Designer In The Spotlight: Andi ‘Toon’ Creffield

Designer In The Spotlight: Andi ‘Toon’ Creffield

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Designer In The Spotlight

Designer In The Spotlight (DITS) is a weekly feature that I run every Sunday (or more) to help particular individuals in the design community get their name ‘out there’ and to educate the community as a whole. It is a series of questions that asks the designer about themselves and their job as a designer. If you would like to be featured in an upcoming DITS post fill out the form here.

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1. Please tell us more about yourself, your background, education and what you do as a designer.

My name is Andi Creffield and I went to college to study graphic design and print production, I started working at Centrereed Limited in the UK when I was 18, I’ve been there 10 years now. We design everything from print, logos, web and integrated products.

2. How long have you been designing and what made you become an artist / designer?

I’ve been designing since I was about 16, I took a free work placement when I was at school to help a local council design a booklet and I was hooked from then on

3. Where do you work and what is your daily routine?

I work about 12 miles away from where I live at Centrereed Limited but I also work freelance for our sister company Taylors Print. I leave the house at 6.20am in the morning and get the train to the studio, I read emails over lots of coffee and then sort out any approved jobs so the production can be sorted as early on in the day as possible to help meet delivery times.

I organize the work for the day ahead for our other mac operators and designers who start at 9am. I run many different sites including business sites, a blog and a forum so I have to make sure they’re all running and being promoted the best way possible.

Then most of the day it’s print preparation or design work until about 4.30pm then it’s home, I also do some private work most nights from around 6-8pm.

4. How did you market yourself in the beginning of your design career and how has that differed to how you market yourself now?

Luckily being a very large company (Annual turnover is approximately £5 million a year) most of our marketing is done within the industry at very low costs, due to the rise in internet sales we have been getting most of our latest work via some of our other businesses and sites.

We are trying to break up the studio’s to specialize on certain areas on design.

5. What are your tools of the trade? This could include hardware, software and traditional tools.

We use pads and pencils, Mac G5’s, OSX Leopard, Quark, CS3 and a program called Forms Expert for our business print.

6. How do you manage the business side of design such as accounting, invoicing and bookkeeping?

We have our own accounts department although most of our online work is now done through paypal to make it easier.

7. Where do you get your inspiration and how do you keep up to date with what is happening in the industry?

Netvibes – without it I don’t think I’d be able to keep up with what is happening, it’s the only way to be able to read the best parts of over 100 sites a day.

8. Can you please guide us through a typical project from start to finish.

Every project is different so there’s very little of a pattern. Depending on the timescale of the job I often take different routes.

Most consist of….

  1. Receive order and request the needed details from the client.
  2. Usually while waiting for the info we can be begin researching and planning the project, who is going to work on it? How much time we feel we’re going to need etc.
  3. For most graphics, logos and web work we can start with pen and paper, some (mainly the web) straight to Photoshop, depending on the depth of the project.
  4. We then discuss and show our ideas to each other to choose the direction we feel we should go.
  5. Is the creation stage. We could be drawing of logo concepts, coding a site etc.
  6. Usually the stage we let the client see their first draft although this changes vastly depending on the project size.
  7. Usually making any amendments or changes based on the clients feedback.
  8. Final approval and invoicing.

9. What are your top 3 websites / books and why?

HTMLDog – Great for web designers, starting with the basics.
Print Week– Keeps me up to date with the business side of the industry.
Tech Crunch – To keep up to date with web trends and new launches.

10. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out?

If you’re in it for the money, you’re in the wrong business.

Jacob: Thank you Andi for taking the time to fill out this interview! If you want to be featured as the next Designer In The Spotlight, fill out this form.

9 thoughts on “Designer In The Spotlight: Andi ‘Toon’ Creffield”

  1. Another interesting view into a designer’s life and work!

    I especially liked the last comment ‘If you’re in it for the money you’re in the wrong business’—this captures the importance of passion. Love what you do first, then the money is a bonus.

  2. Thanks for featuring me Jacob this is a great chance to give other designers an insight into your working day.

  3. Great work there Andi, and yeah I completely agree, Netvibes is a lifesaver! Really like the look of that Wavestack logo too.

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