This week’s interview is with our newest addition to the Simpatico team – Bruce Viemeister. Bruce is a fantastic designer and talks about his love of pups and what it’s like working at different types of agencies.
If you’re looking for a hungry, passionate designer to bring good work and personality to the table, I’m your guy. Just as long as you don’t mind bad dad jokes.
Hey hey hey! My name’s Bruce and I’m the Digital Art Director here at Simpatico.
After I graduated from School of Visual Arts in 2013, I was actually solely a print designer and working on book covers at a publishing house. I slowly got more into digital and specifically web design about 5 years ago. Even though I had a lot of knowledge and experience with traditional design, I learned most about digital and web (as far as UX/UI and responsive design goes) through jobs I had since then.
When I’m not at Simpatico, I’m most likely hanging out with my 4-legged best friend, Pretzel. WHO’S PRETZEL YOU ASK?
If you’ve ever seen a really clumsy, long-haired mini dachshund in Brooklyn… there’s a good chance that’s him! When I’m not with that little dude though, you can usually find me building something out of wood, catching a few waves when it’s warm, sliding down some hills when it’s cold, brewing a fresh batch of beer, or knitting the night away (Amber puts me to shame, but I try my best. Amber: Well I do knit about 2-3 hours a day so…. practice makes perfect!). I love to work with my hands, learn new things, and take opportunities to step away from the screen when I can.
What’s your typical day at Simpatico like? What are some of your duties?
I’d say every day here is a little different. Since we’re a really small team, we have the benefit of organizing our own schedules and deciding when we should be working on certain projects. Obviously designing for web is a large chunk of my responsibilities here (including UX, content architecture, etc), but also all of the fundamental parts of design like exploring and creating art direction styles and implementing that into an overall brand identity. Thinking about design strategically and solving problems that can not only fix, but improve a brand or business using a realistic approach.
What made you want to work at Studio Simpatico? What do you think made Tamara and Sinan want to hire you?
I’ve worked in-house, in start-ups, small studios, agencies… some were more relaxing, and some were extremely stressful. I wanted to work at Simpatico because I wanted to be somewhere I could get my hands on a lot of different projects, take ownership of others, and not want to pull my hair out. I think the first time I talked to Sinan, we ended up having a good hour and a half conversation. A lot of It was about my experience and my work, but a good chunk of it was talking about Sketch, symbols, and plugins. It sounds stupid, but you gotta be able to chat with someone like that if you’re gonna be working with them collaboratively on projects for MOST of your week. Personality is half of it and we’ve got a lot of that here!
When I first contacted the peeps at Simpatico about the position, I wrote “If you’re looking for a hungry, passionate designer to bring good work and personality to the table, I’m your guy. Just as long as you don’t mind bad dad jokes.” Now I know I’m a good designer, but my dad jokes are on fleek (that’s what the cool kids say now, right?)
In all seriousness, I think what Tamara and Sinan wanted was a talented, experienced designer, with a good personality that could take the lead on things but also be able to work together with the rest of the team… But the dad jokes don’t hurt.
What is your favorite kind of project to design for? Your favorite design style?
I don’t know if I specifically have a favorite kind of project as far as aesthetics go, but if I can create an identity for a brand, design the logo, website, and everything that goes along with it… well that’s just a REALLY good feeling. I’m pretty OCD and I really like to work on things from the ground up.
That being said, I’m a huge type nerd and have a pretty big collection of printed ephemera (vintage tins, medicinal packaging, tons of matchbook labels, beer cans, fruit crate labels… all that good stuff). So granted, my design process has a heavy exploration of typography and that’s probably my favorite aspect of design in general.
What or who would be your dream project/client? And why?
I would absolutely LOVE to design something for NASA. I honestly wouldn’t care what it was, as long as I got to work with NASA. The Graphics Standards Manual might be one of the most beautiful things that a Swiss grid and Helvetica have ever created. Like c’mon guys, drool worthy.
What has been the hardest part about your new job here? What’s been the easiest?
That’s a tough one… I think in general the hardest part about any new job is meeting the new peeps, learning how they work, how to work with them, etc. But also, finding new places to eat is REAL TOUGH, guys. Talk about doing some Yelp research.
On the flip side, I feel like I connected with everyone here so quickly that you could also say that was the easiest part for me. A friend and co-worker once told me a while back that you won’t truly know if you’ll get along with a person until they pass the ‘beer test’, which is exactly what it sounds like. If you can get through one beer with someone and still want to have a conversation with them, then you’re in the clear. Everyone here at Simpatico passes my beer test with flying colors. 🙂