Milly McMahon Mar 08
Five minutes with… Laura
Method Design’s Chief Designer Laura believes consistency and trust are key when it comes to creating effective brand identities for clients.
Passionate about architecture, graphic design and interiors, Laura is a visionary creative with a person-centred approach to professional collaboration. Graduating from Cumbria College of Art and Design in Carlisle with a BA Hons in Graphic Design, Laura works best to strict deadlines; organising herself with military precision, she runs a tight ship at Method Design HQ.
Gaining experience working in marketing, eventing and publishing, she excels when working with a challenging project, regardless of spec or size. Culture, nature and personality inspire the Scottish Lass’s creative processes. Naturally warm and engaging, with a talent for incubating long-lasting relationships with clients, Laura identifies USP’s with a natural flare which impresses her audiences, consistently winning loyalty from those she works alongside. Adding subtle feminine touches to the Method Design aesthetic, Laura is addicted to Adobe Creative Suite, InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Intrigued by interior design, her dream is to one day renovate a house and transform it into a home, her philosophy being ‘I love the idea of taking something and making it better!’
I can wholeheartedly say that I think because we are so honest, there is no hidden agenda. People respect us and we gain their trust and recurring business.
What is the vibe like day to day in the Method Design office?
I think it's a great vibe in the office. We have quiet surroundings in the leafy garden and music on the go; normally easy listening or country. With screensavers on the big screen depicting desirable locations around the globe and the smell of fresh coffee permeating the air, I find it a very calm, communal space. Lunch can vary depending on weather and workload. On busy days we just grab something like a quick sarnie or wrap. The chitchat can be so diverse; sometimes we have clients in the office and other times, suppliers. A new day can literally bring anything!
Which jobs and projects do you enjoy working on the most and why?
I work on so many and there are different aspects to each of them. I thrive on taking something boring and dated and making it amazing. I love that. I have enjoyed working on packaging designs too, from baby food to pet food. I enjoy creating logos and working with typography, which can be both interesting and challenging.
Which artists and designers inspire you and who do you reference most commonly in your work?
At university, within graphic design, I loved David Carson. In Architecture, I love Norman Foster and his contemporary and sleek designs. Today, there isn't an individual l can pinpoint. I see so many amazing and inspiring designs daily, it all helps spark my creativity; even ordinary things I see in everyday life when I am out and about. I either photograph those inspirations or look up references to them when I get home. Design is everywhere.
Do you feel it is as fair, equal and easy to progress in the world of design as a woman compared to a man?
I would say yes, pretty equal. But I guess, like everything, perhaps women aren't as obvious a choice when it comes to design in some respects. To be honest, I think it would depend on the kind of design you're after. For instance, if you wanted a wedding invitation you might look more favourably on a female designer than on a male.
Who instilled your working values in you as a young professional and what advice would you give to aspiring female designers?
I have always been a hard worker and a bit of a perfectionist from day one. Our lecturers at college were incredible and really made you think and respect how things should look and feel. I remember them being brutally honest at the 'crits' we'd have on a weekly basis. You would have to put your work on the wall for all to see and judge. If course leaders felt you hadn't bothered to take the time and effort on your work, even though all art is subjective, you would be found out. They could always tell the ones who had been burning the midnight oil. I think the only advice I would give is to always be aware of your surroundings and seek inspiration, research is key to any project, but mostly have fun with it; the best ideas can come from experimenting.
How do you go about collaborating with a client to achieve the aesthetic and correct feel for a design or logo that suits their ethos and appeals effortlessly to their consumer?
Research is a big thing. We find out who it's for, why they need it and what the USP should be. Some clients want us to take the lead and give us free reign, others have their own ideas and inspirations which we will bring to life. Either way, it's for them and it's bespoke, we want to give them the best outcome. You need to be understanding of their needs as it's their vision and their baby. Especially if they are a business start-up, you want them to succeed. We always have a meeting with our clients initially to bring together ideas and get things moving in the right direction.
What is your number one fave logo?
Gosh, that is a hard question. Erm, I would say... Coca-Cola, it's timeless and although it is slightly tweaked every few years, it is so universally recognisable.
I love clever logos like these as well…
As a small business, what creative benefits do you enjoy when working with new clients?
As we have a vast array of clients, it's always exciting when someone walks through the door with a product idea you haven't seen or heard of, I love it when that happens, anything goes then... unleash the creativity.
What do you have left to achieve?
Every day is a school day and there is still lots to learn. I think as times change and design continues to evolve I might be drawn to perhaps looking into different fields and broadening my skills. I would like to be able to do CAD and interior designs too; it would be great to offer that as a service!
How differently does Method Design cater to clients on a personal level?
I think we are all just very honest. We will always let clients know if we think we're the right fit for their brand or whether they would be better looking at alternative solutions. We will always help direct them to the next best option if that’s the case. I can wholeheartedly say that I think because we are so honest, there is no hidden agenda. People respect us and we gain their trust and recurring business.