Interview with a top designer

Emily Wonford                                                                                                                                      

December 3 2009

This was my interview with Henry Nolan, Designer for ‘The Mail on Sunday newspaper’. My inspiration for this was because he is part of the layout process of one of the UK’s most famous Sunday newspapers. The target audience would be those interested in design of any kind, and the target publication would either be a design magazine or ‘The Mail on Sunday’ itself as an interview with its workers column, perhaps. My source was primarily Henry himself, and due to his very busy schedule had to be done via email and was completed over a period of time.

“Hi, Emmi, here are my rambling answers to your questions;”
 Q: First of all, can I be cheeky and ask how long you have been
working within the design profession?
A: I have been working in Newspaper design since 1983. 26ish years and
before that about 4 years in a general design agency locally in the
Canterbury area
Q: What made you decide to go into design of any kind rather than any
other profession, and what drew you to it?
A: I was good at art and therefore liked art and design from an early age.
Maybe something about being left handed,
I don’t know but it was the only thing I excelled at school and therefore
naturally it was something I thought I would like to do.
In hindsight, I could have done many things but at the time it seemed like
a good option and I did enjoy designing many things, not just in 2
And having worked in a restaurant for some time I was particularly
prepared, and used to dealing with long hours, pressure and unreasonable
people. Just like newspapers… FUN!
 Q: Has this always been your desired profession or did you want to do
something else
A: I wanted to be involved in art of some sort and by the time I left
college I knew it would be graphic design but not necessarily newspaper
 Q: What was your childhood dream of a profession?
A: I didn’t really have one… Racing driver, in my dreams!
Q: What exactly does the design side of work entail?

A: All aspects of the look and feel of the paper
 Q: Why did you choose newspaper design over magazines, or broadcast?
A: I didn’t choose. It’s a slightly different discipline but similar. I prefer the
immediacy of newspapers
 Q: Is there a big difference, do you think, between the designing of a
newspaper than to a magazine?
A: No, if you are good at one you should be OK at the other. Some say that
magazines are more considered and you certainly have more time to design
them but I believe a good designer is a good designer!
Q: Lynn tells me that you previously worked as a designer for the Sunday Times, how did that differ from working, currently, at the Mail on Sunday?
A: A different kind of market, that’s all. Smaller format which takes time
to adapt to and more adverts to design around, but really, same pressures
and discipline.

Q: We know at times that it can get rather stressful to meet deadlines and
such, and the pressure mounts up. How much pressure do you feel when it
gets close to deadlines and how do you keep your cool?

A: I keep very cool!!!… But seriously there is pressure. If you can’t
handle it then it’s not the job for you

Q: After work is finished and the newspaper is ready for print, what’s
your most favourite thing to do to relax after the pressure is off for
that week?
A: Go home!… Have a drink!… Drive!… but not at the same time or in
that order


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