Hey Rebecca, first of all how are you?
Other than bursting one of my tyres while cycling to work this morning, I am fantastic thank you! This winter sun is hitting different!
For those that do not know tell us about yourself!
I am a graphic designer from Harlow Town in Essex! I love music and football and my latest obsession is painting miniature figures which has totally taken over my house.
You studied at the University of Lincoln, I’m also from Lincolnshire! Did you enjoy your time there?
Lincolnshire is a great place to be from, I absolutely loved living in Lincoln as it is a small and beautiful city which quickly felt like home.
As well as design disciplines, we also did a lot of conceptual briefs, often with a Typographic focus. I am still learning from some of the more ‘out there’ projects we did that I didn’t really understand at the time. For example, In my first year, we had a ‘cinema of the elevator’ day where our groups were tasked to act out a film in the 30 seconds the lift doors remained open whilst our tutors were inside watching - it shut the whole building down! I remember wondering why I got out of bed for it at the time but the message was about using a visual medium to communicate a complex message in 30 seconds – which is good graphic design at its core.
What got you into design?
Back when I was choosing my GCSE options, my school was known as a ‘technology college’ and it was mandatory to choose a tech subject. I didn’t want to do any of them but ended up picking Graphics because I loved art. We did a lot of technical drawing and studied materials and processes, making exploded drawings and sketching buildings and objects in different perspectives - all by hand. I struggled with it a lot and would end up in tears after school but I was determined to do well and ended up finishing with an A*.
When the time came to decide what to study at college, I resisted graphics as I hadn’t enjoyed it but my mum persuaded me to have a look around the department. I met Steve, one of the tutors, who in half an hour, completely changed my mindset towards the subject. He told me to perceive design as problem solving and that I would most likely never have to do technical drawing ever again if I wanted to be a designer. Shortly afterwards, I remember going on a trip to the London West End with my family and being aware of actual Graphic Design for the first time – posters on the underground, adverts on the sides of buses and huge signage everywhere I looked. I decided to enroll on the course and never looked back!
You run Marketing Juice, how did this come about?
Marketing Juice was born, or should I say freshly squeezed, after my friend and I did some freelance work together and we decided to blend, (sorry, I’ll stop with the juice puns) setting out to be a playful and approachable business. I handle the graphics and branding side of things whilst he is fantastic digital marketer and is great at making websites - we complement each other well and make a great team. Since starting out we have had clients in all sorts of industries, from restaurants and construction companies to sound therapists and theatre productions! One of my favorite things about being a graphic designer is researching different industries and becoming an expert in diverse things.
Tell us about the Centre of Attention
The Centre of attention is a 90 minute online workshop that I put together exploring branding experiences, moving away from the idea that a brand is ‘a logo’. Everyone who attended came up with fantastic concepts including an outdoor movie experience, a yoga festival and an evening beauty event to name a few! Among Creative Graduates looking to refine their personal brands, we were also joined by a podcaster who was able to identify that they needed to narrow their target audience to grow, and everybody came away from the morning with a fresh perspective on branding. I am currently offering as much support as I can to students and graduates dipping their toes into the world of design and will soon be repeating the workshop.
Any tips for anyone who wants to do a talk?
Speaking from my own experience, I never get around to anything unless I have a deadline so If you would like to do a talk I would pick a date and time that you are going to do it and tell at least five people that you are going to before officially announcing it, they can hold you accountable so you can’t wriggle out of it as the nerves set in. My workshop was on zoom and as it was my first one I did a little practice the night before with my family, I went over it so many times in my head, almost recording what I was going to say like a film so that on the day I could ‘press play’ and go for it. Good lighting and a glass of water always helps too!
What is the best bit of advice you have received in your career to date?
To do anything you need to do ‘on three’. Count to three and then just send that email or pick up that phone. I actually learnt it from watching Jackass and it could apply to anything in life from getting up in the morning to jumping off a cliff – the scarier the action the better it works. If you can’t make yourself do it in three, it sounds like something you shouldn’t do!
I want to start featuring more people on this platform so with this in mind, who are your standout creatives?
One of My Favourite creative studios is Side by Side, they gave a talk when I was at uni and I was really inspired by their idea of collecting type you see around you in handwritten signs, graffiti and shapes on the floor. Their typographic work is outstanding and they have a powerful creative partnership.
Something I have seen recently that dropped my jaw is the new show campaigns for Shakespeare’s globe theatre. The video and photography work gives a fresh and modernised feel to the productions, presenting Shakespeare to a different audience.
I am also loving Aaron Draplin at the moment. He comes up with really creative work at speed, often using pieces of found ephemera as inspiration - his design tutorials are so fun and helpful and I always watch them when I am stuck for ideas!
For my final question, what’s next?
After this morning’s mishap I will be off to Halfords!
Other than that, I am planning out new online workshops for students and also some others aimed more towards business owners. My work has gone in so many directions since graduating that if somebody had put a crystal ball in front of me and told me the places I would go to I wouldn’t have believed them so I couldn’t guess at what is around the corner! That said, my biggest challenge this year so far has been all the creative for a 30 venue tour of Rapunzel including photography and video work, I really enjoyed it and would love to do more work in the theatre as I am very passionate about recovering the entertainment industry following the pandemic.