The Lowdown – Meet Anna

What do you do at Project Simply?

I’m a designer.

What did you do before you came here?

Before here I was working as a designer at a small agency in Liverpool, but that was my first job as a graphic designer. My degree was in Decorative Arts, and then I did an MA in Fashion & Textiles specialising in print design. I worked for a few independent fashion and footwear brands in London for about 7 years, then I did a PGCE and taught Art, Design, Fashion & Textiles in FE for 5 years. I had really begun to crave doing actual creative work myself, so after lots of consideration I decided I needed to change what I was doing. I left London, moved back up North, and signed up to do a course at Shillington College.

Teaching. it can be tough out there.

Who is your dream client?

Well, I love eating really nice food, and drinking really nice drinks, and listening to really great music. Branding is the discipline of design that I love the most – so to do that for a really cool restaurant, bar or music venue would be ace, tying some of my favourite things together.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to change career?

There’s a lot of pressure on young people to know or decide what they want to do when they leave school, but most of us will be working until we are nearly 70, so if you end up not being happy with what you’re doing, have the courage to make a change. Sure, it can be scary and financially risky for a number of reasons, and it does sometimes feel like you’ve dropped behind your (age) peers in your career progression, but on a positive note, it’s good to keep learning new skills and having a fresh start.

Don’t wait too long like these guys. get a new career.

Where do you look for inspiration?

Lots of places – as well as good old-fashioned design books there are a few websites that I often go to for digital inspiration, and I follow all my favourite studios on social media to keep up with them. I also collect bits of ephemera like packaging/menus/flyers/leaflets, and take photos of posters and anything else that I find interesting.

What’s the last book you read?

I started reading ‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara ages ago. It’s really good but I keep putting it down, I think I’m scared how sad it’s going to get.

What album / artist have you got on heavy rotation at the moment?

I can’t narrow it down to one. I’m really liking Little Simz at the mo (even tho it’s not my usual kind of thing), and Spotify Discover always introduces me to new stuff. Also still playing ‘Ready to Die’ by Bel on Claremont 56 records, great tune and a lovely young man.

What’s your favourite place for Friday team lunch?

Probably NAM in Ancoats. One of the things I miss most about London is having so many Vietnamese restaurants to choose from, so I was very pleased when this one opened up down the road. The Pho and mini Bánh mì lunch deal is great.