There’s a lot of good places to work. There’s a lot of great places to work. But when you design for a living, Portland is the #BestPlaceToWork. Here’s why:
1. Killer Coffee Shops
Portland has literally revolutionized the coffee shop. Coffee shops have become more than a place where you get your cup-of-joe while you read the funnies. Portland coffee shops become a part of your day-to-day lifestyle. I’ve had offices and I’ve worked from home, but there is nothing like grabbing a Caramel Latte, a tasty pastry, and cranking away on the days designs. It makes work fun and my coffee shop hopping gives me a sense of adventure everyday.
Some mornings I get up and plot out my coffee shop journey for the day. Do I want to head over to SE Portland and enjoy a pour over from Coava? Maybe it’s a good day for hand-made doughnuts in the NE from Pip’s Original. Am I itching to see Josh Clouser‘s incredible mustache while sipping on an incredible beverage from Barista in downtown? Perhaps (on off chance that the sun is out), it’s time for some of Gran’s Sweet Tea from Stomping Grounds just east of Portland proper in Fairview. It is such a joy to get to work with such incredible spaces and it’s like no where else in the US of A.
2. Sans Sales Tax
It just makes everything much less complicated. When I buy something for $9.99, guess how much I pay…$9.99. I know, weird, right? And my 15″ MacBook Pro Retina that I absolutely love? Well, it could have cost me as much as $237.50 in taxes if I bought it in Washington. Take that Seattle Sounders. In fact, Oregon is only one of 3 states in the wonderful US of A that doesn’t have sales tax (see below).
3. Noble Non-Profits
Back in February, Portland Monthly Magazine ran a cover article entitled “25 Portlanders Who Are Changing the World“. In it they point to one of the reasons Portland is one of the most fantastic place to be in a creative field: you get to work with world changers. As they put it:
PORTLAND WILL NEVER have New York’s money, DC’s clout, or London’s connections. But for a new class of idealists, organizers, doers, and innovators, humble Stumptown has become its own kind of capital city for global action.
At Ekko Designs, we love working with world changers because it allows us to use our skills, not only to create design that matters to our clients, but to create design that is a part of change in the world. We aren’t just trying to make a buck or help someone make a sale, we’ve had a chance to be small part of global awakening. Everywhere you turn in Portland, you find people unwilling to submit their lives to the mundane, as they try to make the world a better place.
4. Astounding Artists
It’s also great to be a designer in Portland because you get to work with many other incredibly creative people on projects. We’ve built sites that included videos from Epipheo, photos from Anthem Photography, logos by Ryan Wesley Peterson, and films by Inkless Productions. These are all companies that inspire us to be better, and make the overall product tremendous. And really, more than anything, what makes a place worthwhile? It’s the people. Getting to work for and with talented people is an absolute joy and part of what makes Portland the #BestPlaceToWork.
5. World-Class Weather
You probably think I’m either being sarcastic or I’m part vampire, because Portland certainly lives up to it’s reputation of cloudy skies and rainy days. But think about it for a minute–designers spend nearly all day on a computer. What’s the best time to be inside staring a computer screen all day? Well, when the sun is out of course! Because when the sun is shining, all you want to do is get out and play in it–how unproductive is that?! And of course you can’t take your MacBook out in the sun because you can’t see a bloody thing on your screen!
Enter the Portland weather. You cozy up to your desk, sipping a delicious cup of warm goodness while you work with the sound of rain hitting your rooftop. It’s euphoric. Seriously, I love it. And back to those coffee shops; you ever hear about their being amazing coffee shops down in Southern California? No! Why? Because everyone is too busy being outside enjoying the beach! It’s this horrible weather that forces us to create such wonderful places to get away from the rain. Portland is a designer’s delightful little paradise.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to get back to “work” 🙂