PRINCIPAL & CREATIVE DIRECTOR, CHARACTER, BROOKLYN NY
Manuel Dilone is a Principal and Creative Director at branding agency Character, leading it’s newly established New York office. Hailing from R/GA where he was a Creative Director, he played an influential role across key accounts include Nike, Google, and Tiffany & Co. Currently, Manuel is overseeing all activities out of Character NY studio in DUMBO Brooklyn, for clients such as Instagram, Google, Facebook, LG, and The Stronach Group. Manuel also teaches senior classes at the Pratt Institute and School of Visual Arts.
WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?
I was born in the tiny land of Dominican Republic and I have lived in NYC since the age of 11.
DID YOU GO TO DESIGN SCHOOL?
School of Visual Arts
LEFTY OR RIGHTY?
MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL?
FICTIONAL OR HISTORICAL CHARACTER YOU IDENTIFY WITH?
Can’t think of one
ARE YOU MUSICAL AND/OR PLAY AN INSTRUMENT?
I played the viola at a young age, now I collect a bunch of noise making devices, vintage synths.
Metahaven’s “Uncorporate Identity” is an important book all designers should read.
Tough one, I’d say American Movie.
FAVORITE TV BINGE WATCH?
I recently watched 3 episodes of Black Mirror in a row, which is a record for me. I’m not big on tv.
FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM?
Rachel Maddow’s Bag Man series
FAVORITE FINE ARTIST?
FAVORITE CHARITY OR CAUSE?
Any Greyhound rescue charity.
FAVORITE FREE TIME ACTIVITY?
Hands down spending time with my two boys Mason and Mercer.
WHICH AREA OF GRAPHIC DESIGN IS GROWING THE MOST?
Experiential design is more critical than ever and integral to every brand.
At R/GA, Nick Law was very influential in my career.
GREATEST STRENGTH/WEAKNESS AS A DESIGNER?
Greatest strength: Willingness to explore the unknown. Greatest weakness: Too many to list, but to give you one: I’m not a good illustrator.
ADVICE TO A YOUNG DESIGNER JUST STARTING OUT?
Always be curious. Think dimensionally. Ask questions. Explore. Be intentional. Be a good listener. Understand what empathy is and how to be emphatic. Enjoy the process. Don’t take yourself too seriously. When things are starting to feel predictable, f*ck things up a bit.
IF YOU WERE NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
I actually don’t know.
A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?
This is not much of a mantra, but I believe if you’re nice to others, you enjoy life more.
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