Steve Teruggi and Corinna Drossel — Winkreative

Describe the Ideal Candidate in three words

What’s the best way to get noticed at application stage?
Send us a portfolio of work that shows an understanding of our company culture and aesthetic preferences, together with an engaging letter that shows thoughtful emotion about your desire to work with us. Extra credit is given to those delivering a printed portfolio piece rather than digital, especially if it is a bespoke production just for us rather than a generic portfolio that was clearly sent to a dozen agencies.

How important is it for you to see commercial work?
Essential. Our design team all meet and present to our clients, so must understand the commercial issues that govern client decision making. Appreciation of the value, feasibility and target audience benefits of their design work to brands is what gets work through approval processes. This is often the difference between great design that lives in a presentation and great work that actually becomes realised for public consumption.

For junior candidates this is equally important. We appreciate a good balance of self-initiated and commercial portfolio work. The commercial work proves how candidates consider specific target markets. The self-initiated work tells us about a designer’s motivation and personal interest in the field of design, their dedication and sense of craft. Do they know about bookbinding techniques, can they produce beautiful mock-ups, can they use materials in a tactile and seductive way? How imaginative is the realisation of a specific idea? All these skills are imperative to being a good designer in our environment.

Is what you do in your spare time important or irrelevant?
Very important. It is highly representative of character and personal development. Inspiration originates from many places, so spare time activity says a lot about a candidate's potential fit in our studio. We particularly like to see designers who have travelled extensively and have taken inspiration from their journeys. We’d also like to know about particular interests and obsessions, even if they are completely unrelated to design. This shows the candidate's dedication to a subject and what keeps them motivated and interested.

Does it matter what you wear to an interview if your portfolio is stunning?
Yes. Design in our sort of environment is very much influenced by the instinctive taste of the creatives on our team. Selecting what to wear to an interview with us is one of many expressions of that taste, so we are always interested in how candidates choose to present themselves. Our designers are in regular contact with clients so a carefully chosen outfit is also a good indication of how they will judge an important situation.

How important is it for a candidate to fit in with your company culture?
Once we have established that the design skills are appropriate, it is possibly the most important criteria. We have a tight group of designers who work closely with each other and spend a vast amount of time together. Regardless of expertise, if someone does not fit in with the company culture it is highly likely that we won’t enjoy having them in the studio, and equally likely that they won’t enjoy working there.

As part of a singular culture, it is also necessary that we allow for a relatively diverse range of characters/backgrounds within our company so that new ideas are generated from collaboration. These personalities provide the options needed to deliver work commissioned by a particularly diverse range of clients.

Winkreative was founded in 1998 by Tyler Brulé. The creative agency began as a spin-off of his magazine Wallpaper*, the iconic global style guide, in response to advertisers’ demands for intelligent, bespoke advertising solutions. With 40 multilingual staff, Winkreative serves more than 30 clients in 15-plus countries, all of which are united by premium positions in their respective markets. Winkreative continues to evolve as a unique, multidisciplinary global agency, focused on translating real-world business plans into creative brand expressions.