We’re a global team of thinkers, dreamers and builders. In our new Spotlight on… series, we feature one of our expert practitioners. Here, Nijel Taylor, Design Director, based in our New York office, talks about the importance of collaboration, his aversion to “design snobs,”
How would you describe your design style?
I don’t consider my work having a style, but I can explain how I approach it. In my mind, design is a team sport. I am a firm believer that nothing great is made without a team of collaborators. No matter if the team is five people or two, it only works when everyone is engaged and contributing. I always design in the company of my peers and am continually bouncing ideas off people to get to solutions that make sense—but also to reach solutions that have that elegant detail and deeper meaning. Whether it’s a logo, a visual system, illustration, or icon, every design solution is the result of countless conversations.
What do you listen to when you’re working?
I have a long playlist of songs. My current favorite artists to listen to are from recording labels such as Dreamville, Top Dawg Entertainment and Lex Records. As for independent artists, I have Frank Ocean on repeat along with Noname.
What are three things you cannot live without?
Color in my wardrobe, my early morning workout routine and my close circle of friends and mentors.
What is the biggest misconception among clients when it comes to the design process?
In my opinion, clients believe agencies throw every designer in their arsenal on a project, even when they used to work on the agency side and may understand how it actually operates. It is a common assumption that several people are on a project when, in fact, it’s often three or four.
What is your biggest design pet peeve?
The work is the work and mistakes happen. My biggest pet peeve is a design snob. Being overly opinionated or giving cruel feedback is not that helpful to the process. However, honest and actionable feedback will always connect. Design is a process, and it improves when folks are honest, nice and supportive.
Do you find you’re more creative during the day or at night?
I find I am more creative during the day.
Lastly, any hidden talents?
I like to paint when the mood is right or on a rainy day.