Gabriel, founder, and designer of pley.ground, was most fortunate to gain his design education at Seattle Central Creative Academy, where he not only learned the foundations of design principles but also came away with a better understanding of whom he was as a person. Out of school, Gabriel ended up going the corporate route. He started his career with Amazon, where he was tasked with creating digital advertisements and quickly followed that with working at Starbucks. It was at Starbucks where he learned that it was ok to design and create with your own point of view.
After design school, Gabriel yearned to work at a small, local design studio. He felt he would be able to learn how to run a design business, which was his future goal, by following that path Alas, like most things in life, what he had perfectly planned in his head did not happen. That was fine with Gabriel though since he learned a lot more via the route that was laid out for him and is grateful for the experience.
The name pley.ground comes from Gabriel’s experiences working in the corporate world. He felt, for the most part, extremely restricted to fully express his potential as a designer. “Pley” comes from the wanting to have fun with the work and pushing the perceptions of what design should look like. “Ground” is a constant reminder though, that everything we do as designers is for someone else. As hard as we want to be conceptual, we must keep ourselves grounded.
“At some point, you need to stop listening to what everyone has to say and begin to listen to yourself.” To pley.ground, this means that we will not follow current design trends and looking to see what others are doing. Instead, we will trust our work and be confident that the work we deliver to our clients will function and will last them for a long time.
Professionally, pley.ground plans to expand into a shop to sell some of the typefaces that we have designed and developed. We also plan to pursue one of our many side projects that will promote design education and education in general. When the time comes, we’ll happily divulge more information.
Personally, Gabriel would keep evolving his design style as well as grow as a person and designer.
As a community, we should provide learning environments to share our skills and knowledge. This can occur via workshops and internships that actually teach interns the ins and outs of design and not simply just be put to work. Perhaps the design community may volunteer their skills to organizations and causes that they believe in. We at pley.ground take on one pro-bono, non-profit project a year.