For our third interview in the series, we ventured to London and happened to find ourselves and the multi-talented Izzy Way in a pub.  Both beers and conversation flowed as we tapped into the genius that is Izzy.

Izzy Way

1.Tell us your story …

I’m a freelance Graphic Designer and illustrator. I grew up in Nottingham but am now based in London. I work for clients in all sorts of industries, on anything from branding, to report design, to animation, to digital design. I love taking material from a client and turning it into something beautiful and accessible.

2.The Interpreters spend a lot of time trying to understand client customers, segments within the market and people. Thinking about design, illustration and your many other creative talents, how do you go about designing something that anyone from a random person on the street to a CEO can understand?

For me it’s all about really listening to what people want, rather than what you think they want. 

I used to run a lot of user testing sessions when I worked for an app design studio. It can be a really brutal process listening to strangers tear your ideas apart, but the idea is to go in without any preconceptions and really listen to their needs. Sometimes this would mean cutting through and translating what they’re asking for into what they really need – it’s my job as a designer to work this out for them. 

3.We do a lot of problem solving at The Interpreters so we’re interested in how other people solve problems. How do you solve problems?

Pen and paper. It’s really easy as a designer to work straight onto the computer, but it’s rarely where the best thinking comes from. It’s much better to take a step back, really think about what the brief is asking for, and have a play around with ideas quickly before locking anything down. It’s a much more organic process and allows for much easier experimentation. I always like to have a clear idea of what I’m going for before I open my laptop.

4.Interpretation is subjective but a key part of our analysis. We’re always interested in the ways other people might interpret key trends or things of interest from their specialism. So how do you interpret the rise of Donald Trump? Is there anything from a design perspective that might explain the rise?

I think we’re all struggling with an increasingly complex landscape, and people are looking for an easy answer. Whether that be through online bubbles, blaming the ‘other’, or simply having selective hearing. Good design brings clarity without being reductive – whereas Trump and alt right politics are by their nature reductive and as such very dangerous.

Whilst I can’t necessarily explain it as a designer, I can take lessons from the misuse of information. And we can all take this as the wake up call  – it most certainly is.

5. Thank you for taking part in 5 in Five – the last question comes with a gift as an appreciation of your time. Because we firmly believe that Information is Beautiful, we would like to give you a copy of Information is Beautiful, ‘a stunning visual journey through the most revealing trends, fascinating facts and vital statistics of the modern world’.  In the last minute, and because first impressions matter, have a scan through and for the 5th question, tell us which visualisation caught your attention and why.

I loved the colour palette layout of this, and the interesting layout with the triangles and dots. From a content point of view, I’d like to see a bit more information about why this is apparently so!