Our latest Meet the team feature turns the spotlight on senior designer Jane Fathers. And she’s risking the wrath of writers everywhere by insisting that great design is what makes you stand out from the crowd…
Hi Jane! Thanks for being our latest Meet the team victim. Tell us a bit about yourself – how long have you been with 44, and what’s your role?
I joined 44 just before Christmas last year as a senior designer. I’m covering for one of the design team members, Jess, who’s on maternity leave.
Where were you before you joined 44 – and what did you do there?
Before joining 44, I was a senior designer at Warwick University. I was part of a small team providing design solutions for internal departments and external business. I was there for 18 years, so taking this job was definitely a big deal for me. But I was looking for a new challenge… so here I am!
Does art run in the family? And what’s your design background and training?
No, not really, but I always enjoyed drawing and painting, so it was the obvious choice to go to art college. I took a foundation course at Aston University in Birmingham, then went on to study 3D design in London.
After graduating, I freelanced as a 3D model-maker, but eventually moved into graphic design, working for various organisations, including: London Borough of Enfield, JPM, a gaming company, and Christmas Consulting – where every day was Christmas Day (eek)!
What else do you get up to away from work?
I like to stay fit, so in my spare time you may find me playing tennis at my local club, where I turn out regularly for the second team, or riding my bike. I recently did the ‘Ride the Night’ bike challenge. It meant riding 100 kilometres through London at night to raise money for Women V Cancer. I’m not sure I’d do it again – it was a bit like playing dodgems with the London buses and taxis… and the odd drunk!
What do you think is the importance of good design when it comes to communications?
Not wanting to upset any of the wordsmiths at 44 and elsewhere, but to quote a well-used phrase, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.
Design is what will set you apart from your competition. It will get your message noticed, make you stand out and most importantly, be memorable.
We all remember certain brands that we recognise at a glance, such as Coca-Cola and McDonalds – and that instant recognition is due to consistent and good design, which is crucial.
Sorry, that was a rather heavy question… let’s lighten things up a bit. What do you like to watch on TV?
I love a good movie. I’m a bit of a Tom Hanks fan. I recently rewatched Captain Phillips and it still had me sitting on the edge of my seat, even the second time round! I also like a bit of comedy. I’m a big fan of Fleabag, This is Going to Hurt and After Life.
I also read a lot, if I don’t fall asleep first! My favourites include Khaled Hosseini’s novels The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. They’re both very moving and brilliantly written.
And is there anything special you’re looking forward to this year? Any big plans, goals or ambitions – inside or outside of work?
I’m looking forward to the summer, which will mark the end of stressful GCSEs in our household! And we’re also planning a bit of a road trip to the south of France.
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