My Breakthrough: Re-Finding Design

By Friday January 10th, 2014

"Sometimes getting back to your roots can inspire you to keep moving forward." - Drew Thomas, CCO

Breakthroughs From a Digital Agency (a Series)
We have a small, close-knit team here at Brolik. We’ve experienced solid growth year over year since our inception in 2004, but 2013 felt different from the rest. The company celebrates 10 years in business on January 14th, 2014. But, it’s not just this milestone we’re celebrating… this year the company reached a level of maturity that we can be proud of. As a small agency, cash flow challenges, production bottlenecks, inefficient processes and peaks and valleys in new business are common. This year our talent, experience and execution aligned better than ever before. To put a cap on the year, and to put this somewhat vague concept of “maturity” into more tangible terms, each of our team members will present their personal breakthroughs over the last year. In the process, we hope you’ll get to know the people who make up Brolik a little better.

I started off my career as a passionate and opinionated graphic designer.

In the early days of Brolik, design was my main focus, and every pixel of every project had to be perfect. I like to think that’s what sparked our reputation for quality.

As time went on, however, my job description got a bit more complicated. Today it includes some designing, but it also includes programming, managing people and projects, pitching, big picture strategy, little picture strategy, writing, reporting, emailing, editing and Tweeting.

With all of these areas fighting for my time, it’s been hard to be as pixel-perfect as I was in my early twenties, when we had only a handful of clients.

Over the last year, however, I’m excited to say that I’ve stumbled back to my design roots. I’ve found design again.

I attribute this mostly to tools like Typecast and UXPin. They make designing more efficient and less time costly. Maybe another factor is the increasing maturity of responsive design. It’s a lot easier to focus on design when execution no longer competes with idea. Then again, it probably also has a lot  to do with our employee count going up. My time and headspace are slowly freeing up.

Regardless of the reasoning, the result feels great, and the future is promising and newly inspired. To a designer, there’s nothing like the feeling of good design. From both an aesthetic and functional perspective, good design is an amazing thing.

I suppose the takeaway is that if you’re looking to be inspired (or re-inspired) by your work, try getting back to your roots. For me, recent design successes have helped to excite and motivate me, because, frankly, good design reminds me why I do what I do in the first place.

I just didn’t realize how important it was to me until I rediscovered it.

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About the Author

Drew Thomas is the CTO and co-founder of Brolik. He oversees Brolik's technology projects, including Leverage, Brolik’s proprietary technology platform. Drew spends most of his free time on side projects and prefers to blend work and life into a balanced, enjoyable experience. He lives in Austin, TX.
Twitter: @drewbrolik
LinkedIn: Drew Thomas
Google+: Drew Thomas