Q&A: David Traina

Aug 31, 2021

David Traina is the Founder of Traina, a strategic brand firm with a dedicated team of designers, writers, strategists, developers, and account specialists who all share a passion for great design. This year, David’s company Traina is both a Creative Sponsor and a presenter for San Diego Design Week, developing an interactive map full of hidden gems called San Diego Secret Rad.

Can you share a little about yourself and your career in the design field?

I was born and raised in rural Georgia but was never a big fan of fishing, hunting, or any of the other local amusements. Instead, I spent most of my days either skateboarding or drawing, which eventually led to an interest in graphic design. My first real gig was a two-summer stint as a production runt at an agency in downtown Atlanta during my junior and senior years of high school. After graduating with a design degree from Brigham Young University, I worked for a few agencies in Salt Lake City and Seattle, then moved to San Diego in 2005 and founded Traina. Since then, I've been fortunate enough to work with an absolutely stellar team of creative professionals, and partner with some amazing brands.

What do you love most about design?

My love of design comes down to process and impact. I love the creative process. It's frustrating and painful. It's exhilarating and addictive. It invades your sleep, showers, weekends, and every other moment. But when the solution appears, and the design starts to flow, it's pure joy. Then, once that design is shared I love the reaction. I love the impact. I love the power of design (and brands) to move people, spark emotional connections, and change minds and behavior.

Why did you and your organization want to get involved with SDDW?

San Diego has been home base for over 17 years now, and we love this city. The opportunity to elevate and celebrate its unique identity is important and timely. We wanted to get involved with SDDW to strengthen our connection with the local creative community and play a more meaningful role in bringing it closer together.

What do you hope designers and community members take away from SDDW?

I hope everyone is inspired, and feels a sense of excitement and belonging—that they are part of a vibrant, world-class creative community. San Diego is on the rise and we all have a role to play.