Five in Five with Chris Graver, Associate Creative Director

Chris Graver is someone we can safely deem a “design nerd.” A walking Pinterest board, so to speak. Armed with an expansive network of inspirations, he tackles every client project with seemingly inexhaustible enthusiasm.

The associate creative director took the Five in Five* hot seat to tell us what propelled him into his creative career, how he keeps up with the latest in film and music, and what being a father of three kids under the age of eight has taught him.

Why did you choose a career in design?

I was always creative, but in high school I got my hands on a computer and figured out what you could do and I loved it. I was tracking down copies of Photoshop and cracking software codes just so I could design. Trying those different things inspired me to pursue it further.

So can we assume you weren’t a jock in high school?

I was going to play hockey but I chose to get a job at 14 because I wanted money to buy graphic tees and albums.

What kind of albums were you drawn to?

When I started, I chose records by the covers. I’d cash my checks and walk down to the record store and try to find the next thing. Without even listening to something, I’d buy it for the aesthetics and hope something good was inside.

Speaking of the next thing, you always seem to have your finger on the pulse. What are the habits that help you stay in tune with trends?

It doesn’t matter what it is—music, movies, design—I’m the type of person that always pulls at the thread. I try to go deeper and find whoever I’m admiring and what their influences are. If I’m watching a movie, I might think ‘this is really cool, where did that style come from?’ I research what was influencing the director, and then I discover massive amounts of new things. I recommend endless curiosity to everyone. I geek out about geeking out.

You’re a proud parent of three young kids. What’s a lesson you’ve learned from fatherhood?

That things are constantly changing. When you’re a father, you start to see how short the various phases are in your kids’ lives, and that they completely change every few months. That really applies to life, too. Often you just need to get through the phase, handle it, and don’t get too bogged down, because before you know it, it will all change.

*Five in Five is where we ask our colleagues five questions in five minutes. Disclaimer: It may have taken us (way) longer than five minutes to have the conversation. But it shouldn’t take you longer than five minutes to read it, so we think it still counts.