Victor Ware (he/him) is a senior designer on the Brand Design team, based in Washington, D.C. This interview was taken on August 29, 2019 in Denver Colorado at our annual team hackathon (VAX).
Courtney: Tell me a little bit about what it means to be a designer on the brand design team.
Victor: We handle all things related to brand and identity for all of Vox media’s properties and brands. So our team touches a little bit of everything from redesigns to conferences and one-off projects like pitch decks for Vox Studios.
Courtney: How long have you been with Vox? And has your role changed at all since you joined?
Victor: Almost four years now! When I initially joined, I was on the Revenue Executions team creating custom ads. I did that for about a year, and after that I moved to the Brand Design team.
Courtney: Where were you before Vox Media?
Victor: I was freelancing for USA TODAY in their marketing department. I also worked in advertising doing custom ads there, too, which led to what I was doing at Vox. I’ve always worked in media. My first job was at AOL. It’s always interesting to see the different facets of making content and news, and just seeing all the things that go into the different aspects of the business.
Courtney: What projects have you been working on lately?
Victor: The last thing I wrapped up was the brand identity for VAX, our company hackathon. I’m also working on branding for Recode’s Code Commerce.
Courtney: Talk to me about your life outside of work. What are your hobbies? Any side projects?
Victor: One of the things I’m doing is learning different languages. I started learning Spanish about 10 years ago. It’s kind of been one of my goals to just keep learning and perfecting that, and then I started picking up other languages as I went along, so I’m studying Swedish right now and Arabic I literally just started maybe a month ago. So that’s fun. I also make music in my spare time!
Courtney: Very impressive! What kind of music projects do you have going right now?
Victor: Nothing really particular, I’m just practicing and creating when the inspiration strikes.
Courtney: And what’s your favorite language so far?
Victor: I would say Spanish, just because I’m comfortable with it and I have the most experience with it.
Courtney: You mentioned you’ve been going to meetups to practice, right?
Victor: There’s a local meetup in DC. It’s good to speak with native Spanish speakers and other people learning so I can help them out and give them tips about things that have helped me while I was learning, and then also just getting that face-to-face practice. Just practicing everyday and not forgetting what I learned.
Courtney: Are you still doing a lot of volunteering?
Victor: I haven’t in the past few years but something I’ve been looking into. There are a couple of local projects that are art-based, so I’m thinking about helping with something like that. The volunteer group I was with, Amigos Los Americas, sends artists down to Latin America to do community projects based around art. In Oaxaca, I worked on a multimedia project where we did a podcast and taught folks how to do interviews just like this! We taught photography classes and had a community trash clean-up day, too.
Courtney: That’s awesome! Speaking of your travels, our remote-forward culture at Vox allows us greater flexibility and work/life balance. If there were no constraints whatsoever, where would you want to work from?
Victor: I actually worked remotely from Montreal for a month. I’d probably travel more and work from Oaxaca.
Courtney: Are there any articles, videos, or podcasts from Vox Media that you’ve read, watched or listened to that you would like to recommend?
Victor: Yeah, The Weeds is probably my favorite podcast. I’ve been listening to it since before I even started at Vox. Today, Explained is great. All of the Vox podcasts, basically.
Courtney: And finally, what’s your favorite thing about working at Vox Media?
Victor: The people. Everyone’s super talented and nice! And it is a really good environment to be in as a designer.
Thanks to Anna Graves for transcribing the interview.