Based in Surrey, Andy Martin is a creative director/senior graphic designer who has been in the industry for over 22 years. After so long, you'd think anyone would start to lose their passion. Not Andy.
Passionate as ever, developing his skills and relationships every day, Andy loves the art of building creative things and believes in another life he'd probably have been an architect or a builder. His "slick, simple and clean" style is a testimony to the decades he spent working for this beautiful industry.
For this Member Spotlight, we are learning more about the work and life of an incredibly inspiring creative director.
How did you get into the industry?
I started drawing when I was about 6/7 and continued to love it all my way through school, which led me into A levels then onto my degree in Graphic Communications. Thankfully when I finished my degree I got my first job in a small design studio and mentored by an Ex Saatchi & Saatchi Creative Director who taught me a lot of the fundamentals of graphic design that I still use today
Where are you based now and who do you work for?
I’m based in leafy Surrey. I’ve worked for a local government in-house design studio for 19 years. I set up my own design business a few years ago that I ran parallel to my full time role, which worked really well as It meant I had a good mix of corporate design whilst also working on more commercial and fun projects through my business. Sadly I have been made redundant from my full time employment, so I am now trying to push my own business more and grow my network of clients. It was always the dream to go solo so now there’s no time like the present!
If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?
Blimey! I’m not actually sure as I’ve been in this industry so long! Ive always liked the idea of property development, building something from scratch – so I’d say a builder or architect.
Can you explain your creative process?
Good question! My first and most important step is to have a good chat with my client and try and get out of them what it is they want as their end product, really try to extract as much information as possible so I can so I can deliver something that will wow them. I would then do some research, look for inspiration, scribble some ideas down on paper before going to my Mac. Once I have gathered all those things, nailed some problem solving and my head is in the game I would then start creating visuals to present to my client whether it be a branding, brochure, campaign or a website, either way that process is always similar. Generally, and through had work and experience my initial designs are well received, although I allow for some flexibility through the. Sometimes things just happen, sometimes designs can take a little longer than expected but that is all part and parcel of a subjective industry!
How would you describe your style?
Mmmm. It can vary depending on the target audience and client, but I have a style that is slick, simple and clean, but I also like to play around with a grungy, textured feel.
Which individuals do you gain inspiration from? Do you have any heroes in the industry?
Heroes in the industry, not as such but I’m forever looking online and at social media to see what’s going on and what people are doing to break boundaries – Jessica Walsh, a American graphic designer always produces some top notch projects.
If you had to pick one ideal client/employer, who would that be and why?
Aston Martin – for sure! Very slick, clean brand which suits my main style – can you get me a gig there!! Hahhah!
How has technology affected the way you work?
Technology has played a massive role in my career.. when I started out it was all about drawing fonts, lettrasets, scamping visuals with markers - which is why I still do that now I think before I get to my Mac. Over time technology has really made things a lot easier and quicker to enhance creativity and gives the opportunity to deliver some amazing work, not just me but what you see around today, we are surrounded by so much creativity in everyday life. I made sure I moved with technology over the years - learning new software programmes for example that are needed to be able to deliver creative solutions that I do for my clients!
What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?
Building good relationships with clients always helps and inspires me to deliver a cracking job and receiving good feedback is always a pleasure! Bit of ego boosting never hurt hah!
What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?
I’ve delivered so many projects over the years, that I am really proud of - but working in local government had its downfalls as I didn’t get to showcase projects as much as I wanted – but one project that stands out was a big campaign on knife crime that won a Local Government Award for best Campaign in 2019 and is still going strong today.
How do you recharge away from the office?
Listen to house music and going to festivals when we were allowed! – also fitness training, walks with my two lovely doggies, cooking and a nice cold beer!
What is one tip for other aspiring creatives looking for work?
Don’t give up!
What is the one thing that you would change about the industry?
Those clients that say: "oh it wont take long will it?"
Any websites, books or resources you would recommend?
Creativepool of course! Here’s some others I have in my web browser bookmarks: