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Interview with Ricci Williams

Home > Designer Interviews > Ricci Williams

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Ricci Williams (RW) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Ricci Williams by clicking here.

Interview with Ricci Williams at Thursday 1st of November 2018

FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
RW: I was always interested in design. When I was younger my focus was on drawing, but as I got older, like many designers I graduated to the computer. It took me a while to decide what I wanted to do, but, university helped me figure this out. I studied Foundation design followed by a Degree in Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins, after which I spent many years working for brands and agencies as a graphic designer. I now work as an art director, it's my job to reduce their concepts into a single cohesive vision and help them execute it beautifully.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
RW: I started Studio Standard as a way to bridge the gap between amateur designer and the professional design community. We create beautifully designed, editable fashion and premium lifestyle Adobe Photoshop and Indesign templates. To date we've sold over 50,000 templates to designers around the world. As well as selling templates, we're a fully functioning design studio in our own right, with clients ranging from fashion to tech.

FS: What is "design" for you?
RW: My work is founded on a solid foundation in the principles of design, type and creative direction. I like structure and balance. Regarding style, over time I've learned to do more with less. My approach to directing work is anchored in understanding and responding to the objectives of the client.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
RW: I work on projects from initial concept through to completion and much of my time is spent presenting strategic ideas, creative concepts and designs to clients. A big part of my job is to stay abreast of emerging design trends and culture and feed them into forming new product ideas and strategies. My knowledge of trends across the beauty, fashion, lifestyle and luxury sectors plays a pivotal role in the work I produce and I love this about my job.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
RW: My favorite piece of work so far would be the first book project I worked on with photographer Rankin, called 'We are Congo'. The client for the book was Oxfam, an international charity working specifically on tackling poverty around the world. It was a cause in which I believed and jumped at the chance to work on the project. It was also great to work on something that would have a lasting impact beyond when I’d finished working on it. All the proceeds from the book were invested into the area. 'We are Congo' was launched at the National Theatre in London with an accompanying exhibition in 2010.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
RW: I love the tactility of working in print. Whilst I think its more difficult as there are more design considerations, producing work that you can touch and hold is incredibly rewarding.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
RW: At night when everyone else is sleeping…

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
RW: The first thing is the client. The job of an art director is that of an interpreter. If a client a client comes to me with an idea for a project, it's my job to boil down what they want and execute it. I need to understand the rationale behind every decision I make, so a lot of time is spent ironing out the concept before the visual work even begins. This means plenty of time spent researching, note taking and sketching.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
RW: To be honest, I think it's quite compulsive. It's difficult to stop working once you've started until the job is done.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
RW: There's usually a point in a project where everything clicks together and you achieve what you've been aiming for. As designers, we never know when this will happen so we're working away hoping that at some point it will all fall into place. When it does, it feels great.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
RW: A big part of my job is to stay abreast of emerging design trends and culture and feed them into forming new product ideas and strategies. My knowledge of trends across the beauty, fashion, lifestyle and luxury sectors plays a pivotal role in the work I produce.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
RW: My style as an art director is classic. On the design side, I’ve never been one to shy away from uniformity in design. My work is founded on a solid foundation in the principles of design, type and creative direction. I like structure and balance. Regarding style, over time I've learned to do more with less.

FS: How do you work with companies?
RW: My approach to directing work is anchored in understanding and responding to the objectives of the client. I work on projects from initial concept through to completion and much of my time is spent presenting strategic ideas, creative concepts and designs to clients.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
RW: Trust your intuition. A client will lose faith in you if you don’t trust and act on your intuition, so it’s essential to be a leader, be willing to drive ideas and follow them through.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
RW: More and more I think it's the ability to be able to communicate verbally not just visually. As an art director, you have to justify your design decisions to the client but also to your team of photographers, producers and post production managers.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
RW: Adobe Suite (Indesign, Illustrator, Photoshop).Grid Systems in Graphic Design Josef Mülller-BrockmannType & Typography by Phil Baines and Andrew HaslamTypewolf.comCoffee

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
RW: Completely depends on the project. It can be anywhere from three weeks to three months or even more.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
RW: Uber, Oxfam, Adobe, Rankin, RiotGames, Bamo, Blumhouse films and more.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
RW: I love working with fashion and beauty brands. I like exploring what draws people to things, and fashion is at understanding this.How through visual storytelling you could grow the identity and reputation of a product. In fashion, you have access to some of the best image-makers out there, and so many of the people involved are passionate and driven to create something both distinctive and remarkable.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
RW: Im currently working on a book for Bamo,inc which will be out next year.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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