Creative Director at Shoreditch Design


AndrewBurton (Creative Director at Shoreditch Design)

Andrew is the founder of Shoreditch Design Studio, a creative agency with offices in London & Melbourne.

He/him • London, UK •

What led you into design?

I've been a designer since a teenager but before that, I was always a doodler. Every minute, in school and out, I was constantly drawing (mostly sharks and dinosaurs…)

After flipping from Physics to Architecture as my University subject, I discovered Photoshop, and realized Graphic Design as a career choice was possible. After trying architecture in the workplace for a year I finally committed to a switch to digital design and never looked back. 3 years ago I finally went solo by founding Shoreditch Design.

What does a typical day look like?

I always try to start with a run or the gym, but after hitting snooze it usually means I get into our office in Shoreditch before 9 am. Unfortunately, as my agency (Shoreditch Design) has grown, I’ve had less and less time to design and more time managing people and finances (yawn). That being said, I spend most of the day trying to dip into our dozens of ongoing projects and deliver salient advice to the team. Between this, it is a constant barrage of talking to clients past, present, and future, pricing proposals, and trying to market the agency. In reality, this means spending my time flicking between Gmail, Slack, Figma, Quickbooks, Zoom, and my Calendar at an alarming pace. If we don’t have any deadlines and I manage to convince the team we try to head to the pub for a debrief and pint around 6 or 7. 

What's your workstation setup?

I finally got around to having a home office setup just as lockdown in the UK ended. So unfortunately my electric-powered standing desk and the lovely furnished room has yet to be used. Looks nice in photos though!

Instead, we cram into our sweatbox of an office in central London, so as best to transfer our design skills via osmosis, or at least that's the theory.  My office is never normally as tidy as pictured, but instead usually furnished with pen, paper, MacBook, monitor, receipts, cables, Keyboard, Mouse,  houseplants, and empty coffee cups.

Where do you go to get inspired?

I love London and running around the city to be inspired by street art, signage, museums, exhibitions, and advertisements.

For more practical usage, I use the Panda chrome extension to be constantly reminded of styles and aesthetics across Awwwards, Dribbble and Behance. All of which I wish I was doing, but never get around to…

What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?

Here at Shoreditch, we loved BeReal when we discovered it last year. The innovative features especially the realmoji, went down a storm and made us green with envy that we hadn't been able to create a product that made people unable to not talk about it. Such a shame that big tech such as TikTok can so remorselessly copy these features, but when small startups attempt it the other way they are sued.

What pieces of work are you most proud of?

It has to be my very first digital product. I’d always wanted to conceive, design, build and launch my own product and finally had the chance when with my two co-founders I launched a fitness app called Tona.

Over 3 years, we toiled to bring the app to fruition and achieved 100,000 users across Android, iOS and web apps before being acquired by a larger tech company. Primarily we sold as we failed to monetise it. With hindsight, I cringe at the hundreds of design mistakes we made, but by creating my own product from scratch, I had the best education possible to help clients achieve success with their products.

More recently, I am extremely proud of the work the team at Shoreditch Design does day to day. We specialise in helping tech companies with product design and branding. Check out our website to see our latest work!

What design challenges do you face at your company?

I always think designing for clients is 50% telepathy and 50% design talent. Understanding what your clients are looking for, even when they are unsure, is a real skill that I’ve found hard to teach. We have some fantastic talent in the team, the hard part is showing that to clients when working in a fast-paced agency with limited budgets. 

Regarding music to listen to, I am a big house music fan, the agency was formed in Ibiza and we recently went back for our 3rd birthday to celebrate. So if it is my choice on the shared Spotify it would be Balaeric house every day. Luckily for the rest of the team, we have some real music heads who seem to love local London pirate radio stations, which makes me feel my age.

What music do you listen to while designing?

Any advice for ambitious designers?

Your portfolio is everything. Every job I have ever won is down to my portfolio first and foremost. If you are like me and didn’t study graphics, UI, or product design and you don’t have any real projects under your belt yet, create your own. This will mean spending dozens and even hundreds of evenings and weekends to get that polished portfolio. Trust me it will be worth it, keep updating it regularly, get feedback, and iterate. Check out some shiny stills from our portfolio site here

Anything you want to promote or plug?

We are currently trying to grow our design community on LinkedIn and Instagram, so please give us a follow on both and we will reward you by showering you with our shiny new work and job openings first :) 

Follow us on our Instagram - @shoreditchdesign

Or our LinkedIn - @shoreditch-design-studio