Stuart Harvey Lee
Founder & Creative Director of Prime Studio’s Inc.
1. What do you like most about your job?
Since we are a design consultancy what I really like is the variety that comes with the jobs we do. We work in many different markets and I love that certain projects need us to come to speed very quickly on areas you may not know anything about. A couple of years ago we were working with a company that makes surgical implants and we need to figure out how to optimize their packaging. We had a lot to learn and had the opportunity to watch a knee transplant operation, and got to speak with surgeons and nurses. it was really fun.
2. What is your daily routine comprised of and what are the biggest challenges?
Basically the biggest challenge is getting pulled in too many different directions. Its hard to find time to concentrate since I wear so many hats at the agency. I’m providing creative direction, while meeting with clients, and keeping up with emails. There’s always a lot to do. I spend no more than 20% of my time on designing and sketching at this point in my career.
3. Where do you get your inspiration?
This is a tough question. A simple answer would be wherever I can. Its important to always be observant. Travel is also important for inspiration so you aware of cultural differences. I also get inspired by things that have been done badly and how I can work to make them better.
4. How did you get your first full time job in the field?
It was because a lot of persistence. I got my Masters at the Royal College of Art and I knew I wanted to go to NY and so I came here with a portfolio and $1,000. My first job was at Smart Design and that’s where I really knew I wanted to work. Basically I kept hammering away at those guys until a position opened up.
5. What advice can you give someone entering the field?
I look at this from the perspective of a potential employer. So the first thing you’d have to do is get a basic mastery of software your going to have to use. You should already know these things and I should not be paying you to learn these things. Lastly always listen to the direction of projects. There are always more restrictions than in school from the clients side, or the time allotted, or it could be you can only use certain things. Understand the brief. You can come up with a great design but if it doesn’t meet the clients needs its not going to work,
a. What qualities do you look for in an entry-level person?
Someone who is able to work and learn quickly and be part of a collaboration. Also someone who has a basic knowledge of the tools that we use.
b. What do you look for in an entry-level portfolio?
Its important to be current on design trends. Its great if someone else can bring something different to the table.