Designers’ Show and Tell

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If you’ve ever doubted the age-old notion that “good things come in threes”, we think it’s time you met our design team! Sam, Zander and Hugo are largely responsible for defining how Monzo works, looks and feels. They contribute a huge amount across all of our teams, in everything from product design and user testing to illustration and video editing, not to mention our lovely hot coral cards!

Involvement in such a variety of projects requires an equally diverse range of skills and influences. This week, we asked each of the designers to choose a couple of interesting items which inspire them, and tell us about how these things have influenced their approach to design at Monzo.

Sam Michael

Sam is the graphic designer responsible for the brand identity and all the cool animations you see in the app. He is also very involved in the shooting and editing of video content, most recently, the short video we put together in celebration of our amazing community.

“Life itself is my biggest source of inspiration, I love talking to people about the universe and human behaviour and would rank the solar eclipse as my highest source of visual inspiration. The fact that something so small can fit so perfectly over something so large is amazing 🌕 Here’s a cheeky Monzo fact: Beemo from Adventure Time heavily inspired the creation of Monzo mascots Mobee and Hot Chip!”

Zander Brade

Zander is the youngest member of the design team. Earlier this year he published a powerful and thought provoking blog post about product design and mental health.

“I wouldn’t say one specific piece of design has influenced my approach to design. I certainly have some personal favourites – the original Apple EarPods, Fender Stratocasters, Penguin Books, and many other small, dare I say cliché, examples which I find incredibly aesthetically pleasing.”

“When it comes to Monzo, I’m unable to get into a creative, design-thinking mode without bringing in the influence of other art forms. I love having a novel to read on the way to work as a method to wake my brain up and start thinking creatively, and a good chunk of my time is spent with my headphones on at the office, listening to music as I design. I guess I require the influence and creativity of completely different mediums to trigger my brain into the artistic and (hopefully) logical mindset it needs to design things well.”

Hugo Cornejo

Hugo is Head of Design here at Monzo and you should follow him on Twitter. A blog post featuring him wouldn’t be complete without a Twitter plug 😉

“My sources of inspiration are numerous, most of them modernists, design heroes and heroines that have shaped the world as we know it. These include Vignelli’s plasticware, Muji’s mechanical pencils and my ever expanding collection of old IBM ThinkPad laptops. One of my all-time favourite pieces of design is the London Tube map.”

“There are many things to love about the Tube map. First of all, consider how many people navigate the London Underground every day, many of them tourists that may have never used a transport system before or even speak English. Creating a guide like this, which is universally understandable, is a really tough challenge.”

“The principles that Harry Beck defined in 1931’s original map are still standing in 2017, which is amazing considering how big and complex the network is today. Meaningful use of colour and effectively layered information are characteristics I always aim for when considering how to display information. The idea of using a schematic approach to design the map, whilst using the River Thames as a reference to anchor the whole thing and make it relatable to those that know the city; that just blows my mind!”

Like the sound of these guys? Why don’t you join the design team? We’re hiring a product designer, head to the careers page for more details and share your design inspirations with us via Twitter and Facebook.