San Diego, Director, Irwin Hines discussed on Revision Path
Irwin hines creative. Director at basic in San Diego California. Let's start the show all all right. So tell us who you are and what you do. My name is Irwin hines and I am a creative director of one of the two creative directors at basic agency located take. Our headquarters are located in San Diego but we have offices in mountain view as well as Saint. Louis Nice Talk to me about your work at basic like what's an average day like for you there. Oh man so. My role as a creative director is different from some of the other creative directors at agency's role we each kind of focus on our unique the unique specialty. So it's pretty expensive so I focus a lot on client work of course and so that just involves managing teams teams of two to maybe five people in guiding the process throughout the duration of the lifetime of a specific project with one of our clients and doing all the initial strategy and so add basic. We don't necessarily have a traditional strategy department. We expect all of our creatives who actually dive deep deep into strategy so that's understanding the different cultural nuances of the the clients audience and making sure that we are making those like unique connections connections based on what the clients goals are and what the audience actually values at the base level. That's one of my roles at basic but but since I've been there for seven years was one of the original people at the company I've also really taken it upon myself to to help guide the brand as a whole so as an agency. We don't necessarily just view ourselves just as a service company. We also be ourselves as a brand that we're constantly trying to a build one of our products that we deliver is our service right so we're very inspired by brands like Nike. Of course until my other role is really you know what our brand looks like. What are brand feels like what brands sounds like? And then all of our different community initiatives that we do. So are podcasts. brain-dead indeed that's one of the things I kind of head up. Then we also have a community series called crafted that was actually built to help bring together two different creatives within San Diego and help them to rub shoulders and break down the barriers between the different industries or creative verticals and so I do a lot of community stuff as well as the client stuff so again. It's like pretty expansive. That is really expansive. One thing that you just touched on there which I thought was interesting is that you expect the creatives them. Imagine these are like individual contributors. Right you expect them to get into the strategy like often that that strategy part tends to be reserved for maybe you like someone higher up the ranks like maybe a creative director art director. I mean take that approach. I think it came out of necessity so so when I joined there was only five people so all projects. We had to wear a lot of pets so I joined as like a senior designer but as a senior designer. I had to you come in and build brands. And all of that stuff. And we didn't have a strategy department and what we realized is that having that designer that creative from the very beginning beginning thinking about the brand strategy thinking about how the brand's needs need to be met in or what the consumers actual desire is and how the product that we're trying to market trying to build a digital experience for actually meets that consumers need and having the designer on board from the very beginning just creates creates a stronger. More seamless kind of project in process as well as just a stronger experience in the end and so it's just sort of stayed that way because as we realized the value in it from the beginning and now with one of the products of basic kind of being the service that you deliver. Is that something that came as sort of an organic evolution of the agency. Yeah I would say so and I think again. It's just it's mainly because we like to ourselves as a brand and Aubrey brands have the things that they create. Add to their larger sort of wide or larger sort of SS in their their larger perspective. Effective in so we make always considering. What is our larger perspective? What is our Y as a company? And how are we bring that forward through the work we do in proudly police also comes from the fact that we build a lot of brands for our clients and we always tell them to start with the. Why understand why you exist? What your customer wants? And then make sure you're delivering on that constantly and then all of the thing all of the things that you do are just really an ecosystem of consumer touch points that reflect your why in so I think we just internalized that ourselves in. Try and make sure that we're constantly focusing on refining in defining are are Y so that our work at the end of the day can become stronger. How did you first get started at basic seven years ago? I was actually doing freelance us. And so I was freelancing working at home working with anybody networking with other designers. Just McLean's and I was doing that for about six six months. I started to get very very restless because before that had been at a couple of other agency so I was able to toss ideas off of people always able to like feed off the other creative energy and I thought I would really really love that. Freelance lifestyle ragged do anything I wanted and hang out all day and take whatever days I would at all and all of that stuff but after six months ice again started to feel a little bit. Stir crazy identified people to toss ideas off of and basic actually actually reached out to me because I was doing some freelance work through an ex employee of basic and so through that ex employees match. Lock who owns basic actually saw my work in decided to reach out to me and at first so a little bit of a funny story. There's actually a pizza place in San Diego. That's really big big call a basic and it was located across the street from the agency I had previously worked at and we would go there like every single well day so in basic reached out to me via email at first I thought it was a pizza company asking for to become a designer at Pizza Company and at at that point like my freelance work was like activision Sony like I had big clients of freelancer. It's I was like no. Why would I ever want to meet with the people people but because it came through the referral of one of my other freelance clients? I decided to go meet with them and less pleasantly surprised that it was an agency that was doing amazing thing work. Now Talk to me about the team that you're working with because I would imagine you know. After seven years at the agency has went through a lot of changes. You probably went through a lot of changes as a professional final. What's your your team? Make up like now I was Gonna say we do so. I think there's two answers to that question. Why is over the years? We didn't didn't focus on this and this wasn't like a thing. We try to do but because the company is ran by a black man so matlock is black and then a lot of the leadership up is black as well as women. We've actually created a very very diverse team with people from all over the world all different cultures all different perspective and that was just because we truly valued different ideas and different perspectives coming together on one space and felt like that. Collision of of different perspectives and ideas actually fosters better work right so that was the perspective we had every time we would hire someone we like the challenge us do come with something different and if they did. That's when we knew that this was the right person of course tastes level. Great Work raper folio. All all that stuff was like table stakes. Like yes have all of that stuff but you have to challenge us in. So that's why I was like. Please ask that question again. 'CAUSE I had to make sure I like gave this a proper response so again. That's one side and then as far as like the makeup of the team. It's pretty pretty standard we have about. I'm GONNA probably really like mess up the numbers we probably have about like thirty five people in our San Diego Office forty people in forty to fifty people in the mountain view office and then we have like eight people in our office in so the Saint Louis Office is really an extension of the San Diego Office. It supports a lot of the work that we do in San Diego and then the mountain view office is really just focused on Google and then some of our other sort of bay area clients but their main focus is google in so that team. Makeup is is a lot different than the team makeup in San Diego. The team makeup and San Diego is project basis for individual clients. So you'll have teams of three or four. We like to try and keep them smallest smallest. They can be a lot more agile nimble as well as allow all of the designers to really have direct contact with the clients that way. There's like hidden people right. We always WANNA kind of elevate empower all of our creatives like I was saying with strategy to really be the face of the company and to be able Tila someday lead their own projects. That's really our goal right. We Really WanNa make sure that each person grows so we have junior designers. Senior designers are directors creative director. And then we have kind of the higher level leadership team that helps guide and really think through the vision and mission of the entire tire agency all of those departments and all of those groups. We do our best to work seamlessly together. So we strategically have set meeting eating so that whenever the leadership talks about can then be distilled down in share to the rest of the team as well as we have methods for communication in the other way so we can take things that like maybe a new designer comes in and has some frustration points or some tension points with some points in the culture in all of this other stuff that maybe has some great ideas. We have tools and really is just talking but we have tools that allow that new designers like frustrations or your ideas to bubble up to the surface of the leadership team in. That's how a lot of stuff at basic has really done. Its more so done from the younger creatives this or from the ground level as opposed to top down. That's an interesting kind of model. And it's something that I've noticed as I honestly am interviewing wing and and hiring creatives and stuff is that there certainly is more at least. I'm finding that there is more of a need to have designers that have sort of lead projects in that way maybe not necessarily from into end but they were more than just say the team member that did you know visual design. They actually had a project project or part of a project that they really got completely oversee. So it's good that you've got the agency kind of structured in that way to work with clients. Yeah and I think it also it benefits us at the end of the day and of course the designers because then these creatives are well versed if there has to be a shift in our agency. They're not just trained in one skillset. They're actually trained in. We like to say they're trained in brand building which extends past websites extends past. US extends past whenever Robert New medium or media type. There will be but now you understand the foundations of how to build a company that resonates with people and then whatever that company needs. In order order to speak to that audience we can create it and now speaking of clients and projects one of the clients you're working with are the Webby awards which yes and people know from. I don't know if I mentioned this on the show but I'm one of the judges this year..