Professional in The Hot Seat - Winter 2015-16

We caught up with the Property Disputes Quarterly Update designer, Andy Teakle, to find out more about the life of a Freelance Graphic Designer.

How would you define graphic design?
That’s a good question... ‘Graphic Design’, like any creative field, is always changing and evolving, but in my opinion, the principle of good design remains as strong as ever and is at the heart of so much. When I think of design, my mind instinctively turns to the romance of old ‘paste up’ boards, ornate printing presses and episodes of ‘Mad Men’. In recent years however, with online and social media having such an impact on business and lifestyle, there are even more opportunities for Graphic Designers. Some choose to specialise in a niche, others prefer to get involved in a mixture of design projects such as branding, advertising, packaging, publishing and web design, the list goes on... I personally prefer the latter,  I always love a new challenge! 

Give me a quick guided tour of your typical working day
As mentioned, I enjoy variety, which means no two days are the same for me. I spent the first five years of my career as in house designer at a law firm so I really enjoy the client service side of things as much as sitting in front of my Mac. Let’s take today as an example. Apart from this interview (which is a first for me!), this morning I’m meeting with a local charity to discuss their branding, this afternoon I’m launching a website for a national interior design specialist... and this evening I’ll be sending this newsletter to print!

Who can benefit from a Graphic  Designer?
For me, good design is a great leveller for businesses, no matter what their size, sector or budget. If your website, your branding and your signage for example looks smart and cohesive, people take you seriously and you’re in a strong position to go out and win new business with confidence. Sharp design can help any company stand out from the crowd and be memorable, which is so important... After all, as they say, ‘you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression’.

Aside from Graphic Design, what would be your dream job?  
With all the recent James Bond hype I must admit the thought of being an international spy is rather attractive, but I hate having to wear a bow tie at dinner parties, so for that reason alone I can’t see it being a realistic career choice! In all seriousness, I’ve always been fascinated with Architecture and the masterpieces you see on Grand Designs, so had I not chosen Graphic Design, I would have trained to become an Architect, however, maths has never been my strong point so I would come unstuck pretty quickly!

What song best describes your approach to work?
It really depends on the day to be honest... Sometimes I feel like Babylon Zoo ‘Spaceman’ applies to my frame of mind, whilst other days I‘m more ‘Hard Day’s Night’ by the Beatles.  This is starting to sound like a cheesy answer to a ‘Blind Date’ question, so I should probably stop there.  Although I must say, for concentration, Moby‘s album ‘18’ is my go to, it is well worth a listen.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Well, assuming there are no rules to this game, I would invite the late, great Steve Jobs so I could thank him in person for changing the world with great design as well as making my job so much more fun. Quentin Tarantino would be there, along with an entourage of all of his best characters and I would have a live performance from Daft Punk... Just in case anybody caught wind of the soirée, I would also put The Incredible Hulk on the door

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Just stay humble, grateful and open to new ideas. I took the step into full-time freelance just over a year ago and I thank my stars daily for every project, client and opportunity, it’s been a blast... Here's wishing everybody happy and prosperous 2016!