Career advice from Google’s Product Designer & Illustrator Morgane Sanglier

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Meet Morgane Sanglier, a Product Designer and Illustrator at Google currently working on Google Lens technology. We chat with Morgane about how she landed her job at Google and she also offers some important advice for new designers starting out in their careers.

I’m Morgane Sanglier, a 27-year-old French product designer and illustrator at Google, currently living in San Francisco, California.

I studied design in France, where I got a Bachelor of Interaction Design and a Master’s degree in Information Design at L’école de Design Nantes Atlantique.

I’m a passionate designer, trying to be as creative with my hands as I am with my head. When I’m not working, I’m drawing, painting, sculpting, doing ceramics, and trying out new mediums and techniques. That’s what keeps me sane and where I get inspiration everyday.

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How did you land a job at Google?

It was during the last year of my Masters. I was studying in France and looking forward to the upcoming Christmas holidays. All the students had received an email regarding summer internships at Google. I was not ready to look for an internship quite yet, but since everyone was going for it, I tried as well. I considered my English to be pretty bad at the time and started the process thinking it would never work out, but that it would be an interesting experience.

I went through the internship process with very low expectations and a lot of pressure…

I went through the internship process with very low expectations and a lot of pressure, interviewing with Googlers (everyone I met was nice and kind). My work got reviewed and I surprisingly received an offer a few weeks later. That’s when the Google adventure started!

I flew to San Francisco for a four-month internship to work on a team that focused on kids and family products. By the end of the internship, I started the process to get a full-time position, going through another round of interviews. It worked! And after a quick stop in France for graduation, I landed at Google London! Since then, I’ve moved back to California, transferring to another team.

Tell us about your team and what you’ve been working on.

I’m currently part of a horizontal team which is like an internal creative studio composed of very diverse talented creatives (Illustrators, 3D modelers, UX engineers, artists, designers…). We contribute to multiple Google projects and we design innovative experiences.

My role changes from project to project. One morning I’ll be an artistic director on a photoshoot, the afternoon I’ll join a sprint and design some flows.

My current focus is on Google Lens; a technology that uses your smartphone camera to detect objects, offer actions and information about them such as shopping, translate, copy/paste text, etc. Due to this kind of unique position at Google, my role changes from project to project. One morning I’ll be an artistic director on a photoshoot, the afternoon I’ll join a sprint and design some flows. The next day I could be heads down on a series of illustrations or designing a visual identity for a Google product.

Advice for new product designers starting out in their careers

I’m not sure whether this advice is for everybody, but I do try to keep these things in mind as I go through my own design career:

  • Make sure design/creating is your passion: You will have to do your job every day, and it won’t always be fun. If you like it enough, you’ll find design solutions for the hardest problems and it will be highly rewarding!
  • Find your style but be flexible with it: I see lots of creatives cultivating a unique style. I tend to believe that being able to adapt and to reinvent your style will make you always needed somewhere.
  • Cultivate your curiosity: Be interested in something besides design. Have side projects that nurture your creativity and love for design.
  • Put meaning into your work: Think about the real people that will use your designs (this goes for illustration too). Be prepared for critics—some will be hard to take but in the end, remember they will help improve your design and make you a better designer.

Favorite design tools or resources?

My current go-to tools for illustration are not numerous, I go from Adobe Illustrator to Procreate and back. For product design, and especially if you work remotely, try Figma. I also really like more tangible tools. Stickies and written lists on a wall or on my old Mac display are my dirty secrets. A good digital alternative would be Todoist.

Where do you hope your career takes you in the next 5-10 years?

I have been a Visual Designer/UX Designer/Illustrator for the last few years, living in Paris, London, and San Francisco. In the short term, I would like to find ways to do more illustration work, learn new skills, and continue to grow as a designer.

For the long term, I see myself doing something different—surely something that will involve craft and design but in a different domain.

Want to keep up with Morgane? Find her on Dribbble and Instagram.


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