My career started all thanks to the Royal Society of Arts when I won their award for packaging design. This led to a short work placement at John Lewis – a shock to the system having to be fully suited and booted straight after university. However, it seemed to go well, lasting 8 years. It was a great time to join the business as it grew into the confident brand it is today. We designed everything from their first home catalogues to Waitrose packaging. But, despite the profit share bonuses, 25% discount and Partners’ dining room (roast lunch £1.19), it was time to leave. This was partially because I'd gained a stone in weight (puddings 19p), but mainly to broaden my career and client experience.
After some agency hopping, experiencing the good, the bad and the ugly (mentioning no names, it's a small world), a fantastic opportunity was proposed: “Help build a retail focussed team within Tag Worldwide.” Starting with a team of 5 in 2010, we quickly grew to become a busy studio with pitch wins and helped to grow existing accounts. We create everything from impactful retail campaigns to product launches, pitch-winning presentations and global POS toolkits.
As with many designers, I started with a pencil and paper and resisted the Mac until my final year at university. Recently, I moved to the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. Some perceive their use “cheating” - but in my experience, it simply accelerates and amplifies skills learnt over the years. It also happens to be much cleaner than using traditional materials which very much appeals to my tidy side.
POSTMAN’S PRIME CHUNKS
This was the RSA design awards packaging brief: Design a range of pet food packaging. My concept took our family experience of owning a dog who took particular exception to postmen and so Postman’s Prime Chunks’ was born. Taking styling cues from Royal Mail stickers, envelopes and tubes, I even made startled postman-shaped biscuits from modelling clay.
A few years later, I was fortunate enough to be given a place at the judge’s table, sitting on the very same panel who gave me the packaging award. (I completely sympathised with the finalists at interview stage). The rest, as they say, etc etc.