You’ve seen Brad Ulrich’s mark on all things “iThemes” for a while now — from last year’s mammoth site redesigns for iThemes.com and WebDesign.com to our product logos, cover artwork for our iThemes eBook library, 1,500 iThemes t-shirts and even our office’s Make People’s Live Awesome lobby entrance. Brad has been a critical part of shaping the iThemes brand, so today we’re proud to announce Brad’s new role as iThemes Creative Director.
To help you get to know Brad better (even though he’s been on the team since 2010), we sent him a few questions about his new role as iThemes Creative Director.
Q. How would you describe your new position? What does it entail?
Brad: I’ll be mostly doing what I’ve been doing for the past 3 years here – designing things. But in this role, I’ll also be contributing more to our product design team in the form of feedback on how we can make our front-end designs better and how our user interfaces look and work.
Q. When did you start at iThemes? How has your job here changed over the years?
Brad: I started as an intern in January 2010, while I was in college, and came on full time in June 2010. When I first started, I was designing sidebar ads and other little things around the site. Cory encouraged me to try designing a theme for Matt to code up. And by the end of 2011, Matt and I had worked together to make a few standalone themes and a lot of our early Builder themes. As my other responsibilities in the company grew, along with our theme team, theme production transitioned mostly to Justin and Cody. They have done an awesome job pushing out some really cool themes for Builder lately. That change gave me more time to focus on our internal site improvements, marketing, content and overall creative direction.
Q. How long have you been doing web design and design in general?
Brad: I’ve been doing design since I got a copy of Photoshop in high school. I just thought of it as tinkering on the computer. I didn’t realize until college that it was a job you could do for a living. I started college as an art major, but I would stay up all hours of the night figuring out how to use Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. Eventually I started a WordPress blog and got into tweaking my theme CSS and designing a new header for it every few days. I loved learning about typography and read everything I could on it, especially about how those principles can be applied to the web. So I’ve been doing design for about 6 years and web design specifically for 4 years.
Q. What are some of your design goals, objectives, etc.?
Brad: I want to see us stretch more with our theme design. Builder is an incredible tool and there is so much we can do with it. We’re going to be trying some new things with our child themes that will make designing sites with it even easier. And we’ve got some resources coming to help learn the best way to work with Builder-specific CSS. I also hope to help update some of our plugin UI. I’ve helped with some changes already in BackupBuddy and I’m designing some exciting new interfaces for a new plugin we’re just getting started on.
Q. Any upcoming projects you want to mention?
Brad: We’ve been working for a while now on a new video tutorials section for iThemes.com that launched today. I think it’s pretty cool and something we’ve been wanting to make for a long time. I’ve also been working on some plugin UI updates lately that I think are going to really help our customers out, especially new users.
Q. Anything else you’d like to add/mention?
Brad: I’ve learned so much in my time working at iThemes. The awesome people here teach me something new every day. Cory has given me an opportunity to learn and grow here and I’m excited to grow into this role with our company.