Blog

Team Spotlight: Design Director – Tom Underwood

Introducing our Design Director, Tom Underwood

We sat down for an interview with our very talented, creative and funny Design Director, Tom underwood, to learn more about his role at Crowdz and what motivates his design.

What are some highlights from your professional background?

  • I’ve had the pleasure of working with some incredibly talented teams. These people have been kind enough to let me play in their sandboxes and I’m a better person for it. Awards come and go, and they are nice, but the people are always the highlight for me.

Why was Crowdz a match for you?

  • A majority of my experience has been with start-ups so I’m used to the fast pace, the chaos, CEOs under pressure, the ever-changing landscape. But most of all I’m addicted to the idea of incubating new ideas and creating something entirely new. The innovative vibe of a start-up is like nothing else.

What’s your role?

  • With all my past companies I went in with a mixed bag of tricks but would soon be requisitioned by R&D or engineering or marketing or as running special projects for executive management. Originally, I came on as a creative resource but have since shifted into more product design…I think CFO might be next.

What are some of the hats you wear (known or unknown)?

  • Product design
  • Creative direction
  • UI/UX design
  • Mediator
  • Arbitrator
  • Therapist

Why were you interested in working with Crowdz?

  • Actually didn’t know what Crowdz was initially…Kevin Hopkins needed some help with an oddly spelled crowd buying application. They needed a pair of outside eyes to look things over and help refine what they had developed so far.

What makes Crowdz unique?

  • We’re pioneering new territory. The idea of invoice auctions isn’t new, however, technology has advanced to a point that it makes the auction more of a tantalizing prospect. There’s also the chance to do something that has some longevity. I look back on the companies I have worked for and most of what was developed is now obsolete. Tech has a very short lifespan, we aim to be an exception.

What is the future for Crowdz

  • World domination…obviously.

Bonus Round:

What’s one fun fact we don’t know about you?

  • I lived on the Navajo reservation for a couple of years and can speak a little lingo…very little…

If you could choose anyone as your mentor, who would you pick?

  • O wow…maybe Jony Ive, ex-Apple Chief Design Officer

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

  • Scuba diving cleaning boat bottoms

If you could learn anything what would it be?

  • To drum-like Neil Peart

What is the first concert you attended?

  • Blood, Sweat, and Tears with David Clayton Thomas…super loud

If you have 30-minutes of free time how do you pass the time?

  • I don’t even know what that is….

Anything to add that might be interesting:

Originally started out as a California Registered Landscape Architect and worked on some very cool projects. The largest private Japanese garden in California, The 4 acre Naiman Center.  The rooftop gardens at the Jakarta Hyatt Regency. Also Isuzu Corporate Headquarters, Pioneer Electronics, Singer/Songwriter Jewel’s corporate retreat as well as the Del Mar Country Club and Rancho Santa Fe Farms Golf Club.

During a downturn in the building industry and the need for my talents as an architect, a colleague, Kevin Hopkins, invited me on board to do some visual design work for a company called Creative Learning Systems, an educational environment design company.  There I cut my chops on digital video production with blue and green screens, animation, UI interface design for robotics, animatronics, and remote camera control as well as crafting marketing and learning content. I was also involved in designing corporate training environments down to the furnishings.

My time at CLS provided a springboard into the world of tech start-ups where I got to work on Affinity Marketing platforms,  Mobile media apps, mobile interfaces, online applications, music players. One of my favorites was working for Brickfish where I worked to develop a UGC powered campaign platform where brands could harness the creativity of the masses. One such campaign asked consumers to design a bag for Coach. The winning design was produced by Coach and sold nation-wide. But what’s cool is that I also got to create campaigns for:

6PM.com

ABC

A&E

Acura

Acuvue

ADT

Advil

AeroMexico

Alamo

ALDO

American Living

ancestry.com

AOL

Aqua Fresh

Arbys

ASUS

Athenos

ATT

Austrian Tourist Office

Autodesk

Avis

AXE

Babelgum

Baby Blues

BAF

Barbie

Bare Escentuals

Barilla

Baskin Robbins

Battacuda

Betty Crocker

BF Goodrich

Bing

Blackstone Group

Black Sabbath

Bluefly

Boost Mobile

Bose

Brawny

Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign

Britney Spears

Butterfinger

Canon

Campbells

Car & Driver Cargill

Carl’s Jr.

Chamberlain DIY

Chicos

Chobani

Circulon

Cole Haan

Coleman

CNN

Coke

Cokeville Miracle

Coldwell Banner

Coleman

Columbia Records

Conair

Conduce

Colgate

Cord Blood Registry

Corona

Crestor

Crocs

Crystal Light

CyberSight

Cougartown

David’s Bridal

DAWN

Dell

Delta Dental

Dexter

Diet Coke

Die Hard

Discount Tire

Discovery Channel

Discover Boating

Dish Network

DIY Food Network

DKNY

Doubleday Grisham

Dove

Dove/Ocado

Dr Dre beats

Dr Pepper

Earnst & Young

Ebay

Elizabeth Arden

Estee Lauder

Extreme Makeover

Energizer

Equifax

ESPN

Estee Lauder

Exel Realty Trust

Express

FAFSA

Fanta

Flatworld

FLO TV

Folgers

Food Network

FOM

Ford Fiesta

Ford Focus

Fosters

GAP

Garmin

Glade

GMC

GLOTO

Golden Spoon

Google

Go Pro

Graco

Green Giant

Guess

Guiness

Gym Class Heros

Halls

Hamburger Helper

Harley Davidson

Havianas

HBO

Heinz

Herbal Essence

Honda Odyssey

Hotel Park City

HP

Humana

iBiquity

IE 8

IE 9

IKEA

Incubis

Intuit

iPhone

iTV

iVillage

Jack in the Box

JC Penney

J Crew

Jello

Jimmy John’s

Juicy Couture

Just Fabulous

Kaplan

Kashi

KC Wines

Kids

Kelloggs

Kenneth Cole

Keurig

KIA

Killian’s Pub

Kodak

Kohls

Kontera

Kraft

Lady Gaga

Lane Bryant

Le Creuset

LensCrafters

Levis

Lexmark

Levolor

LG

Lindt

Lipton

Lord & Taylor

Lysol

MAC cosmetics

MacDonalds

Macy’s

Makeup Forever

Mammoth Mountain

Man vs Food

Marriott

Marvel – X-men

Marvel Avengers

Mashable

Maybeline

Mazda RX8

Mazda Speed 3

Mazda 5

Mentos

MetLife

Mexico Travel

Microsoft

Mini Cooper

Miranda Lambert

Montreal Visitors Bureau

Mother Nature Network

Motrin

Mountain Dew

MTV

Narnia

National Geographic

NBA

NBC

Nike

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Neiman Marcus

NewsUp

Nexus

NFL

NHL

Nickelodeon

Nike

Nissan

Nivea

NoozWeb

NOX

Nutrisystem

New York Times

Odwalla

Office Depot

Old El Paso

Old Navy

Olive Garden

Bunny Touch

Organic

PacketVideo

Palm

PAM

Pampers

Panasonic

Pantene

Paramount

Paula Abdul

PayPal

PediaLax

Pepsi

Philips

Pistachios

Planet Explore

Playtex

Polaris

Popeyes

Publix

Purina

Price Waterhouse Cooper

Procter & Gamble

Quaker Oats

QVC

Rachel Ray

Ramada Inn

Rayban

Raytheon

Red Bull

Red Diamond

Reebok

Revlon

Rocawear

ROXY

Rubios

Sabin Holdings

Samsung

Sanborns

Sauza

Secreteando (Telemundo)

Schick

Sears

Secret

Shaklee

Showtime

Shutterfly

Silk Soy Milk

Simpsons

Six Flags

Smashbox

Snapfish

Sony

Souplantation

Sports Authority

Sprint

Starbucks

Steve Madden

Subaru

Success Magazine

Sugarland

Surfrider Foundation

Syfy channel

Target

T Boone Pickens

Telemundo

TevaPharma

TGI Fridays

The Limited

There North Face

Timberland

T Mobile

Tommy Hilfiger

Tory Burch

Totinos

Toyota

Tractor Supply Company

Travel Channel

Travelocity

Tresemme

Trojan

TrueBlood

TV Guide

Tylenol

UCLA

Ulta

Universal

UpperDeck

UPS Store

USO

U Sports

Valspar

VH1

Victory Motorcycles

Virgin America

Vonage

Walgreens

Walmart

Wanchai Ferry

Wasa

Waterpik

White Castle

Wyndham

XBOX

YouTube

Zagg

I then was stolen away by Gloto Corp. who was developing an ad generating platform where interactive ads could be composed and published in minutes rather than days.  We took a very complex technology made it simple enough so entry-level staff could, on their own, successfully create and publish ads in multiple formats in minutes. We used this platform in-house to build interactive ads for:

NBA

SyFy Channel

Turner Broadcasting

Red Bull

Telemundo

Revlon

Tresemme’

Target

Wyndham Hotels

Marvel

USA channel

And then Crowdz happened…

For more with Tom Underwood watch our team video 5 Questions with the Crowdz Team.

By Tom Underwood

February 28, 2020

Share this article

Blog

Team Spotlight: Design Director – Tom Underwood

Introducing our Design Director, Tom Underwood

We sat down for an interview with our very talented, creative and funny Design Director, Tom underwood, to learn more about his role at Crowdz and what motivates his design.

What are some highlights from your professional background?

  • I’ve had the pleasure of working with some incredibly talented teams. These people have been kind enough to let me play in their sandboxes and I’m a better person for it. Awards come and go, and they are nice, but the people are always the highlight for me.

Why was Crowdz a match for you?

  • A majority of my experience has been with start-ups so I’m used to the fast pace, the chaos, CEOs under pressure, the ever-changing landscape. But most of all I’m addicted to the idea of incubating new ideas and creating something entirely new. The innovative vibe of a start-up is like nothing else.

What’s your role?

  • With all my past companies I went in with a mixed bag of tricks but would soon be requisitioned by R&D or engineering or marketing or as running special projects for executive management. Originally, I came on as a creative resource but have since shifted into more product design…I think CFO might be next.

What are some of the hats you wear (known or unknown)?

  • Product design
  • Creative direction
  • UI/UX design
  • Mediator
  • Arbitrator
  • Therapist

Why were you interested in working with Crowdz?

  • Actually didn’t know what Crowdz was initially…Kevin Hopkins needed some help with an oddly spelled crowd buying application. They needed a pair of outside eyes to look things over and help refine what they had developed so far.

What makes Crowdz unique?

  • We’re pioneering new territory. The idea of invoice auctions isn’t new, however, technology has advanced to a point that it makes the auction more of a tantalizing prospect. There’s also the chance to do something that has some longevity. I look back on the companies I have worked for and most of what was developed is now obsolete. Tech has a very short lifespan, we aim to be an exception.

What is the future for Crowdz

  • World domination…obviously.

Bonus Round:

What’s one fun fact we don’t know about you?

  • I lived on the Navajo reservation for a couple of years and can speak a little lingo…very little…

If you could choose anyone as your mentor, who would you pick?

  • O wow…maybe Jony Ive, ex-Apple Chief Design Officer

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

  • Scuba diving cleaning boat bottoms

If you could learn anything what would it be?

  • To drum-like Neil Peart

What is the first concert you attended?

  • Blood, Sweat, and Tears with David Clayton Thomas…super loud

If you have 30-minutes of free time how do you pass the time?

  • I don’t even know what that is….

Anything to add that might be interesting:

Originally started out as a California Registered Landscape Architect and worked on some very cool projects. The largest private Japanese garden in California, The 4 acre Naiman Center.  The rooftop gardens at the Jakarta Hyatt Regency. Also Isuzu Corporate Headquarters, Pioneer Electronics, Singer/Songwriter Jewel’s corporate retreat as well as the Del Mar Country Club and Rancho Santa Fe Farms Golf Club.

During a downturn in the building industry and the need for my talents as an architect, a colleague, Kevin Hopkins, invited me on board to do some visual design work for a company called Creative Learning Systems, an educational environment design company.  There I cut my chops on digital video production with blue and green screens, animation, UI interface design for robotics, animatronics, and remote camera control as well as crafting marketing and learning content. I was also involved in designing corporate training environments down to the furnishings.

My time at CLS provided a springboard into the world of tech start-ups where I got to work on Affinity Marketing platforms,  Mobile media apps, mobile interfaces, online applications, music players. One of my favorites was working for Brickfish where I worked to develop a UGC powered campaign platform where brands could harness the creativity of the masses. One such campaign asked consumers to design a bag for Coach. The winning design was produced by Coach and sold nation-wide. But what’s cool is that I also got to create campaigns for:

6PM.com

ABC

A&E

Acura

Acuvue

ADT

Advil

AeroMexico

Alamo

ALDO

American Living

ancestry.com

AOL

Aqua Fresh

Arbys

ASUS

Athenos

ATT

Austrian Tourist Office

Autodesk

Avis

AXE

Babelgum

Baby Blues

BAF

Barbie

Bare Escentuals

Barilla

Baskin Robbins

Battacuda

Betty Crocker

BF Goodrich

Bing

Blackstone Group

Black Sabbath

Bluefly

Boost Mobile

Bose

Brawny

Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign

Britney Spears

Butterfinger

Canon

Campbells

Car & Driver Cargill

Carl’s Jr.

Chamberlain DIY

Chicos

Chobani

Circulon

Cole Haan

Coleman

CNN

Coke

Cokeville Miracle

Coldwell Banner

Coleman

Columbia Records

Conair

Conduce

Colgate

Cord Blood Registry

Corona

Crestor

Crocs

Crystal Light

CyberSight

Cougartown

David’s Bridal

DAWN

Dell

Delta Dental

Dexter

Diet Coke

Die Hard

Discount Tire

Discovery Channel

Discover Boating

Dish Network

DIY Food Network

DKNY

Doubleday Grisham

Dove

Dove/Ocado

Dr Dre beats

Dr Pepper

Earnst & Young

Ebay

Elizabeth Arden

Estee Lauder

Extreme Makeover

Energizer

Equifax

ESPN

Estee Lauder

Exel Realty Trust

Express

FAFSA

Fanta

Flatworld

FLO TV

Folgers

Food Network

FOM

Ford Fiesta

Ford Focus

Fosters

GAP

Garmin

Glade

GMC

GLOTO

Golden Spoon

Google

Go Pro

Graco

Green Giant

Guess

Guiness

Gym Class Heros

Halls

Hamburger Helper

Harley Davidson

Havianas

HBO

Heinz

Herbal Essence

Honda Odyssey

Hotel Park City

HP

Humana

iBiquity

IE 8

IE 9

IKEA

Incubis

Intuit

iPhone

iTV

iVillage

Jack in the Box

JC Penney

J Crew

Jello

Jimmy John’s

Juicy Couture

Just Fabulous

Kaplan

Kashi

KC Wines

Kids

Kelloggs

Kenneth Cole

Keurig

KIA

Killian’s Pub

Kodak

Kohls

Kontera

Kraft

Lady Gaga

Lane Bryant

Le Creuset

LensCrafters

Levis

Lexmark

Levolor

LG

Lindt

Lipton

Lord & Taylor

Lysol

MAC cosmetics

MacDonalds

Macy’s

Makeup Forever

Mammoth Mountain

Man vs Food

Marriott

Marvel – X-men

Marvel Avengers

Mashable

Maybeline

Mazda RX8

Mazda Speed 3

Mazda 5

Mentos

MetLife

Mexico Travel

Microsoft

Mini Cooper

Miranda Lambert

Montreal Visitors Bureau

Mother Nature Network

Motrin

Mountain Dew

MTV

Narnia

National Geographic

NBA

NBC

Nike

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Neiman Marcus

NewsUp

Nexus

NFL

NHL

Nickelodeon

Nike

Nissan

Nivea

NoozWeb

NOX

Nutrisystem

New York Times

Odwalla

Office Depot

Old El Paso

Old Navy

Olive Garden

Bunny Touch

Organic

PacketVideo

Palm

PAM

Pampers

Panasonic

Pantene

Paramount

Paula Abdul

PayPal

PediaLax

Pepsi

Philips

Pistachios

Planet Explore

Playtex

Polaris

Popeyes

Publix

Purina

Price Waterhouse Cooper

Procter & Gamble

Quaker Oats

QVC

Rachel Ray

Ramada Inn

Rayban

Raytheon

Red Bull

Red Diamond

Reebok

Revlon

Rocawear

ROXY

Rubios

Sabin Holdings

Samsung

Sanborns

Sauza

Secreteando (Telemundo)

Schick

Sears

Secret

Shaklee

Showtime

Shutterfly

Silk Soy Milk

Simpsons

Six Flags

Smashbox

Snapfish

Sony

Souplantation

Sports Authority

Sprint

Starbucks

Steve Madden

Subaru

Success Magazine

Sugarland

Surfrider Foundation

Syfy channel

Target

T Boone Pickens

Telemundo

TevaPharma

TGI Fridays

The Limited

There North Face

Timberland

T Mobile

Tommy Hilfiger

Tory Burch

Totinos

Toyota

Tractor Supply Company

Travel Channel

Travelocity

Tresemme

Trojan

TrueBlood

TV Guide

Tylenol

UCLA

Ulta

Universal

UpperDeck

UPS Store

USO

U Sports

Valspar

VH1

Victory Motorcycles

Virgin America

Vonage

Walgreens

Walmart

Wanchai Ferry

Wasa

Waterpik

White Castle

Wyndham

XBOX

YouTube

Zagg

I then was stolen away by Gloto Corp. who was developing an ad generating platform where interactive ads could be composed and published in minutes rather than days.  We took a very complex technology made it simple enough so entry-level staff could, on their own, successfully create and publish ads in multiple formats in minutes. We used this platform in-house to build interactive ads for:

NBA

SyFy Channel

Turner Broadcasting

Red Bull

Telemundo

Revlon

Tresemme’

Target

Wyndham Hotels

Marvel

USA channel

And then Crowdz happened…

For more with Tom Underwood watch our team video 5 Questions with the Crowdz Team.

By Tom Underwood

February 28, 2020

Share this article