a digital product designer from the midwestSee Recent Work
My name is Alex but I go by Benson. I was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, before moving to Kansas City. I didn't grow up knowing I wanted to be a graphic designer, I just kind of stumbled onto it. I haven't had a pen in my hand since I was a boy, but I've always been intrigued by problems, and liked solving them visually.
I haven't followed the traditional route, going to RISD or SCAD, but the unconventional route I have taken has exposed me to so many different experiences that have come to inform and influence the designer I am today. Most of the product design knowledge I have today is from learning by doing.
I got my first Product Designer position before I knew what that was, and figured it out as I went, teaching myself grids and code. Thanks to mentors and the internet, I was able to find jobs while still finishing my degree, and since then have continued to grow in the thing I'm most passionate about, solving problems.
I never did well in school, and dropped out several times before finally getting my degree in Graphic Design. While I didn't want to sit in a classroom, I didn't stop learning in or out of school.
The internet has been my classroom for most of my life, and over the years I've wanted a place to put all of the links I use on a regular basis.
Self learning isn't for everyone, but for those who can, there's no limit to what you can pick up. Below are just a few places that taught me what I know and continue to teach me daily.
The internet has always been my classroom, and this is where I've found my greatest inspiration.
I’ve found it important to identify designers and agencies that have a style and career I admire.
I'm a self taught videographer, pulling on my knowledge as a photographer. These guys fill in the gaps of what I don't know.
Instagram is known as the happiest place on the internet. These photographers keep me scrolling late into the night and itching to run out the door with my camera.
A well rounded education is invaluable. Beef up your knowledge with these courses and tools.
Self teaching is challenging, but with the right platforms at your disposal, you can learn anything anywhere anytime.
Stay hungry. Those words still stick with me as I carry on in my career. Good steady work is a great thing to have, but it's important not to get stale or complacent. Passion projects are fine for design exploration, but to get real world experience, sometimes you need to put your work out into the world and work hard to make it happen.
My mind is always working, so I put it to good use with the projects you see below. Each one highlights a passion that I took and made my own. Each one took grit, time, sweat, and sometimes blood (cutting fruit for cocktails can get messy) to make a reality, but it's all been worth it.
What's a designer to do when they just want to work on cool projects? Start a freelance company of course. And thats exactly what I did in the summer of 2014 and we've worked on some amazing projects over the years.
Bartending and working a day job don't usually go hand in hand, so when I started missing my old college gig I decided to turn that into an event that has grown into a bi-monthly tour around the city.
YouTube is great, but its watch later functionality is severely lacking. I'm currently working on a web app that could bring in your watch later videos, and sort them into a digestible interface with functionality like watching all videos from a channel.
The all in one tool for videographers, directors, and producers. Plan your shoot and script – from basic YouTube clips to full scale productions.
When trying to pull together a portfolio, I ran into a problem. As a product designer, I want to solve problems, but as a developer, I also want to see those solutions come to life. Too often I abandoned useful design explorations for something functional that can get built. That is useful for actual products, but sometimes you just need to let go and design what you think is best.See My Dribbble Portfolio