We spoke on 10th February 2021
Hey Amy, How are you doing?
Not too shabby.
Like everyone else, I’m commuting from one end of my bedroom to the other, so the WFH routine is one I can’t wait to (hopefully) ditch sometime soon. I saw a tweet the other day about how weekends feel like a two-day lunch break at the moment, and damn, I feel that.
For those that do not know who is Amy Jones?
What a question. I’m a Northern convert (I grew up in the south), a triplet, and a BIG football fan. I spend my days in Sheffield as a Senior Digital Designer at Rise at Seven. They’re a search-first creative agency start-up, which in its first 18 months of trading, have turned over £1.5 million and hired 50+ staff.
My nights are spent in Leeds, side hustling and sleeping. I co-founded the card game Schnap! in 2019, which had two editions sell out worldwide. Put simply I’m a workaholic, which makes me pretty boring. All I do is make stuff. I’ve got a list as long as my arm of things that I want to do next.
What got you into design?
I’d always been fairly artistic. But aged 15 or so, I made a point of sale stand in a D&T class and I thought it looked sick. The feeling I got from “fuck yeah, look at that” was one I wanted to keep getting, so it put me on the track to do design at uni.
Then when I got to uni, all I wanted to do was drop out. It felt like terrible value for money.
Whilst I counted down the days until it was over, I found myself making a lot of spoofs and parody projects. It’s this stuff (design work that doesn’t feel like work) that I’ve ended up doing. At Rise I get paid to take the piss.
It’s fake products, parodies and punny campaigns; always underpinned by the need to build brand awareness, drive traffic and optimise a company’s presence on Google.
Congratulations on the recent promotion, how is Rise at Seven?
Thank you! To be honest, it’s fucking fantastic. Every day is an extraordinary chance to be creative, and as the agency grows, we sink our teeth into bigger and bigger projects with leading names like Pretty Little Thing and Playstation.
We create campaigns that make headlines and win awards, and boy, do they do both.
Take Sandtone (a pun of Pantone), a PR campaign for Parkdean Resorts. We immortalised the colours of Britain’s best beaches in swatches to promote UK travel. It won 5 awards, including Integrated Campaign of the Year at 2020’s Global Search Awards.
The project had it all too – landing pages, Instagram filters, social assets, swatch books, billboards. It looked spicey.
Given that I graduated in 2019, it’s been a really steep learning curve. Being made Senior Designer makes it feel so worth it.
You have switched job roles during the COVID-19 pandemic, what would your advice be to others wanting to do the same?
You’ll know when you’re fed up with the path you’re on. There’s never a convenient time to hunt for something new, but if you’re unhappy, just sack it off. Don’t wait for the world to get ‘back to normal’.
Firstly, networking definitely works, so if it’s something you’re comfortable with, don’t skip the chance to throw yourself into the conversation and grow your presence online.
Secondly, when it comes to job applications, everyone always says stand out, but ‘standing out’ doesn’t necessarily mean shouting the loudest. It’s just about showing you can do the job. We’ve had all sorts of job applications, from pinatas to TikTok videos… even a Rise-branded shoe so someone could ‘get their foot in the door’.
In October a colleague and I decided to compete with these crazy CVs and try to get me ‘rehired’ on an episode of the agency’s vlog. I believe that work does all the talking, so I created a fake portfolio. It included 'Mac Pro', an Apple-inspired website selling raincoats, ‘JustFeet’ (JustEat, but for foot pics) and 'Spacebook', a fake Facebook campaign which spread out all its UI to advocate for social-distancing.
The next morning, we posted the work anonymously on Twitter and tagged our CEO in it, with the aim of pulling her onto a Zoom call for an impromptu interview. Somehow it worked. When she saw us sitting there, she swore at us a lot. You can watch it here.
So I think good work and confidence turns heads.
I noticed you co-founded Schnap!, tell me more about this.
Side hustles are sexy. So when my mate rang me up in August 2019 and said ‘let’s make a drinking game’, I was never going to say no. I designed Schnap! in my Leeds bedroom and we had it made by Cartamundi, the world-leader in card game manufacturing. It launched a month later, selling 100 decks in ten days and even breaking borders as we even shipped to Australia and the US. It taught me a lot in a very short space of time.
Based on traditional snap, the rules were simple. First to call 'Schnap!' on a pair of matching cards got to delegate the cards' forfeit e.g. ‘Sink Your Drink’ to another player. I think we were responsible for a lot of hangovers in Freshers’ Week 2019. We ended up commissioning a tattoo artist to illustrate the second edition a couple of months later.
The whole thing feels bizarre looking back. And it’s still weird to crack your own game out at parties!
I’ll send you a deck, Morgan...
For my final question, what is next for Amy Jones?
World domination? To be honest, I’ve given up on all predictions for the future at this point – I always change my mind. You’ll have to follow me on Twitter to see what I get up to next!