Drew & Rose team spotlight – Shanshan
Hello, I’m Shanshan, one of the designers at Drew + Rose. I work on branding, website design, video editing and animation.
What’s been your journey of getting to where you are now?
I studied graphic design in China and then came to London for my master’s degree. After graduation, I worked as a freelancer, University lecturer and design tutor. I joined Drew + Rose when I moved back to London in 2019 and have been here over 2 years (time flies!). We pushed through the pandemic and thrived, growing from 4 people to 17!
Tell us about an exciting project you’ve worked on. What did you love. about it, and what were the outcomes?
The campaign for the 10-year anniversary of London 2012 is definitely the project I’m most proud of! The story started with the exciting brief and pressure of competing. We had at least 2 rounds of pitches where we beat other 9 agencies. I still remember the afternoon where Charlotte was reading the brief and said to me, “Shanshan, I really want to win this!”
With our unique mix of skills, covering digital media and destination and experiential marketing, we won! I worked on the branding, created the tool kit, and applied it to the park branding. Now you can find my design in the Olympic Park! What’s more, I improved my video editing and animation skills, and the adverts we created have reached thousands of people.
What is the most magical thing about working at Drew + Rose?
We use data and performance as the criteria to test our work, and as a guide to improve our design. So it’s not just a beautiful image, it can also convert!
How is branding important for business?
If your business was a building, branding would be the façade. First impressions of your business come from people looking at your branding. Are you corporate or playful? Old fashioned or metaverse style? Eco-friendly or data science driven? All of this is implied by your colour palette, imagery, shapes, typography…having the correct branding is crucial for your business.
What advice would give to someone looking to get into design?
I have a few suggestions: 1. Look at graphic design history to get to know different design styles. These can always be a source of inspiration. 2. Visit University graduation exhibitions every year – the fresh, new blood create things that surprise you! 3. Keep learning – motion graphics, coding, or 3D (I know it’s complicated, I am still working on it!) – don’t let your software skills limit your imagination.
Share a moment you’ll never forget
I think it’s the moment when I arrived in London by myself. It means a lot to me. Everything was new and fresh, and I was surrounded by different language, people, culture, and minds! I was so excited by everything – I went to 7 different museums in a week! I enjoyed my loneliness and freedom. That’s the moment I fell in love with London.
Tell us about a connection that’s stuck with you
My best friend Shu from university. We always worked as a team for the group work and, when I work as a freelancer, we started our own design studio in China. Although we haven’t work together for a while, we still share thoughts, inspirations and articles. It’s nice to have a design buddy that I’ve known for such a long time.
When you’re not at work, what do you get up to?
I like to go to exhibitions. The V&A is my favourite gallery. I also do some drawing and yoga as a therapy for my mental health. Traveling is my favourite, wandering around a strange place and exploring good food. When I’m at home, my cats are my world – we now have 5 newborn kittens, they are so adorable.