I enjoy making 'stuff' and eating tacos.

A day in the life: Andrew Nicolson

Aug 22nd, 2016

Making things is something of a calling for our Andrew – find out how he spends his days in the latest in our Day in the Life series

Name: Andrew Nicolson

Job title: Senior Digital Designer

Sum up your role in three words:
Senior. Digital. Designer.

How did you get into design?
I was always a curious kid and loved documenting the world around me by taking photos and drawing pictures. I became more and more interested in solving problems and figuring stuff out as I grew older and can still be found taking something apart to learn how it works. Design was a natural path for me to follow and something I can always remember sort of doing anyway. I think it’s probably more accurate to say that design got into me first.

What’s the best thing about it?
Making stuff. Plain and simple. I’ve found a job that lets me make stuff; and when I’m not making stuff at work, I’m making stuff in my spare time. It’s pretty much my favourite thing to do, so the opportunity to be a maker in exchange for money is definitely the best thing about it.

And the worst?
It’s not open-heart surgery, so there’s never really anything all that terrible in this job. Not winning a pitch is disappointing; being given super-tight timeframes to deliver good work is difficult; having to jump from a job you’re really gaining momentum in to work on another is frustrating… but I think that’s as bad as it gets really.

What’s your career highlight so far?
No single outstanding highlight for me so far, but my most recent highlights include being part of a self-initiated poster exhibition; having a project I worked on nominated for a design award and receiving a commendation; and being invited as a guest speaker at a Mark Shayler event. 2016 is a good year indeed (besides all the celebrities dying, the terrorist attacks, Brexit, Trump, etc).

What would you be doing if you weren’t designing?
We all design – to an extent – so I don’t see that as something I’d ever not be doing. But if I was to find another job that didn’t have designer in the title, I’d definitely still be doing something that involved making; maybe a filmmaker or animator or… anything interesting really.

What’s your morning routine?
Sort myself out before the kids wake up. Then do ‘what needs doing’ to get them dressed/fed/contented before promptly escaping to catch the train to work. Or leave before they wake up, mwuhahaha!

First thing you do when you get to the office?
Unlock the doors, open the shutters, switch on the lights, put the milk away. Check emails and then just get down to it.

What’s a typical day like?
Aside from the morning routine, there’s no such thing as a typical day. I think that’s another thing I love about being a designer. Every task has a different vibe, a different approach, a different process; working with different members of the team on different subject matter; at the computer; visiting a client; running a workshop; sketching out concepts; playing with PostIt Notes. No day is the same.

And, most importantly, what’s for lunch?
Salad box. Cheese. Water. Then the odd pub lunch from time-to-time, of course.

Home time! What’s on the agenda?
Train home to join the wife and kids at dinner before the routine “get the weans bathed, pyjama‘d and put to bed”… before passing out.

And finally, what time are lights out?
Anywhere between 9pm and 4am. Reasons for lights out (or delays in lights out) include, but are not limited to: exhaustion, insomnia, side projects, teething (and any other baby/child-related factors), a good movie, a bad movie or date night.

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