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Interview with our Creative Designer

Get to know our Senior Creative Designer at Norr and Echo, Fiona Pace.

Hi Fiona, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello! Well, as you know my name is Fiona and I’m the Senior Creative Designer at Norr and Echo. I’ve been a designer for
over 20 years now and I’ve had the opportunity to work on quite an array of different clients across my career.

Do you think there is a difference between a graphic designer and a creative designer?
To be honest, it’s just a different term used by different industries for people doing the same job. However at the same time,
a creative designer does not necessarily need to be a graphic designer, possibly in other sectors and industries, creative
designers would work across different platforms on a multitude of different aspects of creativity, not just graphics.

What made you choose design as a profession and what was your experience with it?
I always used to be doodling and drawing when I was a kid, so I always knew I wanted a creative job to some extent.
I kind of fell into it actually. Let’s say back in the 90s in Malta, not everyone knew what a graphic designer was, in fact generally,
graphic design wasn’t as well-known as it is today, especially as a profession. I just knew I couldn’t see myself working in a bank
(as that was considered as the best kind of job to have back then). I heard about graphic design, I started to do some courses, and
started off from the very beginning in a junior role.

It was definitely a challenge, especially getting my first few jobs actually, because back then it was very difficult to own a
computer at home, let alone a Mac which cost as much as a car if not more – not many people had their own computers, so it’s
not like you could build your portfolios at home, so I used to draw a lot of stuff instead. When going to interviews there was
an issue because they wanted to see printed designs not drawn designs. That’s the case nowadays too, interviewers want
to see your skills through a variety of mediums… digital, printed, drawn, to really see your skills and what you’re capable of.
Eventually you’d find someone willing to give you a shot and start off there. Until you start to build up your portfolio through
numerous jobs, it’s rough and it takes time. It’s been years now and I managed to finally build one that I’m pretty proud of though.

What skills do you believe a creative designer should have to be successful?
Definitely patience, and a lot of it. Obviously, you have to be artistic – doesn’t necessarily mean that you know how to draw
or paint, you can still be a designer even if you’re not an artist. You also have to be on the look out to see what’s happening
around because trends are constantly changing. Having a good sense of colour psychology also helps.

What adjectives would you use to describe yourself and your work?
In my work, I’d say clean, minimalist, playful and bright. Myself? I find this question so difficult… I guess I’m quirky, playful,
like to have a good laugh, I’m quite sweet too [giggles]

What do you think is the most common stereotype or misunderstanding about what you do?
That good design happens quickly! Many don’t understand that designing is very time-consuming. It takes time to research, create,
amend, publish – and I haven’t even mentioned the design part yet!

Who or what motivates you?
I wouldn’t say I look up to anyone in particular however I guess my inspiration and motivation comes from beautiful
things – I know that’s vague, but I do love aesthetics, whether it’s beautiful ceilings in a loft, beautiful cinematography in a movie,
or a beautiful plant. I do enjoy browsing Pinterest boards to see what other designers are up to, and their creativity in their
designs motivates me to always do better in my own work.

If you could tell your eighteen-year-old-self anything, what would it be?
It’s not going to be easy, but stick it out because it’ll be worth it.

Do you have any goals you’d like to achieve in the next year?
Well, well! A nice, long holiday when the time is right wouldn’t hurt! and I’d like to finish my home interiors.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us Fiona, our last question before
you go is what 2020 design trend are you looking forward to this year?
I’d say modernised retro and monochromatic designs are two trends that I’m inspired to delve into more this year.
Thank you for this interview and see you later!

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