This week, we interview Charles Herrmann, Senior Designer at Fahrenheit 212.
What do you do at Fahrenheit 212?
I’m a creative/graphic designer/doer. I like to understand people, to understand what make our brains tick, and how to communicate in the most natural and genuine way. I make sure that with all the research and insights we gather, comes something kind and beautiful, that speaks to our minds as well as our souls.
Where do you feel most creative?
On my sofa, behind my drumset, eating nachos, when I take the garbage out… really there’s no magic place. In fact, I feel like thinking that this kind of magic place exists puts pressure on when and how you have to be creative. But it doesn’t work like that really… There’s no predicting when that ‘YES’ moment will occur, all we can do in the meantime is to experience, touch, feel, see, get shocked, excited, angry, sad… at as many things as possible.
Do you have any rituals for the innovation process?
Sort of, -ish… I feel like it’s hard to judge something that comes out of your own mind, it’s like looking at your own child, it’s probably hard to think that it’s ugly (although I have yet to have one of my own… who knows). So every time I make something, I try to imagine what my two life mentors would say about it, to have a sense if the thing/idea is good or needs more work. I think it’s important to have idols, people you look up to… even better if it’s people you know because you can understand them and therefore keep them with you wherever you go.
Where do you call home?
Tough one. I grew up in Paris, lived 3 years in London and now in New York… hard to know where feels like home. By the way did you know that we don’t have a word for ‘home’ in french? We say ‘house’. Entirely different concept, it feels quite strange to have such a strong concept missing from a language, and yet, it’s missing. Definitely evading the question here.
What do you never leave home without?
My two favorite things: music and sarcasm.
When did you first get into the field of innovation?
I’d say right here at Fahrenheit. I’ve been working on somewhat similar projects in London, but it was probably more brand-led than innovation-led. Different approach and method, but the focus stays the same: create genuine, human-centric and emotional things.
What is your go-to reading source?
There are dozens of blogs I visit daily, but when I need inspiration and go into some kind of ‘thinking mode’, I have a go-to album: ‘Moon Ate the Dark’ by… Moon at the Dark. I listen to it each time I want to reflect about something, meditate, write… that’s my only ‘go-to’ thing I can think of.
What is your favorite innovation from the last decade?
I’d say Tinder, I remember a lot of really sweet/awkward/completely random conversations, I like weird human interactions. Although, I recently came across the ‘Soap Bus Ticket’, completely different innovation, but human and sweet as well.
Do you have any side projects, hobbies, or a previous life you would like to share?
After some failed attempts to join bands in NY, I’m now creating my own, I’ve played shows in Paris for 5 years, in London for 2 years, I’m not going to stop now.
What are your go-to podcasts?
I do not have any… It is nearly impossible for me to meaningfully absorb information via sound, I retain everything visually.
What is your greatest life hack?
Be kind, respectful, listen, no seriously, listen, look up, open up, open up some more, say ‘yes’ to everything, don’t be afraid to let your guard down, to let people in, to be humble and try your best. Again, and again, and again.