A Kerouac-esque Road Trip Led Ross Langley to Design Your New Favorite Food App
We spoke with Ross Langley, creator of food mapping app, Tell, about his life, personal style, and career.
I’m an Australian/American mut. I grew up in semi-rural Colorado and moved to Sydney when I was young.
Though I was usually – at least in the traditional sense – a pretty good learner, I had a habit of reclining away from the more “formal” paths of achievement that might be expected of an Aussie private school kid. I ended up in the country’s top fine art school to study film and theatre. I worked for a few years there, then in LA as an actor and writer. I was lucky enough to fulfill a childhood dream of being in a war movie when I was offered a small part in Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. Unfortunately, the experience didn’t come without the realization that working in entertainment too often requires a ceding of life’s reins to people with an inflated concept of your destiny. So I looked to move again.
After a two month long, Kerouac-esque road trip across the country, I pivoted to the East Coast to explore another side of my brain. I had kept odd-jobs in construction, photography, design, and writing, and slowly started to figure out ways to combine those interests; the order and form of construction, with the creative satisfaction of design and writing seemed to keep pointing me towards UX/UI. I love that in tech, and where we’re at with Tell, many of the rules are defined as we make them. That seems to satisfy the often disparate interests I find myself wandering between.
Jeans: I’m 6’5, so jeans can be a nightmare, but Levi’s 511 Stretch Fit are some of the most versatile, and indestructible jeans I have.
Shirts: Unless it’s wrangler denim and/or a western shirt, it’s hard to spot me in a button-up. I’m all about the Blue Jeans, White T-shirt vibe. Next Level makes a sueded, fitted white crew-neck tee which is damn-near perfect.
Pants: Life/After/Denim Weekend Chino – I have 4 pairs of these. Best fitting pants I’ve ever owned.
Suits: I may not even wear one at my wedding.
Shoes: I have a special bond with my Chippewa Renegade Service Boots.
Accessories: Lots of trucker hats from Elm Company and Tinlid Hat Co. I wear a Luminox P-38 watch, and swap between a pair of Moscot Lemtosh Sunglasses, and Saint Laurent Classic 28s. I also have a Ridge Wallet, which is like a compact card holder with an RFID blocker which is perfectly nerdy and functional.
Outerwear: I’m usually sporting a Flint and Tinder 10-year Pullover Hoodie or a Finisterre Crew Jumper.
Favorite cologne: Does tea tree and cedarwood beard oil count?
Favorite app: Well… My goal with our app, Tell, was obviously to design something I personally would use whenever I needed to find a place to eat or drink. I’m unashamed to boast about that now – it kicks ass. I haven’t used Yelp or any of that rubbish for ages.
Favorite piece of technology: This might be more of an accessory, but it houses so much of my tech, and is such a designer’s dream that I have to mention my backpack. It’s called the Aer Duffel Backpack, it’s made by a startup in SF and I’ve almost bought two just because…
Next style/gear purchase: I’ve had my eye on York Athletic Mfg’s Henry Mid sneaker for months now. I think it’s time to pull the trigger on those kicks.