Introducing Quentin James

In this blog post, we introduce founder and lead designer Quentin James:

How did you get interested in graphic design?

Art & Design was my favourite subject in high school and one I excelled at. In 1991, at the age of 14, I was fortunate enough to gain a work experience placement in an advertising agency called Longcastle, based in Preston. They’d just purchased their first Apple Macintosh, so I was able to see first hand the transition from traditional board artwork, to digital desktop publishing.

I loved the traditional method of graphic design and quickly became proficient in the creation of marker pen visuals and the use of daylight cameras, Letraset, hot wax, Spray Mount and a scalpel. Despite losing a finger tip to a wayward scalpel, I was hooked on graphic design and spent another 4 weeks of my summer vacation helping out in the studio.

How did you get involved in website design?

Having witnessed the transition from traditional graphic design methods to fully digital pre-press design, I was fascinated with emerging digital technologies. In 1997, at the age of 20, I was studying for my BA (Hons) Degree in Design (Graphic) at the prestigious School of Art and Design at Blackpool & the Fylde College.

Each student had to undertake a minimum 4 week work placement as part of the course. I’d been arranging my own placements each summer and had worked for several local design agencies already. I wanted a challenge so decided to attempt to get a placement in the USA.

I quickly identified several design agencies who were online and with the help of the College, I organised a 4 week placement in San Francisco at Addis Group. It was whilst at Addis that I saw firsthand how websites were designed and built. Thanks to their initial support and guidance I quickly learned HTML and built my first full website upon my return to the UK, in the summer of 1997.

What do you enjoy most about working in the graphic design sector?

No two days are ever the same. Today I may be designing an exciting new eCommerce website, tomorrow I could be creating a glossy corporate brochure and the day after that I might be doodling logo designs for an exciting new start-up company.

What do you do when you’re not designing things?

I’m a motorsport enthusiast at heart. I love all forms of motorsport from Formula 1 to the World Rally Championship and beyond. I’m a fully accredited MSA Motosports Photographer (Level 2), having shot tens of thousands of photos at motorsport events up and down the country, with hundreds more having been published. I’ve volunteered and helped organise events and am a qualified volunteer Rally Marshal. More recently, I’ve been competing in the NESCRO Classic and Targa Rally Challenge behind the wheel of a Citroën C2 GT.

Aside from my passion for motorsport, I love spending time with family, friends and my scruffy studio companions, Huxley and Tilly the Tibetan Terriers.

What’s your favourite TV show?

Currently, it has to be Stranger Things, which is shown on Netflix. It draws upon themes from some of my favourite films and TV shows including ET, Close Encounters, Aliens, The Goonies and The X-Files. The largely unknown cast are superb and the writing is funny and dark. With the series being set in the Eighties, when I was a similar age to characters Mike, Dustin, Will and Lucas, it really resonates with me.

What’s your favourite quote?

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
Steve Jobs