Featured Studio

The Tits

May 2018

Scottish creative duo Kirsten Murray and Kat Summers (aka. The Tits) started working together on side projects as a way of finding their way back to working for the love of design. At the beginning of the year, they left Edinburgh to design their way around the world. Starting in Sri Lanka, they've been working remotely in Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan.

What does a typical working day include for you right now?

One of the best things about designing around the world is that nothing is typical. One day we’re working on a visual identity out of an Airbnb in Seoul and eating our weight in dumplings, the next we’re thinking up ideas for an animation on a train in Taipei. It’s unpredictable. It’s exciting. And we’ve never felt more creative.

Who are your top five design crushes right now?

For every day that isn’t International Women’s Day, we’re featuring 364 rad creative women, on our Instagram and Twitter feed. We’ve picked 5 of them we’d like to make design babies with.

Barbara Beskind - She’s a product designer who started working with IDEO at 83. Now aged 94, she focuses her creative energy on solving problems for the aging population.

Kirsten Lepore - There are two types of people in this world - people who get ‘Hi Stranger’ and people who don’t.

Jessica Hische - We thought we couldn’t love Jessica’s lettering work any more than we already do, and then she went and created a bedtime book about being brave. Swoon.

Jessica Walsh - For founding Ladies Wine Design and Pins Won’t Save the World.

Erica Dorn - It took her 2 years to design the thousands of props that appear in Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs film. Every one is design gold. Erica, we salute you.

Are you involved in any mentoring/teaching/workshops and if so how it shapes your practice?

We’re big believers in passing creativity on. After racking up 10 years of mentoring between us – with Edinburgh College’s mentoring programme – we’ve dished out quite a bit of advice to the students about good design practice.

We encouraged the students to experiment, think outside the Pinterest board, make things with their hands, ask for help, and get out of their comfort zone. But we were frauds. We weren’t even taking our own advice. We’d become comfortable working in a design agency, following processes that were killing our creativity - rather than cultivating it.

Working freelance and remotely has not only taken us 6000 miles out of our comfort zone, but it’s seen us try our hand at ancient crafts, draw inspiration from other cultures, and develop design practices that work for us.

We wouldn’t give up mentoring for the world, so we’ve taken it on the road, and now provide our support and advice via Skype at welovedesignetc.info

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Working freelance and remotely has not only taken us 6000 miles out of our comfort zone, but it’s seen us try our hand at ancient crafts, draw inspiration from other cultures, and develop design practices that work for us.

"

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

Aye Magazine was our first project as The Tits. It’s a free publication featuring the work and musings of creative talent in Scotland.

Our first issue was all about failure - sharing tales of rejection, lead-balloon ideas, and embarrassing designs. The content was inspired by the students we mentor, as failure is a common fear raised by many of them (perhaps a symptom of being exposed to so many polished, award-winning designs). We set out to show them that behind every good designer, is a story of failure.

We had so much fun working on the magazine - spray painting macaroni, collaborating with ace people, and crying with laughter over tales of design jobs gone awry.

What’s on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?

The Tits 2018 to-do list:

  • Create effective, non-award-winning work (we’d rather spend the entry fee on a flight to Uzbekistan).

  • Create Issue 2 of Aye magazine (less macaroni, more sausage).

  • Design a set of ‘NotBad’ postcards inspired by our travels.

  • Give our first talk for Ladies Wine Design Glasgow

  • Complete our tax return (booo).

  • Toast marshmallows with The Design Kids (yaaay!).

  • Eat more dumplings.

  • Run more (see above).

2018 for you in a sentence.

Making 2017 jealous since 2018.

Website: Kathrynsummers.co.uk , Kirstenmurray.com

Instagram: @wearethetits

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