Orange Element Design

Interview with Aaron Moore, Principal + Creative Director

Orange Element is a design and communications firm based in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 2003, Orange Element focuses on ID development, branding systems and custom-designed solutions for clients’ services, products and events.

Recent work for US Peace Corps

Q: What positions are you currently recruiting for?

A: Employment- Web Developers, Project Managers, Writers

Internships- Entry-level Designers, Marketing

How would you describe your workplace?

Orange Element is located in historic Fells Point, in an historic, pre-civil war renovated row home. Our office is inviting, and complete with open work spaces, conference areas, full kitchen, lounge and pin ball machine. It’s spacious for our small staff and easy to spread out and enjoy time to think about our clients projects and their needs.

Recent work for US Peace Corps
Recent work for US Peace Corps

What makes a good designer?

A good designer is able to solve problems by looking through the lens of an intended recipient. She/he validates decisions based on more than just subjectivity, and more easily allows one to dismiss improper solutions.
When practicing this “removal of self”, focus is solely placed on creating a unique and inspirational solution for client needs.

What are you looking for in a portfolio?

Thinking from start to finish. I like to see concepts (even sketches), execution, and attention to details (including typography!)

Confidence in every piece. Do not show me a piece that is explained with “I really don’t like this piece because the class/client/design team changed the…”  If you have to show it, focus on the parts that you do like or don’t bother…

Focus on niche. Make sure your portfolio is built w/ pieces that leverage your best work in the area of your best interest. Skip showing every area of 1st year elective course work. We don’t need to see your figure drawings unless you’re prepared to validate that decision to show us.


Maryland Film Festival poster
Maryland Film Festival poster


Name three things that someone can do to get on your radar:

  1. Send me an email w/ resume and samples or link to site
  2. Do not send me a “To whom it concerns” email. It is way too easy for us to find names on the ‘interweb’ and this is a surefire way to kill a recipients interest as it shows sender doesn’t care enough to do homework. I glaze over with these emails quickly.
  3. Use creativity but don’t get gimmicky. A resume should show up clean and functional. Use other vehicles if you want to make an impact.

Name three things someone should NEVER do in an interview:

  1. Never present your work without facing it towards your reviewer! Make sure to face your work towards the person/people to whom you are presenting. Too many times we have had designers shyly thumb through their work without stopping to think we might actually want to see it.
  2. Do not show a piece that you hate. We’ll know it and you won’t give good body language when presenting it.
  3. Go into your interview with questions. It leads to conversation!

Any words of wisdom for MICA’s class of 2009?

Work hard. Be passionate. Don’t get caught up in technology to the point where you do not give conceptual analysis and development the time it requires and deserves. Do not tinker, dilly or dally.

Thanks to Aaron Moore for his insights. We look forward to seeing Orange Element at MICA’s Internship and Career Fair on April 3, 2009.

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