Our new series Luminaries highlights the team, creative ethos and trajectory of some of the most-honored winners at the w3 Awards. Winning 68 w3 Awards over the years, design agency Pattern specializes in website design for e-commerce businesses, including Ariana Grande’s r.e.m. beauty, Seth Rogen’s Houseplant, Metallica, Caddis, and Bobbie. We spoke with Executive Creative Director & Co-Founder Michael Janiak and Design Director Erica Randhawa about how they encourage their team to take greater creative risks, the future of e-commerce design and their plans to use AI tools. Read on to see how their team and ethos are leading the way towards a bright (and award-winning) creative future.

The Creatives at Pattern

Michael Janiak
Executive Creative Director & Co-Founder
Michael is an entrepreneur, creative director, designer and artist with over 20 years of experience working in interactive design, ecommerce, graphic design, brand identity & motion graphics. As co-founder and Executive Creative Director at Pattern, Michael leads teams that design modern brands, eCommerce experiences, products & platforms for some of the most loved and respected brands in the world.

Erica Randhawa
Design Director
Erica is a visual designer with over a decade of experience crafting world-class experiences for a wide variety of e-commerce clients. Her expertise includes web design, illustration, motion design, and branding. She has an educational background in fashion and fiber arts, and runs an Etsy shop in her free time.


The Creative Ethos at Pattern

Houseplant by Pattern

Over the past five years, Pattern’s creative trajectory has diversified significantly. Initially focused on e-commerce projects, they’ve since broadened their scope to encompass diverse ventures ranging from app design to marketing sites and branding initiatives. Erica has welcomed the change, saying, “As a designer, working on a wide variety of projects is an important part of avoiding creative burnout and I love being able to mix things up with every project.” Moreover, this comprehensive approach enables Pattern to grow and enhance its client offerings.  “An expanded offering allows us to have greater control over the final product and ensure a successful outcome,” Erica says.

Team collaboration and cross-departmental discussion is key to Pattern’s idea generation process. Team members with different specialties, whether that be in content, visual design, or user experience, are invited to contribute to brainstorming sessions. Erica explains, “We like to come into brainstorm sessions with ideas from each bucket and work together to combine them into something seamless.” And of course, the team shares sites and projects they’ve seen externally with each other for further inspiration.

Metallica by Pattern

The Creative Future of Pattern

Caddis by Pattern

With a realm of possibilities opening up for Pattern’s creative team with each new client, Michael and Erica are searching for new tools to help extend their agency’s capabilities while saving time for clients and creatives. Much of the visual arts world debates the ethics and capabilities of generative AI tech like DALL-E 2, but Michael has been looking into utilitarian AI tools that could help his team with time management. 

“I’m actually super interested in the class of AI applications that will help creative people minimize the busywork and streamline low-value tasks so that more time is spent doing the actual work of critical thinking and design,” he says. “I have a pretty long list of plugins, tools, and products I’m starting to experiment with to really see what’s possible and how it could positively impact our workflows and process.”

With less of their time given up to busywork, the team at Pattern can focus on taking creative risks. Michael has turned reaching that place of creative freedom on the horizon into the guiding light for his team. He often reminds them, “If it seems boring to us, it’s probably going to be boring to other people too.” When working in a results-driven medium, Michael explains, “it can be really easy to keep repeating things that generally work” and end up growing stale creatively. Michael encourages the team towards greater creative risks by asking them to “do something we call ‘pushing past the obvious.’ In other words, less boring. This seems really simplistic but it’s actually a really cool north star for us and keeps us pushing toward new creative unlocks over time.”

r.e.m. beauty by Ariana Grande by Pattern

We want to thank Pattern for being one of the Luminaries at the w3 Awards, raising the bar for excellence in digital creativity each season. Your company could be a luminary in the making. Enter your projects before the Early Entry Deadline on May 3rd, 2024 and allow your brilliant work to Shine Brighter.

Featured w3 Award-Winning Projects

Houseplant by Pattern
2022 Gold: Websites – Consumer Goods
2022 Gold: Websites – Lifestyle
2022 Gold: Mobile Apps & Sites – Mobile Site Redesign
2022 Silver: Websites – Features: Best Structure and Navigation
2022 Silver: Websites – Features: Best Visual Appeal – Experience
2022 Silver: Mobile Apps & Sites – Lifestyle
2022 Silver: Mobile Apps & Sites – Features: Best Visual Appeal – Aesthetic

Metallica by Pattern
2023 Gold: Websites – Music

Caddis by Pattern
2023 Gold: Websites – Shopping

r.e.m. beauty by Ariana Grande by Pattern
2022 Gold: Websites – Shopping
2022 Silver: Websites – Fashion & Beauty
2022 Silver: Websites – Best Visual Appeal: Utility
2022 Silver: Mobile Apps & Sites – Best Visual Design: Function

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