Featured Studio

Zero Studios

February 2019

Zero Studio just opened up their second studio in Milwaukee (Woo!), so we caught up with Co-founder & Creative Director Mark Goldstein to see how the first 2 years of studio existence has been. Mark tells us about how he made the most of his not-so-cool first job out of college, plus we chat about leaving egos at the door and how shared passion cultivates inspiration.

Any hilarious stories about you as a kid being creative?

I grew up going to church with my family and the only way my parents could get me to sit still and be quiet was to give me a pen and paper to draw. Like many kids, I drew what seemed like hundreds of dinosaurs and ninja turtles. Ironically enough, design and art are still some of the only things that get me to focus and be quiet.

I also remember drawing a poster of Paula Abdul and put it on my wall because I had a crush on her - and I liked the animated cat in one of her music videos.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

I studied Studio Art and Graphic Design at a small liberal arts college in Wisconsin called Carthage. It’s not particularly known for those areas of studies but I had some great peers and instructors around me. My first (design-related) job out of college was at a trade publication. I made web graphics and emails for Facilities Management and Janitorial magazines… not the exactly the coolest subject matter. I was very driven to learn though — so, I taught my self how to code and the basis of web design there. There’s opportunity in everything.

How did you name your practice and what does the name represent to you?

We named our studio Zero because of our emphasis on simplicity. We feel like the simplest articulations and communications resonate the most profoundly. It also refers to our collaborative approach with clients. We’re all humans and should enjoy our time spent together. We aim to leave our egos at the door.

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There’s opportunity in everything.

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Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

Zero is a creative studio founded in NYC. We’ve grown pretty quickly in our short two years. We recently opened our second office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin earlier last year. Zero is a contemporary full-service studio. We take a truly integrated approach and are able to effectively tell brand stories (branding), as well as build really technical products and infrastructure for them (websites), and connect those brands and their products with relevant audiences in a meaningful way (marketing). We also have a lot of fun doing all of this :)

What’s your take on internships? (do you take interns now?)

We do! Interns are great. We’ve had great luck bringing really talented folks onboard. They’ve learned a lot and contributed a great deal more than I imagine they would at larger agencies. The best feeling is hiring them full-time afterwards.

What qualities and skills to you look for in a graduate?

I believe it’s 100% about passion for young designers. You have to be really motivated and want to be doing this. I feel like that passion to learn and get better makes you a self-starter. That shared passion creates environments centered around being inspired, inspiring others, and wanting to collectively solve problems through creativity. Basically, always seem really excited and interested when interviewing lol.

Website: zero.nyc

Instagram: @zero.studios

Twitter: @Zerostudiosnyc

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