In late February, Might & Main welcomed a new print and interactive designer, Regis Biron, to our team. Regis, a 2009 graduate of Maine College of Art, comes to us by way of CIEE, where he worked as a web designer for nearly four years. Regis is the rare designer who can draw, set type, and write code with equal aplomb. With his UI design and front-end development experience, Regis expands our ability to create compelling brands that resonate across all channels.
We asked Regis about his experience so far:
Tell us a little about your history and how you came to be a professional designer.
When I was young I used to draw all the time, probably every day. I also had multiple collections (not like a hoarder, really). One item in particular that I collected was toy packaging. Hasbro was in its prime in the early 90’s, so alongside their interesting toys they had interesting packaging and I always admired it. Later on when it was time to apply to school I knew I wanted to pursue a career in a creative field but I just wasn’t sure what I could do. I had heard of graphic design but I thought it was just designing cereal boxes or deodorant labels–keep in mind I come from a small town.
I eventually decided on MECA as my school of choice, and luckily you didn’t have to declare a major until your junior year. My first design ‘ah-ha’ moment came to me during my first design course. My professor started off the class by showing us slides containing work by various well-known designers. I was struck by a slide showing one of design rockstar, Stefan Sagmeister's type-in-the-environment pieces. I thought to my self, ‘hey, you can do that?’ From then on, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the field of design.
How has your career progressed since that day?
During school I received an awesome opportunity to intern at American Eagle Outfitters at their local headquarters in Pittsburgh PA. This was my first real professional experience with design and I learned a bunch throughout the course of the summer. I later went on to work for Oat Creative (in Somerville, Mass.), which has a very similar vibe to Might & Main.
There was always one piece of the puzzle missing for me—one skill-set I really desired to build—and that was web/front-end. An opportunity to come back to Portland and work as a web designer for the study abroad company CIEE arose. I quickly jumped on the job and was able to use that time to pick some front-end skills, which help me to breathe life into my ideas. I dislike restrictions and one important principle I work by is that you should know your medium as much as you can.
What led you to want to work at Might & Main?
The reason I chose the design field was because I saw how open and creative you can be. It's much more than the boring deodorant packaging (except for Old Spice, those guys have a sweet marketing campaign) I pictured when I was younger. Adrian Shaughnessy references two types of designers in his book ‘How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul’: the in-house designer and the design studio designer. The latter is usually allowed a little bit more creative license and freedom; you work with multiple clients and don’t have to live within one specific set of brand guidelines. Luckily I didn’t have to move too far to find that design studio environment. The Might & Main guys really know how to have fun while building a strong brand message for all of their clients and…they do GREAT work! It’s the place I wanted to be.
You're about 2 months in—how has being here compared to your expectations?
I think its pretty much on track with my expectations. … I guess I should probably elaborate >_. Environment is important to me; working in khaki slacks in a cube is great and all but its nothing compared to working in a loft style studio with skylights, fireplaces, and great music in the background. Might & Main is located in one of coolest offices I’ve ever worked in and you can’t beat a minimalist drafting desk with a Mac sitting on top. The work is really great and is exactly what I envisioned. I can be working on marking up a web page one day and designing a menu the next. I love every aspect of design and its really great I have the opportunity to fluctuate between different mediums on any given day.
What are you working on that you're excited to see out in the world?
I’ve been working on two great projects: a website for Portland Museum of Art and menus for a local restaurant. Two completely different projects but both share the same principle: communication. If I can help to better communicate information to an audience and create something I’m proud of in the meantime, then that’s great.
Who's your favorite new boss, Sean or Arielle?
Sean and Arielle are working examples of what a great design studio should be made of. Sean has a background in print design, is a great design consultant, and has a strong knowledge of design history—he knows a lot. Arielle has a background in web and illustration, she really knows the technical sides of things and keeps everyone in-line. Together they form the perfect working puzzle. Now if I were to favor one piece out of the puzzle, I would just have a plain piece of cardboard die-cut in some weird shape.
Good answer, Regis. With tact like that, we'll keep you around for a while. Welcome to the team!