A graduate in Graphic Arts & Design from Leeds Beckett College, Craig Berry calls himself a graphic designer and author, as his work displays a profession spent traversing the 2 disciplines. Throughout his time at Superunion, he was a part of the workforce that scooped a D&AD Wooden Pencil for work on Amsteldok. And he additionally loved a lot success as a columnist for FONK Journal, a revered Dutch publication that focuses on the artistic business. Notable articles embody a bit on his favorite style model, Carhartt, titled Work in Progress and ideas on the Eighties British typographic revolution.
He joined Nomad in 2021, changing into a part of a rising workforce of 20 people who find themselves behind contemporary identities for the Premier League, Disney+ and Sky Sports activities. It is a good transfer for Craig, having spent 5 years in Amsterdam working in 100-plus robust groups. The studio feels extra like a household, he tells us, and someplace he is been in a position to work for the likes of Cannes Lions, Sega, The NFL, and Nike, to call just a few.
We sat down with Craig to talk about grabbing huge alternatives with each palms, why transferring to a different nation brings a lot inspiration and the way occasional loneliness generally is a good factor.
You are comparatively new to the workforce at Nomad. How’s it going?
Yeah, I have been right here 9 months already. If I am sincere, it feels a bit bizarre for the time being, as we go from a small startup to a studio with 20 individuals on the workforce. It is rising fairly quick, too, with extra individuals becoming a member of and larger purchasers coming in. It is a actually thrilling time to be right here.
It is not too long ago loved its fifth birthday, two of which have been spent through the pandemic. Did you begin working for Nomad from house then?
No, it was final August, so issues have been simply getting again to regular. Though many people continued working from house for fairly a while, there have been undoubtedly some individuals again within the studio. Immediately, in truth, was the busiest I’ve ever recognized it to be within the workplace. Individuals are coming in for the primary time, too. There is no particular purpose why. I feel everybody’s simply glad to be collectively in a single house.
Was it since you have been being interviewed by Artistic Increase?
[Laughs] Yeah, that is precisely it. We’ve a Monday morning catchup each week the place we replace one another on what’s taking place, and I needed to e book the assembly room so everybody knew about our chat.
Do I detect a North West accent?
Yeah, so I am initially from the Wirral. That little bit subsequent to Liverpool.
I do know it very effectively.
Yeah, it is humorous as a result of nobody ever knew the place the Wirral was after I lived overseas. However as a result of Liverpool is such an enormous soccer membership, everybody knew the native accent, so they might guess I used to be from that space.
Yeah, it is a distinctive accent, undoubtedly. So wanting again at your faculty days there, how did you get into design?
Nicely, I did not previously examine design till I went to school. Up till then, I studied Fantastic Artwork. It was form of my means into the business. I used to like doing artwork – numerous portray, primarily in Summary-Expressionism, throwing paint round. I favored the looseness of that. However on the identical time, I loved doing info and communications know-how in class. I cherished studying about computer systems.
I used to be naive and did not actually know what graphic design was again then. However then I did my A’Ranges in ICT and Fantastic Artwork, adopted by a basis yr, and that is after I found I may deliver collectively artwork and computer systems into one. I form of fell in love with it. Throughout that point, I used to be venturing into Liverpool day by day and seeing all these posters, flyers, and signage across the metropolis, fully immersing myself in real-life artwork and design. The penny dropped, and I went on to check Graphic Arts & Design at Leeds Beckett College – a course that wasn’t clean-cut graphic design. It was fairly playful. There was a screen-printing studio, for example, and numerous freedom to experiment.
It sounds ideally suited. Did it serve you effectively after commencement? What was your first “correct” job?
I completed college and had an internship begin the following day at a biking equipment firm. I do numerous biking and so had numerous connections within the sport, in order that’s how I discovered the chance. While I used to be there, I received supplied an internship at Vbat in Amsterdam, which has since rebranded with others to turn out to be Superunion. I spent a few months there and received supplied a place as a junior designer, in order that was my first “correct” job. It was fairly daunting however a fantastic expertise.
Yeah, a younger lad from the Wirral, rapidly thrown in on the deep finish and into one other nation?
Completely. I used to be there alone at simply 22 years previous. Abruptly realising what company life is like. Superunion was an enormous 100-plus workforce, and I used to be one of many solely younger ex-pats there. I used to be fairly alone, however weirdly, I fairly loved that.
As you have been settling in Amsterdam, did you wander the town streets lots?
Yeah, just about. Amsterdam is constructed for biking, so I would fortunately get on my bike and discover. There’s a lot wonderful stuff to see in every single place. I needed to be taught the map of the town in my head if that is sensible. Getting on the market and seeing locations is healthier than one thing on paper. You then slowly start to grasp the place issues are, like a fantastic espresso store over there or a pleasant artwork gallery tucked behind that alleyway. So sure, aimlessly biking and wandering, you ultimately discover issues and really feel settled.
Yeah, I do not suppose you possibly can really feel at house someplace till you have performed that. It is a comforting factor, is not it?
That is a great level. It is like making the place you have moved to really feel extra like house. That is what I am doing in London for the time being. I am nonetheless studying the place locations are. Once more, I cycle round or stroll lots at weekends. It is actually pleasurable.
Take each alternative that comes your means. Say sure, even when it terrifies you. You by no means know the place issues may take you.
your time in Amsterdam, how did it change you?
I used to be there for 5 years, from 22 to 27, so I really feel I grew up in each attainable means in Amsterdam. Once I moved there, I used to be fairly shy and introverted, coming from a quiet base of buddies in Leeds. However as I used to be then alone, my confidence grew as I used to be compelled to speak to numerous new individuals. It helped with how I current myself professionally, too, and the way I focus on work with purchasers.
I additionally had numerous time on my own. I used to be in a long-distance relationship with my now spouse. However she was residing in London, so I would typically be alone within the metropolis. It gave me time to consider who I’m, what I wish to do, and what evokes me. I really feel I developed numerous my style in music, style and design in Amsterdam.
Once I first landed there, I can keep in mind that I had one suitcase of garments, and every thing was crazily mismatched. I did not know who I used to be. Then I began working, getting cash, and loved shopping for garments and creating my model. And now I like getting dressed and placing an outfit collectively. It is like the primary transient of the day, opening the drawers and wardrobe – I actually take pleasure in expressing myself by way of my garments.
Did you additionally discover inspiration to your work in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam has a very attention-grabbing artistic scene. It will get referred to as a cosmopolitan village as a result of it is lots of people in what is kind of a small house. Whereas most cities have totally different neighbourhoods, every with its personal vibe, Amsterdam is compact, so there’s much more stuff taking place on each nook. It is extremely vibrant. It is a artistic hotspot, too, with many first rate promoting businesses, corresponding to Wieden+Kennedy and 72andSunny. These form of huge businesses love that way of life. Possibly it is the town’s huge ex-pat scene and multi-cultural inhabitants.
It is a great place for anybody who loves biking and creativity
Yeah, I would encourage anybody to dwell and work in Amsterdam. I cherished it. Everybody speaks English, so you do not have to fret about studying Dutch. Regardless that the odd pleasantries are at all times welcome, it is not important. The individuals there communicate such good English. It is not a problem. There is no language barrier. Everyone seems to be so welcoming.
Why did you come again then?
I had been in a long-distance relationship for 5 years, so I used to be prepared to maneuver house and be with my accomplice. I additionally felt like I would performed every thing I needed to do in Amsterdam. It felt like the fitting time for a brand new journey. I needed to modify and discover a contemporary problem.
Was there a second if you have been wanting down a canal, and the wind modified, somebody was throwing up in a gutter?
[Laughs] Yeah, I feel so. I feel Amsterdam began to really feel fairly small. My way of life turned fairly repetitive, and there was much less “new stuff” to find. London was calling, largely as I needed to be with my accomplice but in addition as a result of I would at all times needed to dwell there sooner or later. It is an enormous metropolis. A contemporary place to search out thrilling new issues.
What is the design scene like in London? I hear you all know one another and that it is fairly aggressive?
Yeah, it is undoubtedly aggressive. Everybody is aware of one another, too. Everybody has tales. Individuals go from place to position, so it is a small pond. I really feel like London is much less numerous and multi-cultural than Amsterdam, if I am being sincere. I is likely to be flawed. It’d simply be my expertise. However we went to an occasion not too long ago, and it undoubtedly felt very male and white. I observed it. Possibly it was a one-off factor. It is nice at Nomad – it feels very numerous right here. It is nice to see.
So, what’s it like working for Nomad?
It is genuinely thrilling to work right here. I’ve solely ever recognized what it is wish to work at enormous businesses with 100 odd individuals. So to work at Nomad it is a totally different expertise. Everybody is aware of one another and is so proficient at what they do. It is nearly daunting at occasions. Not that I really feel, Oh, I must carry out now or something [Laughs]. It is extra about being a part of a small workforce and feeling you possibly can’t let anybody down. Nobody has a foul phrase to say about anybody. A smaller, nearer vibe. No workplace politics. It is very nice.
Residing in London now, does it encourage your work? How are you getting settled?
On the weekends, I like to cycle and discover totally different areas. I wish to take a reference e book as inspiration, like one thing on architectural landmarks. This one e book I have been studying recently focuses on high-rise council estates in east London. You uncover when it was constructed, who designed it, and what it was created for. These are issues any of us may cycle previous however by no means give a second thought. Taking some effort to know extra a couple of metropolis evokes you and makes a spot really feel extra like house.
I additionally love listening to native radio stations in London. It is a good way to faucet right into a group and uncover extra about native artists and musicians, particularly within the capital. It is also a means of connecting with a metropolis in a non-visual means.
How does that then translate into your work?
It is about discovering other ways to really feel impressed. Visible stimulation. Seeing one thing wonderful after which having that burst of power to return to the desk and be motivated to make one thing cool. It is also wholesome to interrupt away out of your typical eating regimen of design. If all graphic designers simply checked out their very own area all day, every thing would look fairly alike and boring. Whenever you take a look at totally different references, issues begin to get attention-grabbing. My spouse is a dancer and choreographer. I am so impressed by how she interprets music into dance.
Do you ever get overwhelmed by London?
I feel after I moved right here, sure. I had that feeling. Not simply being a part of a fantastic design scene. However simply being a part of such an enormous metropolis will be fairly daunting. However when you break by way of that, you burst that bubble and may solely feed off that power. You need to embrace being out of your consolation zone, undoubtedly.
What recommendation would you give to designers simply breaking into the business?
Take each alternative that comes your means. Do not be afraid or fear about whether or not issues will work out. When you begin occupied with it an excessive amount of, you are simply going to scare your self. I by no means meant to maneuver to Amsterdam, however it was one thing I could not flip down. Sure issues occurred there that I’d by no means have skilled if I hadn’t been open-minded and keen to take an opportunity. Say sure, even when it terrifies you. You by no means know the place issues may take you.