Malte Gruhl is currently working as an Associate Design Director for R/GA at their London office
Previously, he worked in Berlin and New York for leading studios and agencies such as Firstborn, MetaDesign and Razorfish. He was responsible for several award winning global campaigns and fully responsive portals and worked for major brands such as Audi, Hugo Boss, Google, Unilever or Samsung. In addition, he is involved with small personal branding projects for start-ups and in the cultural and art field.
10 questions for Malte Gruhl:
What did you do before becoming a designer/developer?
In school I was that kid that was always drawing throughout all classes. Art, illustration and design are the only things I was ever really interested in, so there is no real before.
Where do you turn for inspiration?
Blogs, a visual archive, going to galleries or long nights in clubs. All this can be a great inspiration.
However, I have to say that this is becoming less and less important to me.
I like to solve problems through research and a solid visual strategy.
From the Idea to the CTA, everything needs to evolve from unique visual concept. It shouldn't be about a trend or something I really want to try out or something I have seen somewhere else. The visual strategy should just solve the task in the best way I can think of.
Which are your favorite studios, designers or agencies?
Studios that are doing something unique but are still able to further develop themselves and their style. Or bigger shops that try to be a partner rather than a servant to their clients. Some names could be Moving Brands, Rosie Lee, Meiré und Meiré, Sid Lee, R/GA, Wolf Ollins and my former Razorfish Berlin office.
Who do you side with: Team Mac or Team PC?
Mac, but just because I am used to it. PCs can have advantages too. I am not quite sure why people get so emotional about this topic.
Is your city a good place for designers?
Which technologies are you excited about?
I cannot wait for the first day-to-day use of 3D printers, also seeing more and more concepts of wearable technology, the focus on data, and personalized content; those are all highly interesting.
Communicating throughout a product and considering and integrating relevant data will be something where designers can work on new interfaces and have a more target- oriented approach to communicate and serve the people.
How many hours do you work each week?
As many as it takes
Do you listen to music while you work? Describe your playlist.
Depending on time, task and mood.
Sets from Boiler Room are a good start. For labels: Belief System, Ostgut Ton, Work Them Records, Permanent Vacation or TriAngleRecords. Some artists I like: John Talabot, Darkside, Tiger & Woods, Solomun, The Haxan Cloak, Jon Hopkins, Guy Gerber, Nick Höppner, Ben Klock and disco/dance stuff à la Depeche Mode, My Mine, Pink Frost.
What is your favorite book?
I do like a lot of books about photography. I think the last one, which I enjoyed was Genesis by Sebastiao Salgado, or maybe Wald by Michael Lange as well.
Taken by Surprise by Robert Klanten or the Books from TwoPoints are nice to have, since they are on the edge between Design and Art.
If it is about real books with a unhealthy ratio of image to text then A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Forster Wallace and some of his other short stories. Oh and Dead Souls by Nicolay Gogol is also great.
What is your favorite sport?
Football. Werder Bremen