Turning “insights into eye candy” is one of the many gifts that Creative Director Robin Algaze brings to Ignite 360. The self-proclaimed “designer by choice” leads the company’s Creative Services Ensemble which is responsible for bringing to life the results of our work in the form of unique creative deliverables.
I recently sat down with Robin on the front porch of her Portland home. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon - you’ll hear some of the sounds of the neighborhood during our conversation. We talked about her career in design to date, how she creates the aforementioned eye candy and her tips for collaborating with a creative team. You can listen to the full podcast below or click on the links throughout the post for some poignant soundbites.
Crayons, pencils, and clay were the toys Robin’s mother gave her as a child. Her architecturally-minded father encouraged building and engineering. She was told she could be whatever she wanted, even an NBA star.
Ultimately, she chose to stay off the hard court and explored design until she found what she loved about it -- using visuals to tell a story.
Good Designers Ask Good Questions
For Robin, asking good questions and listening are key to collaboration with the researchers at Ignite 360. “I ask them what the message is they are trying to convey - maybe a solution or way of looking at things. It’s important to be open-minded to all the possibilities before you narrow it down too small.”
Beyond the PowerPoint, Robin drives development of the more unique creative deliverables for which Ignite 360 is known. Most recently she developed a picture book for a client that went beyond a photo album – it created a more intimate consumer connection and an immersive experience for the client.
Algaze suggests that the key to success when collaborating with a creative team is to use empathy. That means taking their perspective and not assuming “they speak a completely different language as you do. If they are on your team, they want to get to the same place that you do. They want success just like you do.” She also believes that “anyone can be creative; you just need to be passionate about it. Just because it’s not hanging a museum doesn’t mean it’s not art.”
Play is a key component of Robins creative process. If you listen to the full interview, you’ll hear how the act of playing around with a new video source plus partnering up with an open minded CEO inspired her to make “Eat Donuts Backwards” video.
Toward the end of the interview we asked Robin one of our standard research-respondent questions. “How would a friend describe you?” Like some of our respondents, her eyes widened, she shifted in her seat, and her facial expression was one of mild discomfort. But she answered with her trademark honesty and wit.
Here's the full podcast...
And here’s Percy...
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