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Wide Eye's Chris Montwill shares his one key to effective collaboration

Chris Montwill explains how trust and collaboration go hand in hand + more worklife tips in this interview series.

A headshot of Wide Eye creative director Chris Montwill.

Image courtesy Chris Montwill. Illustration by Anita Goldstein.

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In a new series, we’re asking lead designers across the industry to share their work life advice, design do’s and don’ts, and secrets to effective web design collaboration. Consider it our design take on the Proustian questionnaire, with the aim to give you insight on how top designers work and think about design in a time unlike any other. (And they might just spill a few work-life secrets along the way.)

Chris Montwill is the newest creative director at Wide Eye—one of the biggest players in the political branding space and the creative agency behind the 2020 Democratic National Convention branding (with Zero NYC), March on Washington branding, and the White House website under the Biden Administration. Montwill himself has built a career working on the UX and design for organizations like the United Service Organizations (USO), the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Natural Resources Defense Council websites, among others.

Here, Montwill shares how trust and collaboration go hand in hand, the one skill he always looks for in a designer, and why he doesn't take layer naming too seriously.

The key to effective collaboration is...?


The most surprising difference between in-office collaboration and remote?

Free food.

When is collaboration most important?

When you need context and perspective (which is early and often).

Your advice for leading a design team?

Start with questions.

Your advice for making a design team more collaborative?

Make a safe space for it.

The one quality you always look for in a designer?


What’s your proudest moment?

When my mom understood what I did for a living.

What was your biggest learning moment?

When I realized that great relationships make great ideas and not always the other way around.

Your biggest realization from the past year and half of working amid a pandemic?

Bread is not a coping mechanism.

What’s your work mantra?

The future favors the fox.

A mistake you’re glad you made?

Moving to DC.