Take 10 with… Nick Riley
The DA team want to support our community through these unprecedented times – something we kept coming back to is a focus on connection and community. So we want to do what we think DA does best, sharing ideas, inspiration and information and profiling our community.
With that in mind, we launched a new series Take 10 with… to do a pulse check on how you’re feeling, how you’re working, what you are missing, and what your hopes are for the future. We invited some of our friends, peers and the DA team to participate and we hope you enjoy these honest and candid profiles of Aotearoa designers today.
Nick Riley. Creative Director of Culture&Theory.
How did you get into design?
I studied Visual Communication at Massey University, Wellington. (It was still Wellington Polytech back then – I feel old now!) My first job straight out of university was at 2020 Design in Auckland, however, I don’t feel like my design career really got moving until I moved to Sydney and cut my teeth at Moon and Yello which were two of the top brand agencies over there at the time.
What do you love about design?
I always have the same answer to this question – diversity. Every new business we work with has an exciting and unique challenge that they’re looking for us to help solve. Getting under the skin of a business, learning about their category and their hopes and dreams, and then having a positive impact on them through strategy and design is what gets me out of bed in the morning.
What or who inspires you?
It’s pretty hard to pin it to one thing, but right now I’m inspired by 70’s typography (anything by Herb Lubalin), modernist architecture, Four-tet, Wabi-Sabi, and minimalism.
How are you feeling right now?
Optimistic and excited about the future. There’s plenty of negativity out there right now, but I think great innovation and interesting ideas will be a product of all this disruption. I also think this will be a golden opportunity for ‘brand NZ’ with our products and services being elevated on the world stage.
Are you working right now, if so what does your work from home day look like?
The team is working hard. We’ve got quite a bit to get through ranging from an international sporting event in 2021 to a fintech start-up to a global vitamins and supplements rebrand. Our day revolves around our team (virtual) catch up every morning from 9-10. I then usually have meetings up until about 1pm, then the afternoons free to get deep work done.
What’s your one tip right now?
Stay positive, stay motivated and be proactive. Don’t take your eye off the ball.
Tell us about your current workspace.
I’ve commandeered my 3 year old son’s room. It’s small, but I have a lovely view from Ponsonby out West towards the Waitakere Ranges.
Which local business are you going to miss most during our isolation period?
We’re 3 weeks in and I’m really missing my morning coffee from Depot. I would also do just about anything for a Reuben Sandwich for lunch at Fed Deli next door – they are out of this world!
What do you hope for the Aotearoa design community going forward?
A stronger, more valuable creative industry that’s more important than ever for ensuring the success of NZ and international businesses.