Ali Martín FILSOOF

Design Director | PHENOMENON

Ali Martín Filsoof, Design Director at phenomenon, has over 17 years of experience working in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. He has worked with a wide variety of clients including American Express, Procter & Gamble, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, St. Jane Chicago, Tailored Brands, Belk Department Stores, Soma Intimates, Flywheel Sports, ASICS, Speedo, and startup Wonder. He has been recognized by design competitions and publications including the AIGA, Clio Awards, Graphis, AIGA, Ad Age Creativity Awards, Adweek, American Design Awards, Global Corporate Identity, Logolounge, and Rockport Publishers. His work has been exhibited internationally in São Paulo, Brazil at the Friends of Icograda exhibit.


1. What was your very first job? 


Designer at a small design studio in Santa Monica creating branding, design, and packaging for various clients. 


2.  Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails. 


As Design Director at phenomenon, I help lead our design practice working on anything from branding systems to integrated campaigns to digital product development. We hold design with very high regard so everything we make must be both well-crafted and very thoughtful from a design perspective.


3.  How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today? 


At an early age I was inspired by my mom who was always super creative making things from oversized stuffed animals to custom tailored clothing for us. Watching her through the years inspired me to pursue art, as it was in my blood. In middle and high school I actively sought out art classes to learn and create more. Entering college I started as an international business major thinking I could travel the world and after a few years of utter failure, I found graphic design which I excelled in and am happy to say I do to this day.


4. In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant? 


I find all of my inspiration through my travels both domestically and internationally. Experiencing and immersing myself in global art, architecture, gastronomy, music, photography and even nightlife are all integral to keeping my thinking fresh, innovative and relevant.


5. If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be? 


I am currently working on the project that I am most proud of. We were tasked with naming and developing a new hotel concept for a historic building in Chicago, which was built in 1929. After months of in-depth research, we named the hotel St. Jane, which was inspired by the spirit and works of a truly great Chicagoan, Jane Addams, who championed the values of community, new possibilities, and a better life for all. With this spirit in mind, we are also thinking of ways to give back to the great city of Chicago which gives real purpose and meaning to my craft. St. Jane Chicago will be common ground for uncommon people.


6.  Which creative disciplines do you commission most, and are most interested in seeing more of? (ie photo, film, social, experiential, vr, etc)


I commission everything from still photography to film to experiential to illustration to CGI to Post. Love to see anything that is pushing the envelope on innovation.


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