Function Over Form with Blue Moon's Head of Design

By Vusi | 14 November 2012 Blog home

Craig Belnick, Head of the formidable Design department at Blue Moon, is known for his grace under pressure and top design work. We found out more about the man behind the cool façade… 

How long have you been at Blue Moon?  

I’ve been working at Blue Moon for 10 years…

What is your job description and what is your role?

I’m Head of Graphic Design – overseeing the design process from concept development to creation, including the layout of graphics and text for communication elements.

Who inspires you?

I don’t really get inspired by other designers. Instead, I use my environment and nature to inspire my thinking! Function over form is really important to me – it’s no use having something pretty if it doesn’t get the message across.

Why is design so important?

I view design as a communication tool that spans cultures; you should be able to see a design no matter where you come from and instantly get the message.

How would you describe the design that comes out of the Blue Moon studio?

Diverse. Every job is different and should be tailor made for the audience.

You get briefed on a job and brainstorm and then it’s back to your computer – how do you start conceptualising where to go from there?

Start working with your creative writer straight away. Little sketches, scamps and simple paper mock-ups will all help to get everyone on the same page; only then should you go to your computer.

Is the end product sometimes very different from the way you started?

I would say it is 50/50. Sometimes, if your concept is sound, you end up with exactly what was in your head; other times, during the evolution of the design process, you come up with a new idea which also works. It’s important to be open to new ideas.

What’s the work ethic like in your department?

We always try to keep an element of fun while working. We like to play our favourite music and keep an open-plan environment so we can share ideas and cross-pollinate with each other. We also like to get together and play computer games on occasion, after work.

What is the most challenging project you’ve worked on this year?

It’s difficult picking one – this whole year has been pretty challenging but rewarding at the same time.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The people I work with… They have definitely become my second family; everyone is very supportive and it’s satisfying to work towards a common goal and succeed.

What do you do to chill?

Playing drums and mountain biking. I rehearse with my band three times a week and try to get out on my bike at least twice a week.

Any advice for people wanting to become a designer?

I know this sounds terrible but don’t get too precious about your work! Your job is to make other people’s ideas come to life, and if you take it too personally you will end up taking years off your life… or resigning!