.

I would love to do some interior design for a small coffee place, a diner, or a cute fashion brand. And while at it, create the identity, communication and everything around the brand; the full package, but without any guidelines. Make it as pure as it can be.

question Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I started my career as a Motion Graphic Designer, but got my first opportunity in the digital world as a Flash Designer for a company called Born05.  After learning the production side of things, I set my heart on becoming an Art Director. And after achieving that, I was picked up by DDB & Tribal Amsterdam where I’m currently spending my days as the Design Director of that amazing agency.

question Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

After the obligatory Facebook surf, the FWA judging panel is one of the first sites I check every morning. And like most people, I’m constantly on the hunt for the next TV series to stream. I’m currently hooked on Adventure Time. That show is algebraic!

question What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

I hope it’s still to come. I feel every brief has the potential to be amazing, and I always strive to make each project better than the previous one.

question If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?

When I discovered the possibilities of digital design, and the possibilities of animation and storytelling you can apply – I was amazed. It was when I first learnt Flash and Tween Engines that I began exploring the various forms of online interaction, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Interactivity is one of the coolest things in the world.

question What software could you not live without?

Stating the obvious: Photoshop and a browser.

question In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?

I’m still attempting to conquer CS6. 

question Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?

I’m a huge fan of Hello Monday and Rally Interactive – pixel perfection! I'm also a big fan of Odopod (now Nurun). I love North Kingdom for creating amazing work over the last decade and I have a crush on a Dutch agency called Cartelle. Agencies like Firstborn and Fi are of course also part of this ‘top 3’.

question What area of web design lacks the most?

I’m starting to miss the classic storytelling experiences; the sites that just entertain me and leave me with a story of the brand. And I’m not talking about a 4 minute embedded YouTube video, and I don’t want to scroll through a parallax site that gives me information piece by piece. Recently we released a project called KLM Space, and all the positive response we got verifies my opinion.

question Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?

Just like everybody else, I hang out with friends or crash on the couch for a movie - but I’ve always got my design hat on. I wake up as one and go to bed as one. When I'm sitting in a restaurant and look at the menu card, I imagine how I would design it. And when I’m biking to work past new architecture, billboards, or street art – all of those things get a spot in my brain that could influence one of my projects.

question What was the last digital effort you saw (or were a part of) that used social media in a way that really made sense. Why?

Social media is a given lately, in any campaign. I remember when we made Obsessed with Sound and we placed a simple ‘like’ button at the bottom of the page. No flow forced people to like it, but the likes were sky-high. People liked the project for what it was. Those likes count the most.

question Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?

The technology, as well as the creativity of using it, is developing fast and you never really know what's going to happen. I hope a lot of things we've seen in sci-fi movies will come to life. I also hope that some day people get fed up with being married to their phones and social networks, and start appreciating the personal things in life again.

question What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

I studied for 8 years and I got to know various people and grew as a person. However, I didn’t learn the technical skills in school, but more from other students. It helps to study at any design or graphical school, but I feel an agency internship bridges the gap nicely from college to a career.

question How have you learned so many design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?

The best way to master any skill is by just doing it. A lot. You will discover techniques on your own – and the more you do it, the easier it gets. At some point you don’t have to worry about HOW to create something, and that's when you can focus on WHAT you are creating instead.

question How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?

I'm browsing all the various websites you can imagine. The FWA, Awwwards, Behance, Cargo, Twitter, you name it. But I usually get the best ones from people within my design team. As soon as we see something cool, we share and discuss it. Conversation helps to understand great work.

question There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?

I would love to do some interior design for a small coffee place, a diner, or a cute fashion brand. And while at it, create the identity, communication and everything around the brand; the full package, but without any guidelines. Make it as pure as it can be.

question Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Love what you do. People will notice and appreciate you for it. Enthusiasm is the biggest motivator for you and the people around you.

question It has been a privilege, thanks very much

No, thank you Rob. Can't wait for your new book!


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Robbin Cenijn, Design Director at DDB & Tribal Amsterdam
Robbin Cenijn, Design Director at DDB & Tribal Amsterdam

DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, KLM Space
DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, KLM Space

DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, Heineken 'The Ultimate Voyage' Mobile game
DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, Heineken "The Ultimate Voyage" Mobile game

DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, Volkswagen Hitchhike with a Like
DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, Volkswagen Hitchhike with a Like

DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, adidas Nitrocharge campaign
DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, adidas Nitrocharge campaign

DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, McDonald's 'De Bekendste Burger van Nederland'
DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, McDonald's "De Bekendste Burger van Nederland"

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