Creativepool profile: creativepool.co.uk/BenjaminAnthonisz
"My passion is digital design and illustration. This year I joined moonpig.com as Head of Online Design with the main objective being to redesign their website. I delve in to the freelance market when time allows, but my primary focus at the moment is on the moonpig redesign. I’m always doodling and illustrate ideas as much as I can, if it’s any good I’ll post it on my site.."
How long have you been in the industry?
Crikey I’ll need to dig out my CV... Over 13 years now.
Describe your work in one sentence.
Digital design – I always strive for my design work to be professional, clean and simple.
Illustration – I wouldn’t say I have a certain style but I like my drawings to be bold and different.
What's the most important thing you've learned in your line of work?
To not shy away from criticism, more often than not it will help improve your work.
Who are some of the clients you have worked for?
Playboy, LOVEFiLM, SsangYong, Ask Frank, The Laughing Cow, Film Flex, Lancaster University, Carmine, LA Fitness, DirectGov.
What attracted you to your chosen field?
I’ve always been a creative – it’s the only thing I’m really good at. After completing my final studies in Graphic Design & Illustration and stepping out in to the big wide world, I knew I wanted a career in design but wasn’t snapped up like I’d hoped (very naive). So I looked at where the industry was going and decided to teach myself web design whilst working full time in advertising sales to earn my keep. By putting myself about and freelancing where possible, I was able to build up a small portfolio to show potential suitors my skills. Thankfully this worked out 1999 when I secured my first permanent web designer role, and haven’t looked back.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
With any bit of design I am working on I always have the user in mind. This allows me to create an enjoyable and attractive experience. I’d like to think that with my skill set and that mentality it sets me apart.
Tell us about your best project to date.
My best project to date was back in 2010 when I redesigned the LOVEFiLM homepage. It improved conversion and worked so well that Blockbuster Video blatantly copied it for their own website, until LOVEFiLM threatened a cease and desist order and it was swiftly taken down. Going forward I believe the current redesign I am working on with moonpig.com will supersede this. It’s a massive task with a trough full of requirements and little time – but fun and exciting stuff.
If you could work on any project for any company/organisation, what would it be and who would it be for?
I’d love to redesign Empire Magazine and HMV’s website. Illustrate for Little White Lies Magazine.
What frustrates you the most about your job?
When the powers that be estimate time for a project without consulting the little piggy's first. The majority of the time they’re way off.
What pearl of wisdom can you offer to someone thinking about starting out as a freelancer?
Work hard, study new trends and have fun with it.
If you could have ONE super power, what would it be?
What's your favourite bit of kit?
It has to be my iPhone 5. The bloody thing can do anything and it’s saved my bacon on so many occasions (but don’t tell my iMac).
Tell us a random fact about yourself.
Whilst working with Playboy I got the chance to meet Christie Hefner (Hughes daughter who now runs Playboy) at a company meeting. The night before I thought I’d shave and cut my hair so I was nice and presentable. I got a little too excited with my trimmer and took off half an eyebrow! Being the perfectionist I am I couldn’t have it like that, and dreaded the comments of my colleagues so clipped the remaining half off. I now looked a real t**t, so with just one eyebrow untouched and staring back at me, I knew what I had to do. I erased that sucker too and met Christie Hefner in the morning with no eyebrows. I learnt a valuable lesson that night, ‘NEVER to play with my eyebrows again’!
What's your favourite song of all time?
Wow that’s a tough one. It’s quite possibly ‘Smack my bitch up’ by The Prodigy. Amazing sampling, baseline and video. I’ve seen them live a few times and that particular tune ALWAYS gets me jumping. Liam Howlett is a f&%king genius!
What is your favourite app?
I go through phases with my iPhone apps, from Santander mobile banking, to By Post, the moonpig app, Metro app and currently I spend a lot of time on my journey in to work playing Solitaire.
Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter by a mile. I’ve learnt and been inspired by following some truly awesome people, including: @CreativeBloq, @rewwwind, @unbounce, @UberFacts, @ComputerArts.
Eat in or out?
I’m a sucker for eating out or the dreaded take away. But a home cooked Sunday roast prepared by my wife is my favourite dish.
If you would like to step into the Creativepool Spotlight, email through some examples of your work