I grew up in a small coastal town in the east of England 1. Not much happens in a town like that, but the beaches are nice. My choices at school were pretty limited, my favourite subjects were Computing, Media Studies, and Art - ‘design’ wasn’t something anyone was familiar with. Regardless I loved building things for screens, creating images, and writing. Eventually you’re told to find a future career, something you can ‘do’ for the rest of your life. I was determined that ‘something’ should be ‘something’ I’d like, and that would include my hobbies. I eventually started researching this thing called Graphic Design, it took me a while to work out what it was.
While aimlessly googling “What do graphic designers do” I found a small forum of enthusiasts (the name of which I never remembered, if it still exists) who were swapping images of their favourite pieces of design. One commenter posted a blurry snapshot of what I’d eventually learn was ‘Watching Words Move’ 2. It amazed me, it is simple, playful and expressive, constructed solely from words, in a single typeface.
A few years later, sat at a desk of a small design agency, I was again Googling: “What do Service Designers do?”, “What do Product Designers do?”. I loved parts of Graphic Design as a job, but my interest in User Experience, and User Interfaces had been growing. It was an itch that couldn’t be scratched designing logos and building small Wordpress sites. The empathy and considerate approaches of Product Design, combined with strategy and process appealed to me.
A few more years later I’m happiest doing a little bit of everything that takes an idea and turns it into a working product or service. In my spare time (not chasing my toddler around) I tinker with new web technologies, read as much as I can about design, walk, and fawn over photos of brutalist architecture 3.