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.

About:

Filip Arneric is a 28 year old developer with a huge passion for design, especially for UI/UX design. Born and raised in Belgrade but living in Prague for the past 3 years. Filip is the co-owner of an advertising agency Kitchen Prague, where he is currently working as head of digital. Filip is also one of the co-founders of CookBook - an API oriented CMS which is finally just about to be released within the next few weeks.

Time Warp:

1. When and what was your first ever computer? Can you remember the spec?

My parents brought me a first computer in the early 90's, still in a time of a good old DOS. It was PC 386, with 40MHz CPU, 4MB RAM, 40MB HD, floppy drive (at that time CD-ROM was still the future) and 14" color monitor. I remember it cost more then 2000 German marks at that time.

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?

I designed and developed the first website while I was a teenager. The website was for a tattoo studio in Belgrade. I got a half-sleeve in exchange for a website... Ommmmmmm :)

3. Which project has been most rewarding for you over the course of your career and why?

So far most probably that would be the website for Curadmir. The website won lots of awards and we had great feedback from almost everyone who saw the site. It was one of the pioneers of the async scrolling and many web design blogs wrote about it and its huge video powered navigation which was not that usual for that time period. It was also very attractive visually.

4. What career advice would you give to yourself if you could send a 'temporal text' 5 - 10 years into the past?

I had to make some mistakes in my life to get here where I am now, so most probably I would say not to give up and to keep up doing what I am doing. Basically the same things I am saying to myself everyday...

5. Better still, if you had your own hot tub time machine, what time period would you travel to and why?

For sure I would travel to the future. I'm so curious to see the future technologies and to find out wether people are still that dumb to make wars instead of love and that greedy to have 9 zeros on their accounts while most of the people are starving.

Favourite Things:

1. What are your favourite aspects about working in design?

My favorite aspect is the diversity of jobs. Every project is a story for itself. That's why we can never be bored with the job as every day is bringing some new and very different requests and challenges.

2. What are your favourite design tools, sites, fonts and resources right now?

My favorite design tool is not really a tool, but the programming language. Easy to guess which one... JS!

3. What are your favorite devices right now from mobile to desktop?

iPhone and MacBookPro, I don't use tablets, maybe I'm old-school, but still I don't see their practical usage.

4. Which 3 cities would be your favorite to open an office in and why?

  • 1. New York - because of the huge business possibilities
  • 2. Some small Greek island - explanation is unnecessary
  • 3. Belgrade - it is my hometown, so all my family and loads of friends are still there, so would like to have an excuse to go there more often.

5. What is your favorite activity outside of work?

My biggest passion outside of work is definitely basketball. I was playing basketball professionally when I was younger, but then I had a serious knee injury about 10 years ago and I had to stop. This year I started to play again, but in the 3rd Czech league, which is on much lower level then I used to play, but still it's great to maintain good form and health.

Life Hacks:

1. How do you stay motivated?

I really love my job and the things I am doing, so it's not hard to stay motivated, but for sure awards and the expansion of the company have the huge role in it too.

2. Do you have a good life/work balance? Could it be improved? If so how?

Life... what is life? :) These days (years) I am really working a lot and even when I am not working, somewhere in a background I'm always thinking about the ongoing and upcoming projects and their potential realizations. So obviously it could be improved, but first I have some goals to accomplish.

3. Do you have any career advice for young designers and developers?

Always try to be original and have on mind one of the most popular Aristotel's thoughts:
"The more you know, the more you realize how much you don't know". So if you think you are the best and that you know everything (everyone was in this situation once), surely still you need to learn a lot...

4. How do you keep up with the latest trends & tech?

Well I guess as pretty much everyone, through the popular blogs and online magazines. On the first place thanks to the CSSDA and two other most popular awarding websites (lol...didn't want to mention them, as they are your biggest competition, but everyone knows who I'm talking about). Beside that, very important source are the colleagues. Sharing the latest discoveries is a great way to stay on track with the trends.

5. If money was abolished and nobody needed to work anymore, what would you do with your life?

Absolutely the same what I'm doing now, but most probably somewhere on the seaside.

Versus: In your opinion...

1. Are great designers born Vs. made by experience?

Definitely you need to be born with a talent, but still you need to work a lot on it to get some high result.

2. Is the best long term goal to be a founder Vs. freelance Vs. full­time job?

It's hard to say as it depends on what you want in your life. When working as a freelancer you can plan your time as you wish, so that's the good side about it. Unfortunately, you usually end up working during the nights, sleeping until the afternoon, ordering your food and barely not leaving the home (at least it was like that for me and lots of people around me).

On the other side, with a full-time job, you have less responsibility and you can have a 'normal' life, but still personally I don't want the 'normal life', so I choose the role of a founder. The responsibility is massive, there is almost no free time, but still the idea that you are building something yours and the faith in success are keeping me alive.

3. iPhone 6s vs Samsung S6 vs other?

iPhone.

4. Printed book vs eBook?

Documentation.

5. Star Trek vs Star Wars?

Starbucks.

Filip works at Kitchen Prague. Kitchen is a full service creative atelier where the clients are served with overarching strategy, traditional advertising, package design, corporate identity, and digital fireworks such as websites, apps and beyond. Promising never to put creativity on a leash, Kitchen remains fiercely independent.