LET’S TALK. With Joseph Norris

When did you join the Downing Team?

I jumped on board the Downing bus in 2011.

What do you enjoy about working at Downing?

The people. We are fortunate enough to have a team of creative people who value making good work; plus they’re an enjoyable bunch.

How did you get into the creative industry?

In my early twenties, while living in a shoe-box flat in Christchurch, I spent much of my spare-time making illustrations and designs for friends. I loved the thrill of producing creative work, and knew it was a career-path I wanted to pursue. So I quit my job and went back to full-time study. That’s left me with a weird combination of self-taught skills, higher education and talent for squeezing into small spaces.

How would you describe your approach to the creative process?

Every business has a unique story. I love developing that unique identity story, as that sets a foundation for much of the creative work that follows. Once that narrative is defined, we can then move onto making that identity work through all areas of the business. This can include logos, colour, typography, tone-of-voice, marketing, and social-media. The options are endless. So my creative process? Identity first; other stuff second.

Who has had a big influence in your design journey?

Tony would be a big influence. He’s been in the design industry since before Mel Gibson fought the English in the early nineties — so he has years of practical knowledge. He’s got a healthy mix of creative energy and business acumen. It’s a good balance to have.

Another big influence is the environment that we work in. Downing is full of high-capacity people who value the creative process. Diverse and unique perspectives make Downing the perfect place to throw around ideas.

What’s something that people may not know about you?

I make rum.

Is it good?

If your tongue enjoys self immolation, then yes.

What’s a passion of yours?

Drawing. There is no better way to wind-down at the end of the day. If a picture is good, I’ll put it up on my Instagram. It is an outlet purely for myself; I am my own client, and I make illustrations that appeal to me.

What’s the ideal day for you?

Here are my key ingredients for a good day: Strong coffee, good work, time with family, and a pint of local beer.