me. 

How well do you collaborate with others on projects? 

Personally, collaboration has helped me scale. I work within a team that brings diverse ideas together because they understand the benefits. Collaborating with the engineering team helps me make informed decisions in my designs, it may not be the best in aesthetics but when it comes to usability, it works. 

Respecting everyone’s opinion would foster a collaborative environment and would allow a smooth run of the product in the production stage.

But sometimes, opinions are very far apart. How do you deal with that?

That happens. I have worked with people that felt I wasn’t collaborating. Collaboration is not for everyone as people are at different levels in their career. It’s easier for me to work with people I know. People I have effectively collaborated with in the past and are more experienced because we will both have an understanding of the project. But if I have to work with someone who is just starting out, I have to be a lot more patient, communicate properly to avoid misunderstandings, show respect and give feedbacks as subtle suggestions. This doesn’t always work but it can definitely lead to a more understanding environment over time.

What’s a design project that pushed your skills and helped you grow as a designer?

Working on the Flipex mobile app, web app and admin dashboard has really helped me greatly in improving my skill and eye for details. I’ve had to iterate on the product on my own and have made adjustments to certain features.

No doubt that’s the biggest project I’ve done alone.

What design project are you particularly proud of and why?

There are two actually; The Flipex product and The One Impact branding.They both pushed my limits

What would you do differently if you had to start design all over?

Honestly? Nothing. Everything happens for a reason and life itself is a Journey. We don’t know how it’ll go, especially at the beginning but that’s how we get our experience which to me means what we’ve seen, done and heard.

Personally, I’ve had a smooth ride and God has been The Driver.

What’s your advice to people that want to start a career in design?

Start, get a course, study diligently, practice like a comedian, show up on the internet, post your work everywhere and keep learning. Don’t compete, stay in your lane. Remember why you started, it’s an endless journey. Don’t lose focus, the only way up is to put God first, study, practice and show up.

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