Meet the AA9 team... John

At Anytime After Nine, we’d love to get to know you all!  So, we thought we’d introduce ourselves… Up next in our ‘Meet the Team’ series is our Senior Creative, John.

All articles - Meet The Team - 12 March 2024

Author: AA9

Tell us a little bit about you… What role do you do in AA9?

From as early as I can remember I’ve been drawing, doodling, writing and creating, so it was always inevitable that I’d make a career of it.

As a member of a small team, my role at AA9 involves many aspects of our creative output. From logo design, to brochures. Infographics to illustrations, every day see’s a new creative challenge.

I’ve worked at Anytime After Nine for over 10 years, with over 20 years previously working in advertising agencies and printers. Having seen the business from both the technical, print side and the creative side helps keep our artwork meticulous, accurate and delivered on time, which is vital in the healthcare comms sector.

What does a typical week look like for you?

No two weeks are alike, so a ‘typical’ week is difficult to pin down, but during the week I will have typically worked on some illustrations, a logo design, an infographic (still popular!) and worked on some brochures or leaflets

What’s the first thing you do when you get to your desk?

Look out of the back window to see if next door’s cat Kevin is staring at me from the cold, hoping to be let in. Then check emails and the schedule for the day.

What’s your go-to productivity trick?

Coffee and/or chocolate and music to suit the mood. I love to listen to film scores during the day, less distracting than the radio, and they can be quite inspirational, especially when illustrating.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Loving what I do, it’s not a chore to get out of bed and start the working day, especially if there’s a nice creative job to get my teeth into. A strong coffee first thing always helps too.

Where do you look for inspiration?

Sometimes it’s easy to find inspiration in one of my many design books, but generally inspiration just arrives, and often at random times. An idea may spark while I’m on my lunchtime walk or, as often happens, an idea suddenly appears in the evening and I’ll have to quickly jot it down. Nowadays, with the boom in AI technology, inspiration can be gleaned from some random prompts in a search engine.

What’s the secret to running a successful project from start to finish?

A clear brief is essential as it allows a firm plan to be established from the start. Clarity of the intention of the project allows creativity to flow better and keeps the project on track.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

“Keep it simple” which I’ve always applied to logo design. Don’t overcomplicate, always simplify. Also, “There are no problems only solutions”, which is a cliché, but there always is a way around a tricky design problem, be it trying to squeeze a lot of content into a limited space or trying to satisfy a complex brief.

What is your favourite thing about working at AA9?

Every day brings a new job and a new challenge, creating different materials. One day I’ll be designing a brochure or retouching an image, the next day I’ll be illustrating characters for an animation or creating an infographic. Having that variation keeps the creativity flowing, and with the back-up of our great team - who are a joy to work with - there is always someone to lend a hand when needed.


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