We get the honour of picking the brains of the talented duo Celeste Prevost & Rob Angermuller of San Fran design studio Math Times Joy. Celeste and Rob tell us their top five design crushes atm, what the San Fran design landscape is like and what they think the future of design holds. What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened? R (Rob): I was pretty optimistic when I started school; I wanted to get out and jump right into a gig that matched the source of my inspiration. At the time, magazines and record labels were still doing well, and I really wanted to find a way to tie my “art background” into my career somehow. I considered quitting school on a few occasions, so I spent some extra time analyzing what I wanted out of my education and career. As a result, I made the decision to work in the field while finishing school, getting me in at a studio that I very much admired—which was probably a much better outcome being both, the record industry + print sort of went belly up not to long after.C (Celeste): My main goal, as I’m sure is every students, was to land a job ASAP. I worked full time, so taking on an unpaid internship was difficult. So, for my final quarter I decided to take on an extra loan to support me, which allowed me to intern (aka ‘real world experience’) full time until graduation. During that time, I applied everywhere and made it a point to talk with everyone whether a job was available or not. It paid off. In my final weeks of school, I was offered a contract to hire position with a small design studio!
Who are the members of your team and their roles?
R: We are a two-person team and since we’re only two people, we don’t really give ourselves titles, and often do a lot of cross-disciplinary work. Each project requires a unique approach and we each get to fit into that in whatever way we think works best.
C: As Rob mentioned, we’re both designer + partners at our studio. The most interesting aspect of this, is that we naturally assume roles based on the needs of the project but also land on roles that play to our individual strengths and weaknesses. As an example, Rob interests and talents tend to be strategic in nature, whereas I can be incredibly task oriented and happy to just get to work.
Who are your top five design crushes right now?
R: I’m not sure I have crushes. I think it’s more effective to pick out a few people who you respect, or do something great, meet them and do everything possible to support them. Your network should be full of people you revere.
Are you involved in any mentoring/teaching/workshops and if and how it shapes your practice?
R: I don’t have any official channels for this, but I try to stay sharp, and share often. I believe people get too caught up in the accolades and forget that you can be involved in variety of meaningful ways.
C: I just starting teaching first year graphic design at California College of Arts. It’s been an interesting experience! It’s definitely keeping me sharp. Teaching has done a great deal in shaping my point of view, and has forced me to be concise in expressing both my ideas + criticism.
What is the design landscape like on your city and where do you fit in?
R: San Francisco is particularly challenging, because there are so many ways fit in as a designer. The city isn’t necessarily known for its strong, or robust design community, but there is a huge demand for creative thinking and execution. One large piece of being in a city where so much commerce, science, technology (and money) is that it’s a bit of a blank canvas. You get to choose your place.
C: I agree that SF has a high demand for creative thinking and execution. While a lot of this design need tends to fall in the tech sector, I think the city offers so much outside this space and, in ways, it’s a bit underserved. I’d like to think we fit somewhere in between, helping shape the next big idea while also building the foundation for the next neighborhood spot.
Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt?
R: Design, as an industry, will continue to become more and more saturated, and as a result designers will have to learn to be more flexible or specialize (or both) in order to maintain relevance. From the perspective of design as a practice, I’m not sure it will change at all, but rather the methods in which we work.