Meet Harrison: Design Lead

Harrison brings so many things to the team. He’s the resident DJ, our official horror-movie buff, and he holds the title of “Spicy Meme Lord.” Not to mention he designed our entire new collection of diffuser blends. As Design Lead, Harrison is in charge of everything from emails to brand collateral to product design—and he does it all with an admirable quiet confidence. He also just exudes cool. When he was leaving the office one rainy day, Sara looked at us and said, “Of course Harrison can make a poncho look cool.” Case and point.

Below, we chatted with Harrison about his day-to-day at vitruvi, his penchant for DIY, his upcoming wedding plans (!!!), and of course, his spiciest memes.

What’s your day-to-day like?
It’s always busy. It usually starts with a couple of emails to our printers or packaging suppliers. Then I’ll pick up one of the many projects I have on the go—probably the one that has the tightest deadline. I’m always thinking about all of the projects at once, making sure I manage my time to push forward on different projects each day to keep up with deadlines.

What do you love most about being on the team?
Honestly, it’s probably being part of a team that works together as a collective to get things done, but at the same time, we all have our own responsibilities. We are a young team full of great people that work really well together, and we know how to have fun while we’re at it. When something comes up, everyone is there to give constructive feedback that helps further the brand and us as a team.

Can you describe the design process behind the new blends?
Well, I was brand new to the team when I started designing the blends. I was still getting familiar with all of vitruvi’s brand collateral: fonts, colours, and the subconscious tendencies and decisions that were made along the way to create the brand. I knew the bottles had to be simple and aesthetically clean, but at the same time, something that was interesting, eye-catching, and would stand out on a shelf.

I really wanted to explore all the possibilities that I could for the design, and I think it’s fair to say I did. While exploring colour/layout options, I was consumed with countless illustrator art boards and prototypes. Seriously though—there’s a decent-sized box full of iterations.

Eventually the process had to come to an end and we needed to launch the products. The collection of blends quickly became a reality—I think we nailed the design and we know that all of the possibilities were explored.

What are your top 3 fave vitruvi products?
Grove, White Diffuser, and Eucalyptus.

What’s another brand’s packaging that you love?
Blasted Church wine labels have always caught my eye. I’m one of those people who will analyze every label I see on the shelf and I think Blasted Church has a really cool approach to make theirs stand out.

Favourite meme?
Such a hard choice, there are so many classics like doge, not sure if (Fry), and the endless Drake and Office memes, but if I had to pick one…I’d say the “lazy college senior” one.

Beside building espresso bars from scratch, what do you like to do outside work?
I always find myself working on some type of DIY project, even though I tell myself I want to relax and do nothing for once. It must just be my personality of wanting to learn more about things like woodworking, textiles or cars. When I actually get some real free time on the weekends, I can be perfectly content with a nice gin and tonic listening to the latest music or throwing back some classics and scrolling through some spicy memes.

What’s been the best part of planning a wedding?
The best part is when you can cross something off the huge list that will probably never end. It’s also knowing the hectic planning will eventually lead up to an amazing day. Working on all of the creative content such as invites, cards and decor has been really cool—it’s kind of like a personal branding project.

Who’s your biggest creative inspiration?
Thats hard—I don’t think I can pick just one. I know I have my own aesthetic approach to design, but I like to draw inspiration from some of the greats, such as David Carson and Michael Bierut. Recently, I gather a lot of inspiration from contemporary artists, like Shepard Fairey and musicians like Kanye West, Drake, and the ASAP Mob collective.

Top 5 movies of all time?

  • Grave Encounters – one of my all-time horror favourites, filmed right here in BC.
  • The Evil Dead – the original of course, with Bruce Campbell.
  • The Lion King – my childhood favourite.
  • Lord Of The Rings Trilogy – I was a huge fan when it came out back in the day.
  • Home Alone – the best Christmas classic.

Where would you travel if you could go anywhere in the world right now?
New York. I’m definitely a city person. The design icons, street culture, clothing, music legends that come from the city, and the great sights are all things I really want to experience.

Where are you planning on going to for your honeymoon?
We haven’t completely decided, but New York is pretty high on the list. We’re also thinking about Melbourne. There are so many cool places to go, but we want to make sure it’s special.

Favourite quote?
I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares, as opposed to ugly things. That’s my intent.” – Saul Bass

November 23, 2017