Employer Spotlight: Ammunition
Since 2007, Ammunition has been dedicated to bringing products and services that matter to market. The versatile company specializes in physical and digital product design, service design, brand identity, user experience, graphic design and packaging. To date, they have done work for major companies like Lyft, Polaroid, UNICEF, Beats by Dre, and Adobe among others. Whether they're doing work for high-profile clients or small startups, the team at Ammunition brings a high level of inspiration and creativity to every project. Currently the company is hiring for two positions in their San Francisco office, so we asked VP of Marketing Sara Munday about what it's like to work at Ammunition and what it takes to ace a job interview.
Tell us about what it's like to work at your company.
Sara Munday: We're a relatively small team of 55 people between our studios in San Francisco and Brooklyn. We're a close knit group, and that comes from not being very hierarchical. An intern is expected to bring great ideas to the table as much as a senior level designer. We also have a diverse team, with designers from Asia, Europe and the US. That mixture of personalities and backgrounds helps to bring unique perspectives to our work.
Can you give us some background on Ammunition and maybe shed some light on what makes it unique?
Ammunition was founded in 2007 by industrial designer Robert Brunner. Today, we're known for our work for companies like Beats by Dr. Dre, Lyft, Polaroid, Square, and UNICEF. What makes us unique is our approach to designing not just the product, but the experience that surrounds it. To do this, we have a team that combines expertise in physical and digital product design, service design, brand identity, user experience, graphic design, and packaging.
Are there any recent notable projects the company is particularly proud of?
We've been fortunate to work with Lyft over the last few years, and recently launched its next generation in-car icon, the Lyft Amp. It's a connected device that creates a better ride experience for drivers and passengers. Amp has an exterior facing screen with multicolored LEDs that can be matched to the color a passenger sees on their app to help make pick-ups faster and safer, especially at night. An interior screen greets drivers by name when they start their shift, and welcomes passengers by name when they start their ride. All of this helps to create a more personal, human experience.
Another notable project is the UNICEF Kid Power Band, a durable, kid-friendly wearable for good. Using the band, kids go on missions to learn about new cultures and earn points. The points are in turn converted into funding from partner organizations, parents and fans. Funds are used by UNICEF to deliver packets of therapeutic food to severely malnourished children around the world.
We also continue to work with Polaroid and recently announced their newest instant digital printing camera, the Polaroid Pop. The camera brings back the fun of the beloved 3x4" sized classic Polaroid print with the iconic white borders. The Pop will be out towards the end of the year.
What positions are you currently hiring for?
We currently have two positions open on our Visual Design team - senior designer and an intern. But we're always happy to accept portfolios even if we don't have an opening listed, so we encourage people to apply.
What do you look for right away in candidates?
When we meet with candidates, we're looking to see a portfolio that demonstrates wide-ranging concept exploration, innovative solutions, and a clear process. In addition to the portfolio, designers will ideally have strong oral, visual and written communication skills - they should be able to clearly articulate their work.
If someone does land an interview with your company, what do you think is the best thing he or she can do to prepare?
Spending some time with Ammunition's website beforehand is always a good idea. Our work and leadership define our studio. Taking time to become familiar with what we do and who we are can serve to inform the ultimate question of how a candidate can add value to the team and vice versa. We also want candidates to come prepared to present a point of view and articulate it well.
What is your favorite question to ask in an interview?
The interview is an opportunity for us to ask questions that help us really get to know the candidate. We want to listen to them present their work, get a sense of what they're passionate about, how they approach and solve a problem. We want to get an understanding of a person's interests and who they are as an individual.
Employers often ask potential new hires if they have any questions at the end of the interview. What's the weirdest thing you've been asked?
We're a pretty eccentric group, so weird questions aren't a problem. What we do find weird is when a candidate doesn't take the opportunity to ask questions in an interview. That's their chance to learn more about our team, our culture, and our work.