The +Company: Elliott Chaffer

+ Title:    Executive Creative Director

+ From:  London, mate!

+ Currently living in:   Brooklyn, baby!

+ Studied:   Graphic Design/Photography at University of Brighton (UK)

+ With Trollbäck for: 5 years – I think.


What brought you to New York and/or Trollbäck?

I came to New York from London to step it up and play in a bigger sandpit. I came to Trollbäck because I’d always been a fan of the work Jakob and Joe Wright were doing here back in the day. 

Where did you work before joining the Trollbäck team?

Loyalkaspar for 4 years, and before that I had my own agency in the UK called Milk. I started my career at MTV in the UK.

What is the motivating factor that drives you to create?

LOVE: of the people you get to work with, the places you get to be creative, the process to get there, and the perspectives and enriching knowledge that you gain from every experience.

What kinds of things inspire you? Images, sounds, structures, 2D, 3D, mechanical, functional, technological?

The interplay of light on surfaces, reflections, refractions, distortions, shadows, relief, silhouettes. Real stuff. I really get off on nature but don’t get out and into it enough these days (note to self). I love traveling and losing myself in language and culture, following my nose and intuition.

What tools/software do you enjoy working with?  How do those tools effect/limit/fuel your creative process?

I love cameras and optics, working out how to shoot things, and exploring new ways to see and represent an idea. Pen and paper still rules too. I use the Mac minimally and prefer to not be tied to it. Even when I was at school, I would try to figure things out through cameras rather than the computer. It just came more naturally to me.

What does design mean to you?

“Making the world a better place one pixel at a time” (Beat Baudenbacher). It’s about challenging conventions, making yourself think, rethinking, stripping back, simplifying, reducing, enhancing experience and life, creating beauty with logic behind it.

That sentence should have been a lot simpler! BEAUTY + LOGIC. 

What are the best parts of the design/production process? What’s the hardest?

I love collaboration, passion, using my imagination, and seeing an idea form and grow and survive layers of corporate pressure and anxiety. It’s great when you have a great client that pushes you to challenge them more, too. Or when you jump into a new ocean of opportunity with the excitement of a child and get to meet and work with new people. Sometimes the hardest part is convincing people who live in fear that something is going to be great, or waiting for giant corporations to move at a speed that is more conducive to producing great work.


What do you like to do outside of work?

Surf at Rockaway Beach and get up to mischief with my 2 kids. 

What’s your dream surfing destination?

Raglan, New Zealand.

Favorite Instagrams: I love Jodi Terwilliger’s @do_less feed. Also recently came across this Korean long boarder called @hyo_joo who has a really nice style. @pilgrimsurfsupply floats my boat. An old friend @realhackneydave always has hilarious stories to tell, too.

Favorite Movie:  Swiss Army Man.

Favorite Music Artist:  Too many to mention. Favorite means nothing to me.

Favorite Lunch Spot: Sunrise Mart, D’Espana, La Esquina…Really don’t like this favorite word!

Favorite Museum: I love the new Whitney. Is it my favorite? I don’t know.

Anything Else? I don’t like the notion of “favorites,” I guess!