Our Employee Spotlight series is designed to provide a deeper look into our talent here at Annalect across all different roles, teams and experience levels. You can expect to learn about passions inside and outside of our office walls.
What is your current role at Annalect?
As Design Director here at Annalect, I cultivate our company’s “visual personality”. That consists of some obvious things, like logos, colors and typography — and some less obvious things, like the style and tone of illustration, photography, infographics, and collateral.
Describe a passion you have for the type of work you do and how Annalect helps to feed your passion?
I grew up in an artistic family, drawing and creating things since before I can remember. I figured out at a very early age that artwork could be used to promote things (usually a band I was playing in), and shape viewer’s expectations of that thing.
Here at Annalect, I do that every day. I try to create compelling visuals that not only heighten Annalect’s brand recognition, but tell them something about our brand in a way that is often intangible.
Can you think of a project you were a part of that you really enjoyed? Why?
Branding and re-branding projects can be rewarding … or punishing. I’ve been involved in a few big ones during my career, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that understanding a brand is the single biggest predictor of success.
Annalect afforded me the time to really get to know and experience the brand, before making a bunch of long-term decisions about the look and feel of things. Artwork, whether fine or commercial, often takes some time to “sink in” before you can truly assess how it makes you feel.
At Annalect we didn’t rush that process, and I think we’re all proud of where we landed. Being part of a relatively new industry makes it that much more exciting.
What made you first enter your field? Was it planned or unplanned?
By the time I graduated high school, I had so many years of art schooling under my belt, you’d think my career choice would be obvious. The truth was, I was tired of it.
I studied science in college, and I think the four-year “art break” reignited my passion. By the time I graduated I vowed I’d return to what I’d once seen as my true calling.
Six years after college, I’d gradually built up enough skill and clients to quit my “day job” and pursue design full-time.
What advice would you give to someone just starting his/her career in your field?
You don’t know what you don’t know. Seek the honest opinions of those who’ve worked in the industry for a long time, and be prepared to swallow your pride.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I’ve been involved in music since I was a kid, and I still try to make time to play and write. I studied composition and jazz growing up… nowadays I play in loud rock bands.
I do my best to stay active, by biking (on the road or in the woods), surfing, or jumping rope.
I enjoy traveling, whether for sightseeing or adventure. My wife and I hiked the Swiss countryside for a week straight and it was breathtaking (that’s the legendary Matterhorn I’m crushing with my fingers below). The Swiss have an amazing sense of design. Even mundane objects like light switches and mailboxes are beautiful to look at. I stopped to admire a Swiss train intercom that was beautifully designed… and the color of an orange creamsicle! It’s a constant reminder that design is always important, even where you think it’s not.