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July 8, 2020

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Brandcenter Director’s Council Spotlight Series // Ben Hughes, Squarespace

The Brandcenter Director’s Council Spotlight Series continues with Ben Hughes, VP of Brand Design at Squarespace. Ben oversees all advertising campaigns, communication design, social content, and integrated production at Squarespace, which was named Ad Age 2020 A-List In-House Agency of the Year. He previously spent time at some of the world’s top advertising agencies and digital studios, including Wieden+Kennedy, Stink Studios, B-Reel, Mother, and R/GA, building a body of work that stretches from conceptually-led film storytelling to digital products and experiences.

In addition to his projects as a creative director, Ben is also an accomplished filmmaker and photographer, having helmed productions for Google, Twitter, Cole Haan, The Washington Post and top independent record labels.

In an interview with Brandcenter, Ben shares his definition of creativity and the one piece of advice he’s carried with him throughout his career.

 

How do you define creativity?

Creativity is finding the least obvious solution to a problem that seems perfectly obvious in hindsight.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

On my first day as a copywriter, my creative director gave me an important piece of advice: “Don’t write copy.” What he meant was that if something feels like an ad, it’s probably the wrong answer. That became a guiding principle for my entire career.

Is there a place or space you go to get inspired?

I walk. There are very few creative problems that can’t be solved by a long, aimless walk through New York City, preferably with a meal at the end.

Who do you admire most and why?

I’m a big fan of the artist Olafur Eliasson because he’s impossible to pin down. He’s an astronomer, an architect, an environmentalist, a filmmaker. His definition of art expands to include whatever he’s interested in at the moment.

 

Thanks for sharing these insights with us, Ben!