Alumni Update: Interview with Benjie Wilhelm
Founder + Creative Director Singularity Design Co.
Alumni Benjie Wilhelm (2017) has accomplished a lot since graduating from BGSU. Over the past 2 years, Benjie has started his own design company called Singularity Design Co. and now helps to run a team that creates strong branding experiences with simplistic and clear design. We were fortunate to catch up with Benjie to hear more about his life and career post-ungrad.
What advice would you give for students currently in the program?
Do the work to identify what you’re most passionate about now so that you can tailor your internships, and your projects to explore that which interests you the most. This will make getting a job doing the work you want that much easier.
What is your favorite part about what you do?
Creative problem solving. It is the keystone of all the work we do as designers. Whether the result is a visual artifact, or just a really great solution in terms of processes / experiences it makes the work ever evolving and fun.
Who is your largest inspiration and why?
Everyday people who are enduring despite struggles, who are kind despite the pain they feel. They inspire me because they give me hope, they remind me that the thing that connects all of us is our shared experiences. And they remind me that not everything comes easy, not every day is going to be a win, and that is perfectly okay. Like Gandalf said: “I have found that it is the small everyday deed of ordinary folks that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”
What are your future aspirations?
To further specialize our services and offerings. We’re working to position ourselves as a strategic branding agency. Wherein the work we produce visually will be the culmination of extensive discussions and findings regarding organizational strategy. We don’t want to just supply the brand imagery we want to supply the positioning, the messaging, and the strategy. This will allow us to stand out against executional agencies in that we will have a very niche space we work in.
What is one of the largest challenges you have had in the industry thus far?
Employment. Finding a job that is a right fit is really difficult. Finding a job where the work is what you’re interested in is even harder. It takes perseverance, and a tough skin. In the end I started my own company because I was convinced the job I wanted didn’t exist in a space where I was currently. It’s been tough, but rewarding.
If you had to pick one characteristic that you think is absolutely crucial to your role as a designer, what would it be and why?
Tenacity. Dealing with people who aren’t visual communicators will require you “selling” your ideas daily. It requires you to position yourself as an expert in what you do while continually overcoming criticism, and misaligned expectations. Ultimately dealing with people who will never intrinsically understand what you do, or worse, not value you what you do requires tenacity above all other things.
His company’s website: singularitydesign.co
Interview by Emma Powers