Meet the Designer- Adam Watts from Duke & Rabbit

As our 'Meet the Designer' series continues, we would like you to meet Adam Watts from boutique stationery brand 'Duke & Rabbit'

A little bit about Adam, in his own words

Adam Watts

Howdy! I’m Adam; graphic designer, airedale terrier lover, plaid shirt wearing chap with a penchant for snow!

What is the story behind ‘Duke & Rabbit’ name & logo?

I’m a massive fan of airedale terriers - they're my favourite breed of dog. When I was younger, I used to work at a veterinary centre where the ‘guard dog’, an airedale terrier, was called Duke (I say guard dog, because he was quite lazy and, give him some food, would ignore anyone else around him!) I would often take him out for walks across the rolling fields near where I lived, and he would always chase rabbits but could never catch them. Originally I named the company ‘Duke’ but the name was already taken, so, on remembering Duke’s plight with the rabbits, I changed the name.

My original logo was just going to be Duke sitting on his own but as I had to change the name, so did the logo. The rabbit was added and a new logo was born. As a little secret, I have incorporated the ‘W’ from my surname into Duke's chin to give the Airedale it’s distinct ‘beard’ look. But sssshh, that's just between you and me, ok.

Where do you get your design inspiration from?

For me, inspiration always seems to hit when i’m least expecting it - out running, in a restaurant to name a few. I think nature plays a big part in my designs, just by looking at the sheer amount of animal cards I have (I mean, who doesn't love a llama wearing socks and a neckerchief?!) I’ve always been a fan of clean, simple design (Scandinavian design is great for this) so this definitely plays a part too.

What’s your favourite part of the creative process and why?

I love the moment when I start to add colour and scanned textures to the designs. I usually sketch on paper, then trace everything into a computer, so it’s a ‘mess’ of black lines to begin with. This is the point I have to have faith in the idea, and when I start to add the colour and texture and it comes to life, I generally know if it will work or not.

What were you doing before ‘Duke & Rabbit’?

Before Duke & Rabbit I was (and still am) a print graphic designer who loves designing layouts. I've worked at a few design agencies, as well as freelancing for a while on some great brands, and I think this variety has definitely helped me to hone my skills for Duke & Rabbit.

What has been your great achievement in your career to date?

It probably sounds cheesy but being able to continually run Duke & Rabbit everyday makes me smile. For me, there's no bigger compliment than when someone buys a card I've designed and they want to use it to share a life event, or wish someone a happy
birthday. Because ultimately the recipient will (hopefully) smile just as much as the person buying the card did when they first saw the card - and who doesn't like to make people happy in this day and age.

Some fun stuff……

Most amazing holiday destination you would recommend

I've been lucky to travel to some great places; Norway, Iceland to name a few so this is hard but I spent two weeks travelling through Croatia a few years back. There’s so many pretty places and friendly people, plus their popular national dish of Štrukli (baked or cooked dough with any filling you can think of) is amazing!

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

I did the usual 'kid thing' of changing my mind every five minutes, but it ranged from being a train driver to a more adventurous role of a marine biologist!

Email or hand written note?

My mind is saying to go with email as my handwriting is terrible, but my heart says handwritten note every time. It's much more personal plus you can make little doodles on the side.

Who would you take as your date to the Oscars?

I'm assuming my partner is unavailable at the time (she would kill me if I didn't take her!) but I would probably take my - Pico! He's a happy jack Russel terrier and I'm pretty sure all those celebs wouldn't be able to resist him, so more autographs for me.

Highlighter or Fountain Pen?

I loved fountain pens when I was younger but it's highlighter for me. Practical, and they can always jazz up a page of text in no time!

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