Inside Qonto

“A good Brand Designer is someone who is always eager to learn.”

June 18, 2020 by Arthur Froger

1. What is your background before you started at Qonto? (Studies, professional experiences etc)

I studied at the Institute of Internet and Multimedia in the Visual Communication section, where I graduated with a Master's degree in Graphic Communication Management. This course instilled in me the desire to innovate, acquire entrepreneurial skills, and develop my creativity by drawing from a number of disciplines (3D, video games, graphics, etc.).

This experience opened my mind, and also pushed me to co-found, during my studies, a SaaS startup. Its goal was to help companies streamline their business processes.

At the same time, I worked in major Parisian communication agencies such as Publicis Consultants and Nurun, where I learned the job of Digital Art Director, mentored by talented people.

I then decided to join a smaller company to have more impact in my work.

But in the end, although different in size, these agencies asked me to do the same job, that is to say: create and execute creative digital concepts for brands to solve their brand awareness or conversion issues.

2. Why did you join Qonto?

I had heard about Qonto through some friends who are also designers and I was an admirer of the app's design, in a financial sector that is not known for being at the cutting edge of design.

During my first job interview, I had also sensed a great corporate culture, with strong values supported by all the teams. 

Finally, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and be part of a growing international environment.

3. What aspect from your recruitment process impacted you the most?

What impressed me was the quality of the meetings. Whether it was my discussion with Tanguy, my recruiter, or my meeting with the Designers and especially Mike, I felt a rigour and accuracy in their questions and reflections that really confirmed my choice and gave me the desire to interact and evolve with them on a daily basis. I could already feel I would learn a lot from people with this state of mind.

4. What moment stood out from your onboarding at Qonto?

When I arrived at Qonto, I had one week dedicated to my onboarding process, without starting any production tasks. I thought it was pretty smart and well paced. It helped me to understand the organization, to take the time to familiarize myself with my job, and to start getting to know my new colleagues.

But it was during my second week at Qonto that I was surprised by the meticulousness and quality of the onboarding process.

Indeed, I was given only one type of task (making illustrations) for 2 days. Then, I was asked to start the creation of a block design for a few landing pages on our website. Finally, they asked me to think about creating a template for our Social Media Ads, etc... After only 15 days at Qonto, I had touched the whole palette of the Brand Designer!

This way of thinking incrementally, like a pianist learning his scales, gave me the proof that I had joined a truly special company which cares first about people’s improvement in order to get better results in the end.

5. Can you define your role of Brand Designer at Qonto?

In one word, I'm responsible for Qonto’s visual identity. If, as Branding expert Marty Neumeier says, "Branding is a person's gut feeling about a product or service. It's not what YOU say it is, it is what THEY say it is", then my role is to create a brand universe that people can identify with and to create a bond of trust between Qonto and the user.

This is for the framework. 

On a day-to-day basis, I aim at this objective through several levers:

  • by improving Qonto's brand awareness in France and in Europe through the creation of online/offline communication campaigns
  • by building creative concepts and high-impact visuals based on the data collected and the problem identified with the Growth/Marketing teams
  • by being responsible for the design guidelines and by ensuring its respect and consistency on all supports
  • by assisting in the recruitment of staff and the management of freelancers

6. What qualities does a Brand Designer need to have?

For me, a good Brand Designer is above all someone who is passionate and curious, and who is always eager to learn. This job evolves at such a speed and touches so many different disciplines that you have to be in a continuous improvement process. 

The second key element is the ability to be clear about your own productivity. The important thing is not to know if you're going to be very fast at producing a task, but rather to be clear about how long it will take, so that you can communicate it with the teams and work at the same pace.

In fact, the people who are promoted here are often those who are the most advanced in their conscious set of skills.

At Qonto, a good Brand Designer is also someone who is clear about what he/she can't do.

7. If you had to sum up your daily life in 2 sentences at Qonto in the Design team?

We have a daily meeting every morning during which we talk about what we did the day before and identify the problems we encountered. Then I work on my current project, sometimes punctuated by Design reviews requested by other Brand or Product Designers; as mentioned above, the projects are very varied and touch on many different areas, which enables me to collaborate with many teams.

8. What is your biggest challenge and/or success as a Brand Designer?

My biggest success/challenge was, before Mathieu's arrival (our Head of Design), having to help recruit Designers, create and maintain a freelance pool and divide their work, create the Pitch Deck Design to raise €104M... all while supporting the production demands of the Growth/Marketing teams without losing quality, in a period of strong growth at Qonto.

9. Among the 4 Qonto core values (Ambition, Mastery, Teamwork, Integrity) which one speaks to you the most and why?

I will cheat and answer Mastery and Teamwork, because the two are intimately linked in Qonto.

Mastery because I like the mechanical, incremental, almost Japanese approach to learning at Qonto. Just like a top sportsman who will repeat the same gestures over and over again to develop his skills, we are taking inspiration from this and create our own working method, The Qonto Way, to develop experience and business expertise. For connoisseurs, the film Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a beautiful allegory of what we do at Qonto.

Teamwork because, although it seems to be a term used by all startups, it has a different flavour at Qonto. A very concrete example: when a team member finishes a task, before starting a new topic, he will pair up with a colleague to help him finish his own task. This implies that the task has to be broken down into subtasks beforehand so that the work can be separated and work in pairs, which echoes the Mastery value mentioned above of knowing exactly how much work is needed for a given task.

10. If you had to give a message to future Qonto candidates?

If you focus on being in an intellectually stimulating environment, striving for excellence, with strong values focused on continuous improvement, respect for others and the client, and teamwork, now is the right time to join Qonto. We have a lot of open positions!

11. Do you have a quirky or fun story to share with us since you joined Qonto?

During one of our team-building events during our last “Off Site” in Palermo, we were asked to bring back a typical souvenir. One of the teams bought a head of swordfish at the local market and proudly showed it off throughout the weekend, not to mention the smell! Since then, the swordfish emoji has been in full swing on Slack. Best memory 😂

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