Artists and creatives from Australia and around the world.


Emily Gregory

Inspired regularly by the blog The Daily Smudge, I thought interviewing blogger Emily Gregory would be inspiring also. Emily is a book designer living in Sydney. Together with her husband Jon, she runs a book & magazine design and publishing company whilst regularly sharing what she is inspired by on her blog. 

Thanks so much Emily for the interview :)

Q.What is your background?
A. I studied Visual Communications at UTS in Sydney which is where my passion for design was developed. I loved typography and any print and paper related subjects especially so it makes sense that those are the areas I focus on now. I work as a freelance book designer and teach a design subject at UTS during semester time too. I recently wrote my first book -The Little Book of Lettering/Reinventing Lettering - which was an amazing experience and profiles some truly talented typographers working today. I am now also a (pretty much) full time mum to a full-of-beans 2 year old boy. 

Q. How did you get into book designing?
A. I took a break before my honours year of uni, and spent some time working in London in a graphic design job (designing wine labels and alcohol packaging). Though I had a great time, I realised then that the corporate side of design wasn't really my passion. I've always bought and cherished art books so I dreamed of being able to design them myself. I channelled my energies into that field and for my honours year at university I created a book as my final project. I then was lucky enough to get a job at an illustrated book publishers in UK and the story goes.... 

Q. What is it about graphic design that you love most?
A. I love that you can organise information in a digestible and appealing way. It gives me such buzz to translate a dull word document into a structured piece of design (a book) that is pleasurable to navigate. I also love that you can influence emotions through such subtle things as a typeface, photograph or a shade of colour. I love that when done well, the viewer realises none of these things have been done at all. Ah ha!  

Q. What made you start the blog: the daily smudge?
A. I've been writing my blog for about 5 years now. It started as just a private online scrapbook to document my findings and categorise them somewhere I wouldn't lose them. I always used to keep physical scrapbooks but with more inspiration coming from online these days, it was sort of a logical shift. Since then it's developed abit more and the posts are generally longer with more original content included now too. I really do write it for myself most of all but it's such an honour that others find it interesting too. 

Q. Now that you have a baby, how do you keep up with the blog and working?
A. It's tricky balancing all the things you want to do that's for sure. I think I never really realised how much time I had until I had none! I have 1-2 days a week where I can work from home (thankyou grandma!) on my design work and then the blogging is usually squeezed in around naps (not mine sadly) and in the evenings and weekends. It helps that I love what I do so it doesn't feel like work mostly. My husband and I complete some book projects together so there is a fair bit of weekend work that goes on too. Basically its all just slotted together in a tetris like manner... sometimes sliding in perfectly (with sleeping and smiling involved) and sometimes more chaotically (with less sleep and a couple of scowls!) 

Q. What are some of your favourite Australian graphic designers/artists at the moment?
A. I generally have more art influences than graphic designers as such. In terms of book design, Allison Colpoys is an incredible designer and illustrator, ridiculously so in fact! I love the paper engineering work of Benja Harney and Bianca Chang and the embroidered type work of Maricor/Maricar (who funnily enough I studied at uni with). Edwina White & Kat Mcleod are some of my favourite illustrators and The Hungry Workshop make and print some great graphic design examples. I'm sure I'm forgetting lots of diamonds... there are so many talented artists and designers down here in our little land. It's a great community to be a part of. 

Q. Where do you hope to see yourself in the near future?
A. Probably doing the same of what I'm doing. Being a mum and working on lovely books is pretty heavenly. I would love to write another book (fingers crossed) and maybe work in-house at a publishers again one day too. I do love freelancing but there is a buzz that comes from being part of a team that you miss when working from home. Most of all I hope to still have passion... and be happy cause that's the number one priority.  

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