An Interview With… Emma Routledge

Emma Routledge Headshot


What do you to relax?

I’m partial to some TV, namely Friends, as well as watching Pro Wrestling and catching WWE shows with my brother when they’re in town. Sundays are usually spent exploring the region with my dad, I love a coastal walk.


What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?

My parents always encouraged me to believe that if there’s something I truly want to do, I should do it  – don’t settle for the safer/easier/”better” in the short term option, you’ll thank yourself later.


What was your biggest challenge to date?

After college I was a freelancer, that was rough. It wasn’t easy finding consistent work so soon after graduating, and I didn’t have the experience/tools to promote myself effectively. It was the dose of reality I needed to rethink what I wanted to do, and that led me here!


Who are your heroes, both in and out of the business?

The design industry is constantly evolving that I don’t class any one person as high as a “hero” – I find my influences come from anywhere, be it digital or just something random I spot walking around and think “that’s cool” and it goes in the memory bank, however, credit where credit’s due, would I be a designer without watching Art Attack so much as a child? Maybe not, so thanks Neil Buchanan. Outside the industry, my mother.


What made you want to work in the design industry?

I’ve always been creative (see the Art Attack mention above), throughout school I found myself always wanting to make sure my work at least looked good, and alongside that ICT became one of my strongest subjects  – stemming back to primary school I was in after school computer club and I worked on the school newspaper, and so that urge to make everything pretty translated digitally. One day I thought hey I could have a job doing this, and I do!


What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

Being able to not only see my work in the wild, but specifically be able to pull something up and go “Hey dad, look at this that we did” and it be a tangible thing that this not-so tech savvy parent can understand and appreciate is pretty rewarding.


What is your key tool in any marketing campaign?

These days you hesitate to give it credit because it brings so much negativity, but social media is still the best tool to market, because it’s in the palm of everyone’s hands, but what’s key is how you use it, because it can make or break a brand in extreme cases. I think what’s important is making sure your narrative is authentic to your brand message and not just chasing trends or fishing for reactions/clicks.


What is the best thing about social media?

It connects the world, anything has a chance to go viral (for good or bad) but in general it gives a much wider reach for smaller creators/businesses to find new audiences outside of existing connections, you don’t need a big machine or industry contact to succeed.


What is your favourite aspect of your job?

The sheer diversity of it. No two days are the same, I’ll be designing a website one day, testing an app or creating an animation on another. Along with that, this industry is always moving, and new tech comes in to try out, the tools I use now are different to when I first started.


Favourite quote…

“Welcome to the real world… it sucks, you’re gonna love it!” – Monica Geller