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Riley Cran


Location: Vancouver, BC

Duration: Four years

Education: Self-taught

Cultural influences: My father collected vintage tin toys, and I was struck by the colorful and simplistic tin lithography art. Both of my parents are designers and illustrators, which had a big impact on my appreciation for the trade. Drawing things was just what we did; I’ve never known anything different.

Artistic influences: I look up to folks like Charles S. Anderson and Lance Wyman whose long careers are full of work that packs a punch, and is still in use decades later. Other heroes include Paul Rand, Saul Bass, Alvin Lustig, Raymond Loewy and Alexander Girard—the greats.

First big break: The best work I’ve done has resulted from a relationship of trust between the client and designer. No-Li Brewhouse provided the opportunity to grow that kind of trust as I developed the face of the company across a range of pieces, from the logo to the retail packaging and shipping cartons, over the last two years. I feel so honored to have a hand in helping clients achieve their goals.

Work environment: I share a workspace with my family members who are also designers—my father David Cran and my cousin Cade Cran. If you can make it through Vancouver’s dull and grating winters, our dense city at the base of a mountain range on the edge of the ocean is the just most beautiful place in the summer. It’s such a great blend of urban and natural environments, great for clearing your head after a long day.

Technique: I tend to spend a lot of time thinking with a pencil in my hand. I think logic is a very powerful tool. If I expect a client to adopt a solution of mine, I make sure I am equally convinced.

Philosophy: Clarity is a looming theme in my own philosophy about design. I aim for solutions that marry aesthetic beauty and functionality.