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Kerning from the best — 5 minutes with Bryn Taylor

What does a typical morning look like for you?

Coffee before most things is the general rule. I wake up around 7. Head to our espresso machine and enjoy a coffee with my girlfriend. I love the moment of calm before work starts.

I’m working from home right now — but my commute to the office is pretty dreamy. Pleo sits right on the lakes in Copenhagen. So a lush cycle along the lakes for me.

First thing I catch up on Slack and see how my calendar’s looking.

A good chunk of Pleo works across time zones. I work closely with people in Mexico, Argentina and Ukraine. So team meetings tend to be in the afternoon.

Mornings are for focussed design work. Documenting design specs, running through ideas with a PM, or sharing async feedback with other designers.

What has been your design journey?

I’ve always enjoyed creating things. My dad is a very hands-on guy — he built computers for us when we were younger. I remember getting my hands on a (definitely-not-cracked) version of Photoshop. I learnt how to cut up images. I used to add massive spoilers and wheels to cars. That was pretty fun.

I started down the graphic design path. But the digital product side of things excited me most.

I tried out a few different types of companies. Small, large, in-house, and early stage. I think that helped me to grow and learn quick. Part of knowing what you want is through learning what you don’t.

Then I joined a health startup called Thriva as their first designer. They offer at-home blood tests. I got to lead all of their design output. From the web product, to test packaging, to marketing bits like their tube campaign.

After that, I joined Monzo. In the time I was there the company grow from 600 to 1500 employees. It was a fun ride. Now I work at Pleo with a lovely bunch of people. Doing our best to fix spending for businesses.

What do you find yourself having to repeatedly convince others of?

Pineapple on pizza.

Do you have a mantra?

Tough question. One thing I’m trying to follow at the moment is not taking life too seriously. Easier said than done. But it helps to think it through when I get stressed over seemingly small things.

Where do you want to go?

To be honest — I like what I do. Very lucky in that respect. I want to keep learning and I want to keep experimenting. One way I push this is through side projects. I’ve been working with my girlfriend on a project called Good Garms. It’s a place to discover sustainable clothing brands. Giving people the information they need to make more conscious purchases.

I recently moved to Denmark after living in the UK all my life. Moving countries changed my perspective on things. To be able to move as we did is something I value. I want to hold on to that flexibility as long as possible.

Who do you look up to?

A few people for a few different reasons. No particular order.

My partner, Kendrick Lamar, Phil Efstathiou, Pete Lacey, Greta Thunberg, Lara Mendonça, and Tom Harman.

What’s your desk setup?

It’s pretty simple — but it works. I have a small desk in our spare room — it fits perfectly in front of the window. Love the natural light. And a fixed place to work from was a game-changer for productivity. The desk is so small it’s almost impossible to get distracted.

I don’t use an external screen at home. Just a MacBook Pro, a Magic Mouse, a notebook, and a stream of coffee.

AirPods for meetings and Bose for music.

Life, by designers.

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Luis Ouriach

Luis Ouriach

Design and community @FigmaDesign, newsletter writer, co-host @thenoisepod, creator of @8pxmag. Sarcastic.

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