The Block

Interviews — 8 months ago

Francesca Williams on Confidence and Belief in Design

How the rising Designer is developing a creative voice in a hyper-competitive industry.

 

London’s creative scene is overflowing with talent – it’s created a healthy competitiveness that pushes the best to the top. Porter Magazine’s Junior Designer, Francesca Williams is no exception.

 

Her portfolio of work covers everything from styling and assisting for McOveralls and creating visual identities for her ‘Fake Luxury’ project.

 

We caught up with Francesca to find out how she stands out in an industry that’s filled with dynamic talent that is driven to succeed.

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Everpress Team
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Francesca Williams photographed by Eloise Keating
Francesca Williams photographed by Eloise Keating

Can you tell the community a bit about yourself to get started?

I’m Francesca Williams, I’m 22 and am a London based Designer. I graduated from Kingston University in the summer, having studied Graphic Design and I’m now lucky enough to hold the title of Junior Designer at Porter Magazine.

Where did your interest in fashion and Graphic Design stem from?

My work stems from a keen interest in fashion, which is then showcased through editorial design, visual identities, type and art direction. I have always been creative, partly due to having dyslexia; I think that this naturally forced me to communicate through creativity.

Dyslexic Project by Francesca Williams
Dyslexia Project by Francesca Williams

How important is it to have more than one string in your bow?

As a designer, it’s really important for me. But I know that it varies depending on what type of designer you are. I have always felt most free when experimenting with different media, as I find it vital to approach my work from a variety of perspectives.

Having a belief in your own work and the confidence to talk about it is vital.

Art Direction and Editing by Francesca Williams for Issy Traynor
Styling and assisting by Francesca Williams for Issy Traynor

My course at Kingston encouraged me to enjoy the freedom of exploring all types of design.

Creative industries are competitive, how do you maintain a vision within the crowd?

By not comparing. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in other people’s work and progress. I think that some people don’t believe in their work enough and rely too much on producing work similar to what they’ve already seen. Having a belief in your own work and the confidence to talk about it is vital. If you don’t truly believe and understand your own work, that’s when you’ll blend into the crowd.

McOveralls assisted and styled by Francesca Williams
McOveralls assisted and styled by Francesca Williams

Can you talk us through your creative process?

I’m an extreme planner. I have some serious to-do lists and mood boards. It’s important for me to fully understand and unpick an idea, questioning the route I want to take and how much I can play around with a concept. Communication is key when working within a team and I think it’s crucial for everyone to be on the same wavelength in order to make something a success.

Art Direction and Editing by Francesca Williams for Issy Traynor
Styling and assisting by Francesca Williams for Issy Traynor

Was your approach to designing this t-shirt different when compared to your approach to digital design?

This time around it was. Originally, I only had the main front print in black and red, so having the opportunity to work with Everpress I wanted to expand on the design and make it more current. This is where the sleeve print was bought in and the change of colours. I like that I can adapt on a design and feel like there is more to it – I guess I see it as a work in progress.

Such Bad Girls A2 Risograph prints by Francesca Williams
Such Bad Girls A2 Risograph prints by Francesca Williams

Can you tell us the meaning behind the ‘Such Bad Girls’ design? How was this conceived?

The original ‘Such Bad Girls‘ design was created as my response to celebrate International Women’s week for an exhibition held in March 2017. The typographic design was printed as A2 Risograph prints in black and white ink and also made stickers which were presented at the exhibition along with other young creatives posters. I loved the print so much but also the reasoning behind the design so wanted to develop it further and put the print onto t-shirts.

Promotional Package for Loulou Hicks. Editing and creative direction by Francesca Williams.
Promotional Package for Loulou Hicks. Editing and creative direction by Francesca Williams.

How has your personal style evolved over time?

I find it hard to pinpoint one specific style that runs throughout my work, as each project varies from the next.

Fake Luxury by Francesca Williams
Fake Luxury by Francesca Williams

It’s evolved through slowly building a better understanding of how to approach an idea, depending on what position I hold within a project. I’m learning new things every day and I think it’s exciting to know I can put those new skills to use in future projects. I think that at times, my work presents such a crossover of roles that it’s hard for me to really see what my personal style is right now. I’m sure that one day I’ll look back and it’ll be clear.

McOveralls assisted and styled by Francesca Williams
McOveralls assisted and styled by Francesca Williams

When you’re in need of a hit of inspiration, where do you turn?

To my best friend. We have similar views on design and a very similar style so it’s really easy to feel inspired and want to work on new and exciting projects. 

What would be your dream project to work on?

This is tough! I think that it would be to have full control as a creative director on a shoot for a big fashion brand. One of my favourite projects I’ve worked on, ‘Fake Luxury’, was based around Burberry. I made a blanket scarf which to illustrated the contrast in price between real and fake Burberry. So yeah, I guess it would be pretty sick to do a project with them.

Fake Luxury by Francesca Williams
Fake Luxury by Francesca Williams

You were creative director for Sølv’s debut music video for ‘All to you’. Is this your biggest accomplishment so far?

It’s definitely one of them! It was such an amazing opportunity to bring a team of creatives together and work on something with so many different elements. It was definitely the biggest project I’ve taken on so far. Balancing that with my final year at university meant that time management was key. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity and it’s so nice to watch the music video back now. It’s reassured me that I want to continue pursuing that creative path.

Finally, are you working on anything exciting for 2019?

I am working on a couple of things; mostly collaborative projects that I’m really keen to peruse. A year can make a hell of a difference in the creative field, so 2019 should be exciting for me! 

Shop Francesca’s limited edition, sleeve printed long sleeve tee ‘Such Bad Girls’ here. Available for a limited time only.