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Catching Fireworks

Deborah Henry-Pollard: Creative Coaching


Take Five with Annette Peppis

Posted on 15 October, 2018 at 9:45

Annette Peppis is a graphic designer of many years standing who has worked for clients large and small, ranging from the BBC and NHS to small companies and solitary freelancers. She understand the challenges that businesses face and with every job, brings her common sense, imagination and excellent organisation. Annette is the designer of the What's Your Excuse books, bringing a cohesive smart and elegant design across the brand, whilst giving each book an individuality through the glorious colours of each cover. (As it is my favourite colour, and part of my branding, I asked Annette for an orange cover and she did not disappoint!)

In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

Being able to solve clients problems creatively. It pleases them and I get great job satisfaction.

Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?

Herb Lubalin was one of the original ‘Mad Men’, an art director / graphic designer / typographer who ran his own advertising agency in New York in the 60s and 70s. He learned calligraphy at the Cooper Union in New York, and drew all his lettering by hand. His most well-known typeface is Avant Garde, still well-regarded.

Herb had fun with lettering, as his clever Mother and Child logo demonstrates (see link below). I think this playfulness with type was his most important contribution to graphic design; he opened up and allowed himself to experiment, creating work significantly different from the Swiss Modernism of the time. Herb was unfashionable for a while, but is currently very much in vogue.

What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

I wish I had known the importance of networking and making good connections. For decades, I focused on creating beautiful, functional designs and ignored the commercial side of my business. My work was greatly appreciated by my clients, but in retrospect, if I’d had more connections I could have helped many more businesses and publishers. Deborah talks about the importance of networking on page 83 of her book, in the section entitled ‘I don’t know the right people’.

If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?

I have a change of scene, either going out for a walk to nearby Bushy Park or down to the river, or by going swimming. Something about swimming lengths clears the mind, and enables fresh ideas to populate it.

And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

I’d be a walking boot – I love being outdoors and discovering new places and I go stir-crazy if I don’t get my fix!






Categories: Take Five

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