[Originally posted on March 2009]
Teo runs – alongside her mate Patrick Duffy – the design studio “No Days Off” in London: she’s been a graphic designer for over 8 years and one of their highlights was collaborating with famous photographer Tim Walker for his exhibition at Design Museum. They’ve also worked for XL Recordings, Sony BMG, Pure Groove, Wall of Sound, ICA, Diesel and Wolfgang Tillmans.
Could you please let us know more about your background and career? Was it always your dream to pursue a career as a graphic designer?
I wasn’t really interested in design when I was at school. I’d always been good at art, but I saw it as a hobby, not a career. Originally I wanted to be a forensic psychologist; I studied Psychology at college. It was only after deciding to take some time out before going to university, and doing an art foundation course, that I realised I wanted to be a graphic designer. It’s funny though, because there’s a lot of psychology involved in my day to day work. Design decisions are quite often based on an understanding of people’s perceptions, personality, behaviour, emotions etc. So it all comes in handy.
Why “No Days Off”? Has a graphic designer to work 7 days a week?
Much as I would like to take credit for our moniker, I can’t. Patrick came up with the name years ago when deciding on what to get as a tattoo, it’s a long story! I think most graphic designers, especially those based in London, are work-a-holics. We don’t quite work 7 days a week at NDO, but we do work long hours. We’re always thinking about graphic design, but I guess that’s because we love what we do.
Could you please let us know more about your environmental policy of your studio?
Our studio is made from largely recycled materials, is managed by the Environment Trust, and was built by Container City, specialists in recycled buildings. The Green Roof is planted with sedum, a low-growing plant that provides habitats for invertebrates, which in turn provide food for rare birds such as Black Redstarts. The central area of the roof is being developed for community planting, to grow wild flower and vegetable seedlings for planting projects around the local area. We always do our best to provide design solutions that are as environmentally friendly as possible.
How do you find working in London? Why did you choose to live there in the first place?
London is a great city; I can’t imagine living anywhere else. There is always somewhere to go, something to do. It’s shabby, artistic, and full of history, life and diversity. I’m mixed raced (English and Trinidadian) and I’m very proud of my heritage, so it’s important for me to live in a multicultural city.
Could you please suggest us 4/5 interesting places to visit in London?
If you like 90’s hip hop and R&B, get down to Work It (www.youworkit.co.uk) at Visions Video Bar in Dalston. I occasionally deejay there, and It’s probably one of the best nights out in London at the moment (if I do say so myself!). Good vibes, great tunes and lots of bumpin’ & grindin’. For a quick lunch, visit Clark and Sons traditional Pie and Mash shop on Exmouth market. For the best views across London go to Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath. Broadway and Brought markets are cool, and definitely worth a visit, but if you want a less sanitised view of a London street market, head for Shepherds Bush, Brixton or Walthamstow; pick up anything from fruit and veg to hair weave, negotiations with stall staff are a must.
What is your favourite food? And do you have a favourite place to eat out in town?
One of my favourite places to eat out is the Charles Lamb Pub in Islington. It’s got a lovely down-to-earth atmosphere, good home-cooked food and a great beer selection. Whenever I’m in the area, I like to treat myself to curry mutton with rice & peas at Jerk City on Wardour Street, unbelievably addictive.
What is the nicest place you ever visited/travelled to? Why?
I don’t know about nicest, but one on the most memorable was Brazil. I’ve been there twice and both trips are up there as some of the greatest of my life, the people are crazy (in a good way), the beaches are beautiful, the food is delicious and the caipirinhas make for very interesting nights.
Who is the woman you’d like to see featured/interviewed here?
The very talented Fred Butler (fredbutlerstyle.com), photographer Elisha Smith-Leverock (www.smith-leverock.co.uk) and the Work It girls Sara and Loren (www.youworkit.co.uk).
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