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Passion, skills and experience, the keys for a successful design

Los Angeles, September 21st, 2017

While studying graphic design at Orange County, Vasile Tiplea was already working in order to get early experience through freelance work. Website design and digital arts become his main strength and that lead to his first full time job as a designer. As years passed, he was part of the staff of several companies, moving further from graphic design.

Nevertheless, it all changed when Creative27 was born. Tiplea resigned to his job and started the agency, building a team from scratch and quickly gaining recognition from his work with big brands from all over the world. Based in Los Angeles, Creative27 is now a pioneering app development and design powerhouse, with a growing potential.

Tiplea, CEO of the agency and also Director of UX and Design, talks to TIA to give us an insight on Creative27 and its agency life.

We keep the client always in the loop throughout the scope of working together. We hold weekly touch-points and before a client sees anything created by us on the design side, we provide mood-boards and insights into what the direction should be,” Tiplea said, describing the key way of avoiding problems with clients.

Could you tell us about your carreer path before Creative27 and what made you start at your current agency?

I’ve always enjoyed helping startups and mature companies alike build sustainable products. While working full-time, I did not have a same feeling because I was constrained by budgets and expectations. It was scary but I remember as if it was yesterday. One day I said, you know what, I will quit my full time job and I will start my digital agency. I was focused on a very specific niche. But with time I’ve built my team which is now under my leadership and at the help of Creative27, earning this digital agency international recognition and having Fortune 500 clients like Samsung, Sony, BBC Worldwide and Bose, among others. We’ve also been named best digital agency in California two years in a row.

Three things you like about your current position:

1. Designing products from scratch to launch and seeing them come to life
2. Working with my team and collaborating together to come up with innovative solutions
3. Playing ping pong every afternoon

Three things you dislike about your current position:

1. Doing financial reports
2. Having my significant other also be one of my best employees
3. Having to tell people I am the CEO of Creative27

What are the key ingredients to have a successful design?

Passion for the craft, skills to back it up and experience working on relevant projects. Most importantly, you have to enjoy what you’re doing, otherwise it will show in your work.

How do you work out your design, taking into account your target audience or users?

-Research & Discovery, doing the ground work of understanding who your best competition is, understanding their strengths and weaknesses and capitalizing on opportunities to bring something to market that’s better.
-User Experience Design, understanding the blue-print of how a product will work, its functionality, features and key user funnels before talking design.
-User Interface Design, putting together a killer design and brand in place that will make a statement.
-Interactive Prototyping, seeing a clickable version of a product and adjusting things before handing it over to developers.

What recent projects have you worked on that turned out to be very successful?

1. Stashimi – Winner of 2017 IAC award for best music application
2. Pensterdocs– Featured on Entrepreneur and Awarded Best design mobile award
3. District27 – Nominated Platinum Award for best social/lifestyle app 
4.  REOP – Awarded Best design mobile app award

Could you name a challenge that you and your team are currently facing?

Expansion of our services to better support our clients post launch. We now help our clients put their product together for conceptualization to launch. We are now working on what happens once you have launched, how to create buzz, get users on board and building a sustainable business model.

Suppose that a client is upset with a particular element of the design that you have done. They believe that you have not created what they asked for. How would you handle this?

Our methodology in avoiding this ever happening is keeping the client constantly in the loop throughout the scope of working together. We hold weekly touch-points and before a client sees anything created by us on the design side, we provide mood-boards and insights into what the direction should be. We also provide three completely different solutions based on clients feedback. Since the past eight years running this agency, I have not come across any clients being disappointed with what we’ve presented.

What piece of advice would you give a recent grad looking to work in digital marketing?

Skill is important but attitude is more important. Be humble, try to learn everything you can and be helpful to those around you. Attitude is everything in this industry.

Which are the most important web tools that you use?

Adobe suite, Omnigraffle, Sketch, In-vision and Vabotu.

What do you like doing on your free time?

In my free-time, I enjoy composing music, playing ping pong and taking pictures.

Are there online publications, professionals, industry leaders you follow?

AIGA, Web Summit, Adobe conferences and Cnet news.

Thanks Vasile!

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