"Design belongs everywhere."
Alex Center is a Brooklyn-based designer who works for the global beverage leader, The Coca-Cola Company. He grew up in the town of Oceanside NY, home to the world’s second Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs. He once worked for the New York Knicks as a designer where he worked with both his childhood idol, John Starks and his nemesis Isiah Thomas. He has spent most of his professional hours being creative on behalf of the beverage brand vitaminwater. Over the years, he has designed packaging that has been in hands across the globe, created breakthrough marketing campaigns, launched innovative new products and once met rapper 50 Cent who told him “You must think you’re pretty special.” He got nervous and instantly started sweating. In 2011, Alex was named one of the 200 Best Packaging Designers by Lürzer’s Archive. In 2013, he started sharing his story with speaking engagements at The Dieline Forum, AIGA INitiative, HOW Design Live and as a guest on Debbie Millman’s famous Design Matters podcast. In 2014, Alex was named a Person To Watch by GDUSA Magazine. In 2015, he became a columnist for HOW Magazine, writing about the expanding landscape of In-House design. In 2016, he joined the AIGA In-house Initiative Steering committee, working to address the unique opportunities and challenges faced by the in-house community. Today, he leads the strategy and design vision for brands at Coca-Cola that include vitaminwater, smartwater and Powerade. In his personal time, Alex enjoys rooting for New York sports teams that wear orange/blue, editing Instagrams for far too long and searching for the freshest prosciutto in New York City.
Tell us about a favorite project or accomplishment from this past year.
The team over at Collins and I have relaunched the vitaminwater brand with a bold new visual identity system. That system has brought back our iconic graphic design heritage and reinvigorated our brand with vibrancy and color.
What is your favorite color, and why? Pantone numbers and Hex codes totally allowed.
My favorite color is Orange. (021C to be exact) It was the color of my favorite Ninja Turtle growing up, Michelangelo. He was the fun, ADD Turtle who loved Pizza. That was my guy.
Share a saying that inspires you, or theme song that gets you moving.
A saying that inspires me is from Lil Wayne. “Gotta work everyday. Gotta not be cliche. Gotta stand out like Andre 3K.” It’s from his song Dr. Carter on The Carter 3.
“If I wasn’t a designer (or in the design world), I’d be ________________.”
An Entrepreneur, or a Dentist.
What’s your superpower, or one you wish you had?
I like to think it’s Charm.
This year, the theme of Phoenix Design Week is “Design Belongs.” What does “Design Belongs” bring to mind for you?
Design belongs everywhere.
All two-day tickets include entrance to the Method + Madness Conference, PHXDW 2017 Kickoff Party, Method + Madness Evening Reception, and the PHXDW 2017 Closing Party. One-day M+M conference passes, group and AIGA discount opportunities are also available at the tickets link.
See order form for details.