We were delighted to welcome Harry Brailey to the team as an Associate Designer. He sat down with Tim to answer a few of our questions.
Welcome, tell us a bit about yourself
Hi! I’m Harry, I’m originally from Northampton and now live in Tunbridge Wells. I trained as an Industrial designer at uni and after 9 years in the industry, working on a range of consumer goods, I have decided to take the next step in my career with a move to working full time in Product Design. Outside of work, I spend my time playing any and all kinds of games and sports. The two newest things I’ve tried are Mountain biking and Stand-up Paddle Boarding, but my main sport is climbing. I’m often found at my local bouldering gym falling off of something in preparation for climbing in Portland (Dorset) or Fontainebleau (France).
What are you looking forward to about being part of the Loomery team?
With Loomery’s focus on emerging technology, one of the areas that I’m most excited about is the opportunity to work on projects involving spatial computing/XR. I believe there could be some great opportunities to harness this new tech, especially in the creative and entertainment space. Whole new systems of user experience will need to be developed to help us effectively use these new products which would be a fascinating problem to work on. On a more day-to-day level, I’m thrilled to be working with so many talented colleagues in a start-up type environment, the pace makes for an exciting challenge and there are plenty of things to learn. I can’t wait to see how I expand and improve my own skills through interactions with the other fantastic creatives and cerebral strategists & developers here at Loomery.
How have you found your first few weeks?
I’ve enjoyed the change of lifestyle working in London has brought and have even attended the quintessential right of passage, the after work drinks, which I’ve been assured is vital to the London experience. The team have been extremely welcoming, taking time to explain their roles, how they fit into the wider business and how design can help them achieve their goals. I’ve already started to contribute across a number of different projects and will be attending my first user research session at Loomery in the coming week.
Have you been learning anything cool outside of your discipline?
Pre-shading and use of colour in shadows! During the first Lockdown in 2020 I rediscovered my love of miniature painting, and whilst I don’t get around to as many projects as I’d like, I’ve done a little bit of commission work for friends’ boardgames and D&D figures since. Pre-shading is often referred to as Underpainting in classical art and is normally the practice of using a single coloured base or initial sketch layer to help define the colour value of parts of your artwork. In miniature painting, this can reinforce the strength of certain colours by increasing vibrancy, whilst also helping to tie your composition together as the shadows and highlights in your piece will all share similar hues thanks to the underlying translucent layers of paint. Ok… it’s maybe not the coolest thing, but I found it very interesting.
What’s your favourite tool or app most people haven’t heard of?
It’s probably sacrilege to admit, but I’m an Android user… and as such it’d have to be Smart Launcher for Android. One of the main benefits of having an Android device is being able to customise the UI to make it more suited to my own tastes. Smart Launcher enables me to do this by reducing the amount of clutter on the home screen down to a more manageable layout without reducing functionality. The end result of which is the replacement of the jarringly colourful screen of app icons down 5 key buttons to access 10 apps. …If you were thinking about it, just how many of the apps on your phone do you actually use on a daily basis?
What’s the first website you built yourself?
Outside of some very early experiments with Macromedia Fireworks or anything like MySpace, it’d have to be an early design portfolio as part of a uni module, probably using Wix. Coming from a predominantly Industrial Design background, web design was less of a common task, though I have created a couple of landing pages for specific products and services.
Recommend a podcast or book
I spend quite a lot of time listening to podcasts so I’ll go with one of my most recent discoveries. ‘The Rest is Politics’ is a fascinating and entertaining show in which current affairs are discussed by the two hosts, Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart, both of whom have extensive careers in politics and hold views from different parts of the political spectrum. It’s a great way to find out about news that I might’ve otherwise missed, and to hear their thoughts about what’s going on in the world. The insight and context they can provide from working in the system makes for a really intriguing listen. I’d also like to add a quick recommendation for the Mistborn book series by Brandon Sanderson, the first book of which is ‘The Final Empire.’ With great world building and character development, it's a great introduction to the fantasy genre.