AS PHOTO PB

Who better to launch our interview series than the man who designed the very website it will be hosted on. Pete Blake cut his teeth as a designer at Together Design in London and grew his reputation on national accounts like Caffé Nero. This year he launched his own studio in Liverpool, Studio Blake, and he is going from strength to strength. Needless to say, we are thrilled with the website he has produced for us and enjoyed sitting down with him to catch up now the dust has settled.

How would you describe what you do?
The list is endless, but to cut a long story short, I would say: I help companies talk to their customers in unique and culturally relevant ways.

How has life been since you started your own studio?
Studio life is great. I would recommend it for anyone who is very energetic, has strong ideas, and can juggle 20 tasks at once! You’ve got to be committed and it pays to have a wide network of contacts, plus a good sounding board or mentor. The biggest change for me has been my move to Liverpool. The overheads are lower so there’s less hustle – it has given me more headspace, so productivity has tripled!

What is the most exciting thing you have worked on?
I can’t pin that down, but I would say that the clients with big ambitions make projects more exciting to work on. Always.

How did you find the process of developing Angell Sound’s new website?  
Smooth. We had some great discussions based on the usability of the website right at the start of the project. We wanted it to be a valuable business tool and not just a shop window. We had strong foundations and I believe the user experience of the design reflects that.

Do you have a favourite feature?
As a designer, I like things that are organised and work well, so the sheer simplicity of the interface is really appealing to me. The small touches like the rollover actions make it all the more human. A huge amount of praise needs to go to the extraordinarily talented developer, John Wai, for bringing these to life. Visually, I also love the minimal icon illustrations for the Services section.

 What does the next year hold for Studio Blake?
I’m looking at ways to expand the business at the moment – one idea is to start an online store of products and prints I’ve designed. I have a great charity fundraising idea with a fellow designer, which we are hoping to launch. I want to continue the branding and graphic design too. Next year looks busy…