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Making Design Useful w Ritesh Gupta (Full)

Welcome to Works In Process / Ep (No episode number)

Ritesh is a Wieden+Kennedy alum, a former director at 2 Shark Tank companies, and specializes in product design, product management, branding, and growth analytics for mission-driven companies. 

He recently rebranded and rebuilt Realm a podcast studio on app with Mother Design, Felt Not Heard, and an incredible internal team. It debuted at #1 on the Apples podcast charts and was featured in It's Nice That as well as Print Mag. And Brand New named it one of the top 10 wordmarks and monograms of 2021.

And before that, Ritesh has worked with and for Sagmeister & Walsh, Cooper Hewitt, Disney, and Hungry Harvest. Currently, he’s the Senior Director of New Product Ventures at Gannett/USA Today.

We’ll get into some of that, but I want to focus on his support and championing of the shift in Design,  to include more advocacy, accountability, and access. Ritesh has been helping change the landscape with his volunteer work for Where Are The Black Designers? -a nonprofit design advocacy organization.. and with his upcoming venture as Founder of Useful School,  A useful, fun, affordable, 10-week product design virtual program catered to the people who needed it. Ushering in more diversity, autonomy, and practicality into the profession.

Enjoy!

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Mentions

Realm

Sagmeister & Walsh

Gannett

Useful School

Where Are The Black Designers?

Future Fonts

Sharp Type

SPIKE LEE Book

Other links Ritesh wants you to know about:

What Does It Mean to Decolonize Design?

Dori Tunstall: Decolonizing Design Practices in Academia (VIDEO)

Even by design - Linda Dounia Rebeiz (Config 2021)(VIDEO)

The Malee Scholarship

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Credits

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Like what you just heard? Support the process and rate us on Apple Podcasts :) 

About the Works In Process Podcast:

A podcast series by George Garrastegui, Jr. — designer, educator, and creative catalyst. Works In Process is a collection of discussions that explore and demystify the creative process. I interview individuals to gain more insight into the ways they work and the projects they produce.

 

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Transcript
George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Welcome to Workin Process, the podcast

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that asks the hows and whys behind creative work. Take a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

ride with me designer and educator George Garrastegui. As

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

I learned from my guests, there's no one way to being a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

creative, but endless possibilities fueled by passion,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

determination, and of course process.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

And that was today's guest for Ritesh Gupta for teachers, a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Wieden Kennedy alum, a former director of two Shark Tank

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

companies and specializes in product design, project

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

management, branding, and growth analytics for mission driven

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

companies who recently rebranded and rebuilt realme a podcast

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

studio and app with mother design, felt not heard and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

incredible internal team. It's a beauty number one and Apple's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

podcast charts, and was featured in it's nice that as well as

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

print Mac, and brand new named it one of the top 10 word marks

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

in monograms of 2021. And before that, reteach worked for and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

with Sagmeister Walsh, Cooper Hewitt, Disney, and Hungry

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Harvest. Currently, he's a senior director of new product

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

ventures at Guenette, USA Today. We'll get into some of that, but

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

I want to focus on his support and championing of the shift in

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

design. To include more advocacy, accountability, and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

access. British has been helping change the landscape with his

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

volunteer work at where all the black designers, a nonprofit

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

design advocacy organization, and with his upcoming venture as

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

founder of useful school, a useful fun, affordable 10 week

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

product design virtual program catered to the people who need

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

it, ushering in more diversity, autonomy and practicality into

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the profession. or teach. Welcome to the working process

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

podcast, man.

Ritesh Gupta:

Thanks. Happy to be here.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Yeah, thank you for carving out some

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

time of your soon to be very, very busy schedule.

Ritesh Gupta:

Thank you. I really appreciate it.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

So I want to get into all your

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

branding and design career. But first, let's do a rapid fire q&a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

session. You're ready.

Ritesh Gupta:

You got it. Let's do it.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

All right. So first is a series of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

this or that questions?

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Coffee or tea?

Ritesh Gupta:

Tea.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Okay, toaster a bagel?

Ritesh Gupta:

Bagel. And specifically has to be a plain

Ritesh Gupta:

bagel not toasted.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Ooh, plain not toasted? Yeah, I

Ritesh Gupta:

got to get a baseline. Whenever I go to New

Ritesh Gupta:

York City bagel spots. I have to understand the basics before I

Ritesh Gupta:

start putting on a bunch of future Mall. Okay,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

okay, I got you. I got you. Branding or

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

product design.

Ritesh Gupta:

Oh, come on. Now. They're basically the same

Ritesh Gupta:

thing. I'm gonna I'm gonna keep it low. I'm gonna make a little

Ritesh Gupta:

spicy. Also, I'll say product design.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Volunteering or founding

Ritesh Gupta:

is another difficult one. Because I'm in

Ritesh Gupta:

really in the space right now. I would say founding

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

cool. RGB or CMYK.

Ritesh Gupta:

RGB actually has given me a lot of problems in

Ritesh Gupta:

the past, especially when we try to convert it into the printing

Ritesh Gupta:

landscape. So I'll keep it also spicy. I'll say CMYK. But my

Ritesh Gupta:

first love is RGB. Got it? 5050? A little bit of both. Yeah, a

Ritesh Gupta:

little bit of both. And that's on the situation. Got it. Got

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

it, of course. And so now quick word

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

association, right. So the first thing you hear when you when you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

think of these words, creativity,

Ritesh Gupta:

necessary.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Determination.

Ritesh Gupta:

For some reason the first word was obvious. Cool.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Business

Ritesh Gupta:

as usual.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Failure.

Ritesh Gupta:

Welcome.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Community.

Ritesh Gupta:

Action.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Education.

Ritesh Gupta:

representation,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

mistakes.

Ritesh Gupta:

welcomed.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Skills.

Ritesh Gupta:

Soft.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

History,

Ritesh Gupta:

unlearn.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Opportunity,

Ritesh Gupta:

impact.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Accessibility

Ritesh Gupta:

required.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Future

Ritesh Gupta:

people of color.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

And last but not least, process.

Ritesh Gupta:

Roller Coaster.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Nice, nice. I like these both little

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

things, because they're kind of instinctual. There's not really

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

a time to react, there's just time to answer. I know,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

sometimes we want to make it perfect. But I think some of the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

things are just, it gets us loose before we gonna get into

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

really what you're all about. And most of the time when I'm

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

interviewing people, right? I don't really know you. And it's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

a way for us to kind of break the ice. So thank you for that.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Right. And so now I think I want to really get into a little bit

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

of your origin story. And I want to learn about your introduction

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

into art design. Where did you grew up and where you were

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

creative or an artsy kid?

Ritesh Gupta:

So I grew up in a town called Temecula,

Ritesh Gupta:

California, which for some reason is referenced a lot on

Ritesh Gupta:

SNL. I don't know why, but they always have references to

Ritesh Gupta:

Temecula. So, it feels kind of good, but also reminds me of

Ritesh Gupta:

where I grew up. And I actually didn't really like where I grew

Ritesh Gupta:

up. There weren't a lot of kids that look like me. I was like

Ritesh Gupta:

only one of a couple of brown brown kids, specifically Indian

Ritesh Gupta:

Americans all through 12th grade. So it wasn't until UCLA

Ritesh Gupta:

where I actually saw a lot more folks that that look like me. I

Ritesh Gupta:

was a creative kid. I grew up playing a lot of music. I

Ritesh Gupta:

started out playing trumpet, but I use that as a pogo stick, and

Ritesh Gupta:

I broke the I broke the bell, and my mom was super pissed. So

Ritesh Gupta:

then she said, alright, well, if you want to continue doing

Ritesh Gupta:

music, which I wanted to, you're going to have to find another

Ritesh Gupta:

instrument. And we're not going to pay for it. So the school

Ritesh Gupta:

luckily had an oboe. But everyone in my class was really

Ritesh Gupta:

annoyed by the sound I was making from it, because it's

Ritesh Gupta:

kind of annoying sound, especially when you're first

Ritesh Gupta:

learning but and it gets only really beautiful when you become

Ritesh Gupta:

an expert. Then I moved on to bassoon, and the person that I

Ritesh Gupta:

had a crush on in middle school was not into that at all. And so

Ritesh Gupta:

I moved roughly quickly away from bassoon, and the jazz band

Ritesh Gupta:

was actually having auditions for bass guitar. So I switched

Ritesh Gupta:

over to bass, played that in jazz band. And then I found a

Ritesh Gupta:

really big love for drums. And I've played that up until this

Ritesh Gupta:

day, I was in the drumline played competitively doing

Ritesh Gupta:

competitions all over California. And I played tenor

Ritesh Gupta:

drums specifically, which are these kind of six drums and

Ritesh Gupta:

they're about 3040 or so pounds that you were in the front of

Ritesh Gupta:

you, but it's really, really hard on your back. But I did I

Ritesh Gupta:

love I fell in love with it, I got addicted to it and continue

Ritesh Gupta:

doing playing drums through through college or I ended up

Ritesh Gupta:

becoming kind of a section leader drum drumline captain at

Ritesh Gupta:

the UCLA marching band played at all these football games. And I

Ritesh Gupta:

was I was able to be really creative, we're able to have fun

Ritesh Gupta:

with with what we're playing, performing all the emotions and

Ritesh Gupta:

everything you really want to connect to the audience and

Ritesh Gupta:

write look right in their eyes and really connect emotionally.

Ritesh Gupta:

So that was a lot of fun. When it came to creativity

Ritesh Gupta:

professionally, though, it was not actually something I ever

Ritesh Gupta:

considered. I mean, we like to joke in kind of the Indian basic

Ritesh Gupta:

community that you only have like three paths of life. And

Ritesh Gupta:

it's pretty true for a lot of traditional Indian families. And

Ritesh Gupta:

the three paths are number one, a doctor, number two, an

Ritesh Gupta:

engineer, and number three a failure. And so for me to grow

Ritesh Gupta:

up in an environment where I was encouraged to do creativity, but

Ritesh Gupta:

it was more or less relegated to a volunteer activity or an as

Ritesh Gupta:

almost like an afterthought. I never really actually consider

Ritesh Gupta:

doing and pursuing any sort of creative field until I realized

Ritesh Gupta:

that I can make money doing it, and a good living, as well as

Ritesh Gupta:

knowing that I can make impact. So knowing something that I

Ritesh Gupta:

make, that my parents would use or know exactly what I would

Ritesh Gupta:

make was really important to me, not only for that validation,

Ritesh Gupta:

you always kind of want validation whenever possible,

Ritesh Gupta:

especially with parents within Indian families, you're always

Ritesh Gupta:

trying to please your parents and your family. So it was

Ritesh Gupta:

really kind of a long journey for me to realize that I was

Ritesh Gupta:

more suited for a creative role, specifically with visual and

Ritesh Gupta:

other sensory design. And that didn't happen until until well

Ritesh Gupta:

into college. That didn't happen until I started an advertising.

Ritesh Gupta:

And it didn't happen until I started having mentors kind of

Ritesh Gupta:

come to me and say you can really, you can really kill it

Ritesh Gupta:

in the space, just just keep going. And I'll help you.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

So with that, did school or family play

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

a larger role in you becoming a designer or you kind of self

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

taught?

Ritesh Gupta:

My parents actually were a big inspiration

Ritesh Gupta:

for me. They're both serial entrepreneurs. And they actually

Ritesh Gupta:

work together, which is very rare for for entrepreneurs. Not

Ritesh Gupta:

only do you have one entrepreneur family, but two,

Ritesh Gupta:

and not only did I have to but they're my parents. And not only

Ritesh Gupta:

that, but they actually work together to actually partners

Ritesh Gupta:

and they invent companies and spin them off and all that kind

Ritesh Gupta:

of exciting stuff. So the creativity really came as

Ritesh Gupta:

inspiration from them. School I didn't really learn too much

Ritesh Gupta:

about being creative. I was an economics major and and also did

Ritesh Gupta:

accounting and I took the the once in a while kind of class

Ritesh Gupta:

that could have opened my eyes but because my family was pretty

Ritesh Gupta:

diligent about what I was studying, I couldn't spend a lot

Ritesh Gupta:

of time like learning some of the classes that I wanted to

Ritesh Gupta:

really take. UCLA has a great design Media Arts major, and I

Ritesh Gupta:

was really interested in it but I wasn't able to. I wasn't able

Ritesh Gupta:

to pursue it. I didn't really know too much about it. So it

Ritesh Gupta:

was probably my family. Number one, just the inspiration to

Ritesh Gupta:

take risks. And then number two, I actually started an

Ritesh Gupta:

organization and entrepreneurship organization on

Ritesh Gupta:

campus. And when I started creating the ads and figuring

Ritesh Gupta:

out how to target the college students that wanted to be part

Ritesh Gupta:

of the entrepreneurship organization. Once I created the

Ritesh Gupta:

organization and wanted to figure out how to target them

Ritesh Gupta:

through Media Writing on chalkboards and Guerilla

Ritesh Gupta:

Marketing writing on the sidewalk at UCLA, and all that

Ritesh Gupta:

stuff. I realized I really had a knack for it. And so I actually

Ritesh Gupta:

straight up called Saatchi and Saatchi and left them a voice

Ritesh Gupta:

message saying, Hey, I have no idea if I'm good for this like,

Ritesh Gupta:

program that you have, like an internship program you have. But

Ritesh Gupta:

here's my info. I'm really excited about it. I just don't

Ritesh Gupta:

know too much about it. So would you be willing to just call me

Ritesh Gupta:

back.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

So you just cold call the agency,

Ritesh Gupta:

I just made a cold call at Saatchi and Saatchi. I

Ritesh Gupta:

have this personality where like I'm not super afraid of walking

Ritesh Gupta:

up to somebody or cold calling somebody even if they're quote

Ritesh Gupta:

unquote, unreachable or can't talk to them for some reason,

Ritesh Gupta:

like I just have a drive in me to do that.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

So with your cold calls Saatchi and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Saatchi, Was that your first creative job? Or did you stumble

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

into something else.

Ritesh Gupta:

So it was actually my first creative role. I was an

Ritesh Gupta:

intern. And I did it for about a summer. And at the time, the

Ritesh Gupta:

their main client was Toyota. I was an account management

Ritesh Gupta:

intern. And two weeks into the role I said on board, Can I

Ritesh Gupta:

switch to a different department, HR was somewhat open

Ritesh Gupta:

to the idea. But I just really kind of paved my way. And so I

Ritesh Gupta:

just kind of happen to meet some folks like in the strategy

Ritesh Gupta:

world, as was the as well as the creative side, they were on

Ritesh Gupta:

different floors. So at the time accounting account management

Ritesh Gupta:

was on the fourth floor, and the creative teams were on the

Ritesh Gupta:

second floor, and it was dimly lit. So the cranes can be quiet

Ritesh Gupta:

and do their magic. And so I was always like, interested in that.

Ritesh Gupta:

So one day, I just went down there. They're working really

Ritesh Gupta:

late at night, I was grinding on a project and I just happen to

Ritesh Gupta:

go down there on a Razor scooter that they had around the office.

Ritesh Gupta:

And I met who at the time was basically the head of creative,

Ritesh Gupta:

Andre Lemuria. I asked him I was like, Hey, I'm about to get

Ritesh Gupta:

ordered dinner and some snacks. Do you? Do y'all want anything?

Ritesh Gupta:

And he and some of the folks that he was managing and like

Ritesh Gupta:

we're in the office grind on a project like Yeah, dude, I would

Ritesh Gupta:

actually love some corn nuts. And not just any corners, but I

Ritesh Gupta:

want like these barbecue cornets. So a fellow intern and

Ritesh Gupta:

myself, we went to like three or four different gas stations in

Ritesh Gupta:

the area to like, find these, these these damn coordinates,

Ritesh Gupta:

because I really didn't want I didn't really know who these

Ritesh Gupta:

people I was talking to, at the time were in their position and

Ritesh Gupta:

stuff. But I just didn't like want to disappoint them. So we

Ritesh Gupta:

busted our asses to try to find these coordinates. And luckily,

Ritesh Gupta:

I found them. And he was like, super impressed. He's like, are

Ritesh Gupta:

you serious? I was like, I was like, kind of joking. So what

Ritesh Gupta:

happened there was, I mean, there's obviously a lesson of

Ritesh Gupta:

just like, it's not always bad to work late, because other

Ritesh Gupta:

people that are working late with you like they might be just

Ritesh Gupta:

willing to talk and like want to just like Gab, you never know

Ritesh Gupta:

who you're going to talk to. So always take that leap in that

Ritesh Gupta:

initiative if you're down. But number two is I just like ask

Ritesh Gupta:

them. I was like, Hey, What are y'all working on. And they said

Ritesh Gupta:

that they're working on a huge campaign for Cameron. It's one

Ritesh Gupta:

of the biggest campaigns they've worked on. And they started

Ritesh Gupta:

telling me some of the issues that they're they've been

Ritesh Gupta:

having. And I said, I can help with that, like, oh, you need

Ritesh Gupta:

you need to write some some copy lines, you need me to research

Ritesh Gupta:

facts and give you the source of those facts. I'm economics

Ritesh Gupta:

major, like I can totally do that. So eventually, the

Ritesh Gupta:

creative team, like I started working with them on the second

Ritesh Gupta:

floor, rather, on the fourth floor, I was still getting my

Ritesh Gupta:

account management work done. But they just like started

Ritesh Gupta:

advocating for me. And then they at some point, they actually

Ritesh Gupta:

advocated for me to extend my stay for another couple of

Ritesh Gupta:

weeks, because they needed me on a project. So I, I'm really

Ritesh Gupta:

grateful for that kind of experience. On the flip side,

Ritesh Gupta:

the data analytics team was on the third floor. And that's

Ritesh Gupta:

where the kitchen was, and was relatively loud and stuff like

Ritesh Gupta:

that. And I saw one Indian dude. And he was the only lady knew

Ritesh Gupta:

that I saw in the building. And I walked up to him, I was like,

Ritesh Gupta:

hey, Indian, like, you're Indian. Like, can we like talk

Ritesh Gupta:

about that? Like, you're the only person I've seen as, you

Ritesh Gupta:

know, kind of this company, like, I would love to talk about

Ritesh Gupta:

that, like, what is it like and stuff and I think he's all

Ritesh Gupta:

thrown off by like, my energy. And but he was really open. He's

Ritesh Gupta:

like, Yeah, I mean, I'm on the data data analytics team. And I

Ritesh Gupta:

am one the only folks here but it's like, really creative and

Ritesh Gupta:

interesting. So that's what a light bulb went off. And I said,

Ritesh Gupta:

Oh, I can be brown. I could do account management and like do

Ritesh Gupta:

clients and like, put together decks or whatever needed to be

Ritesh Gupta:

done, but I can also do strategy, and I can help out

Ritesh Gupta:

with with data and I can help a copywriting and that's why I

Ritesh Gupta:

started really falling in love with like that kind of

Ritesh Gupta:

intersection of all that stuff. So it

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

just seems like a lot of like Kismet

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

moments happening right? And it seems like between the fourth

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and the second floor, the third floor like there's little

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

moments of finding yourself. When did you consider yourself a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

creative?

Ritesh Gupta:

I feel like I could consider myself a quote

Ritesh Gupta:

unquote creative. Once I had a an official job, where like

Ritesh Gupta:

creativity, I was doing something creative like 80% of

Ritesh Gupta:

the time and what's that essentially meant was I probably

Ritesh Gupta:

considered myself to be a creative or creative. When I

Ritesh Gupta:

went to widen, I, that was my full time role. I was very

Ritesh Gupta:

creative, I was able to be really creative at Saatchi and

Ritesh Gupta:

Saatchi, I was able to be very creative at Deutsch the wide and

Ritesh Gupta:

felt like I made it, I went across country, I got the offer,

Ritesh Gupta:

I went across country within a couple of weeks, settle down in

Ritesh Gupta:

New York City. I was at fucking widen, and I was meeting all

Ritesh Gupta:

these amazing folks. And that's when I felt like I was a

Ritesh Gupta:

creative.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

I mean, it seems like you're the ability

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

to put yourself out there and be in the room. And notice that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

sometimes being there late at night puts you into places where

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

there's a comfortability factor. There's all of us camaraderie,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

we're all achieving the same goals. So where we're no longer

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

looking at each other as like, well, you work here, and I work

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

there and I do this, but also your ability to take the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

initiative to find those BBQ nuts where it's like, you're

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

going to make sure that at least you're going to put in all the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

effort to try to find them, right, maybe you don't. And

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that's okay. But the fact that you did, probably also puts you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

on that extra level where people go, this person is going to go

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that extra mile for the project for the team for that. You're

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

cold calling Saatchi and Saatchi, you're going across

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

country to you know, widening Kennedy, you're working with

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Sagmeister Walsh, you're working with mother design, right?

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

You're just presenting a brand new conference like these are

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

not small feats, right? What do you think has helped you get to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that level? Because I think there's a level in there. We

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

don't all get to do that we get to do maybe one of those things.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

And it seems like you've, you've been lucky enough and fortunate

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

enough to kind of do a lot of those things.

Ritesh Gupta:

So there's a lot of advice and insights I can

Ritesh Gupta:

kind of give related to that question. So one anecdote I'd

Ritesh Gupta:

like to share that kind of helps answer your question is that at

Ritesh Gupta:

one time, I was at a job interview for an agency. And at

Ritesh Gupta:

the end of the interview, I actually gave the interviewers,

Ritesh Gupta:

a MTA card, a subway card, and the card had one freeze, it had

Ritesh Gupta:

money on it, it had a one subway ride. I think at the time, it

Ritesh Gupta:

was like 275. And like for a ride. Plus the cost of like the

Ritesh Gupta:

card itself was like $1, or something like that at the time.

Ritesh Gupta:

So around four bucks per per card, which is expensive when it

Ritesh Gupta:

comes to like just giving out a gift, especially when you think

Ritesh Gupta:

about as a business card. But I had my contact information stuck

Ritesh Gupta:

on there with like a sticker, kind of makeshift. And it had my

Ritesh Gupta:

contact information on it, of course, my name, my phone

Ritesh Gupta:

number, my email address, and some sort of tagline. So

Ritesh Gupta:

something along the lines of like whenever you're in a pinch,

Ritesh Gupta:

use me. And so the idea was that when the interviewer ran out of

Ritesh Gupta:

subway rides on their card, they could remember Aha, reteach,

Ritesh Gupta:

like he's super useful. And he and they would be able to like

Ritesh Gupta:

use the card that I gave them, whenever they're like in a

Ritesh Gupta:

pinch, because there's never a good time to run out of a swipe

Ritesh Gupta:

or, or money on a car, especially the subway and you

Ritesh Gupta:

see the car, the F train going and leaving the train station,

Ritesh Gupta:

you're like, Fuck, I should have put more money on it. So it was

Ritesh Gupta:

like those types of things that I started doing with people or

Ritesh Gupta:

for people that started setting me apart. Now, I do want to be

Ritesh Gupta:

clear, I did not get that job. I actually was not right for it at

Ritesh Gupta:

all. And they took they told me straight up, like, Come back

Ritesh Gupta:

when you have something different. And I'm actually

Ritesh Gupta:

fortunate that I that I did not get that job. So I would not

Ritesh Gupta:

have been happy. But the point being is that I'm now in contact

Ritesh Gupta:

with the folks that I gave those cards to. And they remember

Ritesh Gupta:

that. So that's one example. When it comes when it comes from

Ritesh Gupta:

making the jump to widen to working with Sagmeister and

Ritesh Gupta:

Walsh and mother, there were a couple of experiences between

Ritesh Gupta:

them that I want to kind of highlight. I'm a huge shark tank

Ritesh Gupta:

fan. And so when I saw two ideas, Hungry Harvest and pet

Ritesh Gupta:

play on Shark Tank, the following day, I just straight

Ritesh Gupta:

up cold emailed them. The cool thing about that is that yes,

Ritesh Gupta:

they're getting a lot of buzz and but there's a surprisingly

Ritesh Gupta:

little number of people that actually hit them up and say,

Ritesh Gupta:

hey, I want to work for you. And not only that, but hey, your

Ritesh Gupta:

website sucks. And I want to help you redesign it and not

Ritesh Gupta:

only am I going to get your website like look better and

Ritesh Gupta:

feel better, but I can guarantee you it's going to turn into

Ritesh Gupta:

sales. And so that's when I realized I could really pitch in

Ritesh Gupta:

cold emails and like just one line like Hey, I saw you on

Ritesh Gupta:

Shark Tank real quick. concept. By the way, your your website's

Ritesh Gupta:

like is really not up to snuff. And I always ask a question at

Ritesh Gupta:

the end like a yes or no question. Like, do you want to

Ritesh Gupta:

hop on the phone tomorrow? So it's like very easy, yes or no.

Ritesh Gupta:

And so I did that twice. And I got both the gigs. To a degree

Ritesh Gupta:

that actually, I almost made up a job for myself in the sense

Ritesh Gupta:

of, they were looking at the time for specific things. But I

Ritesh Gupta:

was like, no, no, I'll do that stuff. But I want to add more on

Ritesh Gupta:

top of that. So the learning there is, especially with

Ritesh Gupta:

startups, I always encourage people of color to not just look

Ritesh Gupta:

at what the what the job description is, but to Morfitt

Ritesh Gupta:

in a way that really suits you. Yeah, of course, you might do

Ritesh Gupta:

the stuff that's like on the paper. But eventually, you can

Ritesh Gupta:

start like adding things to it. And one of those things for

Ritesh Gupta:

plate was leading a rebrand. And luckily, we had a lot of

Ritesh Gupta:

investors that were very down for very creative work and

Ritesh Gupta:

Sagmeister. And Walsh was a perfect fit for the for the

Ritesh Gupta:

company at the time. Realm did something similar, where they

Ritesh Gupta:

were technically hiring a UI or UX designer, but I said, No, no,

Ritesh Gupta:

I'm much more better suited for as a in a product role. And oh,

Ritesh Gupta:

yeah, of course, I'll do the UI. And of course, I'll help with

Ritesh Gupta:

the UX and stuff. But I want to be at a slightly different

Ritesh Gupta:

level. And I'm also going to help you lead your rebrand

Ritesh Gupta:

because I'm not feeling the brand right now. And I would

Ritesh Gupta:

love to redo that. And I was very clear during the interview

Ritesh Gupta:

process that how much budget do you have her rebrand? What kind

Ritesh Gupta:

of work? Are you inspired by? Like, how cool can we take this?

Ritesh Gupta:

So that way before I even like, accepted the job offer

Ritesh Gupta:

continued, I wasn't wasting anybody's time. And I knew

Ritesh Gupta:

exactly what kind of work Molly, for example, the founder at

Ritesh Gupta:

Rome, formerly cereal box really wanted.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

So is that really, you coming down to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

do enough research of these brands to understand not only

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

what the brief is, and the fact that their stuff just doesn't

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

look up to snuff, and they need to take it up a notch, but how

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you're able to one decide, yeah, there's all these lists of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

things that you think you need. But also, I understand that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

there's a whole nother level of things that I'm also willing to,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

to do to get you to the point where you need to be, that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

doesn't seem like something that is, you know, obviously, it's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

not job description wise, it's it's in the realm of going above

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and beyond. But it's also in the realm of understanding, you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

know, how sometimes clients don't really know what they

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

need. They just think they need an updated photo, or just a logo

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and or, you know, one little component is going to make the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

whole thing feel fresh. And designers come to the table and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

go Well, you know, yes, that would enhance it for a week. But

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

if you're looking to make money to change the game, to do any of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

this, you need to do a brand audit and really consider,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

right, it looks like you're bringing this insight to them

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

where they really had no body doing that work for them. And as

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

a designer who's coming to wants to get the business. You're

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

doing so much more than just design? It seems like you're

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

almost, you know, I had one one guest who basically said, I'm

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

making it easy for you to say, Yes, I'm doing all the work that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you should have been doing. And all you have to do is say yes,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and we can make this thing happen. Is that how do you how

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

do you get to that point, because that doesn't seem like

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

those things don't fall in your lap, you're making it sound very

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

simple in the way that these things happen. You know, I love

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the little snippet of the ability to ask a question at the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

end of an email, right? It gives them something to do so they're

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

gonna have to respond to you. It's an easy way out, or it's a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

it's a connection in. But it seems like there is this ability

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

for you to foresee what what people don't see in themselves,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and start to look at those things and offer suggestions in

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

a way that connects you to people, right? Like the way that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you're looking at the MTA swipe pass is like, if you're in a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

pinch, I can help that that like marketing speak of this metro

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

card is allowing you to reach out to me or I'm helping you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

it's a great way for for people to use that. And so I'm seeing

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

this ability to get from point A to point B, but how did you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

learn a little bit just to go back to research like that? That

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

doesn't come naturally.

Ritesh Gupta:

So I would say it comes somewhat naturally, but

Ritesh Gupta:

it's mostly a learned behavior. I would say that. Typically,

Ritesh Gupta:

most designers when you're talking about creating a new app

Ritesh Gupta:

or a new world, or a new startup, whatever your might,

Ritesh Gupta:

you might be designing including legislation or something.

Ritesh Gupta:

Typically, those folks are relatively separate from a data

Ritesh Gupta:

focused individual. It's relatively rare to have a

Ritesh Gupta:

designer who can speak or is even interested about speaking

Ritesh Gupta:

both design and data. And what's interesting is that we have a

Ritesh Gupta:

decent amount of research that shows that the better the

Ritesh Gupta:

design, the better your stock price, or better your

Ritesh Gupta:

performance will be bottom line, Mackenzie ran a very large study

Ritesh Gupta:

about this. And as, as proven that out, I spoke a little bit

Ritesh Gupta:

about this brand new and I encouraged everybody who was

Ritesh Gupta:

watching to just take a screenshot of the slide that I

Ritesh Gupta:

showed, and use it during new business pitches. Because the

Ritesh Gupta:

more we can demonstrate to the whole world, that there is a an

Ritesh Gupta:

ultimate benefit monetarily in addition to social etc, we're

Ritesh Gupta:

all going to be better off for it. So why keep that? Why keep

Ritesh Gupta:

that deck slide to myself. Now, I have been fortunate enough to

Ritesh Gupta:

work with folks that already know the value of design. And

Ritesh Gupta:

they know the value of branding, they know the value of like a

Ritesh Gupta:

really great fluid user experience, just because it's

Ritesh Gupta:

the right thing to do. And a lot of the founders that I've worked

Ritesh Gupta:

with, and the folks that I've collaborated with, they

Ritesh Gupta:

understand how frustrating it is to have a poor user experience

Ritesh Gupta:

like an onboarding flow that's asking too many questions or a

Ritesh Gupta:

site that's loading longer than three seconds, any of that

Ritesh Gupta:

stuff. So they do know the value design intrinsically. But to be

Ritesh Gupta:

able to go to a team, especially folks that control where the

Ritesh Gupta:

budget goes to be able to say I did an A B test. And it

Ritesh Gupta:

increased conversions, like signups on a checkout page by

Ritesh Gupta:

10%. And that means at our current rate, that it's going to

Ritesh Gupta:

equal another $333,000. That's a really powerful and really

Ritesh Gupta:

exciting thing that a designer is able to say. So they don't

Ritesh Gupta:

have to just rely on some of the stuff that's typically designers

Ritesh Gupta:

typically known for related to beauty, or fluidity. But now

Ritesh Gupta:

we're able to also talk about it from a from a monetary point of

Ritesh Gupta:

view for the people who need to hear about the monetary point of

Ritesh Gupta:

view. But being able to combine the both those things have

Ritesh Gupta:

allowed a lot of the companies that I've been fortunate to work

Ritesh Gupta:

with and seen just around the world. Absolutely kill it, and

Ritesh Gupta:

absolutely crush it.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Right. And I mean, there's definitely

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

an intrinsic value as to why design is important, right? And

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

when you when you come down to the accident zones, and you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

know, in the red or in the black, right? Like where if

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

it's, if design is gonna make you money, yes, please, you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

know, somebody who's looking at that. And sometimes, that's the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

language you need to hear, you can put all the bells and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

whistles is gonna look amazing. Look at this beautiful color,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

it's gonna function, this button is gonna be the best button

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

ever. But it's like how much money is gonna make? Okay, cool.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Now I'm down. Right? It definitely seems like your

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

ability to one navigate between the fourth and the second floor

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

without accounting was in the third, you've added to your

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

design experience with these exponential experiences, the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

ability to go a little bit further for that design team to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

connect with that other Indian person on the on the third floor

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

to learn about well, data is important. There's all these

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

things that that kind of just working together. And it's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

funny, because it seems like there's a lot of similarities

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

from what you've been doing with larger well known agencies, and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

some of these small startups, can you give me one big

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

similarity or difference that you see working from a startup

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

or working for a large company.

Ritesh Gupta:

So the main similarity that I see,

Ritesh Gupta:

especially with the places that I've been able to collaborate

Ritesh Gupta:

with, like Sagmeister, and Walsh and Mother design and some of

Ritesh Gupta:

these other folks, contrary to historical relationships, the

Ritesh Gupta:

incentives have really been aligned. It we're not trying to

Ritesh Gupta:

make work just for an award. The similarity of between these

Ritesh Gupta:

agencies, as well as the startups of both being, like,

Ritesh Gupta:

emotionally invested in the success of a company is

Ritesh Gupta:

something that has huge interest to me. And that's one of the

Ritesh Gupta:

reasons why I really love working at mission driven

Ritesh Gupta:

startups and for and consulting for mission driven companies and

Ritesh Gupta:

things like that, even as little as type consulting, because of

Ritesh Gupta:

that kind of symbiosis, I guess. Traditionally, the incentives

Ritesh Gupta:

have been very misaligned, you know, an external partner might

Ritesh Gupta:

just be interested in creating like really creative work. The

Ritesh Gupta:

startup is really trying to raise money and doing whatever

Ritesh Gupta:

they can to like show really positive investor metrics. But

Ritesh Gupta:

now, those two worlds are, are evaporating and they're and

Ritesh Gupta:

they're becoming like one. So that's a similarity that I've

Ritesh Gupta:

seen, but in the past has been very different

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and started touching on what we're

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

going to shift into right mission driven. And it might

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

have been probably two years ago and 2020. In the lovely June

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

when I think I first just learned about you because of the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

where all the black designers conference that happened, right,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the virtual conference that was just that, that awakening that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

everybody needed to come back to dealing with originally Cheryl

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Miller's stuff, then Maurice cherries stuff, and then Mitzi

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and Garrett, so this this, you know, ongoing, unfortunate thing

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that where are the diversity in an industry that's been going on

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

for this long? How did you get introduced to Mitzi and Garrett

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and to become volunteers part of that movement.

Ritesh Gupta:

So when the conference was happening, the

Ritesh Gupta:

first conference that is, I tried my best to offer

Ritesh Gupta:

interesting or additive information in the chat, the

Ritesh Gupta:

chat was blowing up, it was crazy. Right? That's not even

Ritesh Gupta:

including when Roxane Gay showed up as the special guest I'm

Ritesh Gupta:

talking about before that people were going crazy. And it was

Ritesh Gupta:

both black folk and non black folk. And because I'd done a

Ritesh Gupta:

little bit of research in this space, taking AIGA and Google

Ritesh Gupta:

Design Tensas. In presenting that, and I had some slides, I

Ritesh Gupta:

was able to pull over on that. So as interesting discussions

Ritesh Gupta:

were happening from the panelists, and the moderators, I

Ritesh Gupta:

was able to drop in some of that stuff into the chat, and people

Ritesh Gupta:

seem to see people seem to enjoy it. And I realized that evening

Ritesh Gupta:

after the conference had had wrapped up, that there was this

Ritesh Gupta:

pent up kind of need for the community to do more needed

Ritesh Gupta:

moderation. Mitzi and Garrett needed some support, they wanted

Ritesh Gupta:

some support. And so I reached out and ended up becoming a

Ritesh Gupta:

volunteer, mostly because I wanted to help. And I didn't

Ritesh Gupta:

want my assistance to be some sort of one day conference, and

Ritesh Gupta:

then ghost type of thing, as actually has happened with a lot

Ritesh Gupta:

of non black folk. And so I knew that the organization had a lot

Ritesh Gupta:

of staying power. And the other volunteers really welcomed me

Ritesh Gupta:

with open arms. And I'm proud to say that we had our second

Ritesh Gupta:

conference last year. And it went off great. We had even

Ritesh Gupta:

deeper discussions that some of the discussions that we wanted

Ritesh Gupta:

to touch on more from the previous one, and we had some

Ritesh Gupta:

really amazing panelists, I was fortunate enough to moderate an

Ritesh Gupta:

ally focused panel discussion, which we felt was important for

Ritesh Gupta:

allies to hear, while and while still centering black folk, that

Ritesh Gupta:

was actually a very difficult, difficult conversation. Because

Ritesh Gupta:

the way that where the conversation went from one of

Ritesh Gupta:

the panelists, it became a little difficult. So luckily, I

Ritesh Gupta:

was seeing in the chat that people were respectful of how I

Ritesh Gupta:

was approaching the topics that came up, and that re energize my

Ritesh Gupta:

interest in helping. And I realized that I'm relatively

Ritesh Gupta:

good at helping somebody, even in a public space, that and

Ritesh Gupta:

being in the Sunday, I might be vulnerable, and thinking on my

Ritesh Gupta:

feet. And that's when I realized, wow, I really want to,

Ritesh Gupta:

I just really want to keep going with this. And I wasn't even

Ritesh Gupta:

doubting that I would stop being a volunteer, anything like that,

Ritesh Gupta:

before the second conference, this just got me even more fired

Ritesh Gupta:

up. So we have a lot of really exciting news coming out,

Ritesh Gupta:

hopefully, in the next few months about the future where

Ritesh Gupta:

the buck designers and I

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and I just as a viewer of that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

particular panel, you know, I definitely can understand how to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

navigate sensitive topics, and be respectful to all the people

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

involved, and also stand your ground, right, and make sure

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that you're not going to kind of acquiesce to anybody who's been

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

doing it for a long time, and just be like, well, that's the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

way it is, you know, you're challenging respectfully, and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

also trying to teach and hopefully get through. And

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

sometimes in a moment, it's not something that that is you're

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

able to take in, you know, hopefully, that that individual,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you know, was able to, like think back and be like, Oh, I

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

understand. And that's that's all we can do right is to is to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

kind of like, just bring it up, because if we don't bring it up,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

then that systematically just continues to happen. So I

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

definitely think your ability to think on your feed, but also

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

feel that support that was happening in the chat to be

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

like, you're going the right direction. You know what you're

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

not trying to call the person out, you're trying to support,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

but also forcefully enough to be like, this is kind of a big

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

deal. We need to address this situation, right? And so anybody

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

who was listening to the conference probably knows, you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

know, so we don't need to go into it. But you know, that was

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

just definitely something that kind of sparked my interest too,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

because I think that's a very hard thing to do. It's easy to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

get frustrated and maybe take it to a place where does it need to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

be, you know, especially in public for. And I think that was

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

a just another interesting thing and the fact that it reenergized

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you to kind of be like the work still needs to be done. And what

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

I'm doing is helping support this larger mission. You know,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

as I kept on doing research for you to kind of like dig into

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

some questions, like we mentioned before, I always want

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

to, you know, ask my guests things that are not necessarily

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the same things you're going to get, you know, I don't want to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

ask you the same question that this other article asked you.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

But I think I read in, I think it was your dye line article

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

feature, where it says that you mentioned that you mentor other

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

designers, which I think is awesome, but really, that you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

focus on typefaces by bipoc creatives. So here's a two part

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

question sort of, how important is that to you? And then beyond

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the big names of like Joshua Darden and Trey seals, how do

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you find these typefaces that are by bipoc designers, because

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

for myself, I've looked in like searching just kind of like

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

rudimentary Google searches of like, black designers,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

typefaces, or Latin does, you know, it's, it's not easy to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

find.

Ritesh Gupta:

So finding, finding and utilizing typefaces

Ritesh Gupta:

from folks that are traditionally underrepresented

Ritesh Gupta:

is really important to me. Because as we do that, and focus

Ritesh Gupta:

on it more and more, we are literally giving more visibility

Ritesh Gupta:

to folks that traditionally aren't being seen, because

Ritesh Gupta:

literally, this typefaces are being read by millions and

Ritesh Gupta:

billions of eyeballs every day. And there are phenomenal

Ritesh Gupta:

typefaces that have been done from people who are of color, or

Ritesh Gupta:

other identities that deserve deserves to be seen, at the very

Ritesh Gupta:

least, going to those foundries or looking at the work from

Ritesh Gupta:

specific designers, considering those first, and then going the

Ritesh Gupta:

more common routes. And at least giving them at least the first

Ritesh Gupta:

what I would say in I guess real estate terms, a term I just

Ritesh Gupta:

learned today, right, a first refusal type of thing like give

Ritesh Gupta:

give the traditionally marginalized and

Ritesh Gupta:

underrepresented type designers, the first stab like the first

Ritesh Gupta:

chance, and what that requires is a putting the onus on the

Ritesh Gupta:

person who's selecting the typeface. It takes a lot of work

Ritesh Gupta:

to do that there are amazing resources, that letterform

Ritesh Gupta:

archive, for example, has that was actually started by the

Ritesh Gupta:

question of where are all the black type designers from Bobby

Ritesh Gupta:

Martin. And there's now a really beautiful resource of black type

Ritesh Gupta:

foundry owners as well as black type designers. Trey seals from

Ritesh Gupta:

vocal type is obviously on there. Joshua Darden, one of the

Ritesh Gupta:

first black type designers in America, one of the most

Ritesh Gupta:

renowned folks, he's obviously on there. And there's a ton of

Ritesh Gupta:

other incredible folks, when it comes to tie faces from women,

Ritesh Gupta:

or typefaces from East Asian women specifically, or something

Ritesh Gupta:

like that. There are also resources out there typer

Ritesh Gupta:

grafica, has done some really great work in interviewing

Ritesh Gupta:

Native American designers, specifically who are interested

Ritesh Gupta:

in type. And those are other great resources. So the onus is

Ritesh Gupta:

really on spending the extra, I would say, double the time that

Ritesh Gupta:

you think would consider finding a typeface, if it takes you

Ritesh Gupta:

traditionally 10 or 20 hours to find a typeface, consider around

Ritesh Gupta:

40 hours to find to go that extra length to find the fonts

Ritesh Gupta:

that really that feel good and feel right for the project. And

Ritesh Gupta:

I'm not saying you have to use a cortical diverse type, just for

Ritesh Gupta:

the sake of it. And don't care about how it looks and don't

Ritesh Gupta:

care about any of that, like all the all of the story around who

Ritesh Gupta:

created it, the sense of craft, the aesthetic, and the feel, and

Ritesh Gupta:

how well it jives with the rest of the branding, all that stuff

Ritesh Gupta:

has to be taken account. So I would start with the with the

Ritesh Gupta:

identity of the designer first and then move on to the more

Ritesh Gupta:

literally aesthetic decisions and go from there. So that's one

Ritesh Gupta:

thing that I love to do. And that bonus also is on the

Ritesh Gupta:

client, if there's a client that their a type designer might be

Ritesh Gupta:

working with, or typography is working with. It's also up to

Ritesh Gupta:

them to say, talk to me about the fonts like teach me a little

Ritesh Gupta:

bit about typography. Because and I talked about this during

Ritesh Gupta:

type type directors club. When a lay person types in cool fonts

Ritesh Gupta:

or beautiful fonts or something like that. There's very poor

Ritesh Gupta:

resources out there that show up on the first couple of pages of

Ritesh Gupta:

Google search results. So the lay person traditionally doesn't

Ritesh Gupta:

know about East Asian like specifically Filipina based

Ritesh Gupta:

fonts or something like that the average person is not going to

Ritesh Gupta:

know that. So it's it's often on up to the designer and the

Ritesh Gupta:

client to work together and educate each other about the

Ritesh Gupta:

story of the fonts that they chose. Who's doing it, what's

Ritesh Gupta:

their identity? Why this typeface outside of the

Ritesh Gupta:

aesthetic decisions. Now, most lay people aren't going to know

Ritesh Gupta:

the story like most people aren't going to know, Joshua

Ritesh Gupta:

garden did Halyard or Joshua Darden did another typeface, but

Ritesh Gupta:

it's really, really important for the industry, to at least

Ritesh Gupta:

come to reckoning with how we're choosing fonts and how we're

Ritesh Gupta:

choosing and selecting the visibility that we give.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

I agree, I think that type is such

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

a language that designers own that the ability to control

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that. And the aesthetic of that is one of the things that we're

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

able to make sure makes or breaks something, you know, we

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

talk about maybe the ability to be in the room or something type

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

choices is where we get to shine and how a page looks. Those are

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the decisions that we tend to make that make or break things.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

And if we can include type designs, and illustrations and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

things from people from these marginalized groups, but it's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

not even to only include them is to, it's to really include the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

nuance that these typefaces, and these designs bring, because the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

little idiosyncrasies that they bring is cultural, that makes or

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

breaks sometimes the work that you you add them to, when you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

think of a tray seals, design and vocal type. I mean, I think

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

I just bought the book, the Spike Lee book, and he designed

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the typeface throughout the whole entire book that's based

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

on you know, radio, Raheem aims for finger rings, right love and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

hate. And to think that that forefinger ring, which is in the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

80s, and any jeweler would have created that typeface, and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

nobody would consider a jeweler or a typeface designer, right,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

traditionally, but now Trey is making a whole entire foundry

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and type family off of this one aesthetic and making it

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

beautiful, and also doing it for people like us who grew up with

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Spike Lee and do the right thing. The movie is kind of just

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

in our wheelhouse of like that his representation and the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

conflict and the day and a hot summer day, right? Like, all of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

those things matter. So when you look at that typeface, there's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

so much weight behind that, versus just selecting Times New

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Roman, doesn't mean doesn't have its place. But I think there's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

so much history and stories with other other typefaces from

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

designers that are there, that it elevates, and works with you,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you know, with the projects you put them on.

Ritesh Gupta:

And something I also want to add, I want to give

Ritesh Gupta:

a couple of different nods to some folks that I think are

Ritesh Gupta:

doing some interesting work. Future fonts is a place where I

Ritesh Gupta:

found a lot of traditionally unreleased fonts that aren't on

Ritesh Gupta:

Adobe Typekit or somewhere else, I found a lot of the future

Ritesh Gupta:

fonts, by the way, the URLs, future fonts that XYZ I go to,

Ritesh Gupta:

they're oftentimes, and you could find the people of color

Ritesh Gupta:

that are on there. And you could see a lot of fonts are in

Ritesh Gupta:

development. And they're not even perfect, and they're not

Ritesh Gupta:

finished yet. And some of those fonts are going to take years to

Ritesh Gupta:

get done. If not, they might not ever be finished. But they'll

Ritesh Gupta:

allow you to test them and use them in different ways. And I

Ritesh Gupta:

love you utilizing that. And then Juan Villa Nueva, who was

Ritesh Gupta:

actually on the panel that I moderated. He's doing a lot of

Ritesh Gupta:

great stuff within the within the bipoc type design community.

Ritesh Gupta:

And he's got a really great fund that he's raised. And he's he's

Ritesh Gupta:

he's worked with incredible up and coming, folks who

Ritesh Gupta:

traditionally wouldn't go to the Cooper's of the world or or

Ritesh Gupta:

another another type spot. The other one that I've been really

Ritesh Gupta:

loving is his sharp type. And they have a scholarship and the

Ritesh Gupta:

the Mallee scholarship, and some of the typefaces that are coming

Ritesh Gupta:

out of the finalists. And the winners of that scholarship are

Ritesh Gupta:

absolutely incredible. And they're all people of color, and

Ritesh Gupta:

women specifically. And I really appreciate that approach to

Ritesh Gupta:

sponsoring folks to release fonts that that deserve to be

Ritesh Gupta:

released. And I think it's doing a great job of of centering

Ritesh Gupta:

women and also specifically people of color women who are

Ritesh Gupta:

people of color and who are also not identifying along the binary

Ritesh Gupta:

and they're, they're, they're non binary etc. So I'm really

Ritesh Gupta:

loving some of the some of the platforms that deserve to be

Ritesh Gupta:

more recognized.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

So as we're starting to think about

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the idea of diversity in typefaces, the ability of how we

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

advocate for how something so important starts to creep into

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

their mind their mindset, the way they need to think about,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you know, approach. You're starting to come up with a new

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

idea right after volunteering for where all the black

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

designers there's now this new thing that's going to be

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

starting in you said February when we talked earlier. It's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

called the useful school. How Did the idea of the useful

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

school come about?

Ritesh Gupta:

So after I did my talk at brand new in 2019 in Las

Ritesh Gupta:

Vegas, I talked to two individuals. And both of them

Ritesh Gupta:

were really hype about the stuff that I was sharing and the kind

Ritesh Gupta:

of changes I was kind of advocating for within the space.

Ritesh Gupta:

And one of those folks was named Forrest, who at the time was the

Ritesh Gupta:

chief creative officer at Wolff Olins. And he was there to do

Ritesh Gupta:

the keynote about the Uber rebrand and like I was, I was

Ritesh Gupta:

fanning out like crazy and to talk with him and have him give

Ritesh Gupta:

me a really big nod towards saying literally reteach you

Ritesh Gupta:

better do this, like, I know, things aren't like, super clear

Ritesh Gupta:

at this point about like, specifically what you want to

Ritesh Gupta:

do. But you You better do, you better do this, like you better

Ritesh Gupta:

help help push some of these ideas that you're talking about.

Ritesh Gupta:

The other individual that was really hype was DeRoy, who's

Ritesh Gupta:

from hyper X. And for full transparency, that was an agency

Ritesh Gupta:

that I've been trying to, like, work at, or work with forever.

Ritesh Gupta:

So for him to be like, also a speaker, and me able to finally

Ritesh Gupta:

speak with him and him giving me some love for what I was saying

Ritesh Gupta:

was was awesome. And so as I continued in the conference

Ritesh Gupta:

forced and I continued to stay in touch at the after parties in

Ritesh Gupta:

Las Vegas, and we really became really, really good friends. And

Ritesh Gupta:

I eventually came to this idea of, Can I do the following? Can

Ritesh Gupta:

I, as the main individual, create impact where there's more

Ritesh Gupta:

representation within the design industry? Okay. Yeah, probably

Ritesh Gupta:

aren't. What does that look like? Well, I started put

Ritesh Gupta:

thinking through some ideas, but the one that really stuck with

Ritesh Gupta:

me, is an online platform that taught zoom classes. And to help

Ritesh Gupta:

people who are not in the industry, enter the industry,

Ritesh Gupta:

and to help the folks that are currently in the industry to

Ritesh Gupta:

thrive, meaning get promoted, salary increase, open up their

Ritesh Gupta:

own studios, what have you. And where it really became

Ritesh Gupta:

interesting was that I wanted to be as accessible as possible. So

Ritesh Gupta:

I wanted the price to be literally pay what you can,

Ritesh Gupta:

which I had never seen, like in some sort of like online school

Ritesh Gupta:

or anything like that. So it was pretty radical at the time, I'm

Ritesh Gupta:

a pretty big Radiohead fan and some of the fan of some of the

Ritesh Gupta:

bands that have done pay what you can for albums, but I've

Ritesh Gupta:

never really seen it done in the school space. And then, of

Ritesh Gupta:

course, I wanted to send our people of color. That's what I

Ritesh Gupta:

was talking about. That's what a lot of folks were really giving

Ritesh Gupta:

me like a lot of nods. And so I said, Okay, I'm going to do

Ritesh Gupta:

practical classes for people of color, they're going to be 10

Ritesh Gupta:

weeks zoom classes. And the price you tell us it's pay what

Ritesh Gupta:

you can. And if you can't pay, don't worry, somebody will cover

Ritesh Gupta:

the tab, whether it's another individual or it's a company.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

I mean, that's, that's amazing. I mean,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

like you said, I don't think I've seen a pay what you can

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

model for education, right? There's always a strict, this

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

thing costs x amount of dollars, because we need to pay and, you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

know, make sure we monetize this. And what I'm hearing is

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the idea that the monetization of a concept is not the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

important part, it's the who needs to get this knowledge is

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

really the important part. And we'll figure out how to monetize

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that, you know, with the support from other people to help fund

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

this or just allow people to be totally transparent and honest

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

with what they can afford. You know, one of the things I did

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

notice, right is this online platform that you're talking

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

about focuses on product design, as that as a very specific type

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

of design, right, not advertising, not graphic design.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

What was the decision making process that took you to go to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that specific route, when you're looking to give more people

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

access to the industry.

Ritesh Gupta:

So number one, it was a space where I had a lot of

Ritesh Gupta:

experience, I built my first app with a really awesome set of

Ritesh Gupta:

folks that I knew from college a long time ago, I knew I loved

Ritesh Gupta:

working with engineers, and I learned I knew I loved UI. And

Ritesh Gupta:

I've been kind of doing that through all my experiences

Ritesh Gupta:

through that as well. Number two, I knew that there was based

Ritesh Gupta:

on the data that there was a really poor level of

Ritesh Gupta:

representation from people of color within the Digital Product

Ritesh Gupta:

Design Space, specifically in the US. And I also knew that a

Ritesh Gupta:

lot of digital product designers can make a decent amount of

Ritesh Gupta:

money doing it. There's obvious value to digital product design.

Ritesh Gupta:

It's a core part of the product, and not to intellectualize it or

Ritesh Gupta:

get whacked poetic or something. But I really wanted to have the

Ritesh Gupta:

products that we use every day, be built by people who also use

Ritesh Gupta:

the products every day. And I wanted there to be more

Ritesh Gupta:

representation specifically within that space. And then the

Ritesh Gupta:

kind of cherry on top was once I started sharing the idea around

Ritesh Gupta:

with folks, they really love it, too. I knew that I had a lot of

Ritesh Gupta:

folks on my network that were down to come aboard and speak.

Ritesh Gupta:

And I also knew that there's people really cheering for me

Ritesh Gupta:

from the sidelines, even people who aren't digital product

Ritesh Gupta:

designers. So it was all of that kind of validation that helped

Ritesh Gupta:

me kind of be interested in doing this first, could I have

Ritesh Gupta:

done a branding class? First? Sure, I have just as much

Ritesh Gupta:

experience, you could argue if not more in that space. But I

Ritesh Gupta:

had to make a decision. And I said, You know what, I'm going

Ritesh Gupta:

to try digital product design for all of those reasons. And

Ritesh Gupta:

what's great is that branding, has the process for me to choose

Ritesh Gupta:

digital product design, I could have easily done branding, as

Ritesh Gupta:

well. And I know just as many folks in that space, and have

Ritesh Gupta:

been getting just as much support. And so I'm happy to say

Ritesh Gupta:

that I'm very seriously considering doing other classes

Ritesh Gupta:

outside of digital product design, including branding, and

Ritesh Gupta:

other related fields. Well, that's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

great. One of the things that sometimes

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you have to make a decision, right, it allows us to be like,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you know, sometimes the deadline is what makes us stop working.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

All right, we just we have to hand it in, we have to submit

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

something, right. And making a decision, I think is like that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

is a really important one. Because I think the world we

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

live in today, everything is kind of in our hands. So product

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

based is is kind of maybe the first place we understand

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

design. And then these other things are what are ancillary

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

parts of it that we learn about later. But the intimacy that we

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

have with our phones, or tablets or computers is really where

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

design has its most impact.

Ritesh Gupta:

The other thing I really cared about was being

Ritesh Gupta:

really specific about the quote unquote, product market fit, if

Ritesh Gupta:

you want to use that kind of like entrepreneurship lingo,

Ritesh Gupta:

where I didn't want to drown in opportunity, in a way I didn't

Ritesh Gupta:

want to, like just go so broad that people didn't really know

Ritesh Gupta:

where this kind of school fit in. So it was really important

Ritesh Gupta:

for me to see, let's say, okay, these are practical classes for

Ritesh Gupta:

people of color. And they're for beginners and advanced folk. And

Ritesh Gupta:

I want specifically to focus on a sliver of the creative

Ritesh Gupta:

industry, I don't at this point, I'm not ready to be able to say,

Ritesh Gupta:

these are practical classes for people of color, and their 10

Ritesh Gupta:

week, creative classes on Zoom, I'm not ready to say that cast

Ritesh Gupta:

that wide of a net, I wanted to be as specific as possible. And

Ritesh Gupta:

as I'm getting more and more interest, and putting folks on

Ritesh Gupta:

the waitlist for other classes, that helps me kind of manage the

Ritesh Gupta:

growth.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

And that's smart. I think trying to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

tackle too much will just make this not feel impactful. And I

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

think that's one of the things you keep on saying is right,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

like how in design, can you create impact. And I think

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

focusing on something that maybe other people haven't is where

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you find your niche, and doesn't mean that you haven't done all

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

these other things, obviously. But this is the opportunity that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

presents itself and make sure that you stand out. And I think

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the best part of that is the name and the idea that it's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

practical. It's about function, it's about making sure somebody

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

either gets that interview understands how to connect with

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

people, you know, learn something directly, right? It's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

not about theory, you know, it's not about this, right. And

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

sometimes you just need that, that course that understanding

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that really just gives you that bridge, that connection to hear

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

this is what can happen if you do these couple of steps, right.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

And sometimes practicality is is something that we don't always

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

offer, you know, as an educator, right, we're kind of like,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

always wrapped up for me in the idea of there's practicality.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

But then there's also all these other, you know, soft things

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that are that are all worked together, right. And I think

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

there's the focus that you started to bring up is to make

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

sure that this is a specific thing that I'm talking about.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

And this is what you're going to get out of. And I think when you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

look at the website, and you and you read kind of you know, a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

little bit of the breakdown, there is clear goals and what

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you're going to achieve, which I think makes it very simple to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

understand why this is different and important for that group of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

people. So even though you know, we're saying that, right, and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

I'm an educator, right? And we're talking about how we like

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

to teach, right? So I caught something on your on your write

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

up, right? Like, hey, sure, we'll teach you this stuff in

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

design school, but we'll also focus on the stuff that they

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

don't teach you. So I know because there are many

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

institutions where learning can't cover every nuance of the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

fast paced tech world. What do you think are some of the things

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that institutions in education really don't teach students?

Ritesh Gupta:

So there's a there's a variety of things that

Ritesh Gupta:

are in the useful school curriculum that I think are way

Ritesh Gupta:

outside the way wheelhouse of a traditional design education.

Ritesh Gupta:

First of all, all the classes are trying to center people of

Ritesh Gupta:

color as much as possible. So we talked about typefaces earlier,

Ritesh Gupta:

I want to challenge folks to be creating projects like for

Ritesh Gupta:

example, an invoice that they can build other clients that

Ritesh Gupta:

only uses typefaces from an identity that they identify

Ritesh Gupta:

with. And I think having that nuance of the process is very

Ritesh Gupta:

different from a traditional design school in that way. The

Ritesh Gupta:

second thing is we're going to be teaching a lot of the

Ritesh Gupta:

practical things like how to do deceptively simple things like

Ritesh Gupta:

answering an email from a recruiter, the difference

Ritesh Gupta:

between an external recruiter and an internal recruiter who

Ritesh Gupta:

oftentimes have very different incentives for wanting to reach

Ritesh Gupta:

out and hire you. I've been burned multiple times in the

Ritesh Gupta:

past where I had dealt with a lot of predatory recruiters.

Ritesh Gupta:

Well, where they'll ask me, How much money are you making right

Ritesh Gupta:

now? Or like some other insignificant things that

Ritesh Gupta:

actually make it worse for me, when I actually continue on in

Ritesh Gupta:

the field, like when I continue on in the interview, and what

Ritesh Gupta:

ends up happening is a lot of these predatory recruiters, they

Ritesh Gupta:

end up asking a lot of folks like how much money they're

Ritesh Gupta:

making just for research, they're not really interested in

Ritesh Gupta:

hiring you or asking you questions that actually matter.

Ritesh Gupta:

They're interested in doing research for themselves. And

Ritesh Gupta:

once I realized that, I'm like, Shit, I'm going to tell as many

Ritesh Gupta:

people as I can about this type of work that is happening in the

Ritesh Gupta:

industry, that's predatory, but also racist, and excluding POC

Ritesh Gupta:

and causing POC to when they are interested in pursuing a

Ritesh Gupta:

creative field to get really turned off. So the

Ritesh Gupta:

intersectionality, the responding to networking, reach

Ritesh Gupta:

outs, and all that kind of stuff is all stuff that's

Ritesh Gupta:

traditionally not covered, that we're able to cover with both

Ritesh Gupta:

the guest speakers that are at the top of their game. For

Ritesh Gupta:

example, Mitzi who works at Spotify, barman vet who leads

Ritesh Gupta:

brand new, all these folks that can offer really practical info

Ritesh Gupta:

on how to get a job. So for example, Armen, who knows about

Ritesh Gupta:

literally every rebrand that's happened since he started, he

Ritesh Gupta:

can offer really practical knowledge of what are some

Ritesh Gupta:

people of color that you'd like to mention to the students who

Ritesh Gupta:

have like really killer portfolios like, well, who, how

Ritesh Gupta:

they branded themselves? And who do you like from a branding

Ritesh Gupta:

point of view, Mitzi can walk through how she got her first

Ritesh Gupta:

job, like at Spotify, and that's like, no feat, no simple feat.

Ritesh Gupta:

She's also an incredible black woman, and like having students

Ritesh Gupta:

be able to see that they're successful black women in the

Ritesh Gupta:

tech space, doing creative work is really, really powerful. So

Ritesh Gupta:

talking about having her talk about was the case study that

Ritesh Gupta:

Spotify recruiters asked about, like, what were some of the

Ritesh Gupta:

questions that that folks should prepare for? This kind of stuff

Ritesh Gupta:

isn't really shown in an easy to access way on YouTube or

Ritesh Gupta:

anywhere else, like this kind of knowledge should be pay what you

Ritesh Gupta:

can, this type of thing should be available to as many folks as

Ritesh Gupta:

possible now. So we're starting with these kind of 20 person

Ritesh Gupta:

cohorts. But I would like to really expand this thing in a

Ritesh Gupta:

really big way.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Wow, that definitely seems like

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

something that just personal experience, is what's going to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

bring the elevation to what the the people who are part of this,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you know, first cohort, the access to the people that you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

have, but also the experiences that they're able to bring, it's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

like a perfect moment of, you know, because you've been able

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

to work together with so many larger companies and keep these

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

relationships, because you have this ability to just kind of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

like innately cold call and ask the question, and some people

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

are just too scared to ask, right? Because of fear of just

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

not getting the right answer or fear of rejection. You know, you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

seem to just be like, well, if they say no, they say no, but

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

I'm going to ask anyway, those are definitely, I think the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

benefits for something especially like this, that the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

practical nature is really going to come from that. Right. And I

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

think like you said, that's probably the thing that most

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

educational institutions can't offer. Because they're just

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

systematically in a different mindset. They're not really

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

coming from working individuals in the field at the moment, it's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

a little bit, you know, these people are a little bit

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

distance, always good to have a little bit of both, like support

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

from the people working in the industry currently. And then the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

traditional, a little bit more of just, you know, systems

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

thinking that helps support some of those things. So considering,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you know, obviously, we're talking about access and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

opportunity, you know, what other ways do you think the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

industry and schools can support this kind of education outside

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

of the traditional systems?

Ritesh Gupta:

Yeah, so And before I answer that question

Ritesh Gupta:

directly, you're selling useful school great, like I want to

Ritesh Gupta:

take the class like your if you want to sit in with when I'm

Ritesh Gupta:

pitching sponsors like companies You want to sponsor and stuff?

Ritesh Gupta:

You're more than welcome. Yeah, you're making this thing sound

Ritesh Gupta:

great. We're hiring for you for sure. So I think there's a lot

Ritesh Gupta:

of things that traditional institutions can do. There's a

Ritesh Gupta:

really big need for us to rethink the entire curriculum

Ritesh Gupta:

that we've been teaching for 50 plus years. So Dorita install is

Ritesh Gupta:

doing some great work at OCAD. There are, there's a lot of

Ritesh Gupta:

divestment and unlearning going on. In some of the Southern

Ritesh Gupta:

California schools, there's a lot of interesting movements

Ritesh Gupta:

going on. However, based on what I who I've spoken with, I've

Ritesh Gupta:

been on multiple video chats. I know a lot of folks in the

Ritesh Gupta:

future of design in higher education community. And these

Ritesh Gupta:

are folks that are administrators, faculty,

Ritesh Gupta:

members, professors, all they run the gamut, who want to

Ritesh Gupta:

really actively change what we're teaching and everything.

Ritesh Gupta:

And what what I'm realizing is, there's a really high number of

Ritesh Gupta:

folks that are very resistant to the change. This is everything

Ritesh Gupta:

from how we're teaching, to what we're teaching to who we're

Ritesh Gupta:

centering. And a lot of folks within institutions not been

Ritesh Gupta:

willing to move, much less move at the pace that we want to

Ritesh Gupta:

happen. There are light at the end of the tunnel, like I said,

Ritesh Gupta:

Dorita install, and a lot of other folks that are really

Ritesh Gupta:

pushing, but there really has to be major changes. So what I

Ritesh Gupta:

would recommend for some of the individuals that are working at

Ritesh Gupta:

these institutions, especially the people of color, useful

Ritesh Gupta:

schools here, like if you want to help out in any sort of way,

Ritesh Gupta:

whether monetarily or or teach a class. That's obviously doors

Ritesh Gupta:

are definitely open. I would obviously say like advocate very

Ritesh Gupta:

strongly for unlearning, and redoing a curriculum, even if

Ritesh Gupta:

you've done the same curriculum for even one or two semesters,

Ritesh Gupta:

to have honest conversations with the graduates of the class

Ritesh Gupta:

and ask them what are things that they wish were in the

Ritesh Gupta:

curriculum? What are the things that they actually hated, don't

Ritesh Gupta:

do it when the students are actually students, because

Ritesh Gupta:

there's obviously conflict of interest. But when you're

Ritesh Gupta:

talking to the alumni and people who just graduated, be a

Ritesh Gupta:

steward, like, reach out to them and not in a in a non spammy

Ritesh Gupta:

way. And make sure you're getting the really active

Ritesh Gupta:

feedback. Because if we're not getting feedback from the people

Ritesh Gupta:

who have gone through our classes or something, and we're

Ritesh Gupta:

teaching design, we're hypocrites, we're, we're, if

Ritesh Gupta:

we're not actually taking into account the feedback, and

Ritesh Gupta:

everybody wants to do that, whether you're an artist who's

Ritesh Gupta:

creating stuff at MoMA, or, or creating practical classes, you

Ritesh Gupta:

want to be getting feedback from folks and getting a pulse. So if

Ritesh Gupta:

you're not doing any of that, and you're not completely

Ritesh Gupta:

fulfilling the loop, and just doing whatever curriculum, you

Ritesh Gupta:

just no has been done, you're really doing yourself a

Ritesh Gupta:

disservice. And the institution as well as the students

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

agreed, I think there needs to be a lot

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

of homework done for for people to do that. And I think part of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that is, is to act like educators are not the the end

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

all who know everything. There's always learning. I love that I

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

learned from my students about some topics that are new, that I

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

have no idea about, and they put me on, right, I think that is

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

one of the best parts of being an educator is being accepting

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and willing to learn about this, because as the fast paced tech

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

always changes, we're always not going to be the ones who

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

understand that the new things going on, because it's really

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

not created for us. It's created for that younger generation who

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

is actively pushing it working on it. And they're doing

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

iterations, right? Like, you know, when you hit when you talk

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

about Spotify, right? Don't they talk about like, every two

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

weeks, they're just doing updates, things that you don't

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

even notice are happening. They're doing it because

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

they're, they're understanding users and adjusting for that,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

right. So I think for us in that fast paced world, we're not

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

going to work at the speed of every two weeks. But the idea

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that we do need that feedback, and we do need to consider

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

adjustments and nuances, and it's tough. But I think that we

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

got to go back to the idea of why we're doing it in the first

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

place, is to make students prepared for what they're going

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

to be dealing with. If we do that. I think that puts us in a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

better position.

Ritesh Gupta:

Absolutely. And I would also say that radical

Ritesh Gupta:

change on the financial end has to has to be done on the

Ritesh Gupta:

institutional end as well. Of course, there's loans, many of

Ritesh Gupta:

them are predatory. There are income share agreements, where

Ritesh Gupta:

you don't pay a single dime in the beginning and then after you

Ritesh Gupta:

graduate and get a job you end up paying some of that money

Ritesh Gupta:

back. Those are also relatively unregulated and and predatory.

Ritesh Gupta:

And so what I'd like to see is more models that are alternative

Ritesh Gupta:

versions of payment that aren't so predatory, because being able

Ritesh Gupta:

to do that is going to be attractive is going to give

Ritesh Gupta:

institutions, similar application pools that useful

Ritesh Gupta:

school has were because we have that financial barrier,

Ritesh Gupta:

essentially eliminated. And it's truly putting the power in the

Ritesh Gupta:

hands of the individuals. With the of course, the support from

Ritesh Gupta:

sponsors and individual contributors, were able to

Ritesh Gupta:

attract heavily marginalized and deeply underrepresented

Ritesh Gupta:

populations to be part of useful school. And we're welcoming all

Ritesh Gupta:

ages as well as as well as identities, which is really

Ritesh Gupta:

exciting. So what I'm seeing in the applicant base on useful

Ritesh Gupta:

school is, is a whole different world from the applicant pool in

Ritesh Gupta:

the public data that I'm seeing in a lot of a CAD design

Ritesh Gupta:

schools, it is a it is a totally different ballgame, which is

Ritesh Gupta:

very exciting for us. So school, to be able to help some of these

Ritesh Gupta:

a cat schools conquer some of these challenges, that there

Ritesh Gupta:

there is room for each of us to play. But there is so much value

Ritesh Gupta:

in us working together and helping solve a lot of these

Ritesh Gupta:

problems that have traditionally not been solved.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

And I think that's that's part of the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

point. I think, usually, entities like this have been

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

pitted against each other. It's either or, and I think it's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

it's, it's great to consider this as an end, you know, that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that's going to give a more holistic approach to any of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

these people doing this is to understand history to understand

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

current, you know, trends and events. And I think working

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

together like that is going to make one just the students, you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

know, people learning, you know, more effective at their jobs and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

actually enjoy it right and not feel like they went to school

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

spent all this money on something that's already

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

outdated. So as we're starting to, to end up, I have a couple

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

final questions. As a designer, what are you still inspired by,

Ritesh Gupta:

I'm still really inspired by a lot of the apps

Ritesh Gupta:

and websites that are making, making interesting waves in the

Ritesh Gupta:

in the impact space. So an example of an app that I've

Ritesh Gupta:

recently come to fall in love with, is called Be My Eyes. And

Ritesh Gupta:

essentially, what b My eyes is doing is connecting blind folk,

Ritesh Gupta:

with people who can see to help the blind folk achieve some sort

Ritesh Gupta:

of task. So the way it works is that a blind person will sign up

Ritesh Gupta:

on the app. And then on the other side, a person who is able

Ritesh Gupta:

to see signs up on the app. And whenever a blind individual

Ritesh Gupta:

needs help putting up a picture or reading a menu or reading a

Ritesh Gupta:

recipe, they put a call out to all the folks in the Be My Eyes

Ritesh Gupta:

community, of which there's hundreds of 1000s. And the first

Ritesh Gupta:

person to respond, gets to have a call with that individual.

Ritesh Gupta:

Now, what's interesting about it, is that there's way more

Ritesh Gupta:

people that are willing to help that than people that need help,

Ritesh Gupta:

currently, so what's happening is, there's a lot of excitement

Ritesh Gupta:

for the person who can see, to be at ready at a moment's notice

Ritesh Gupta:

and like swipe the notification when there's a call to like

Ritesh Gupta:

really help out. And so what I really love about it is, it's

Ritesh Gupta:

not a crazy technology, it's pairing individuals together

Ritesh Gupta:

that that need it. And there's excitement from the people who

Ritesh Gupta:

are able bodied, to like help. So that's like one example It

Ritesh Gupta:

looks so there's tons of them. Some are on Shark Tank, some are

Ritesh Gupta:

that I've seen like online, but like these types of companies

Ritesh Gupta:

are ones that people love working at because it has so

Ritesh Gupta:

much staying power. And like they're really helping solve a

Ritesh Gupta:

problem. So I'm really inspired whenever I see products and apps

Ritesh Gupta:

like that, because it re energizes the people that I'm

Ritesh Gupta:

working with and gives maybe engineers or designers a new

Ritesh Gupta:

perspective on something that they might have gotten stuck on

Ritesh Gupta:

in the past, they get reinvigorated. And they really

Ritesh Gupta:

love solving these types of problems. And you can make money

Ritesh Gupta:

doing this type of stuff, you can make money running these

Ritesh Gupta:

types of companies. So it's really important for you, as in

Ritesh Gupta:

the audience who's listening to not only come up with an idea,

Ritesh Gupta:

but come up with the business plan, come up with a business

Ritesh Gupta:

model that you think could actually support it, rather than

Ritesh Gupta:

only relying on Angel investors or VC money to like give you

Ritesh Gupta:

money, try to start making money immediately. Rather than waiting

Ritesh Gupta:

for millions and millions of folks to get on the app like

Ritesh Gupta:

that's one thing that I get really excited about is apps and

Ritesh Gupta:

startups that are able to monetize and make impact and not

Ritesh Gupta:

rely on external funding to grow in a big way. Now, I'm not

Ritesh Gupta:

saying useful school is going to turn away investors or anything

Ritesh Gupta:

like that. So if you're listening, I'm super open to

Ritesh Gupta:

having that conversation. But I think there's really something

Ritesh Gupta:

really interesting about having a person of color, create

Ritesh Gupta:

something with very, very little monetary resources, put it out

Ritesh Gupta:

into the world and just check out the reaction and that's

Ritesh Gupta:

essential. What I did, I announced useful school in

Ritesh Gupta:

December. And because of the traction on LinkedIn, and, and

Ritesh Gupta:

on Instagram, and what the emails that I've been getting,

Ritesh Gupta:

that really energized me, and it wasn't a lot of monetary

Ritesh Gupta:

contribution that I had to make in the initial in the initial

Ritesh Gupta:

phase. So that's what gets me really excited, low effort, high

Ritesh Gupta:

impact. Now, useful school is very high effort at this point,

Ritesh Gupta:

but starting out like the nugget and starting to put the idea

Ritesh Gupta:

together low, low effort,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and I think that that's just kind of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

like, you know, how we need to think about it. So you know, you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

do a lot of different things. You're, you're a founder of a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

company, you're volunteers, you're you're sitting down and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

watching Mark Cuban and Shark Tank and looking at who to cold

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

call next. But let me ask you what part of any of these things

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

were part of that process do you still struggle with,

Ritesh Gupta:

I would say the part of the process that I get

Ritesh Gupta:

struggle with is not the creative one. In terms of like

Ritesh Gupta:

building something, or optimizing something, it's

Ritesh Gupta:

actually getting paid. So I've been burned multiple times in

Ritesh Gupta:

the past, of doing the work, above and beyond what was agreed

Ritesh Gupta:

to, and not getting paid. And I've had to come up with

Ritesh Gupta:

creative ways to get paid. So an example of that is half my

Ritesh Gupta:

upfront half money when I'm halfway done. And oftentimes, I

Ritesh Gupta:

will beat the deadline that they that they put out for me. So if

Ritesh Gupta:

it's due, if it's due in a couple of weeks, I'll do in one

Ritesh Gupta:

week. And that way, they get really even more excited and

Ritesh Gupta:

saying, Wow, I can't believe I just saved a week, yeah, I'll

Ritesh Gupta:

pay you the rest of the money, or creating a fake email that's

Ritesh Gupta:

like accounting at whatever. And it's run by me, but I'll just

Ritesh Gupta:

reach out to the person say like, Hey, like following up

Ritesh Gupta:

here on the account fortyish. Like, can you please remit

Ritesh Gupta:

payment, that kind of thing. So there's like, interesting ways

Ritesh Gupta:

that like, folks can really be empowered to, like, get their

Ritesh Gupta:

money and get paid. And so I really, obviously, always think

Ritesh Gupta:

about creative ways to like get paid, but I, I do not do any

Ritesh Gupta:

more projects where I don't get paid at least half upfront,

Ritesh Gupta:

because the incentives are aligned, I don't get ghosted by

Ritesh Gupta:

the client, or whoever it might be, or the project doesn't take

Ritesh Gupta:

like way longer. And if not have no no fault of my own, or like

Ritesh Gupta:

any of the things that like occur, like, if you're not

Ritesh Gupta:

willing to pay me, before I start the work even half or a

Ritesh Gupta:

third or something, I know something's up like you're

Ritesh Gupta:

either not trusting of me, or like you don't believe in the

Ritesh Gupta:

work output where I haven't done a good enough job like selling

Ritesh Gupta:

myself, or I haven't done a good enough job proving the value or

Ritesh Gupta:

the speed or what you're going to get. So it's a really big

Ritesh Gupta:

signal to me that like, we need to jump on another call. So

Ritesh Gupta:

let's just talk straight up. And like having all of that stuff be

Ritesh Gupta:

within the lane of within the lane of money has really forced

Ritesh Gupta:

me to not only level up my game, creative creatively, but also

Ritesh Gupta:

selling myself doing better reach out emails, following up

Ritesh Gupta:

and making it really easy for a creator to pay. So I would or a

Ritesh Gupta:

client to pay. So I would, I would say that yeah, the getting

Ritesh Gupta:

paid is something that I can always be working on. Ever since

Ritesh Gupta:

I like did some of these things that I had mentioned, I haven't

Ritesh Gupta:

had a single client be have an issue paying or anything like

Ritesh Gupta:

that. And that's been I've been really fortunate. But that the

Ritesh Gupta:

payment stuff is something I definitely struggled with a

Ritesh Gupta:

little bit in the past.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Yeah, and thank you for bringing that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

up. Because I think that's one of those things that we really

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

don't talk about the idea of, you know, it's doing the work,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

it's doing it on time, it's your reputation and things like that,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

but then it's getting paid, right, we do this for, you know,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

some type of exchange. And usually it's money, you know, so

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

thank you for just, you know, sharing with the fact that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that's always something that is a struggle, even the people who

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

are doing, you know, big time branding, projects, things like

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that, it still happens. So I think those little nuggets of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

creating a fake account, as an accountant is is great. I'm

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

going to share that with my portfolio students. The other

Ritesh Gupta:

thing I want to kind of talk about is if if

Ritesh Gupta:

you're on the client side, you want to make sure that you if

Ritesh Gupta:

you're not in control of the budget, like I've been in the

Ritesh Gupta:

situation before, like if you're not in control of the budget,

Ritesh Gupta:

and somebody else's, you need to make sure that you're not the

Ritesh Gupta:

middle person, where you're just you're, you're neither of the

Ritesh Gupta:

folks the person who's paying and the person who did the work

Ritesh Gupta:

is like you don't you do not like keep them separate and be

Ritesh Gupta:

the middle person because then it reflects on you. You want to

Ritesh Gupta:

just connect them directly and let them handle that stuff

Ritesh Gupta:

because you do not want to be associated with anything related

Ritesh Gupta:

to the finances you want to be associated with the actual

Ritesh Gupta:

creativity in the output of work. So that's another thing I

Ritesh Gupta:

would love for up and comers to to really make sure that they're

Ritesh Gupta:

they're dealing with and like they know that they're very,

Ritesh Gupta:

very clear payments. For the person on the client side, like

Ritesh Gupta:

that you're working with, and very clear payment terms for the

Ritesh Gupta:

agency, and you immediately when the project starts, put them

Ritesh Gupta:

together and get out of that conversation, because you do not

Ritesh Gupta:

want to associate with it,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you know that, then you're just be

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

caught in the middle and always, you know, never really having

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

control of any of that. So no need for that. So, finally, what

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

advice would you give a younger teach entering the industry

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

today?

Ritesh Gupta:

I would say, and this is this is difficult. But I

Ritesh Gupta:

would say two things. Number one, there's not going to be a

Ritesh Gupta:

lot of people that necessarily look like you. But like, you can

Ritesh Gupta:

definitely be part of that change. And that could actually

Ritesh Gupta:

affect your mental health. So I've had mental health issues,

Ritesh Gupta:

you should be aware reteach, like, in five years, like,

Ritesh Gupta:

you're gonna have these, not everything's gonna be perfect

Ritesh Gupta:

and easy as like college or internships or something you're

Ritesh Gupta:

going to struggle with physically or mentally, and you

Ritesh Gupta:

need to have that support, you need to make sure you have built

Ritesh Gupta:

a support system around you, whether it's mentors, the

Ritesh Gupta:

institutions, that you're part of anything. That's number one.

Ritesh Gupta:

And number two, I would say that you want to work backwards, like

Ritesh Gupta:

what you want to be able to say, in like five years that you

Ritesh Gupta:

accomplish that what would make you really happy and just work

Ritesh Gupta:

backwards from there. So for example, like, if you're, if

Ritesh Gupta:

you'd love to work at a mission driven startup, or for like an

Ritesh Gupta:

online school or something, do what you can, today to like,

Ritesh Gupta:

plan out what what that what those things you're going to

Ritesh Gupta:

build in order to like make that happen. And if that requires you

Ritesh Gupta:

going to the company or the organization or the institution

Ritesh Gupta:

and say like, Hey, I'm not asking for a job right now. But

Ritesh Gupta:

in five years, I would love to work with you. I know, it's a

Ritesh Gupta:

really weird thing to say, but I'm reaching out now. And I just

Ritesh Gupta:

want to know, what are some of the steps you recommend I do to

Ritesh Gupta:

like, get the opportunity to work with you? And it's a very

Ritesh Gupta:

heavy question. And it's a question that really puts a lot

Ritesh Gupta:

of onus on the person answering it. So I don't like recommend

Ritesh Gupta:

just going out to everybody, like 1000s of people just

Ritesh Gupta:

answering this, because it'd be mayhem. But if there's a couple

Ritesh Gupta:

people that you really, really want to work for or with reach

Ritesh Gupta:

out to them and say like, Hey, like I'm interested in

Ritesh Gupta:

potentially working with you. Again, I'm not looking for a job

Ritesh Gupta:

right now. Because oftentimes, people the first time they they

Ritesh Gupta:

reach out to somebody, they're like, Hey, do you have a job? Or

Ritesh Gupta:

like, can I work for you? And sure, I understand like that,

Ritesh Gupta:

that mentality. But you should also be realistic of like, Hey,

Ritesh Gupta:

if you want to eventually be a senior product designer

Ritesh Gupta:

somewhere, and right now you're like a junior product designer,

Ritesh Gupta:

it's gonna take a little bit of time to like, get to that point.

Ritesh Gupta:

So why not like made the connection? Ask them for like

Ritesh Gupta:

some checklists. Or even better, say, like, hey, via email don't

Ritesh Gupta:

even require like a chat a lot. Oftentimes, people like asked

Ritesh Gupta:

like, Hey, can you hop on a phone call, and like, the person

Ritesh Gupta:

has no idea what that phone calls about, just say, via

Ritesh Gupta:

email, or via LinkedIn message be like, Hey, these are a couple

Ritesh Gupta:

of steps that I'm thinking about, like, creating a new logo

Ritesh Gupta:

for myself that like, feels like really optimistic to match my

Ritesh Gupta:

brand. Create, like something on Webflow, like, create a

Ritesh Gupta:

portfolio on Webflow that has a couple of my key projects with a

Ritesh Gupta:

case study. And then ask the person who might be helping you

Ritesh Gupta:

like, Hey, do you think that's enough? And if not, they're

Ritesh Gupta:

probably going to, like, give you a couple extra tips, or give

Ritesh Gupta:

you at least some resource to like look at. And then the best

Ritesh Gupta:

thing about it is, once you're done finishing all that stuff,

Ritesh Gupta:

you go back to that person and be like, Hey, I did it all. Now

Ritesh Gupta:

what type of thing and and that person gave you the signal and

Ritesh Gupta:

not just be like, Hey, if you do these couple of things, you're

Ritesh Gupta:

going to be closer to working with me. And so then it's like,

Ritesh Gupta:

Oh, shit. Now the now this potential person could have

Ritesh Gupta:

given you enough advice, or they're going to tell you, Hey,

Ritesh Gupta:

I actually want you to do now these next couple of things. And

Ritesh Gupta:

so what ends up happening is you now have a potential mentor, and

Ritesh Gupta:

is relatively low effort on like both sides, you're you're not

Ritesh Gupta:

doing like these video chats, you're not doing like these

Ritesh Gupta:

onerous things, you're like very clear on what you have to do.

Ritesh Gupta:

You're obviously doing most of the work. And eventually, that

Ritesh Gupta:

person might become a sponsor for you, they might say like,

Ritesh Gupta:

Hey, Spotify, or Nike or Apple or whatever, I've been working

Ritesh Gupta:

with this person, just like casually mentoring them for the

Ritesh Gupta:

last like, six months, six weeks, year, or whatever. And

Ritesh Gupta:

they've actually done a lot of stuff that I recommend they do.

Ritesh Gupta:

And so I know that they can get the work done, and they can get

Ritesh Gupta:

it on time. They might be a little wet behind the ears or,

Ritesh Gupta:

for lack of better term. But I think we should give this person

Ritesh Gupta:

a shot. Or I think we should give this person a shot. So

Ritesh Gupta:

that's like something I would love to see happen more often on

Ritesh Gupta:

to change the relationship and change the dialogue between the

Ritesh Gupta:

person who wants to get from point A to point B, and the

Ritesh Gupta:

person who's already at B and wants to help that person who

Ritesh Gupta:

who's starting at A. So those are the couple of things that I

Ritesh Gupta:

would say to reteach.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Nice. It seems like once again,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

practical advice for something and putting a lot of the effort

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

on the person who's wanting it to gain the information and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

making it easier for that, like you said, that person who's in

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

point B, to oblige, where it's if it's low stakes, it's a lot

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

easier. And I think one of the things I want to take away was

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

this cold call emails with a question, giving that idea that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

it needs to be answered either negative or positive. But it

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

needs to be answered. Right, which I think sometimes we just

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

open ended don't really give the other person a job to do.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

They'll just be like, okay, cool. It was a good email I got

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and you don't know how to respond. Giving them a clear

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

question gives us the opportunity to actually create a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

one on one. Well, I have they asked me a question I have to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

answer. Even if I don't want to be part of this, at least I'm

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

going to give them that, that satisfaction. And so lastly, can

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you tell our listeners where they can find out more about

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

useful school you and ways they can support?

Ritesh Gupta:

Yeah, absolutely. So you can find useful school on

Ritesh Gupta:

the interwebs. So we've got www useful school.com Super easy.

Ritesh Gupta:

And Instagram is useful. school.com, D O T CLM. And if

Ritesh Gupta:

they want to reach out to me directly, they can just hit me

Ritesh Gupta:

up via email, reteach ri T sh, at useful school calm. And if

Ritesh Gupta:

any individuals want to do the following things I super welcome

Ritesh Gupta:

it. So if there's any potential students that want to be part of

Ritesh Gupta:

useful school and take any of our classes, please don't

Ritesh Gupta:

hesitate to apply. And let me know like what kind of classes

Ritesh Gupta:

you're interested in. Number two, if you're fortunate enough

Ritesh Gupta:

to have some some money to contribute, consider going to

Ritesh Gupta:

our gift page and and contributing, you're going to be

Ritesh Gupta:

able to sponsor the folks who aren't able to pay and you're

Ritesh Gupta:

going to be really making a huge difference in somebody's life.

Ritesh Gupta:

And then number three, if you're a part of a company that is

Ritesh Gupta:

super Designer Friendly, and very inclusive, and wants to

Ritesh Gupta:

become even more inclusive, then please consider sponsoring,

Ritesh Gupta:

email me at reteach at useful to school.com for some really

Ritesh Gupta:

interesting partnership ideas that I have, that a lot of other

Ritesh Gupta:

companies have been really interested in. And I'm really

Ritesh Gupta:

glad to say that you'd be joining the ranks of Mother

Ritesh Gupta:

design standards, manual order, and a lot of others that are

Ritesh Gupta:

going to be posted and publicized very, very soon. So

Ritesh Gupta:

you're going to be in really great company. Outside of that.

Ritesh Gupta:

If you have anything. Any advice for me, feel free to hit me up

Ritesh Gupta:

in the DMS either personally on LinkedIn, on Instagram, or email

Ritesh Gupta:

me

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

perfect. I'll put all that info in the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

show notes so people can reach out to you. You know, when this

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

comes up, you know, I am so glad to get you on the podcast

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

because this is something that I focus on as well, you know, acts

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

as an opportunity for emerging designers. I was so intrigued by

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

your concept. And of course, its practical nature. We need to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

meet creatives, where they are and offer them opportunities to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

grow and expand. And I see useful as an outlet to have that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

happen. You know, I hope that anyone who looks to dive into

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

product design, go check out the opportunity. It's a beautiful

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

website, but it's also an impactful one to really get you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

to understand and delve into this world. And I know there's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

going to be future cohorts. Once again reteach thanks again for

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

this chat and I look forward to hearing about all the great

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

outcomes what's to come from useful.

Ritesh Gupta:

Thank you so much. Talk to you soon.

About the Podcast

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Works In Process
The Hows and Whys behind creative work

About your host

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George Garrastegui

George is an educator, designer, advocate, and curator looking to elevate the creative process by shifting the focus to how we work over what we produce.