An Interview With Adelle Charles

By   |  Stashed in Designers


Adelle Charles is the talented individual behind Fuel Your Creativity, and the principal creative director for the Fuel Brand Group. I’m convinced Adelle has found a way to get more than 24 hours out of a day. In this interview I’ve attempted to uncover just how she may go about that. Have a look!


MIB: Please tell the readers a little about yourself. Where you’re from and what you do?

AC: I was born in Central NY and moved to Rochester, NY to attend college at Rochester Institute of Technology. There I studied Graphic Design and graduated with a BFA in 2001. My girlfriend Sarah and I enjoy photography, watching movies and entertaining friends at our house. We have 2 adorable little dogs, Chino and Jameson, who control the household and know when the most inappropriate time is to find the squeaky toys we constantly hide from them. I also enjoy renovating our house when I have the time which hasn’t been very often lately! I am the Creative Director at Fuel Brand Group where I am responsible for all of the design and the general creative direction of the Fuel Brand Group and its network of sites.


MIB: You have a bunch of projects you’re working on right now. The Fuel Brand continues to grow and expand, tell us a little about what you have in the works.

AC: I have many projects going on right now-there is no shortage in ideas! In fact, it’s pretty hard to keep up! Last week we launched the Fuel Brand Network site which gives you a little insight on our upcoming plans. One of the most important sites in the network is the Fuel Brand Group company site. You can check it out, get to know a little bit more about the team behind these awesome ideas.


MIB: With all the sites you work on, how do you find the time?

AC: It’s true I have a bunch of Fuel Sites in development as well as my own personal freelance clients that I tend to – along with Fresh ID work. The good thing is I have help on most of these projects whether it’s one of my partners at Fuel or even outsourcing some freelance work. I spend the most time writing for Fuel Your Creativity, keeping up-to-date on emails and networking.

MIB: Do you have any time management tips you’d like to share?

AC: Hmm…don’t sleep? I’m kidding! Make sure you keep a tight schedule with tasks clearly outlined as it’s easy to get off task and surf around not getting your work done!


MIB: Readers of Fuel Your Creativity can always find awesome inspiration on your site. Where do you go to get your inspiration from?

AC: It really varies from day to day. Many times it’s by chance that I find a great link on Twitter and other days I check out Pattern Tap and various CSS galleries.

MIB: What are some of your favorite design blogs that you have in your feed?

AC: There are so many! I’ve *tried* to shorten the list: CSS Tricks, Woork, Spyre Mag, Web Designer Wall, Web Design Ledger, Six Revisions, Tutorial 9, GoMediaZine, The Design Cubicle & MIB.

MIB: What web apps and software (other than the Adobe Suite) help make your life as a designer a little easier?

AC: Yammer, Skype, Paparazzi, Textmate, Firefox, CSSEdit, Transmit, Twitter, Curdbee, Freshbooks, Backboard, Things, NetNewsWire & Mint. Again, I’ve *tried* to just name a few but…


MIB: You’ve recently redesigned FYC (which looks great!). Tell us a little about the design process, and the steps involved in a re-launch like that.

AC: Thanks! The process started with redesigning the Fuel Brand Logo. I knew there were more sites to come in the network and it needed to be flexible enough to swap out to other sites, colors & text. I also needed a mark that would stand out more than the previous “F”, and then the Flame was born. I decided to stick with the same typeface as previous logo which is Futura. I wanted to keep some of the same similarities and not deviate too far from the style. The logo was the hardest part. I picked a grid layout, started sketching & wire framing the main details then designed Fuel Your Creativity’s new blog theme in Photoshop. A couple a sleep deprived days later the new layout was complete!

MIB: Which technologies are you not proficient at; that you’d like to improve on?

AC: I’m not the best at slicing & coding and would like to improve on that. For me it’s faster to outsource to someone I trust – but I am trying to improve my skills when I have down time. I believe it’s important to know how the process works when developing/designing a website but for me it’s like 2 Different Brains.

MIB: What words of advice would you give to an aspiring designer just starting out?

AC: Sketch, sketch sketch. Also try different creative activities that you haven’t tried before such as photography or painting. You never know what you will be good at and you may pick up some really unique design ideas and methods you’ve never thought of before that you can apply to your work.

MIB: What other designers have influenced you the most along the way?

Jason Santa Maria has been a huge inspiration. I love his magazine style layout…the simplicity & grid. Yes, I heart the grid. Other fave designers include, Scott Hanson, Elliot Jay Stocks, James White & Chuck Anderson.

Places to Connect with Adelle

Twitter (Personal)
Twitter (Fuel Your Creativity)
Twitter (Fuel Brand Group)
Linked In

Final Thoughts

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this interview and have gained some insight from it. Feel free to leave your thoughts or just say a quick hi to Adelle below.

About the Author

Andrew is a primary contributer for MyInkBlog. He is a full time web developer for Niagara University. When he's not working there, he's a blogger, twitter'er, wordpress'er, silverstripe advocate, blessed father and husband.

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  • Colorburned

    Great interview! Adelle is great!

    Colorburned´s last post was… Interview with Caleb Kimbrough from Lost and Taken

  • AJ Troxell

    Absolutely great interview. Loved reading it!

    AJ Troxell´s last post was… How To Make Your Own Splatter Brushes

  • Aaron Irizarry

    great read… very informative interview. Exited to see the continued growth of the Fuel Empire :)

    ~ Aaron I

    Aaron Irizarry´s last post was… I Am Going to Miami Yay!

  • Anthony Woods

    Excellent interview Andrew! Fairly enjoyed the read! Adelle is one designer I love to keep track of.

  • kyle steed

    I understand how you feel about home renovation Adelle. I wish I had more time (and money) to do everything I have in my head right now.

    Great interview.

    kyle steed´s last post was… man’s best friend

  • liam

    Great stuff, really interested to see the new sites and wish you all the best Adelle, you certainly deserve it!

    liam´s last post was… How-To: Taking WordPress One Step Further

  • Adelle

    Thanks so much guys – everyone is so supportive and genuine…you guys rock!

    Adelle´s last post was… Image Spark

  • Tom

    thats by far the best and most interesting interview i was allowed to read so far.
    its so great stuff and Adelle your just great, perfect interview of a very nice creative person. you rock!

  • Khayyam Wakil

    Wow. Superb interview. Always nice to get to know people that you interact with on a daily basis and may not get the chance to ask them their life story or their design story for that matter in 140 or less.

    Adelle, I thought you were awesome before, but now… you’re at the height of awesomeness. Fueled up and ready to go…

    Khayyam Wakil´s last post was… Best Airline Complaint Ever Written

  • matthew smith

    Glad to see Pattern Tap make it to your daily’s! Congrats on the new business moves and a great little interview. Hope all is well.

  • Useful tips to design horizontal website layout

    Thanks for the mention Adelle :)

  • Tom Ross

    Adelle is a legend :)

    Tom Ross´s last post was… Create a Professional Portfolio Design in 17 Easy Steps

  • Angie Bowen

    Great interview Adelle & Andrew! I can’t wait to see where the Fuel Brand goes from here!

    Angie Bowen´s last post was… Weekly Web of Inspiration: Amazing 3D Illustrations

  • Franz Jeitz

    Yay I finally managed to read this interview and it is awesome. It’s always nice to get a little insight into other designer’s/blogger’s lives. I heart Adelle :)

    Franz Jeitz´s last post was… 2nd Showcase of the Fudgegraphics Flickr Group

  • Strona Dave

    Tottally awsome chat. Thank you for publishing

  • Lio

    Man, she’s everywhere! Even on my own twitter :D

    Lio´s last post was… Cutting Class

  • Jennifer Farley

    A great read thanks – lots of links to get lost in too!!

    Jennifer Farley´s last post was… Photoshop Inspiration: Caricatures

  • David Airey

    Hi Adelle / Andrew,

    Superb insight, and a few blogs I’d yet to uncover too. That’s a great opening photo, Adelle. Very friendly looking.