PRPL Spotlight: Sam Bork, Director of Creative

August 15th, 2018 | PRPL

PRPL Spotlight: Sam Bork, Director of Creative

This month, we’re focusing on some of the amazing talent here at PRPL.

Our Director of Creative, Sam Bork, took a few minutes to tell us about the difference between UI and UX design in product design company, and her new design internship program. Take a peek!

1. As the Director of Creative at PRPL, how do you keep your team motivated and supportive of each other?

Everyone on our team is so enthusiastic about the work they do at PRPL — their excitement is the fuel behind sharing it out and supporting one another. We also have two hour-long “creative reviews” during the week where the teams shares what they’re working on. Every now and then, I do like to give a little nudge to show someone specific who has a strong skill set relevant to the project, but the team really just does it naturally!

2. When it comes to leading our team of UX Designers, what’s the difference between being Director of Creative and Creative Director?

I actually don’t see myself as a creative director at all, to be honest. To me, a traditional creative director acts as a gatekeeper of the vision for all the work being produced by a team, and I don’t intend to be that person. I ensure we’re achieving our personal standard of excellence and working within scope, but my role really revolves around supporting the members of my team. I’m here to guide their professional development, give them access to tools they need, and to be available in whatever capacity they need–not the other way around. I’m here to hear their concerns and ladder them up appropriately so it isn’t lost in the daily grind.

When you listen to people and support them — just give them the space to do their best work — every project will be better off.   

3. PRPL rebranded from a Digital Creative Agency to a Product Design Company in the year since you became Director of Creative. What was that change like for the team?

The creative team has always been involved throughout all stages of the project process – from client discovery through development and launch, but the shift to Product required applying more of their skill set earlier in the process. Since so much about a successful product is about  how a user accesses and navigates through information, our team has been even more involved during research and planning in order to establish a complete understanding of the “who,” “what,” and “why,” before visual design even starts. It’s one thing to create a great design, but it’s another entirely to craft a product worth interacting with – and the team has been stoked about the work get to do.

4. It’s been said that UX Design is really business strategy and the art of finding solutions. How are PRPL’s designers stepping up to take on that kind of role?

Exactly, this is just what I was saying before. When you put it this way, I guess you could say our team has stepped up from UI focused to UX-minded in the process of transitioning to a Product Design Company. While we all still love to craft a beautiful UI, it’s the focus on our clients’ business, and subsequently their clients’ needs, that get our designers excited.

5. So, word around town is you’re an award-winning cosplayer. Having a knack for crafting armor must influence your passion for UX design. Are there any connections between the two?

Hah! Now that you mention it, both require a solid foundation before you can begin building on top. In cosplay, you need to start with a basic, functioning breastplate form before you add any “bells and whistles” on top. Then, once you know the basics, you can alter it to craft anything you can imagine!

6. What exciting projects do you have lined up for the rest of 2018, both at PRPL and beyond?

We’ve been working on crafting a design internship program for Seniors from local universities along with a senior member of the team! We’re hoping to get that solidified and begin taking applications toward the end of 2018. For me personally, I’ve got a big costume competition in Toronto coming up, and a big Dark Souls armor build to start as soon as I get my new workshop up and running.

7. You always sign off your Slack messages with a Slackmoji that I think just represents you so well. Please share it with us. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’m just honored to lead such a talented group of people. They inspire me to be the best I possibly can, each and every day! 

Learn more about how we work and play at PRPL.