Duration: Cofounder Jake Hobart and I have been working together for six years, but XXIX in its current form is four years old.
Location: Berlin and New York City.
Education: BA in philosophy and art history at University of California, Santa Barbara.
Career path: My father is a graphic designer, so even though I was exposed to the industry as I was growing up, I was never interested in pursuing design as a career. But, when the first iPhone was released in 2007, I saw that technology and design were going to become codependent and increasingly important in the world.
Artistic influences: I look outside the world of professional graphic design. I never went to design school, so I’ve always felt like a bit of an outsider. I’m more interested in vernacular design, documentary photography, architecture, visual arts and programming—a little closer to where design and everyday life meet.
Favorite projects: Our studio space in New York City, called XXXI. It’s a shared workspace, and we host exhibitions, guest speakers and designers in residence. Visiting designers often email us to tour the space. I love that we’ve made a noncommercial space for designers in a very commercialized and expensive city. The community we’ve built around XXXI’s physical space is my favorite part of the project.
Work environment: DIY.
Approach: To create contemporary graphic design on screens. We have always looked at technology as a fundamental aspect of graphic design.
Aspirations: To grow the studio in size and thinking in order to address what a graphic design studio can be today. We’d also like to grow the nonservice aspects of the business, including the community, the retail store, and the side projects we’re working on, like Small Victories, a program that takes the contents of your computer folders and turns them into websites, and @telier, a project that explores modern working methods.
Philosophy: Find your own point of view. Also, go to the beach.