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ChrisWe’re back with more #meettheteam interviews and the latest person we’d like to introduce you to is Chris. He graduated from Ravensbourne with a BA in Graphic Design and joined us almost two years ago after some initial freelance work. During his time with us he’s worked on a wide range of clients and has been a great addition to each and every team. His main focus now sits with the external wayfinding strategy for Waitrose.

 So let’s get started! 

Tea or coffee?
Neither, if I were to have a hot drink which is very rarely it would have to be a hot chocolate, sometimes just the standard milk and 3 heaped spoons of powder but if I’m really in the mood I will push the boat out and have all the trimmings. All in all I’m not a massive drinker, and tend to choose a cold drink when I’m thirsty. I'd rather have an ice cold orange juice any day!

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Favourite YouTube video?
The one that comes to mind has to be The Slow Mo Guys’ video of them popping a giant water balloon. The stuff these guys produce is so funny, I’ve watched a lot of their content over the past few years and find them hilarious. They’ve even blown up a tiny house and hit jelly with a tennis racket - they’re always pretty satisfying to watch.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Oh it has be white chocolate. I don’t normally buy myself that much white chocolate to eat but when I do I buy a massive bar. I do try and control myself though, limiting to 1 or 2 strips per sitting – I’ve got to make it last so try and convince myself that it would be too sickly if I ate more!

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Can you remember what it was that made you want to get into this field?
I think the first thing that got me interested in the design world was watching Grand Designs. Each project was so unique and interesting it captured my attention. I wanted to know how each building was made along with all the little extra details.

I originally wanted to be an architect but really enjoyed A level Graphic Design and felt more passionately about the visual aspects to those of Maths and Physics. It’s also where my strengths lied. After pursuing Graphic Design at University I’ve now done a full circle, using my visual skills and manufacturing knowledge to create schemes that work alongside the unique architectural details of each Waitrose store.

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What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
It has to be the travel. I'm always interested to go to different places and visit parts of the country that I wouldn’t otherwise see. Each store and its car park are always different and I enjoy the challenges that this brings - understanding how to apply a set scheme to a site while considering elements such as the land, architecture and local community.

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How do you get over a creative hump?
I have to take my mind off what I am doing and concentrate on something completely different, I find that my drive home from the office helps with this, or if working on a personal project I may play a game or watch TV. If I give myself time the creative block will soon pass and I'll be back up and running. Maybe that's one of the reasons I enjoy site visits so much, the time away from my desk really helps to get my creative juices flowing.

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What’s your favourite board game?
Risk - although it's quite a simple concept it's challenging and different every time you play. I enjoy playing it with my group of friends, it's funny to see how each player becomes frustrated by the moves of their oppositions and how they can get really passionate or crumble under the pressure. It can last several hours and although it doesn't always go well for me I like to think I'm pretty good at it.

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Who’s your celebrity doppelganger?
I don't ever get mistaken for any celebrity, but if I had to choose I would say I look sort of like Chris Pratt, not in the physical state he is now but way back to when he was in ‘Parks and Recreation’. I have a beard now even though the photo below doesn't show it.

Also after finding out Chris' love for white chocolate we see some similarities between him and the Milkybar Kid!

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What have you achieved that you're most proud of?
There isn’t one thing in particular but I always enjoy when I do some work and it gets published. I’ve had some of my personal work printed in books which always seems to make it feel more real. There's been a couple of times over the last year that this has happened to me.

One was a visualisation piece for an old tutor which looked into a data set he had created from walking around and collecting values such as sound, light, air quality etc. It's now within a published book that forms part of the university's marketing materials.

The other was a piece of art published in an adult colouring book that was printed worldwide for the Dig Deep charity who helps to provide fresh water supplies to developing countries such as Africa.

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Finally, can you draw us a self-portrait, please?

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