I judge books by their covers. I always have.
When I was small, I remember visiting our local bookshop and being delighted by all of the wonderful illustrations covering the shelves. I would lift the books down with the greatest of care, reverently turning them so that I could see how the words and images looked on the spine and the back cover. I was fascinated.
As a teenager, I spent hours copying typography from the covers of my best friend’s dad’s vinyl collection. My best friend and I would spend whole days writing stories and creating illustrations for our imaginary world. (Now, in our 40s, it's never been forgotten.)
I guess, looking back, that fascination with book jackets and album art was the first sign of my love of hand lettering, typography and graphic design.
It’s not just the aesthetics for me, though. I’ve always been a lover of the meaning of words too. A lover of learning. Curious and captured by details. Etymology. Rhymes. Word games. Swearing…but we’ll leave that for another day.
My mum and I used to play “the dictionary game” when I was little. I’d give her my Children's First Illustrated Dictionary, she’d find a word, tell me the first letter and definition and I’d have to tell her which word she’d found. Sitting here, writing this, it all sounds pretty geeky, but I loved it.
Now, after a rather circuitous route through different careers and bringing up a little one, I find myself back in a place of words and pictures - creating design work and writing for creative businesses.
I’m a make do and mender, a reuser and upcycler. I prefer to shop with small businesses and believe in the value of artisan and handmade products.
In our world of big business, fast fashion and throw away culture, I want to help turn the tide back toward slower production, fair and safe working conditions and conscious consumption.
Helping independent businesses to grow their offering and their impact is my way of contributing to the change I want to see.