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hannah bacon

she/her | insta | site

Hey, Hannah! hows things?

Good! I'm here in sunny Australia so no complaints!

For those that do not know tell us about yourself!

I'm a brand designer based in Newcastle, Australia and I've been freelancing for roughly a year. I've been lucky enough to work in some great studios in Melbourne and have taught into the Bachelor of Design at Uni (the same one I went to!). I've always done bits on the side and have had a business for years but after having my twins I decided I wanted the flexibility of working for myself. I'm also very crafty and love knitting and baking.

One of the things that drew me to you was your motion graphics. Your logo animation is stunning! This something you’re interested in?

Thank you! I've had a lot of great feedback about that, weirdly I almost ditched the idea in the beginning because I didn't want to come across as unprofessional or too relaxed but I decided I really wanted to try being 100% me online and it's paid off. I love motion graphics and animation and I've done a bit of After Effects work but I still feel like such a newbie at it. I don't see myself as a motion graphics designer at all but it's something I'd love to spend more time on. I put that gif together in about 15 minutes in Photoshop, so I guess it shows that simple but effective graphics can have a huge impact!

Always been interested in illustration and design?

I'm pretty sure I came out of the womb with a sketchbook. I was a kid in the 90s before mobiles and tablets were everywhere so I spent a lot of my free time illustrating. It wasn't something that I was encouraged to do (actually I was encouraged to get into science), but that need to create is something that's never not been there for me. I think an important moment in me becoming a designer was our family getting a PC and Windows 95, I found the program Microsoft Paint and I was blown away. I used to make family newsletters in Microsoft Publisher (which absolutely no one was asking for) at around 9 years old which I'm sure is a totally normal thing to do... Something about the combination of technology and art has always interested me so I couldn't imagine doing any other job.

Were there any visuals that stood out to you when first tracing letterforms?

I love the perfection of letterforms, especially serif letters. I was so fascinated by drawing something that was hand crafted but also had a practical function. I had a letterform book as a child that I'd completely forgotten about which I found recently. I don't know how I got it or who gave it to me but it makes me wonder if that's where it all started!

Why Melbourne AU? What attracted you to a degree?

I moved to Melbourne to study and work because it has a great reputation in Australia for creative industries. It's got a great vibe and there is so much opportunity (and good coffee) there. It feels more cultural to me and I felt at home straight away. I moved back to my hometown after having kids to be closer to family, and I love it here too but I do miss living in a city. I didn't really consider studying graphic design when I was younger because I didn't really know that much about it as an industry. I had a roommate who studied it and I realised that a Communication Design degree ticked all the boxes.

I noticed you worked with 3D patterns when working for The Happy Donut Joint, is this something you’d be open to doing more?

Absolutely! That was a really fun passion project I did because I wanted to explore the new 3D tools in Illustrator. I love the way 3D is more dynamic and can totally change the tone of a brand. Being a parent I'm extremely time poor, so I can't see myself focusing too much on it in the future, but you never know hey!

How did work out your pricing?

I've worked in studios so I had a sense of what projects were worth, but I really started thinking about what I was charging for freelance work after watching The Futur's YouTube video on pricing (if you haven't watched it, do it!). I've also worked in print production where I've had to quote quite a lot of print jobs. It can be very detailed with lots of suppliers involved so that taught me to track and cost everything. It's also a 'feel' too. When I was just starting I priced low and honestly I had a lot to learn so it was probably fair. I know my worth now, but there will never be a right time to raise your prices — just do it and see if it sticks and it probably will.

Was this something you were taught or just picked up?

I was taught how to quote while working in print production, it was customer facing so we had to detail every little cost in writing so we were covered if anyone disputed it. I've learned a lot from The Futur and I know there are a ton of great resources out there for pricing. The thing I've picked up is that my time is probably worth more than I think it is, and just to go for it. Worst case scenario you save yourself a few hours of admin corresponding with someone who doesn't value your work.

Is there any tips or tricks you do to keep creative?

I give myself a break. I take time off designing if I'm not feeling it because trying to force it doesn't work for me. But I also have to give myself a break emotionally. Is it just me or does everyone feel that 'creative anxiety' where things don't feel like they're going right and you're wasting wayyyy too much time? For me anxiety is the enemy of creativity. When I'm trying to get something done and I start second guessing I literally just decide that it doesn't matter if it's done in a certain time frame. I don't buy into having to post every single day on social media and I'd rather be producing content that is quality because I think that's what people connect with. For client work it is different because you obviously have to get it done on time, but I like to stay organised and set realistic time-frames so I have the flexibility of leaving it for a bit.

You’re very active on social media particularly Instagram. How important is this for you work?

It's important, but I don't like to let it rule my business or my life. I get more genuine enquiries through my website so I think making sure your website is working for you is as important, if not more important than Instagram. I like the platform because it lets me explore my creativity and connect with people. I've always felt that follows and likes don't translate to income and so it can feel like a waste of time to doing work just for social validation. I love to share my process and connect with people so that's what motivates me, I think it comes back to a love of teaching and sharing my knowledge. My general design philosophy is that I want to live in a world with better design (because that will actually help people) and I think we get there by sharing knowledge, not by trying to be the best designer in the room.

Do you have any tips on growing your online presence?

Don't let the pressure of posting everyday stop you from creating quality work that you love, that's how you'll attract the clients you want. I'm putting out content that I enjoyed making and it's allowed me to explore and experiment and grow. I'm pretty open with my processes and that's one thing that's resonated with people. My three top tips would be 1) provide value and give people a reason to be interested 2) be yourself and post content you're proud of and 3) Reels, baby! That's also a great way to grow, using trending audio also really helps.

How come you set up a shop?

I'm a mum full time so I don't get to work with clients as much as I'd like and this was a way to create an income even when I don't have much time. I chose to focus on freelance design templates because I have a background in publication design (I taught it at Uni and worked on publications in studios) and I really enjoy the business side of design so I wanted to use that help other designers turn their passions in to full time jobs like I did. I have a monthly freebie I put out and I love to use that as a chance innovate and find ways to do things differently. I like to reflect on my processes, see where I could improve or streamline then create a template for that.

I want to start featuring more people on this platform so with this in mind, who are your standout creatives?

Check out Gaby who owns Lemon Tree Studio (@lemontreestudio_), she's one of the best designers on Instagram I know, I love her work and her as a person. Shout out to Blake Fullwood (@blakefullwood), Nicolette Lia @nicolette_lia and Sam Curcio (@samanthacurcio) who's work I love (they also let me annoy them with design questions pretty regularly).

For my final question, whats next?

For sure some great new shop products and I'm hoping to start working on some mini-courses for designers! And a book (nah, just kidding!).

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