Judging an international design competition is no easy task. It takes a special kind of person that is willing to give their time and experience for the betterment of the industry.
It's time to shine a spotlight on these special individuals and dig a little deeper to see what makes them tick. Therefore, on behalf of the CSSDA founders and crew, please enjoy the following interview with one of our esteemed judging panel members.
I am Founder and Creative Director of Bonne Marque, an agency that balances rare talent and unrivalled commitment to reimagine brands.
1. When and what was your first ever computer? Can you remember the spec?
I was 6 years old. The Macintosh Classic. There was a game on there that drove me absolutely mental. It didn't have the option to save my progress so I had to start over every time my character died.
2. When and what was the first website you were involved in designing/developing? Which elements of the project did you do? Can you remember the 'cutting edge' tech used at the time? How did the site turn out and what did this experience teach you?
You got it. 2005 for Maroun Media. Some seriously advanced stuff, with design and code taking 3 days. I learned my first lesson: I shouldn't code. Enjoy a screenshot of the design below.
3. Which project has been most rewarding for you over the course of your career and why?
I thrive in pure-crazy projects in which there are no creative limitations. I therefore tend to learn from the more self-initiated projects. We're currently reimagining a complete rebrand, launching Bonne Marque's new website next month. We've learned an extraordinary amount during this short space of time, cementing the strong characteristics of our new brand.
4. What career advice would you give to yourself if you could send a 'temporal text' 5 - 10 years into the past?
Never bow to convention.
5. Better still, if you had your own hot tub time machine, what time period would you travel to and why?
I don't like hot tubs or the concept of time travel.
1. What are your favourite aspects about working in design?
Designers change people's lives. There is nothing more time-consuming, frustrating and offensive as poor design. Thoughtful design creates remarkable aesthetics while simultaneously raising the standards of user experience. I often wonder how many people notice great design. It can sometimes be one of those things that goes unappreciated. That makes the role of designers even more important. Design is both functional and art at the same time.
2. What are your favourite design tools, sites, fonts and resources right now?
The Adobe suite, ScreenFlow and Sketch. Twitter, CSSDA and Feedly. Tungsten is an absolute killer font.
3. What are your favorite devices right now from mobile to desktop?
My Wacom tablet, currently broken. I'm actually really excited about trying the new Surface Book from Microsoft, which is something I thought would never happen.
4. Which 3 cities would be your favorite to open an office in and why?
Paris, Shanghai & L.A. 3 continents: great food, inspiring architecture, vibrant cultures. We look forward to opening our Paris office next Spring, sitting with Bonne Marque's Sam in an underground candlelit cafe to talk about how we can express something in a way that's never been done before. The beautiful waitress brings our usual to our table without asking. "Merci beaucoup mon ami."
5. What is your favorite activity outside of work?
1. How do you stay motivated?
It comes naturally. Those who have to force motivation or seduce their work ethic with arbitrary treats would never make it in design.
2. Do you have a good life/work balance? Could it be improved? If so how?
I don't worry too much about that actually. It's almost a cliche to say this, but people shouldn't always view 'work' and 'life' as two separate things. Of course certain things need more attention sometimes, whether that be work, family, friends or something else, but I manage to stay on top of things.
3. Do you have any career advice for young designers and developers?
4. How do you keep up with the latest trends & tech?
5. If money was abolished and nobody needed to work anymore, what would you do with your life?
Nothing would change with regard to my involvement in design. The industry around me, from which I cannot and don't want to escape, does depend upon money to function. I'm not saying 'greed is good' but, if nothing else, money is a useful indication by which others measure our success and determine our worth. An artist can operate comfortably outside of these terms. A designer who willingly works with clients can find them useful.
Versus: In your opinion...
1. Are great designers born Vs. made by experience?
No one is 'born' anything. Every great designer in the world became one from their uninhibited work ethic and endless passion for design. Let's look at this word, 'born'. I believe every new moment offers a chance to be reborn. What is life if it isn't a series of new beginnings or births, from which we decide whether to stand or fall? The great designer is reborn a thousand times in his or her life, choosing to stand at every new test.
2. Is the best long term goal to be a founder Vs. freelance Vs. fulltime job?
I should be able to answer this question better than most, having experienced being all three. The long term goals that lead to more creative freedom and opportunities are starting your own company or becoming a freelancer. Full time jobs are more reliable for those looking for regular pay cheques and paid holidays but they stifle talent and free thought.
The downsides of freelancing are loneliness and having no-one to pitch ideas with. The freedom is great, as with founding your own company, just without the fuck-ton of more responsibility. All things depend upon creating with intelligent, interesting people and forming relationships to endure hardship.
3. iPhone 6s vs Samsung S6 vs other?
I have an iPhone 6 Plus and cannot stand the UI any longer. As long as it isn't a Samsung, I want a Android phone instead. Maybe the rumoured new One Plus "X".
4. Printed book vs eBook?
Papercuts all day.
5. Star Trek vs Star Wars?
What’s the difference?
Alexander is the Founder & Creative Director of Bonne Marque. He reimagines brands, providing award-winning reflections of his talent.
Bonne Marque is an award-winning creative agency that employs only creatives. When clients interact with us, we need them to be excited about having a constant open channel of communication with our creatives. We will define the next epoch of great design and copywriting. Everything begins with our bold approach to minimalism. Our new website will launch before the end of November.