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Interview with Angela Spindler

Home > Designer Interviews > Angela Spindler

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Angela Spindler (AS) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Angela Spindler by clicking here.

Interview with Angela Spindler at Sunday 23rd of October 2016

FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
AS: I have been in the design industry for 30 years. I come from the UK but my design career has taken me to Germany, New Zealand and now Australia. My interest in design started very early, I had a keenness for typography and calligraphy and my very first commission at 17 was to hand letter certificates for Oxford University.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
AS: Depot Creative is a boutique packaging, design and brand consultancy and we help people create, refresh and evolve brands.

FS: What is "design" for you?
AS: I would need to relate that question to my main discipline of packaging design and with that I would say design is about capturing a single idea and expressing it in the most compelling and memorable way possible.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
AS: All kinds really, but the areas that excite me most are in beverage, health and beauty and gourmet food.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
AS: That is a hard question to answer, as at the moment I have two. My first would be a project I completed last year for a coffee brand-Jacobs Coffee, which took a very simple idea and completely shattered the conventional way of packaging the product. The second would be for Bare Cosmetics, a range of bespoke natural extracts, which articulates the beauty of nature and its life sustaining ability in the form of facial serums.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
AS: I was working for an agency in London and I had the task of creating their new company logo, not much to ask of the junior designer, but much to my surprise it was implemented.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
AS: I really enjoy working with different substrates, one of my greatest achievements was creating a copper wine label, lots of research and a great team facilitated the outcome.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
AS: When I am not trying to be.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
AS: I am very detail orientated, so everything really but crafting a beautiful piece of type whether it is the brand mark or a piece of romance text on the side of pack, it is all equally important to the over all design aesthetic.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
AS: Emotions are complex when relating them to design, the whole spectrum I would say, but when you can trust your reasons and judgments and feel happy with what you have achieved then that is a good place to be in.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
AS: Relief sometimes and even sadness as well when a really great project comes to an end, but then you just start the next one.

FS: What makes a design successful?
AS: In packaging I would say the design is successfull when it is commercially successful. It is no good having a great looking piece of design that totally misses the mark at POP. That is why I enjoy packaging design as there is so much bound up in such a small space and you have to get it right otherwise you get overlooked and over shadowed by the product sitting next to you.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
AS: I think some pieces of design are genuinely bad from a typographic, layout, image and understading perspective, we all know what these look like, they are the pieces that make your eyes bleed and make you want to weep. However before I judge a design I think it is good to be able to understand the brief that was given and any constraints that were applied.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
AS: Our responsibilities are to deliver well considered ideas in a way that respects our society and our environment. Particularly working in packaging I think we are duty bound to be mindful of the resources we engage to get a product to market.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
AS: Design style is clean and uncluttered. I think this style evolved simply from the discipline of packaging design. When you are working in such small spaces and wanting to maximise impact, you are very conscious of the value of space. My approach to design is very rigorous, I always do lots of visual research, write down key words, develop very clear ideas and set territories for the concepts and so it rolls on.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
AS: I now live in Australia but am from the UK and have worked in Europe for a long time. I think I have been influenced by my cultural heritage but also working in Germany gave me new insights in to particular design disciplines, I think I learnt how to be far more rigorous and ultimately accountable for what I was designing.

FS: How do you work with companies?
AS: In a very open way. At the end of the day, you both have the same objective—to deliver the best outcome possible.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
AS: I think that when you have that first face to face with a prospective client, that is when you can tell if the relationship is going to gel. Without having that sense of whether it is going to work, what is the point. That would be my recommendation, it is a bit like going on a first date—would you want to see that person again or not!

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
AS: We have a very simple 4 stage process that all of our projects fit to.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
AS: I love chairs. I sit on a Charles Eames, and have two Mies Van Der Rohe tubular chairs. My kettle is the wonderful whistling design by Richard Sapper but I also collect industrial pieces so have machinist boxes, traffic lights and numerous odd pieces that have lovely typography or badges.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
AS: It revolves around my family and my studio. I have a wonderful son that I spend as much time as possible with and I have a career that still excites me after all these years.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
AS: Do lots of pencil scribbles to clarify your ideas before you speak to your creative director!

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
AS: Being a designer gives you great personal satisfaction. You have the ability to make change, share ideas, create new things.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
AS: Having a single clear idea and bringing that to life in the most compelling way possible.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
AS: Listening, understanding and patience.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
AS: We are all Mac based so the usual suite of creative applications but my program of choice is illustrator. My most faithful tool is my no. 5 long handled scalpel, it has helped me create thousands of mockups over the years.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
AS: As sensibly as possible. We have a time management system program that makes managing projects and particularly time quite easy.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
AS: Tricky question, every project has its own individual timeline and that is driven by many factors. Its a question I rarely answer.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
AS: How much will it cost...

FS: What was your most important job experience?
AS: My first job, I started right at the bottom and learnt lots of skills that have served me well over the years.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
AS: Check out the website and see...www.wearedepot.com.au

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
AS: I really enjoy working in beverage and most recently in natural beauty- products that have a lifestyle edge are a lot of fun.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
AS: I will continue to be a packaging designer but I am currently working with some industrial designers to bring out a range of my own products.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
AS: That largely depends on the project.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
AS: Fortunately we have some very interesting works going through at the moment in the personal care category, so you may seem them entered next year.

FS: How can people contact you?
AS: Through the website or simply pick up the phone.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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