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Meet Designer: Missy Dempsey

I use pictures, illustrations and type to communicate ideas.

What is your job title?

Graphic Designer/ Illustrator

What is your typical "day in the life of a designer" ?

I exercise most mornings to clear my head, sometimes i meditate. Sometimes I feel guilty for not meditating.

My studio is an 18 minute walk from my house, once I get there I usually spend 20mins chatting with other creatives in my space about what they're up to. Then I check emails and write down a to do list for the day. Sometimes I schedule emails to send later in the day so that I don't get replies all at once.

Then I'll get started on the top priority job while being distracted by Pinterest, Behance, Instagram and text messages. If I'm working on an illustration job, I'll listen to a podcast while I work. If I need pure concentration I'll put on some white noise.

Because I run my own business, some of my day is usually dedicated to client services or admin tasks. This could be writing estimates, sending invoices, doing taxes, chasing up clients about jobs.

Design principles you live by?

Contrast - make it POP!

Colour - more is more

Balance - visual weight is sexy

Rhythm - love a good flow

Play - make it a bit unexpected

What problem can't you stop thinking about?

Rapid antigen tests, so much plastic, so much waste. There must be a better way!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

If you want to be good at something, you have to practice consistently.

Design tools you can’t live without? (Physical and/or digital)

  • Illustrator for iPad has changed my life.

  • iPad.

  • Full keyboard with numeric pad.

  • 360º computer monitor arm for my 4K monitor, so.damn.good.

  • Rounded Invoicing app (Australia specific)

  • Teux Deux list app

  • Multicolour pen - mine has 8 colour choices, I use it to differentiate things in my notebook

  • Leuchtturm bullet journal - great for sketching, ruling and writing. It has perforated pages too.

What’s in your bag?

My backpack is an awesome Australian brand called Crumpler. Inside it is my MacBook Pro, iPad pro, cables, muesli bars, 8-pen, notebook, lip balm, vitamin C, AirPods, keys, teabags. Masks and tote bag for grocery shopping. A recent addition is an AirTag so I can always find it.

What is the greatest design object, service, product or graphic ever made, in your opinion?

Big question.

For me it's the iPad/Apple Pencil combo. It changed my life.

I went to a David Hockney exhibition in 2016 and saw his iPad paintings and bought an iPad the next day. It completely changed how I work.

Books you highly recommend for anyone pursuing a career in design?

The Art of Looking Sideways is an old fave. So many clever ideas and writing.

Interaction of Colour by Josef Albers.

Any logo book that has tonnes of examples for reference/idea generation.

Two Designer friends you admire and we should talk to!

Peita Blythe - passionate map-making powerhouse wonderwoman

Olivia Chen, Studio Chen - another badass woman making incredibly beautiful identities

Where and What did you study?

Graphic Design

Bachelor of Arts - Graphic Design, Charles Sturt University. Australia

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