If the signs weren’t telling—tortoiseshell rounded frames, casual button-ups, and snazzy socks—Ray is a designer. He works in Thumbtack’s extended office space in SOMA, lovingly named The Loft. Stationed snugly to one corner of the office, you’ll find him with the Studio Marketing Team—an assembly of creatives who help build Thumbtack’s marketing and branding.
It’s not hard to get acquainted with the man behind the glasses. Take a quick glance at Ray’s desk and you’ll get a good snapshot. Japanese novelty plush dolls. A picture of his Insta-famous dog, Brie. And next to them, of course, his Wacom tablet.
Ray attended Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida, where—unrelated to circus performance—he learned graphic and interactive communications. After moving to the Bay Area, he started working in tech, including one notable company: PayPal. In 2015, Ray landed at Thumbtack.
He notes the benefits of joining to a medium-sized company like Thumbtack, commenting, “I like that I’m working with a young brand and I’m able to see the impact I’m making.” He’s one of three designers on the Studio Marketing team who create assets for branding, editorial, the website, email, and more. And with such a tight-knit team, Ray has a sizable voice in shaping Thumbtack’s visual brand identity. “Figuring our visual styles and visual languages is the most fun thing about working here. And right now, we’re finding what works best for us.”
There’s great, spirited collaboration that takes place within the Studio Marketing team. They meet together in rooms filled with sticky notes, whiteboards, and tackboards splashed with ideas from several running projects. It’s an opportunity for Ray (as well as others) to empower each other creatively.
Julia, who works with Ray on social media content, says, “He makes you feel like every project is really important, no matter what you’re working on.” She adds, “And he’s not afraid to challenge your ideas, either.”
Most recently, Ray designed the company’s Top Pro program—a way to recognize and celebrate Thumbtack’s most dedicated professionals. Ray emphasizes how important it is to create a brand identity that’s authentic and empowering to our pros.
The Top Pro badge, a stamp that appears on professionals’ profiles, was designed with this empowerment in mind. He comments, “I wanted to make sure it feels coveted, but not unattainable. It can’t be so polished that it feels out of reach.”
It’s the great designer’s dance at Thumbtack—striking the perfect balance between great design and relevance, a balance Ray diligently pursues with every push of the pixel.