5 MINUTES WITH XANTHE - OUR PEPPY LITTLE DESIGN GURU
What’s the first thing you did this morning?
I rolled out of bed and went straight to the kitchen for some avo on toast. I love going to bed as early as possible so I can fast-forward to breakfast - my favourite meal of the day! Then I went to the gym, which helps me relax and boosts my energy up for the day - plus, of course, it keeps me healthy and happy!
What’s your star sign and what three traits of that sign that you feel you align with most?
Virgo. I picked two traits that I align with the most (not three - sorry!!).
Perfectionist - I always make sure that whatever I do is the best it can be. This is mostly a good thing, but I can also get preoccupied with details that other people probably wouldn't even notice!
And critical - I'm self-critical, which is something I have become better at acknowledging as I get older - I'm not as critical of myself now as I used to be (especially as a teenager!). I would worry about my appearance, how I should act and how to portray who I wanted to be. Now I love myself and don't blame myself for things that I shouldn't!
What political issue are you most passionate about?
The opportunities and treatment of people living with disability in our society. Having an elder brother with cerebral palsy, I have grown up with this so close to my heart. I have always hoped that he can be included in society the same as anyone else. I want nothing more than for him to have access to every opportunities to better his life without prejudice or judgement - sadly at the moment this isn't always the case.
Outside of my work at TLSE I care for these people as they are the happiest and most innocent people - we should all be more like them! They deserve to be happy and involved - so I'm willing to be a part of that to help make a real difference that I can see and experience first hand.
What are 3 things you can’t live without?
My family - the centre of my universe. Now that I'm living out of home, I miss them every day. Mum usually receives a few calls from me a day - I think she's become very good at pretending she's excited that I've called...!
My scrunchie - baby hair is a pet hate and my hair breaks anytime a hair elastic comes anywhere near it. My hair being so long, I need it up a lot of the time so I always have a scrunchie on hand - literally.
Peanut butter - on bircher, on porridge, on toast, in smoothies, on banana, or a sneaky spoonful straight from the jar ;). So versatile! I always have a spare jar on hand. I wonder if you can survive off it? It’s been my go-to in coronavirus lockdown...
Name one country you’d love to visit?
Turkey! No not because turkey is so yummy - for the colour, the culture, the people and...the food! Turkey seems to be less touched by tourism despite being very popular - I want to travel there before this changes!
What’s something you’re proud to say you overcame?
I've overcome being extreeeeemllly quiet. I was always shy and self-conscious growing up. Mum and dad used to drop me off to preschool and I'd stand there and not talk or move from the same spot all day! Still, people think I'm super reserved and shy, but when I get to know you I'm very chatty and (a bit) crazy. I love my friends and family and meeting new people from all walks of life.
What has been your most memorable TLSE moment?
I love to be helpful but sometimes this does not go to plan...
One day, thinking I was being ever so helpful, I went to pick up a plinth for a shoot and remember thinking that it was very heavy - so heavy I couldn't seem to make it budge from the ground. I look up and realise it was a pole that was attached to the ceiling. BUT, in my defence it was the same colour as the plinths we were using so I'm really not that silly, right? Just very good at my colour matching? Thankfully only Lucy was lucky enough to witness me being this unhelpful...
What’s a piece of advice you would have given to your past self?
People aren't thinking what you think they are thinking.
Be proud of yourself and trust this, don’t be afraid to speak up because of the fear of what other people will think. Most of the time they're not thinking anything negative at all and they probably don't even care about the thing you are so focussed on - if they're like me they'd be thinking about what to make for dinner instead!
In your own words, what separates good from awesome design?
I think that it is easy to make something ‘look good’ and this is what a lot of people think design is. But design is how we convey all our messaging, our brand story and helps drive desired outcomes to our audiences. It is a seamless combination of good user experience and ease of usability. Good design is having a visual system that is informed and planned specifically to suit the needs, values and mindset of the customer so that it is attractive and desirable.
What’s something you take from your day-to-day life that you put into your work?
In my day to day life I am understanding, empathetic and a good listener. I hope that this crosses over into my work life in the sense that I listen and see what the need and desired outcome is before I begin work. I always want to create the best outcome for a brand and approach my work from a place of understanding and listening with open ears. Suggestions, feedback and even criticism are all essential to understanding and ultimately creating the solution - one that is beautiful to look at and on-brand!
Having a strong visual presence in the saturated world of digital is more important now than ever. Be it logo design, a beautiful and functional website, or stand-out social media tiles, good design can be the difference between a brand that gets noticed, and one that doesn't. Being the Art Director of TLSE, Xanthe not only knows how to create something that looks amazing, but also how to connect with and visually communicate the core of a brand.
Want to work with Xanthe?
Get in touch with her via firstname.lastname@example.org