We get to pick the brains of Harry A’Court the Creative Director of the Wellington based studio Inject Design. Harry tells us how he stays inspired, he gives us a little inside into his creative childhood and for all you grads out there…how to make your portfolio stand out!
When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started?
I was exposed to design from a young age, you could say I lived and breathed it. My mother Airini, an artist & designer, turned the walls of our house into a revolving art gallery. Over the years I became mum’s biggest fan and would sit for hours and watch her paint. I’d also get to throw my two cents in when she would ask for an opinion. So it seemed like a natural progression for me to dive into the world of art, design and creative direction.
Where do you gather inspiration, on and off the web?
I tend to surround myself with highly creative people. From my ridiculously talented fiancé, Gina Kiel, to my incredible team at Inject, someone is always showing me something that inspires and keeps me on point. Overseas travel is a crucial part of being a designer, experiencing different cultures heavily influences my approach. I personally love drawing inspiration from nature, whether it be form, colour or space. I use sites such as Behance & Designspiration to stay in touch with what is happening on the global stage.
Tell us about where you are today and what you love about your job!
I’m fortunate enough to be working with a team of like-minded people who never cease to impress, in an environment that’s relaxing but also motivating. We’ve purposely set the business up in a way that attracts the people and the businesses we want to be working alongside. I’m proud to stand behind the work we produce, our craft is our passion. It always puts a smile on my face when people say how much they appreciate the work we produce and the cut-through our clients receive from the works we create for them.
What have been your highlights since you started out?
Some of the major highlights thus far would have to be…Winning a Tui for Best Album Cover of the Year with Gina for Fat Freddy’s Drop, ‘Blackbird’. Designing one of NZ’s most loved brands, Hell Pizza. It’s a relationship that has spanned over 11 years, and we’ve been fortunate enough to pick up a few awards along the way. Creating the Wellington Chocolate Factory brand, and getting to work with some of my favourite local artists. Receiving the sponsorship from Adobe and presenting the Shapers Inc concept. Creating personal branding for film director James Cameron and his family, for their ‘Cameron Family Farms’ & ‘Food Forest Organics‘ projects. Working alongside Sustainable Coastlines in creating the branding for their latest initiative, The Flagship Education Centre. Soon to be launching on the Wynyard Quarter on Auckland’s Waterfront. Watch this space…
What advice would you give students starting out?
Follow your passion, try and work on the projects that appeal to you and that you would want to be part of. Collaborate with friends but always stay true to your own style. If you get the odd niggly job just work through it, chances are you will take something positive away from it – whether it be a new friendship, new design trick or ways of working with a client.
What do you look for in a great portfolio?
We receive a ton of design portfolio’s – sometimes up to 20 a week. The ones that stand out from the crowd are the real life jobs, as it shows that the designer has taken the initiative to put themselves out there and make a go of it, instead of sitting back and waiting to be taught on the job.