Alone With COHN: The Jeffrey Steffonich Edition

Every few weeks, we post a profile called Alone with COHN. One by one, we put our employees on the hot seat to answer a set of fun and playful questions. This go-round, the prize wheel landed on Jeffrey Steffonich, Senior Designer.

What about your work at COHN are you most proud of?

Plain and simple, the team. Working with so many talented and hard working individuals is one of the greatest parts of working at COHN, and makes me proud to be one of them. Whether it is the management team giving guidance, the digital coordinators when I have a pressing question, or just the organization of the account team; everyone has a shining part. It’s also relieving that they don’t look down on me when I whip out my taffy and Doritos (a very healthy lunch)!

What is your favorite type of client project?

I love EVERYTHING design related but lately I do favor digital projects because I love pushing the envelope trying to bring COHN to the next level in digital. Finding new javascript queries to introduce in a site, building compelling UX/UI designs that improve the audience experience, or even just pushing a brand further then they initially wanted to go in the digital space is my favorite type of client project.

You’re also an illustrator – how are you able to incorporate your illustrations into your digital work?

That is the fun part! Bringing a tactile and handmade feeling to digital projects is definitely not easy, but I think the challenge is fun. People want to know a human created their designs, and overall look and feel – not a robot or a script. When I can bring some of that into my digital projects and it looks amazing… that is when I know my job is done, I can sit back and drink my giant cup of Mountain Dew.

You’re a nerd for paper types and ink. What about that do you love, and how does it translate to helping a client find the best solution for their projects?

I love digital projects and experiences, but there is just nothing better then the tactile touch of printed jobs. I think it is very rare now-a-days to have a client want to push the envelope with printing, so when you get the chance you definitely want to make sure it’s an attention grabber. I want to make sure with a budget that a client gives me, they can get the most bang for their buck and do something unexpected and custom but still stay within their dollar amount. I think the clients get to see our passion with the end product and they appreciate that we here at COHN care about the job just as much as they do.

You love video games. Any take-aways from the video game world that can be applied to the ad agency world?

Well if there is one thing that I have learned from many hours playing Resident Evil, pick up clues and pay attention to the details. Or from Super Street Fighter, Ryu’s Hadouken can be an effective finisher from long distance (“Down, Down-Forward, Forward + Punch” 4-Lyfe).

If you could pick one video game to play the rest of your life, what would it be?

Probably the one of the toughest questions I have ever been asked. I am a sucker for retro games and have a very extensive collection, but my true calling in life is FPS games so right now Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is taking the cake. But Halo 5 and the new CoD is coming out in November (hence why I am saving some PTO for release nights!) so I am sure my game of choice will change that month. But, I could write a novel on games I could play for an extensive amount of time… Smash Bros, Zelda, Super Mario 64, Counter-Strike, the list is endless.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

ANIMALS DRESSED AS HUMANS! (F.R.I.E.N.D.S. quote) But my biggest pet peeve would have to be dirty dishes. It is a known fact that, at home or at work, I have to clean a dish as soon as I use it and put it in the dishwasher. While we are on the subject… Loading the dishwasher in an orderly fashion is also a pet peeve of mine. I know people at work have seen me take out all the dishes and load them in the correct way. Round dishes need to be TURTLE DOWN people!

Print or digital and why?

I am a sucker for anything digital with a screen, but I do prefer my projects tactile and smelling like ink 🙂 Whether it is screen printing, dull varnishes or spot gloss, nothing beats the feeling of a finely printed piece in your hand. I will take a brochure over a micro-site any day of the week! Gutenberg > Jobs.

Who’s your favorite designer – either current or old school?

I love classic designers like David Carson, Paul Rand or even Stefan Sagmeister but I want to give some props to some of the new designers out there who are paving the way for the future. One of my favorites right now is Martin Schmetzer from Stockholm. He is a designer and typographer who does some remarkable work and I love to follow him on behanced, instagram and twitter to see his new and amazing projects. Check him out!

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