Alex Moulton

PTW2019_ALEX_MOULTON

CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER, TROLLBÄCK+COMPANY, NEW YORK NY

Since joining branding and design studio Trollbäck+Company in 2016, Alex Moulton has led a team of exceptional creative and strategic thinkers, designers and makers to build strategic identities, sustainable brands and moving experiences. Driving Trollbäck+Company’s belief in the power of beauty and logic to create impact, excitement and unique multi-platform identities, Alex has worked across a diverse range of businesses and institutions including Apple, Google, Marriott, NBC Universal, NFL, Qualcomm, Samsung, Verizon, Viacom and West Elm. Previously, he was Senior Director, Creative & Content at VICE Media where he helped launch digital content channel Live Nation TV. An early pioneer of audio branding, Alex founded his own branding agency and record label, Expansion Team, in 2002, where he crafted the sonic identities of Aetna, Amazon Studios/Originals, Boeing, JetBlue, and Rovi, as well as more than 15 tv networks, including CNN International, Discovery, PBS, Universal, and Comedy Central. A DJ, composer, and avid speaker about topics at the intersection of music and design, Moulton has been featured in Billboard, V Man, Electronic Musician, and XLR8R, and has performed at The Guggenheim.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?
I was born in Berkeley CA and live in Brooklyn NY.

DID YOU GO TO DESIGN SCHOOL?
I went to Northwestern University, where I studied Radio, TV, and Film. I was focused on becoming a cinematographer, studying storytelling through composition, light, movement, and emotion. I learned the design process later and more organically by working with very talented designers.

LEFTY OR RIGHTY?
Righty, but far left on every other issue.

MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL?
Night owl most of my life, but now I much prefer mornings. Most days, I’m the first person to arrive at the studio.

FICTIONAL OR HISTORICAL CHARACTER YOU IDENTIFY WITH?
I just took a web quiz and it said I am Groot.

ARE YOU MUSICAL AND/OR PLAY AN INSTRUMENT?
Yes, I’m still a working musician, composer, and DJ.

FAVORITE BOOK?
Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk

FAVORITE MOVIES?
Brazil, Children of Men, Blade Runner, Wings of Desire, Donnie Darko, Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, Delicatessen, Boyhood, The Princess Bride, The Double Life of Véronique, Ed Wood, Annie Hall… stop me anytime…

FAVORITE TV BINGE WATCH?
The Handmaid’s Tale

FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM?
Instagram

FAVORITE PODCAST?
BBC Radio 4’s Soul Music

FAVORITE FINE ARTIST?
Dead: Ellsworth Kelly. Living: Tatiana Arocha

FAVORITE CHARITY OR CAUSE?
Environmental protection, cancer research, funding for the arts, education.

FAVORITE FREE TIME ACTIVITY?
Hanging out with my family, going to museums and galleries, crate digging for records and baking bread.

COLLECT ANYTHING?
Vinyl. My collection is smaller these days due to space, so it’s probably less than 3000 records.

WHICH AREA OF GRAPHIC DESIGN IS GROWING THE MOST?
Digital and UX design are seeing the most growth in terms of available jobs, but I don’t expect that to last. What we need are more designers who think holistically about brand experience, as well as designers who think in motion. Most of all, we need more designers who to use their skills to solve substantial global challenges.

DESIGN MENTOR/INSPIRATION/HERO?
IDEO co-founders David and Tom Kelley, whom I have never met. Also Dieter Rams, who I was lucky enough to meet at a screening of RAMS, a documentary film we recently worked on.

GREATEST STRENGTH/WEAKNESS AS A DESIGNER?
My weakness is a lack of academic design training, but my strength might be the multi-disciplinary path I’ve taken.

ADVICE TO A YOUNG DESIGNER JUST STARTING OUT?
Focus on being a great human first, a great designer second.

IF YOU WERE NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
I’m working on creating a museum of music in NYC, which will also be home to a youth education program and performance space.

A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?
“Discard everything that means nothing.”

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