Can you tell us about yourself and your creative background?
My background lies in editorial design. I started out in newspapers at The Scotsman in the days when you were given the opportunity to be creative in your approach. One of the core lessons I learned there was that design should be functional. You are there to help the reader access the content in the smoothest way possible. You can still make beautiful layouts but your primary goal as a designer is to make the reading experience a great one.
I worked as a freelance designer across a lot of magazines and I developed a love of typography that exists to this day. I take great enjoyment in designing new magazines working with fantastic writers who know their stuff. Half of the battle is having great writing, photography and illustration that you can then bring to life with strong visuals.
I’ve been at White Light Media for six years now, and launching Hot Rum Cow has been a real highlight. Although the core of the business is producing magazines for our clients, I love it when I can clear the desk of deadlines and get stuck into designing the next issue.
What does your role involve working on Hot Rum Cow?
I am in charge of the design team and the way that the magazine looks. Once we have a content plan in place I will work with the team on commissioning the right illustrators and photographers for the features. We keep a Pinterest board of contributors whom we like and when we have an article in the magazine that suits that style then we’ll get in touch. I also work very closely with the editor, Simon Lyle, to make sure that the flow of the magazine from feature to feature is good and to move things about if they’re not working.
Can you give us a wee insight in to the design and visuals of Hot Rum Cow?
We always knew what kind of magazine we wanted to produce. The writing style is humorous and quirky in places, but it carries a wealth of information. I wanted the visuals to follow that style and be something that the reader would pick up and not want to put down again. When we launched in 2012 the indy magazine scene was really flourishing but we wanted to create something that embraced the indy ethos whilst also appealing to a large audience. Most people enjoy a tipple or two and are interested in new things, so we try to offer them an insight into that.
What makes Edinburgh a good city to be based?
Apart from being pretty damn gorgeous I think the mix of creatives we have here is fantastic, especially down in Leith where we are based. I could leave our studio, walk outside and bump into a film maker, photographer, illustrator, developer or designer all in the same coffee shop.
What advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing a career in the creative industry?
Be committed and be persistent. You have to believe in what you are doing and that you have the right skills and talent to succeed. I would always tell people to keep knocking on doors – contact people with whom you’d like to work and show them what you can do.
To find out more about Hot Rum Cow visit: http://www.hotrumcow.co.uk/