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Interview 005: Graphic Designer & Founder of Sica Design & Consultancy

Design your life, we'll design the rest.

Welcome to our first interview series where we will be getting to know creative professionals and entrepreneurs from different fields. They all have one thing in common, using BRINN to work smarter, not harder.

sica design co

Brian Sica uses the Jozii Reflective backpack by Brinn for work and travel.


When did you know that you wanted a career in design?

I realized in High School. Even in my art class, most of my work that I was painting always had a digital aspect to it anyway. When I took my first simple photoshop class in high school, it all just seemed like a perfect fit. I was into tech and art and I had found my creative outlet.


Was there ever doubts that a career in design wouldn’t work or was there a back up career?

Not really. Once I realized that was what I wanted to do, I put it in my head that was the only thing I was going to do. I only applied to Montclair University and only applied to the Design program there. So I guess if I needed a back-up, it would have had to be community college then figure it out but luckily I got in after the interview and the rest is history. I just didn’t give myself another choice really.

Sica Design Co


What was your very first job ever?

Pizza! Taking phone orders, putting pizzas in the oven and bussing tables at what used to be Joseph’s pizza in Jackson, NJ.


Do you have any takeaways from it?

Don’t be afraid to work. I was 16 when I started, it was right before I had gotten my driver’s license and I just wanted to go out with my friends on the weekends but I couldn’t just call out. Weekends especially are busy days for restaurants so it just taught me to not be afraid to work hard and you really aren’t missing much anyway. I think working in the restaurant industry is essential for learning how to be in a fast paced environment, customer service and it helps with your memory as well.



So, the transition from a 9-5 to an independent work life has been a somewhatrecent transition for you. What has been the most rewarding thing about that transition?

Making my own schedule has been the most rewarding thing. There are so many things throughout your day that you can’t accomplish when you are, for lack of a better term, chained to your desk. Even if it is something as simple as going to the beach for my lunch break. The freedom to make my own schedule has been great.


And the most challenging?

Selling yourself. I know what I’m capable of and what I can provide to brands and companies but I don’t like being pushy. The more I’ve been learning that about myself though, I try to go into proposal meetings more prepared and know what I am going to say when the conversation may lean towards a certain direction.

Jozii Backpack Brinn

Brian removes the interior compartments of his BRINN to fit his everyday work essentials comfortably while utilizing the pockets on the straps for his credit card and a lighter. 


Did you have an “I’m ready” moment that made you leave your job?


Going into the job, you know the skill set is there and obviously you always want to keep learning and improving. It’s not that I couldn’t design when I started but I had no idea what the business end of it was and I don’t think that’s something you could learn without working for a company or being forced to figure it out yourself which is the much more challenging route. That was my biggest takeaway from the job - seeing proposals and seeing how my boss spoke with and handled clients and seeing his trials and tribulations, not that I am not going to screw up and make some of the same mistakes. It’s just nice to learn from someone who has been through it, as a mentor. That was huge for me. Those 5 years of experience and becoming comfortable with the business end of it were all building up to my “I’m ready” moment. It wasn’t so much an Aha moment as it was that I finally felt confident that I could do this for myself now.


So, people often like to celebrate the founder or the brand, but it is important to remember the artists like you who are playing such an integral role in helping to take the brands you work with to the next step. You made our new website and the response we’ve had in less than a month since we’ve launched it has been amazing. Can you tell us a bit about the different roles you play for your clients?

It’s funny, my buddy Kiy who I’ve been doing work for for what feels like forever, I’ve always been known as “behind the scenes B” to everyone at his offices. I would always be there and people never really knew what I did. Someone thought I was a tattoo artist because of all of my tattoos. Sometimes people don’t realize the network that I have or the process of my work. I do the sketching, I do the consumer research and user experience. The back end stuff is just as important as the pretty front end stuff that most people see. Beyond making something look good, it’s the experience behind it all and the user flow. The psychology behind the way a website works is something that the average person isn’t thinking of. I’m bringing along my network and skill to give you an end product that I know you will be happy with.


Can you talk a little bit more about the psychology behind the way a website works?

To me, titles don’t really matter. I consider myself a designer, period. But at my old job, my title was User Experience & User Interface Designer so for example, people read left to right so we are going to place this button here on the left because they are going to see it first and draw their eye to click it. Certain colors make people feel a certain way. Purple makes people want to spend more, it a color representative of royalty. Its those details that go into the making of client’s sites to help them reach their goals. 

sica design co brinn


Who are the types of clients you like to work with?

While everyone likes the big company because it looks cool on your resume and portfolio, I love working with start-ups. I’ve had the chance to work with Fortune 500 organizations at my old job and we also got to work with start-ups as well. I enjoy working with start-ups because I like branding the whole company. I like being able to put my vision into a company, making them believers and giving them a brand voice. Starting from the bottom gives you more creative freedom to drive the brand in the direction they want to go while giving them your vision. I enjoy tech clients, I haven’t had a ton of luxury consumer products besides Brinn although I do a ton of work for Nitro Beverage Co. I guess I enjoy working with more Business to Consumer than Business to Business.


Being able to truly follow along with brands is still a fairly new thing due to social media. Do you think social media has played a positive role in showing how important web design, graphic design, branding and marketing really are to captivate your audience?

Yes and No. It’s a double edge sword. You do get those scammers or fly by night self-taught designers. I am not opposing being self-taught at all. If you can teach yourself that is totally cool but both of those can hurt business for other professionals. On the other hand, there are a lot of really cool small design studios and designers that I respect and admire that I only know because of Instagram. It’s really cool to be able to follow along with those designers and get inspiration and references. Social media in general is a double edge sword. I’m grateful it is there to access and get inspiration from but I wish it was used more for that sole purpose sometimes.


There are so many aspects and elements to design. Can you shed some light on what your favorite parts of design are?

I am going to go with two extremes here and say the initial sketching and the final product. Initial sketching is always fun because there are so many sessions where I have no idea what is going to go down on that piece of paper. It can be tough sometimes but other times you have those Aha moments where you know, this is it. Then you just have to hope that is the option the client goes with. The other extreme point is that end product. Showing it to the client, especially one who may have been having trouble seeing your vision at first. Showing them the end product and getting to witness them seeing the functionality of it all and getting compliments on it. Those are the best parts of the job.

jozii reflective brinn


As artists, we are constantly pulling inspiration from everywhere, often sub consciously. Where do you find yourself pulling inspiration from?

I pull a lot of inspiration just from my surroundings. I try to surround myself with like minded people, whether they are artists, creatives or just anyone that seems to have something about them that is really inspiring. In addition to that, I keep design books around. Old vintage tattoo stuff, that is such a cool, creative art form that is so crazy to me. You can’t hit an erase button or control Z on something like that. That has always really inspired me. Honestly, everyday life and old school design and typography. If you walk around NYC, you see the most beautiful graffiti then you see old art deco and bauhaus design or sick numbers engraved into marble, how do they even do that? It’s all everyday random stuff like that that makes the world such a beautiful place and makes me want to design something beautiful to add to it.


Dream client and what exactly would you do for them?

There’s always been something about Nike. Maybe even designing a sneaker for them instead of a website. That would be the coolest thing. All the risks that they take with their marketing and that they stick behind their values no matter what plus all of the iconic athletes they’ve worked with their, it’s all amazing. They were able to infiltrate skateboarding by getting some of the best skaters to wear they’re sneaker which ended up being a great skate sneaker. I’m reading “Shoe Dog” (a memoir by Nike Co-Founder, Phil Knight) right now. It is awesomely written and super inspiring. I never really knew the story of Nike before. I highly recommend it.


What does designing your life mean to you?

It means taking control of your life. Don’t rely on luck. In my eyes, luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Don’t think you are lucky in doing things, live your life the way you want to, be respectful and be creative. Keep an open mind and take control of your life as much as you can. Remember, anything out of your control is going to happen anyway. 


Brian Sica is the founder and head designer of the Sica Design Co. Before starting SDCo. in early 2018, Sica had 5+ years experience working for a design agency in technology, marketing and advertising sectors. While his main focus is on branding, web design, and eCommerce store development, he is still heavily involved in user-experience/user-interface design, marketing, video, and print projects. Sica received his BFA concentrated in Graphic Design from Montclair State University in 2013.

For more on Brian, visit and follow along with his journey and new work @sicadesignco on Instagram. 



1 Comment

  • So interesting and such an insight on a creative’s mind!

    Norma on

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