Laura Meseguer — Freelance
Laura Meseguer is a freelance designer, typographer and type designer. Her activity is developed in the field of …
I am a Product Designer and Graphic Designer living and working out of Brooklyn, NY. I am currently the Design Director on the SNKRS app at Nike, and the Creative Director of our new Digital Product Studio in NYC. Professionally, I balance my professional work with a personal freelance graphic design and illustration practice.
I was raised in a pretty creative household. My parents were both artists at some points in their lives, and both my older brothers are practicing artists. I was always more interested in architecture, but when I couldn’t get into the architecture school of my choice I fell onto my backup plan which was a graphic design program at Concordia University. My interest in architecture led me into doing a lot of interaction design despite being in a traditional theory-heavy design program, and I ended up focusing a lot of my efforts on digital design. I now believe digital product design has more in common with architecture and industrial design than it does with graphic design. This is something I only realized more recently.
As the Design Director on the SNKRS app, I manage a team of Product Designers, and sell our design vision and product strategy to our executive leadership. This means I’m in a lot of meetings and a lot of my creative time is spent writing and telling stories about the design work that our team has done. I still get to do design work in Sketch and Photoshop, which I love, but the majority of my time is spent in Keynote and Principle.
I have a 15” Macbook Pro and a 27” thunderbolt display. I used to previously use Photoshop and a Wacom for everything, but now that we’re all using Sketch I’ve switched back to using a mouse because I find it to be a lot more accurate. At work our team sits at one long table, which has it’s pros and cons - it can get pretty loud in here, but we find our collaborative efforts work best when you can just call someone over for feedback, instead of relying on Slack or email.I like to keep my iOS homescreen pretty minimal. I also keep my apps at four rows, so I don’t have to be constantly shifting my phone up and down in my hand. I don’t like how much real estate the default dock takes up, and I don’t think app-launching is a feature that I require to be on-screen at all times, so I hide everything except what’s currently open. I also keep it as small as possible. I use Alfred to launch apps via my keyboard.
I like to take inspiration from a lot of different sources. A lot of my inspiration actually comes from analogue sources like books and magazines, but when I’m working and I want to think outside the box, I’ll go to art blogs like the Walker Art Blog, Booooooom, Obsessive Collectors, and Qompendium.
When I’m looking for specific interaction, motion and UI inspiration I’ll visit Collect UI, UI Movement, and Pttrns. And when I’m looking for Graphic Design and Visual Communication inspiration, I’ll visit some of my favorite tumblrs. Of course there are other platforms that try to do this in a much more efficient way, like DesignSpiration, Dribbble, Niice, and Arena which are also great if you are building specific sets of content for specific projects and outputs.
I get asked this question a lot, and I think it’s hard for me to pin down one product because I try to think about a product in terms of its own success and how it solves a problem for me. I really hated my old carry on luggage, and I got an Away bag and was blown away by how the simple integration of a battery could actually make me so much less grumpy at the airport. This is good design in the sense that it’s solving a problem that I have, and the experience has an emotional value. But I also have a passion for the craft of design, and I love how Good Thing is bringing contemporary design at a larger volume, while keeping the price point low. I love the new version of Things for iOS. They really went out of their way to come up with completely new and intuitive ways of navigating an experience that could so easily fall into a pattern that everyone else is doing already.
I also believe good design can be something that makes the world a better place. There are a few recent products that I discovered that empower the underrepresented and amplify their voices. 5-Calls is an activist platform that figures out who you should call and what you should say to them, depending on where you live and what your political interests are. Artifax is a website that takes artist submissions and turns them into faxable letters to your representative, urging them to stop cutting funding to the arts. And CallParty is an assistive chat bot that systematically finds your reps and helps you engage with them on a level that can make a difference. These tools are all utilizing technology to empower users on a fundamental level, and to me that’s the best kind of design.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Yes, try hard. Yes, push yourself. But don’t beat yourself up. You’re going to fail, you’re going to get a lot of No’s throughout your career, and this is the best way to learn. Failure is the best way to learn, and eventually you’ll be finding success.
Absolutely! I teach digital product design at a non-profit engineering and coding program called Coalition For Queens. C4Q aims to increase economic opportunity for underrepresented communities through access to technology and education. Their goal is to transform the world’s most diverse community into a leading hub for innovation and entrepreneurship by teaching them a holistic approach to building digital products and apps. C4Q is backed and supported by the Robin Hood Foundation, Google for Entrepreneurs, Blackstone, Salesforce, Guggenheim Partners, and BlackRock.