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Scottish Design Awards

By The Drum, Administrator

June 2, 2005 | 4 min read

“It was my birthday the day after the awards, you can imagine what it was like at 12 o’clock,” laughs Third Eye Design’s Claudia Chase, “it was a bit messy. I felt a tad ill, but at least it was the Young Designer prize I got.”

Claudia Chase hasn’t been at Third Eye Design all that long. In fact, she had only been at the agency for half a dozen months when she submitted her new portfolio of work to the Scottish Design Awards.

Prior to working at Glasgow’s Third Eye Design Chase spent time in London, “cutting her teeth” at Michael Nash Associates.

There she worked heavily on album design for the music industry. “It’s got quite a quick turn-over, but it’s not very meaty. I always wanted to do it when I was at Uni, but after doing it for a while I wanted to move on and work on bigger things. It was great fun but not very challenging.”

During her time at Michael Nash, Chase also worked for a number of big name brands, including the Botanics cosmetics range for Boots, and designed carrier bags for high street store Oasis.

“It really was a great place to cut your teeth, but it got to the stage where I wanted to move on,” says Nash.

“I wanted to leave London, I’d had enough of the rat-race. It was a great company to work for but I really wanted to come back to Scotland.”

Having a father in the Navy, Chase isn’t really sure “where she’s from,” however, she adds, “Scotland feels like home.”

Chase joined Third Eye Design at the right time, though. The agency has just completed a move to new, stylish offices in Glasgow. Shiny new Macs, library, pool-room, and all...

“The new office is brilliant. When I started [at the old office] I was plonked on the edge of a table next to a bookshelf. And I’m so clumsy as well – I knocked my tea all over my keyboard on my first day, and almost cut my finger off the day after...

“But it’s nice here. It’s nice and relaxed. It’s a very sociable company, and that helps you in your work. The pool table is dangerous, though.

“There is a lot of room and it’s good to be able to get away from your desk. The library in the boardroom is lovely, as sometimes the studio can get a bit noisy. You can just go upstairs and have some quiet thinking and planning time.

“It also helps having a decent working space. I have all my magazines and books, and clutter. Some companies now have a clean desk policy for designers... I couldn’t handle that. I like to cut bits out of magazines, and collect bits and bobs. I fill sketch books with inspirational bits and pieces.”

And it was this inspiration that impressed the judges of the Young Designer of the Year category. The judges were quick to identify Chase’s portfolio as one that impressed. The “classic, but contemporary” style, as labelled by the judges, was evident throughout.

Since joining Third Eye, Chase has worked across a wide range of clients, from cashmere to financial giants, and from Kent University to Post Office pitches. But she says that a lot of the company’s success can be attributed to the culture in the office... as well as the skill.

“Mark [the managing director] is always encouraging us to have lots of meetings and to talk too, to share ideas and find out more.

“This is such a young and fresh company. And we have a lot more freedom to explore our own ideas. We are always encouraged to do that. There is a lot of openness.”

Another year older she may be but, as she has already said, at least it was the Young Designer of the Year award that she won... Three reasons to celebrate.

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