Can you tell us a bit about your background & what initially inspired you to pursue a career in Design?
I was born & raised in London, where my earliest memories are of living & breathing the art & design culture of the city. I was whisked around London, from one exhibition to another, to every museum & gallery weekly by my mother, a former Royal Academy Schools graduate. She always has, & continues to, encourage me creatively. This must be why I’ve always seen the world in a visual way.
At the age of 8, I lived in the breath-taking landscapes of Arizona & years later, the vibrant city of San Francisco. Two influential places in the world offering new cultures, people, landscapes & art, of which shaped my creativity further. When I came back to the UK, I thought I’d pursue a career in the fine arts, fashion industry or become a sculptor, as I was influenced by talented women in these fields.
I was unaware that ‘graphic design’ was a career option, until I did an intensive one-year course at Leeds College of Art, prior to attending University. LCA opened my mind to take creative risks, be bold, playful & problem solve within a graphic medium. This is when I knew I’d found my passion.
Tell us about your career, how have you got to where you are today?
After graduating from University I made the move to Brighton, where I worked at a few smaller agencies, the first being a brand & packaging design agency. I quickly made the realisation that packaging design, for me, felt creatively limiting. I then worked at a boutique design & interior architectural studio called We Like Today, where I truly fell in love with branding. I was immersed in the experiential aspect of branding, where driving purpose & making a difference through design was at their core.
After two eye-opening years I decided to go freelance, however at the time I found this to be challenging, as I lacked the experience & knowledge of the creative industry. So I made a big move to a global design agency based in London. I quickly discovered that this too wasn’t for me – but I was glad to experience the madness of it all. With all this experience I crafted a portfolio that I could be truly proud of, gained confidence in my ability & approached Fable. The rest is history.
How has your design style progressed during your time at Fable&Co.?
My style has always been quite bold, minimal & refined. Throughout my 7 years at Fable it’s evolved to become sophisticated, elegant & finessed. I have an eye for being coherent & consistent when it comes to creating an identity, & I strive for design perfection. I’ve become even more ambitious, learnt to be smarter in my approach, to ask questions & to collaborate efficiently; all to create pioneering & effective brand identities…
How would you describe your process when working on projects & what inspires you?
Collaboration within our studio is at the heart of everything we do. My process starts from understanding our research & strategy & collectively defining the culture & personality of the brand. From this, I gather visual inspiration & have open conversations with the team to form initial concepts. This first conceptual phase is one of my favourite parts of the branding process. It allows me to be curious, ambitious, experimental & inspired.
So much of what inspires me comes from the environment around me. Living in Brighton close to both the ocean & the countryside allows me to be inspired by nature; it’s forms, geometry & the feeling & emotion it can give. Whilst the vibrant city of Brighton, with the art scene of London a short train ride away, allows me to be immersed in its architecture, art & typography. Any of these elements can spark inspiration for a project.
What project you are particularly proud of?
Looking back through our portfolio I can say I have thoroughly enjoyed all of my recent projects, but of those, the ones I am immensely proud of are Pallas & HUMO.
Pallas, a superior boutique law practice in London, was a dream project. Mainly because the client put complete faith & trust in us as a branding agency & the outcome was a truly unique brand strategy & identity. With refined sophistication, elegance & simplicity at its core. It was so rewarding & empowering to have such a definitive role defining a new style of law firm, especially in an industry typically known to be visually dated & unsightly. I also found it inspiring to work with Pallas’s female founder Natasha Harrison, in a male dominated industry.
You can read the Pallas case study here.
HUMO was a concept pitch for a new & exclusive Mayfair London restaurant. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process of crafting an exceptionally elegant identity through art, using expressive charcoal markings to tell this story. I fell in love with this medium growing up, as my mother always used it, & subsequently so do I. This primal medium delivered the precise feeling & emotion for the restaurant, where a wood fired kitchen is used to create delicious smoked cuisine. It’s a shame it never got to see the light of day.
You can read the HUMO article here.
Has the way you work changed as you’ve transitioned into a Design Director?
I’m still very much a creative thinker & a brand artist. In many ways I work in a similar fashion, however with my experience & the confidence gained through the years, my role has now evolved & expanded to become more of a leader, sharing my thoughts, knowledge, & advice, lending my eye more often with the team.
Do you have any goals or plans in mind for 2023?
For any artist & designer I think it’s immensely important for the creative mind to be artistic in any shape or form away from the computer now & then. To open our minds & experience art through our own eyes & not just through a screen allows us too experience the raw feeling & emotion art & design can give us in that very moment, up close & personal & in all its glory. My aim this year is to continue to visit galleries & exhibitions & too get the charcoals back out & attend life drawing classes again.