Alan Long - Sane & Able


What do you actually do?
I am creative director of a small london based design agency, this means that I have my hands in everything from the design work, client relationships, finding new clients, to creative direction. My usual days consists of planning the day s work load and anything new that comes in and making sure that clients are happy with the work schedule and it fits in with their timescale. I try and get all the emails and paperwork stuff out of the way as early as possible so it then leaves the rest of the days for the design or creative work - this is the part that I love but running your own company means you have to deal with both sides. The other fairly time consuming part is dealing with proposals and quoting new jobs that come in - this normally needs to be turned around in a day or two. Our creative team works closely with a few other companies consulting them on the creativity and idea generation side of their business - this is great fun as we get to come up with all the fun and exciting ideas and then help them to realise them, this doesn't always involve design but is always good to work across different fields.

How did you get started in the industry?
I went to Kingston University and studies Graphic Design. I was approached from my final show at D&AD - I had designed and built my first website (in flash) as my final project and a small agency was looking to move into web and I also wanted to start smaller so that I could learn more about the side of running an agency, dealing with clients directly and the whole process of design.

What would you be doing if you weren't in the industry?
I would imagine an architect, I've always loved architecture and the effect it has on peoples live and it's surrounds (unfortunately more often bad than good). It must be really exciting to see your work realised on such a large and long lasting scale.

What's your current favourite piece of creative work?
It changes so often but recently it was an advert on that massive hoarding at clapham junction, it was an advert for lurpak butter of a rainbow of colour made up of fruit and veg - I can't even remember the slogan but it was just so bright and happy it made me smile on a grey London morning.

What do you love about your job?
Most parts of the design else i wouldn't do it. But one thing I love that isn't as much part of my job now we mainly work in digital is the delivery of print, that anticipation as you open the box to see how it will finally look printed - digital design will never have that unknown excitement of whether it has worked out as planned or not as you can adjust it constantly.

If you could give one piece of advice for someone starting out, what would it be?
Enjoy it - I've said it before and will continue to, i think if your not enjoying it then you are doing something wrong so change it.

If you have one Super power what would it be?
cmd+u - it would be the power to undo things in real life, there are so many times I wish I could have mentally thought undo and time would step back until that last thing was undone.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Ronald McDonald, except I would have the hamburglar arrested for theft and trespassing, then just sit around and eat hamburgers and drinking milkshakes all day - what a life.

What was your worst job and what did you learn from it?
I worked in Iceland (the supermarket that is) and learnt that The Queen endorsed 18 products they sold (we checked every product one day)…it taught me that if your job bores you that much you shouldn't be doing it.

You have already worked with some amazing brands, who would you like to work with next?
I would have to say Nike - I know their work methods and ethics are a little wonky at times but on a creative level they are always trying new and exciting stuff and keeping fresh.

Your favourite app or website?
At the moment it's Sparrow mail, it's features are bare but that is the beauty of it - it really does make email much more efficient.

Facebook or Twitter?

Alan Long   Alan Long

   Creative Director

   Sane & Able

   Website: saneandable.co.uk

   Twitter: @SaneandAble

   Facebook: facebook.com/saneandable

We are a London creative company that prides itself on being young, fun and very professional. The large list of clients and business sectors we create for is almost as varied as our experience in design.


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