We’ve recently welcomed a new designer to our studio, Tom. Our Digital Marketing Executive, Charlie, sat down with him and asked him a few questions. 

Let’s kick off, describe yourself in 3 words.

Designer. Coder. Nerd. That’s what my Twitter bio says anyway.

What made you become a designer?

I’ve always had a bit of an obsession with logos and icons. My Dad was a Print Manager and I used to hoard branded stationery. I guess I chose to become a designer because I really loved Design Tech & Graphics at school & college.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

Probably “you cannot not communicate”. That one goes pretty well with “’It is impossible to speak in a way you cannot be misunderstood”. Basically, everything you do says something, so if you can’t explain why something is the way it is – try again.

And if you could give one piece of advice to somebody interested in design, what would it be?

Keep working. I always found the hardest part of being a designer was that what you create is never as good as what was in your head when you started. But as you practice and build your skills, it gets a lot easier to realise your concepts and even improve on them through the process.

Biggest or proudest moment of your career so far?

When I first graduated, a coursemate and I set up a little studio in Leicester city centre to get a foothold in the industry. It only ran for 2 years before we both got snapped up and moved on but in those 2 years we won a Worldwide Logo Design Award (WOLDA) and had the Prime Minister drop in for a coffee on our studio sofa. I’d probably have to go with that.

And what stuff are you enjoying at Cite?

I’m just wrapping up a brand guide for a client I started on in my first week which is nice. It’ll be the first client piece I wrap up since I joined. I’m enjoying pushing myself with some expression-based stuff in After Effects for a client’s very polished keynote presentation right now too. That’s definitely a nice one.

What should we keep an eye on in 2020?

I think integrating 3D and 2D styling will be a big trend this year. Representing 2D styles in 3D spaces and bringing the depth of 3D elements into 2D media. The best trends come up again and again. Things like minimalism, simplified iconography and limited palettes will always be on trend.

Read our 2020 design trends predictions here

Design-aside, what music have you added to the Cite playlist?

Haha! As Mateen pointed out earlier, probably too much.

Elvis Costello, Radiohead, Childish Gambino, Frank Ocean, Flyte and some of the American Beauty soundtrack to name a few…

What’s your favourite part about Leicester?

Maybe The Cookie? They have some great up and coming gigs on and it’s a lovely little space for chilled gigs and head bangers.

Name something you can’t live without.

My girlfriend might kill me for not saying her but probably my Mac.

Last question. In your spare time, what do you get up to?

I play the drums with my band @avntgards and korfball for Leicester’s best (and only) korfball team, @leicesterkorf.

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