Ten questions for Algy Batten
As Fivefootsix marks its tenth anniversary, Design Week caught up with Algy to talk about learning, ex-girlfriends and standing up to bullying clients.
When did you realise you wanted to be a designer?
I spent a lot of time as a kid removing the labels and stickers from anything I owned; bikes, sports equipment, clothes etc. Sometimes if I couldn’t peel them off or unpick the stitching I’d colour them in so they were less visible. I think it must must have been about hating the idea of showing allegiance to any particular brand or trend, or something.
At the time I didn’t associate this with design in particular, but looking back it may have suggested some relationship with design, although you could argue an odd one. But it was on art foundation that my ambition to become a jewellery designer was quickly replaced with wanting to become a graphic designer. With graphic design there was a far greater opportunity to communicate and I realised I had a lot to say.
What was your first job?
I had millions of jobs as a kid from pork-pie factories, to building sites, to door to door selling. All contributing to a hard work ethic. But in design it was with Browns, just a few months after they formed. I’ve always been proud to say I was their first full-time employee, even though the experience almost killed me…
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