Hector Hurtado, design director, co-founder

Team graphility: Hector Hurtado, creative director & co-founder

Focus: experience design, concept design.

Frequent activities: design leadership, workshop facilitation.

Usual roles: CX lead, creative director.

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What is your role at graphility?

I am the Design director. To our clients, this means that I’m their Single Point Of Contact during the creative process. First, I facilitate ideation workshops with stakeholders to frame the service’s value proposition and target audience, and next I design, from concept to delivery.

As a leader, my role is to facilitate a smooth design process. I don’t ideate from an ivory tower. Instead, I eagerly join my teams in the trenches to foster collaboration and motivate people to produce their best work.

Why open an agency for creative direction?

Before embarking on this adventure, I worked as employee for a few companies. One thing that struck me was the overarching complexity of any project. Somehow, the problem to solve was never as complex as its management or some bureaucratic limitation. Being a fan of all things Agile, I believed there was room for improvement. And being an individualist at heart, I had to do it my way! [laughs]

I have an eclectic background in design, development, linguistics, and visual arts. This affords me a cross disciplinary view. I am interested in emergent behaviors: when skilled people get together to create something grand. Such groups need a conductor who lets each member shine while leading the result to something bigger. I do my best to fit that role.

Individualism, that’s a bold statement!

People confuse individualism with egoism! The contrary of egoism is altruism, the contrary of individualism is collectivism. There is little point in restraining the individual, I believe instead in nurturing what makes each of us unique, and to perform that ability as best we can. This notion relates so much to branding, I want it to permeate with our clients. We live in a global age, be competitive by defining your difference!

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

A couple of years ago, I said that it was the conceptual phase. While that’s still true, I’d like to clarify. It’s the famous Eureka! moment that thrills me. After the foundation of research has been laid, after user testing brought its insights, there’s this moment beyond the basic prototype where all the pieces of the puzzle come together to innovate. At this moment, you know you have something really good… And a couple of months later, analytics prove you right.

Can you share some sources of inspiration?

My favorite book is Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. And my favorite artwork is perhaps this photograph of Sylvia Guillem by Richard Avedon. Both strong aesthetic works of individualism and simplicity.

I admire highly driven people such as Steve Jobs, Dieter Rams or Frank Lloyd Wright. I find beautiful works on dribbble or Pinterest, game on my Playstation 4, read a lot about my client’s industries… I have a pretty good memory, but when it comes to comparative analyses I try to let go, with inspiration as an echo at the outskirts of my concepts rather than center stage.

Any parting advice?

I would share the same advice I give to my teams: focus and drive is more important than any knowledge you previously acquired. In today’s world, most knowledge is a few fingertips away. So, if you want to achieve a goal, keep learning and do what it takes to get there!

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” ~ Kevin Durant

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