Angela Roche is the creative director and founder of Design By Day, a brand and digital agency based in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. With a background in brand identity, web design & animation, Angela has been working in the design & digital sector since 2007 and co-founded her own practice; Design By Day, in 2009.
Design By Day is committed to bringing brands to life through authentic brand identities, effective digital experiences & creative content. Since starting up Design By Day Angela has worked with brands and organisations from a diverse sector base including; Barnardo’s, Brother, NHS, Molson Coors, University of Manchester and Arts Council England.
Hey Angela, can you tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your current role at Design By Day?
I’ve always been into drawing, art & crafts – although not so much at school. I would always run out of time to finish what I had been creating – especially in art exams, which was frustrating for me because I like to complete things! My interest grew at home; making stuff out of cardboard boxes, drawing family members and making stuff in the garage with my dad.
My parents tried to encourage me to pursue art at school, but back then I didn’t realise there was a career path for my interest and I couldn’t see the point of taking it for GCSE or A Level – so my journey to graphic design was somewhat random.
I kind of drifted to university studying Business Studies, not really knowing what I wanted to do until I saw a flyer stuck to the wall of another student’s dorm. My mind was blown when I found out that he designed it on his university course. That’s when I realised that Graphic Design was a thing and I knew there and then that I had to study it. I graduated in Business Studies with a 2:2, took a year out, then enrolled on Art Foundation followed by a degree in Graphic Design and came out with a 1st Class Honours degree, graduating from university at the ripe old age of 27! As it turns out my parents were right, but I had to find that path myself.
I met my business partner at university and set up Design By Day in 2009, when we both set out as fresh faced designers ready to take on the world! Since growing the company, my role has developed into one of consultancy, creative direction, marketing & new business.
How does your day start and how does it finish at Design By Day?
Get up, feed cats, decide whether to cycle or drive in to work. Then drive into work!
Coffee and conversation is normally a good set up for the day. My mornings are a mixture of those spent at home catching up on emails and planning the day / week ahead and those in the office catching up with the team. Every day is different which keeps us all on our toes. There isn’t a typical finish to my day either, since finishing a large project earlier this year I have been focused on getting back out there; going to industry events, meeting other agency owners or just going for a beer or 2 with the team! Of course there’s the odd late night working too!
What has been a real winning moment for you?
Earlier this year we launched and online comparison site for a UK business energy broker. Undoubtedly the most technical website we have ever built and a real testament to the skill of our design & development team and the power of WordPress.
What is on the horizon for 2018?
For me it will be about my continued movement into working on the business rather than day-to-day operations. For Design By Day it will be about getting increasing exposure, continuing our drive with in-house upscaling & knowledge sharing, as well as consistently improving our service and results for our clients.
What has been the best client to date you have had the pleasure of working with?
It’s not so much a single particular client, but a type of client! We love to work with people and organisations that are doing a little bit of good in the world and those that have a genuine passion for the projects they bring to us. That’s a recipe for an exciting, successful project!
Most memorable project you have produced?
One from the archives. Back in 2010 we got our first break with Cornerhouse, Manchester – branding and promoting a major exhibition, UnSpooling. Of course Cornerhouse is now Home, but the project is still worthy of a place in our portfolio.
We had the honour of branding Cornerhouse’s closing exhibition, and have recently worked with Home recently, creating the brand identity for A Revolution Betrayed, a season of art inspired by the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.
What would be your expert 5 tips for other women looking to successfully launch a digital agency?
1.Do what you love!
3.Make mistakes and learn from them!
4.Surround yourself with good & talented people
5.Be choosy with projects
Twitter: @design_by_day | Instagram: @design_by_day @angelabyday