Netflix: Who is Ian Spalter? Head of Instagram on Abstract: Art of Design!

Abstract: The Art of Design is back for another series on Netflix from Wednesday, September 25th!

This time around, the docuseries has big names from costume designers to artists signed up to tell their life and design stories.

You may not have heard of Ian Spalter but there’s a strong chance you have unknowingly come across Ian’s product designs. They revealed in the episode that 1 in 7 people are using a product that Ian oversees!

Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram’s Head of Design, Ian Spalter.

Screenshot: Abstract: The Art of Design season 2 – Ian Spalter: Digital Product Design – Netflix

Who is Ian?

Ian Spalter is a digital product designer who is stuff of legends in Silicon Valley.

He got his start in the digital world after graduating from Hampshire College with a BA in Multimedia Design and Cultural Studies in 1998.

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A year later, Ian began working as an Art Director for Community Connect before moving to R/GA in 2004 where he earned the badge of Associate Creative Director.

Between 2004 and 2008 Ian returned to Community Connect and then bounced back to R/GA in a more senior role. By 2011, Ian was working as R/GA’s VP in product design where he became the creative lead on Nike+, the brand’s sporting app.

Ian has also worked with Foursquare and YouTube as a creative lead.

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Ian’s Instagram journey

In April 2015, Ian joined Instagram as their Head of Design.

Here, Ian was in charge of the social media app which is currently used by over 1 billion people. Now those are some serious figures.

While at Instagram, Ian oversaw some mega changes which has increased the app’s popularity such as the introduction of stories in 2016 – which essentially saw the demise of Snapchat – and changing the logo to the colourful, cartoon-esque logo we all recognise today.

Ian was working at Instagram’s HQ in Menlo Park, California up until April 2019 when he left the company to work with their Japanese branch.

Since August 2019, Ian has been the Head of Instagram Japan and living in Tokyo!

Ian Spalter: Family

Not much is known about Ian’s family but in the episode of Abstract: The Art of Design we saw that he had a wife, or partner, and three children.

They live in the San Francisco area.

All Ian revealed about his kids is that his 12-year-old son does not have a phone and refuses to have one! So, no Instagram for the Spalter family…

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Screenshot: Abstract: The Art of Design season 2 – Ian Spalter: Digital Product Design – Netflix

Follow Ian on social media

For the man responsible for Insta, he doesn’t have a great Instagram presence.

Ian has a private account with only 377 followers as of publication date. You can find him @ianspalter.

You can also find Ian on Twitter where he at least has more of a public presence! Find him here.




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