Alex Cheung (he/him) is a designer and former DJ on the Vox Creative team, based in New York. This interview was taken on August 29, 2019 in Denver Colorado at our annual team hackathon (VAX).
Courtney: How long have you been at Vox?
Alex: I’ve been with Vox Media for almost two years now.
Courtney: What your favorite part?
Alex: A lot of things. I think the culture, for one, which everyone can attest to. It’s a good company to be part of, not only Vox Media as a company, but being a part of the extended product design and technology team is really nice. Everybody is really nice and supportive and super talented as well.
Courtney: And where were you before Vox?
Alex: Before Vox I was at school, so this is my first job.
Courtney: Tell us what it’s like to be a designer on Vox Creative, our branded content team?
Alex: It means juggling various forms of visual design. We primarily work within the realm of video, so most of our work entails making style frames or style guides, things that will eventually be put into motion. We also work on more traditional things like print design or editorial design. Whatever really comes our way. And it’s all client-focused work.
Courtney: What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on so far?
Alex: There have definitely been a lot of really interesting projects. We’ve worked with the Gates Foundation a couple times. It’s really cool to work with a non-profit because they’re kind of a non-traditional client so they come to us from a different angle. So we’ve been able to talk about things like the gender wage gap and trying to improve education in the United States. Those are all topics that are really cool and different from our normal day-to-day clients. For both of the Gates Foundation projects, we did fully animated videos, so we had the opportunity to storyboard from start to end, making all the style frames and putting it all through animation. So it took a little village to build these videos, but I think they came out really nicely.
Courtney: What other recent work can you share with us?
Alex: We created advertising content to promote Jack Honey’s 2018 summer cookout series, celebrating the culture of five communities across the country. Here are some stills from an Eater experiential event about Wisconsin cheese:
Courtney: Nice! What are you working on this week at VAX?
Alex: So I’m working on a Chorus-based project. We’re trying to create a grid system, essentially, leveraging our current buying guide data. I’m working with a couple of people to mock up some ideas for what that could possibly look like.
Courtney: Tell me more about life outside of work — what are your hobbies? Side projects? Any cool books or podcasts that you’ve listened to recently?
Alex: I try to keep it pretty chill. I like to go climbing, I go to the rock climbing gym. Also just going and chilling in parks reading a book. I just finished Open by Andre Agassi. So that was really a good read. Listening to a lot of music, trying to eat as much food as possible. I primarily listen to a lot of hip hop and R&B, and a lot of oldies. Been listening to a lot of Erykah Badu lately.
Courtney: Is there anything you’ve read, watched, or listened to from the Vox Media networks that you would recommend?
Alex: Going off the music theme, I think Earworm is such an awesome content by Estelle Caswell, and she recently came out with another video about Travis Scott and the roots of one of his songs. It’s really interesting and such a well produced YouTube series.
Courtney: Our team has offices and remote employees all over. If you could set up your office anywhere in the world, any era, solid wifi anywhere, no time zones, where would it be?
Alex: Honestly I’m a mountain person, so I would like to be on a secluded mountain in the middle of nowhere. Maybe here in Colorado.
Courtney: If we were to do a second interview later on, what would you want to dive in on?
Alex: I’d want to talk about all the new Disney live action remakes and how we feel about them because I have lots of thoughts and opinions about this new wave.
You can find more design work by Alex Cheung on his website, and check out his mixes on Soundcloud.
Thanks to Anna Graves for transcribing the interview and to Laura Holder for her edits.