I first met Oliver some odd years ago at the Insight Design Conference. I had seen his work online and kind-of-sort-of knew about him. Since then we have kept in touch and become friends. I've had the awesome pleasure of working with him on a few projects and he's a top notch guy.
Oliver heads the strategic direction, business development, and management of House of Anchor, he is also a graphic designer, web designer, cigar love, craft beer drinker and a true entrepreneur.
"For as long as I can remember, I have always loved art and everything about being creative. Design to me is not only a career choice - it's an expressive lifestyle - a passion I live by". - O. Iguardia
I sat down with Oliver and asked him a couple questions. Read on below.
Joe: If were not a designer, then what would you be?
Oliver: I would be a chef. I would get formal training and go to culinary school. I feel like cooking is also an art form, you have to learn all the ingredient, formulas and techniques. I feel like you can really express yourself - you are what you put into your food.
It’s like that one movie, Water for Chocolate. It’s pretty interesting movie because they used food to express their feelings. And how they felt while they were cooking was put into their meals and the people eating it, start feeling those emotions. It was really cool.
Joe: What are you horrible at?
Oliver: Managing my time, I’m horrible at time management. I feel like I can do so much more in the little time I have, so I tend to over do things. I over stress myself with trying to take on more. That’s one of my biggest problems trying to manage time.
Joe: What are you extremely passionate about?
Oliver: I am passionate about what I do. I love design. I love everything that you can do with design. If you really look at everything closely, you'll see that design moves the world.
Whether it’s illustration, photography, graphic design, it’s all under one big creative umbrella. Nowadays, technology, social media and advertising has become a driving force in design and I’m very passionate about that. I love, I mean really, love doing what I do.
Joe: What would you like to see as a trend 2016?
Oliver: That's a tough questions because I’m not big on trends. I feel like less is more, so if we can continue that trend of simplifying and showcasing the minimal aspects of design, then I think that would be great.
Joe: What are some of the common challenges that come with working with small and large businesses?
Oliver: The biggest thing is always budget. Its challenge creating something on a small budget for your small business client. And if you are dealing with big business, than the bigger question is, how are you going to make them more money? That’s where you have to be innovative and creative. Whether you’re doing ongoing marketing or a specific project for a product line, you have to keep in mind all of the things around the experience. You have to take into account the campaign needs and how will it bring your client more revenue.
This is where it gets nerve wrecking, because you’re always thinking..."does my design look cool and is it going to bring my client more money?" So that’s where I begin to factor in functionality to good design. When I first started all of my focus was on the visual. I just wanted it to look cool and clean. But as time went on I matured as a designer. I started noticing that functionality has to become a part of what you’re designing. Whatever you’re designing, for the web, print, digital, whatever, it needs to have really great functionality.
Joe: What advice do you have for students?
Oliver: I would definitely advise them to dig deep down inside and find out what they truly love to do. Focus on what you’re good at and become a master at that. Don’t be afraid to find a mentor or someone you can ask questions. Get good criticism and find someone that is going to tell you what you’re doing wrong.