In The Beginning:
1. Can you remember who or what gave you the idea to begin a career in design?
I remember it sharp and clear. I was about 12 years old, during a junior engineering class. I was pissed about all the time I spent disassembling a Volkswagen engine while my teacher asked me which part of the process I was enjoying the most. My answer was "Drawing the tags for each part in a way I can put it back and make the engine work again tomorrow." I was excited about coming up with a visual process, using a huge piece of paper, sketching parts, coloring it by groups, numbering everything. The teacher remembered this about me that at the end of the year and suggested that I look into a visual communication career. After that I got interested in computers, learned to code, got introduced to Mac universe, adobe tools, etc. By the time I had to decide my major, it was a no brainer.
2. What was the first website you were involved in designing and / or developing and how well did it go?
The first contact with website development was in 1997. I was working as a graphic designer intern for an Outdoor Sports magazine. They wanted to join this new thing called a website and put one up for the magazine. We all learned together how to manage the server, file compression, ftp, etc. The magazine closed doors a few years later but people still remember how innovative they were back in the day.
3. How would you describe your career thus far? Is it all going to plan or is there no plan?
It's my nature to plan things. Specially my life. Since very young I used to save money, plan for trips, plan to accomplish things in sports... At school I was the opposite. I could only concentrate on my personal plans and goals. I'm very glad that I could manage to turn my professional decisions into my life plan. In the beginning I tried a number of things. I worked as a photographer's assistant, spent some time working for a clothing store, worked with product design and furniture design. Later I end up freelancing as art director for ad agencies and that went a long way with passages through JWT, Ogilvy, DDB, Publicis, winning awards like Cannes, One Show, etc.
Today I feel like every step was part of a bigger plan, but changing courses was the only constant in this advertising market. I had to adapt a lot, understanding the balance between creative origination and business.
4. What career advice would you give to yourself if you could send yourself a "temporal text" 5-10 years into the past?
Don't wait for people to tell you what to do. Try it, fail. Fix it. That's the best way to learn and give a solid direction to your career.
1. What are your favorite aspects about working in design?
As a designer I always loved the power we have over interfaces. We all have this magic power of making technology disappear for users by providing incredible experiences.
2. If you could pick only one favorite project from your experience thus far, which would it be and why?
For the past years I've been involved in big global advertising campaigns and heavy technology platforms but strangely my favorite work today is a personal project that is 100% manual. As a solution for a personal problem I designed a thin wallet to carry only a few cards and money. Friends started asking me where I bought it and I decided to produce small batches by request. The business started as a fun project and now it works as a mental therapy for me. I do everything by my own, from waxing the lines, treating the leather, sewing, packaging, etc.
3. What would be your favorite trend in web design and development from the last 5 years?
I'm not crazy about trends. Never have been. Designers should understand, translate and find the best way possible to deliver a solution for a specific problem/brief. It eventually may look completely out of your personal aesthetics or style. Visual trends can easily blind you, usually leading your solution to a common place.
Technology is a totally different animal when we talk trends. Augmented reality is getting solid everyday, user facing web applications (or giving the user control of coding by demand) is also a closer than ever. We're growing into a species that learns to code very early, from automation to self-learning. The never-gone trending for me is to respect the intelligence of our users and consumers.
4. Are there any favorite trends you would like to see more of in 2016?
I'd love to see more simplification. You can find only a handful of really well done interfaces, and 100% of it has one thing in common: simplicity.
1. Did you always want to work in the creative industries or did you consider any other career options?
Although I could adapt to do almost any type of work, from construction to financial, I'd rather keep doing what I know best.
2. Do you have a good work and life balance or is it a work in progress? Any tips?
For a long time I got stressed over each idea that died in the way of presentations. I also worked long ours for years in a row. Along the way you learn what to prioritize and how to deal with frustrations. The only piece of advice I could give is: Try your best but understand that it's only work, it should be fun most of the time. Otherwise we should be doing something else with our lives.
3. What advice would you give to younger professionals wanting to find success in design?
Concise ideas always win. And details shouldn't be ignored.
4. If you had all the money you would ever need, what would you do with your life?
I'd change nothing on my work and would definitely invest in different things, spend my time more wisely, travel a lot collecting experiences, learning different cultures, adding it to my work output.
1. What type of projects and what industries do you prefer to work in?
Platforms. In every sense of the word. I love technology, and the way we can use it to evolve humanity. I'd love to work for evolution purposes in biotech, spacial, etc.
2. What memorable challenges or highlights have you experienced from the projects you have worked on?
When you spend too much time working in advertising you realize how ephemeral your work can be. It runs for a week, for a month, strategy changes all the time, in the end the world still looks the same. The challenge is to use communication to impact people's lives in a good way. Benefit people with easier interfaces, faster and better solutions or more knowledge.
3. What are your, or your company's, greatest strengths?
Working at Apple it's fairly easy to see our innovation power. Some will say that's easy with billions of dollars and such a legacy of products and technology, but I honestly think that if there's one company trying to evolve the way we interact with the world, that's Apple.
4. What is the latest project you worked on or what are you working on right now?
Cant' really talk about it. :)
Cassiano is Creative Director at Apple for Latin America, Cassiano has served as ECD, CD and visual designer for agencies like R/GA, Ogilvy San Francisco, Publicis, JWT and DDB.