Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 11:03 am.

Creators: Nick Disabato

Nick DisabatoNick Disabato is a designer, publisher, and author who lives in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter at @nickd or on Tumblr.

1) What have you been making lately?

A couple of weeks ago, I announced the first issue of Distance, a quarterly journal for long essays about design and technology. There are tons of great publications that focus on how to improve our technique, and lots of good sites for inspiration and curation – but scant few that ask about the whys of our field.

So I have been helping people research and write essays that take a confident stand and offer some way forward. The first issue is slated to come out sometime in March. And because this is 2012 and all, Distance has a Kickstarter project for the first issue, and we’re in full swing as of press time.

2) What’s your favorite and/or newest tool that you use for work?

Lately, I’ve loved coupling my Bluetooth keyboard with my iPhone or iPad at a coffee shop to work on a long, uninterrupted piece of writing over some nice green tea. I use iA Writer on my iPad or Elements on my iPhone. iOS is nice for this in general: because everything is modal, I don’t have IM or Twitter vying for my attention all the time. (I’ll usually turn off push notifications when I’m writing.) And it’s always fun typing on a big keyboard, with my iPhone studiously recording everything off to the side.

3) What’s your favorite and/or newest tool that you use for fun?

My favorite tool is pen and paper, so I can play a game with my friends called Destructo. I spend a lot of time waiting for bands to start playing at shows, or waiting in line at brunch, etc. Whenever this happens, I bust out Destructo. It goes like this: I draw something, then I pass it to the next person and they draw something that destroys the previous thing, and then that repeats until (we receive our food/the band starts playing/we have to get on a roller coaster/whatever else), at which point everybody wins.

I met my girlfriend by challenging her to a game of Destructo, and we have been dating for five years, so therefore pen and paper is my favorite tool.

4) What’s something great you’ve read lately?

Cameron Koczon’s call to arms, Christina Cacioppo’s definition of community management, Matt Legend Gemmell’s compendium of writings about blog comments, Faruk Ateş’s research on gender balance in our industry, and Mills Baker’s thoughtful blog The Aporeticushere’s a nice writing about leisure, for example, and he also penned one of my favorite writings of last year, Design & Compromise.

Finally, I was given pause by a recent post about the death of a design publication; I’m acutely worried about the ephemerality of such ventures, and work to avoid such pitfalls with Distance – as much as one can before launch, anyway.

I guess that’s actually seven things, but if you print them all out and bind them into a book, then you’ll have only one thing.

5) Who should I interview for this series?

Lucy Hewett, a fellow Chicagoan and talented photographer; or Brian Leli, a writer and photojournalist who is currently documenting his life in London for a year. I like folks who can take better pictures than me.

SplatF Creators highlights my favorite creative-types and the tools they use for work and fun. Previously: Scott Nedrelow, artist and iPad sleeve genius.