At Superhuman, we’ve long been fans of the thoughtful and incredibly original design work of Andrew Beckman. A few of us have worked with him in the past, and know just how hard-working and collaborative he is. Needless to say, we’re excited to bring him in as a Design Director this month. Welcome, Andrew!
1. Tell us about your career and how you wound up at Superhuman.
I’ve always loved to draw and create. My career path was clear from the moment I realized that I could be paid to do what I love.
I started out designing and illustrating artwork for various bands and musicians. I worked on album packaging, T-shirts, pins, stage backdrops, websites and MySpace layouts that decorated the Internet, merch tables and retail stores across the country.
My interest in combining artwork with digital applications naturally led me to space150 and the world of advertising. In addition to working on big brands, space provided me with countless opportunities to expand my understanding of what it means be creative through film production, photoshoots, animation, physical to digital installations, brand campaigns and augmented reality projects to name a few.
I first crossed paths with Van Horgen at space in 2010 and we quickly became friends. When he started Superhuman a few years later, we teamed up on a few of his early projects. Over time, it became clear that Van’s creative process, aesthetic sensibility and vision for his agency was something I wanted to be a part of. Joining the Superhuman team felt like a natural next step for me, and I couldn’t be more excited to be here.
2. What is happening in design right now that inspires you?
Design, at it’s core, is problem solving. Recurring design problems that feel new in a modern context often already have existing solutions that someone has already proven out. I’ve always been really inspired by designers and brands who embrace, learn from, and recycle ideas from the past to inform the creation of something progressive and unique in the present.
I’m a huge fan of outdoor brands like Filson and REI, who’ve both recently gone through branding updates that revive familiar aesthetics from the past while applying minimalism and a refined color palette to establish a more modern perception. Another example is Cotopaxi, a brand who repurposes fabric materials for their product that leads to both a truly ownable aesthetic and a smaller environmental impact as a result. A similar way of thinking in a vastly different category is the recent brutalism trend in graphic design that redefines, re-contextualizes and iterates upon mashups of familiar imagery.
3. What do you hope to accomplish at Superhuman?
I’m really excited to be hyper-focused on design at Superhuman. I want to make strong work that resonates with people and help brands establish or reinforce meaning behind what they stand for.
4. What hobbies in your personal life expand your approach to design and creativity?
Last winter, my wife and I bought a 10-acre hobby farm 30 miles west of the Twin Cities. We spend most of our free time working on updates to the farm house and chasing our dogs and chickens around. Being surrounded by nature has been more inspiring than I ever could have hoped. A clear view of the sunrise in the morning and the stars at night is an awesome reminder to be present and appreciative of the world. Simple things like growing food in our garden and caring for animals have helped me be more considerate and appreciative about where things come from, as well as the impact we as humans have on the earth.
As a designer and a person, I’ve become much more considerate when choosing materials and aligning with vendors and businesses who use eco-friendly practices. I’ve also found myself drawing more forest animals when I sketch.