Monika Kehrer is co-founder and head designer at TRÜF, a creative studio located in Santa Monica, CA. Late last year we asked her to join us as a judge on this year’s Awwwards jury.
Monika studied illustration and design at Syracuse University for four years, and later continued her studies at the School of Visual Arts. She lived in NYC for 14 years before moving to Santa Monica where she currently lives, directing TRÜF.
This week it's her turn to be interviewed in our weekly Friday slot where we introduce our renowned Awwwards judges and other luminaries of the web.
Awwwards Team: What’s your average working day like?
I typically work 8 hour days with a whirlwind of designing, social media, working with freelancers and client meetings. I try not to work too late, but will work weekends to get the job done.
What will the designer’s role be in the world of standards-based apps?
Design is so important in attracting your customer. In the past, design hasn’t been paid much attention to, but I think it’s making a major resurgence. Not only is it important to have a clean and smart UI, but it’s equally important to have an appealing brand identity and sophisticated look & feel. Users want things that are inviting and easy to use. Good design will always attract and keep your customer, which at the end of the day is what it’s all about.
Which are your favorite studios, designers or agencies?
Sennep Lorenzo Verdini 72 and Sunny Mistress Berger & Fohr Fuzzco Hyperakt Brooklyn Brothers
When you start a new project, what design process do you follow? (Your workflow- Mood boards, style tiles, content prototype, wireframing, mockups...?)
For brand identity, I always start with sketches and notes in a notebook. Then move to research and adding inspiration links to a Pinterest board or Google doc that everyone can access. Since the projects are collectives, we also draw on a white board in the office to come up with loose ideas together. Then it’s off to Illustrator to start designing. For websites we always wireframe first. It’s essential to have a road map of what you’re doing.
Zag Studio, a TRÜF brand
What’s your favorite book? And your favorite film?
Impossible to pick one, but I can pick a few:
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R. R. Martin Make It Bigger by Paula Scher Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Godfather 2001: A Space Odyssey Dangerous Liaisons Midnight in Paris Pulp Fiction The Master
Zag Studio, a TRÜF | AFM’O
Which blogs, web applications or mobile apps do you check or use every day?
Too many! Awwwards, of course. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Dribbble, Facebook, Huffington Post, NY Times, Fashionista, Refinery 29, Eater LA, Brand New (Under Consideration), Style.com, Entertainment Weekly, Rotten Tomatoes
What are your favorite color combinations?
1. Yellow + Black + Graphite + Light Gray
2. Red + Teal + Turquoise + Espresso Brown