The DDW Millennial Spotlight – #1

Millennials in San Francisco

Millennials in San Francisco

That’s right. They’re here. Living amongst us. We have a small tribe of 20-somethings running around the office at DDW. They are smack-dab in the middle of the mighty Millennial age range. So what makes this energetic group tick? What do they do on social media? And what do they want out of life? Let’s find out.

First of all, for all of us who are bombarded by the word Millennial on a daily basis, some of this seems pretty over-analyzed. According to, there are about 80 million Millennials (born 1980-2000) in the U.S. alone; to put it another way, they make up some 25% of the U.S. population–and thanks to immigration, they’re a generation that is actually increasing in size. They’re a highly influential population that influences the buying decisions of other demographic cohorts.

At DDW, we study, map, strategize and create brands for Fortune 500 companies on a daily basis so we realize how important it is to have this unique group within our company. It’s also important to observe, listen to and adjust according to their behavior. Our internal brand story work has created a very eye-opening study about these 21st century digital consumers. We’ve found this information to be invaluable as we navigate through the current brand renovation era as the world has begun to focus on this new consumer.


Where did you go to college? Academy of Art University

What did you study? Graphic Design

Where did you grow up? Good ole Dallas, TX

What do you think of this business?  It’s awesome because it’s continually changing. We get to set the standard of what’s cool and what’s not. There are fundamental aspects, but all clients/projects are unique. You’ve got to maintain a motivated/ inspired energy, and that’s what makes it so exciting.

Why San Francisco? This is quite possibly the best city in all of the USA. There’s a constant flow of inspiration throughout that keeps the city alive. But quite honestly, it’s really hard to accurately describe how magical of a city this is. There’s just so much goodness to it.

What do you do in your free time? The hustle and bustle of daily work life has me finding refuge on the sandy shores of Ocean Beach. It’s a great way to unwind and detach from anything stressful. On other days you can most likely find me antique shopping in San Francisco’s most unique thrift stores.

What’s your favorite technology or app? I can’t say I have a favorite. I use Spotify the most, by far. I’ve recently deleted all my social media, except for Snapchat…so maybe that is my favorite.

Uber or Lyft? Uber. Not necessarily by choice. For reasons unknown, Lyft won’t let me create an account.

Social Media Platform of Choice? For sure Snapchat. Following people’s stories/daily lives seems more intriguing than still photos or updates about sitting in still traffic on the commute home.

Favorite band/musician? Really loving Bob Moses at the moment.

Favorite food? Is this even a fair question? I love it all! But who can ever say no to a really good burrito. When it comes to bars/restaurants, ambiance is super important. If the vibe isn’t cool, I probably won’t spend my time or money there.

Are you excited, scared, disgusted re: politics? I try to keep my nose out of politics for the most part. It gets pretty heavy really easily these days. But I do get excited that through the web people can unite more easily and share their ideas more rapidly.

What are YOUR opinions on Millennials? It’s hit or miss. Some are very open and accepting, full of change and forward thinking. Others are more arrogant, slightly unrealistic and not friendly. You can definitely see how drastically different our lives are than even our parents experienced. It’s quite impressive we’ve changed so much in one generation. In general, it’s an interesting experience to be constantly identified as the “target market” for… everything.

Opinions on design trends that you think are in vogue  I’ve always been averse to simple/minimal design. It always feels like something is missing. I hope detailed/vintage/curated design starts making a comeback. I really miss seeing hand crafted brand identities that look more “mom & pop” rather than “globally corporate”. I’d like to see more detailed/grungy design become cool again.


Where did you go to college? I split my collegiate career between University of Colorado and The Academy of Art University

What did you study? Advertising and Graphic Design

Where did you grow up? I moved around quite a bit. I was born in Spokane, Washington but moved quickly to Portland, Oregon where I lived for 4 years. I then moved to Denver, Colorado where I lived for 12 years. Then, in high school, I moved to Los Angeles.

What do you think of this business? The design industry is almost as elusive as the millennial. Every day it seems like something new and groundbreaking comes onto the scene and that forces us to stay current in trends and try to stay ahead of the curve.

Why San Francisco? I’m obsessed with this city. Every day that I live here makes me love it more. San Francisco is a huge melting pot of culture and expression. People work together every day to figure out how we can make the world a better place. We are at the forefront of the birth of new technologies and that is awesome to be so close to. Not to mention, the night life scene here is pretty epic as well. Food? Some of the best I’ve ever eaten. We are spoiled as San Franciscans with the amount of different food options we have in the city.

What do you do in your free time? I’m a big sports nut. When I’m not at work, I’m either playing a sport or watching it. I love being outdoors as well (The Coloradan in me). Riding bikes, taking day trips up to Russian River with my friends, surfing – whatever I can do to stay active and be outside. I’ve been challenging myself to see a lot more live music lately and luckily San Francisco is such a destination that I’ve gotten to see some pretty epic shows out here. And let’s not forget about that night life scene, did I mention that already? Great bars in great neighborhoods, great people as well. Can’t get enough of it.

What’s your favorite technology or app? My favorite app that I use in the city for convenience is without a doubt Lyft. The creation of ride sharing has completely changed the dynamic of going anywhere. I can travel anywhere in the city by simply tapping a button on my phone. I can track my driver and make better use of my time before he/she arrives to pick me up. It speaks to our “millennial-ness” of instant gratification I guess.

Uber or Lyft? Lyft 100%. Not to rag on Uber because they are actually the more successful company, but for me, it’s more about the experience. And Uber seems a little bit more of a modern taxi experience. You sit in the backseat, don’t really talk to the driver, sitting in that awkward silence. Lyft, on the other hand, promotes social interaction. They want you to sit in the front seat and chat about your day. They even sometimes give you that rewarding fist bump. It seems like the overall “motto” of each company is different at its core. Uber seems more like a “Where am I driving you?” business, whereas Lyft is a “Hey buddy, where are we going?” business. That being said, not everyone wants that friendly social experience in a cab and that’s fine. But for me, I dig it.

Social Media Platform of Choice? If I had to pick one, I’d choose Instagram. I like it the most because its purely about posting photos. I get exhausted on Facebook filtering through all of the status updates and endless waves of click bait, whereas Insta has still stayed true to its roots and is more about photography. Snapchat kind of lost me after it started integrating news and articles in the story sections of my feed.

Favorite band/musician? I guess my favorite band would have to be 311. My musical taste was largely influenced by my family road trips. My dad took control of the DJ station in the front seat and whatever CD he wanted to listen to, we listened to. Luckily he owned a couple 311 CDs in his vast collection of mostly drowned out hippy jam band music.

Don’t know that I have one single favorite band or musician. I’m fairly open to any music and I enjoy discovering new artists.

Favorite food? We all know this one, I’m a fried chicken sandwich machine. If I had to choose the best? Probably from 4505 Meats.

Are you excited, scared, disgusted re: politics etc.? I’m pretty worried about the political fiasco we find ourselves in today. This is really the first election I started paying close attention to, and let me tell you. We are in for an interesting four years. I don’t really like either candidate to be honest, but I will do all that I can to prevent Satan I mean Trump from getting into office. South Park ironically encapsulated the situation of this election perfectly in an episode where they are voting for a new school mascot. Who would you rather choose? A giant douche or a turd sandwich?

What are YOUR opinions on Millennials? I feel like the definition of a Millennial has changed so much that now I don’t even know what it is (even though I am one). Originally, it was the name of my generation, but now since EVERYONE is marketing towards the millennial I feel like it’s a life stage more than a title. It’s now something you can age out of. Unfortunately, I do think we as Millennials are ruining culture in the world. Technology definitely has its hand in the destruction as well, but us Millennials are frying our brains with it. We are so accustomed now to getting everything we want in a moments notice, that the idea of patience is quickly becoming obsolete. Convenience has become a cornerstone to being a Millennial and that mindset can be scary. So how do I feel about them? I’ll get back to you on that when I’m no longer one.

Opinions on design trends that you think are in vogue? I really like this vintage modern rebirth that’s going on in design right now. We are going back to the days where it really meant something when you made it by hand. I’m a type nerd and I just can’t get enough of some really well done hand drawn typography. Designers are bringing back these vintage themes and practices and applying them to packaging/design in modern ways, which is so refreshing to see.

Stay tuned for the next DDW Millennial Spotlight…