Kerning from the best — 5 minutes with Rob Hope

Luis Ouriach
Jun 29, 2020 · 4 min read

Kerning From the Best is an article series where I’m having quick chats with remote and freelance designers from around the world to learn more about what makes them tick.

This month’s edition features Rob Hope, a prolific maker based in Cape Town, South Africa.


What does a typical morning look like for you?

06h30 wake up and straight into a coffee making routine while my girlfriend gets ready for work. We then both have rusks and coffee together.

Once she’s off to town, I crank the heaviest metal or punk rock I can find while doing some house chores. Then I make another coffee and climb into some emails, One Page Love reviews and Yo! newsletter posts. If there are good waves, we scrap all of the above:)

What has been your design journey, how did you arrive here?

I don’t really consider myself a designer but I definitely can design a few things. I struggle (sometimes) with the thought I’m not great at anything and just good/average at a lot of things.

My college degree is Information Systems but started dabbling with Yahoo Geocities to get my feet wet in building websites. Never looked back.

Fast forward through years and years of Photoshop — I find myself using Figma 90% of my day. I’m using it to wireframe ideas, create Landing Page “Hot Tips” graphics and even plan things.

I’m really stubborn when it comes to updating software and even more stubborn when it comes to trying new platforms. I never even tried Sketch so finally committing to Figma felt like a revelation.

What do you find yourself having to repeatedly convince others of?

Unsure to others but I have to repeatedly remind myself people don’t care that much about certain things and just get that thing out there as lite as possible. As soon as it’s out there everything changes.

But the most common advice I give people about their Landing Pages is you need to step into your visitors shoes. It’s still so overlooked. What exactly would your visitor want to see and read to be persuaded….. now begin planning, designing, building.

Do you have a mantra?

Don’t be the victim. The only person in the way of you is you.

Where do you want to go?

Tricky one. I’m really content with where I am. I’ve also monetized a side project to surpass my expenses, I have no clients and I have freedom. I’m in the middle of my journey. This is it. It doesn’t get better than this.

But I need to continue challenging myself to stay motivated. Helping people create something authentic in the Landing Page niche is my next challenge. It can be a very dirty, misleading, quick-buck space — and I want to create something authentic and with integrity. That’s my next challenge. A course to create a brilliant Landing Page.

Additionally growing the Yo! Podcast to a place where I have more access to awesome people building great things would be rad!

What’s your remote setup?

I’m rolling a late 2015 Retina 5K 27” iMac with 16GB Ram and 1TB Fusion Storage. As much as love being mobile with a laptop, the 27” Retina screen is sooo good for video editing and designing. It really ups my output. My wallpaper is just this epic black ripple wallpaper by Jean-Marc Denis. I’ve had this background set for about 2 years. Other items is Rode NT-USB mic, Bose QC-35s, Magic Mouse, Ugmonk mouse pad and an Aeron office chair by Herman Miller (the best investment I’ve made working online, worth every cent).

2018 Retina MacBook Air. It’s a thing of beauty. My previous 2014 MacBook Air was maybe the best computer I’ve every bought… but didn’t have Retina so it’s difficult to add screenshots on One Page Love. Then I’m rolling Bose QC-25s (the one with the cable) and a Magic Mouse.

Screenflow for video
Figma for design
Sublime Text for code
Trello for idea sorting
Dropbox Paper for articles
iA writer for notes
Just started using Hey for email
and I don’t use Slack

P.s. we’ve teamed up with DesignLab to offer out their courses to 8px readers. Want to learn UX from some of the industry masters? They offer both short and long courses, where you’re teamed up with mentors from Github, Dropbox and the BBC.

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