January 18, 2024

Meet the Team — Vanessa

Meet Vanessa Tracey, our Senior Graphic Designer at Transform Digital.

Meet the Team — Vanessa

For more than ten years, I’ve worked as both an in-house and agency graphic designer.

I started out as a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed junior designer at a greeting card company where I honed my typography, illustration, and pun-making skills. I then spent a few years with one of Australia’s largest value-fashion retailers, developing campaign, marketing, and strategic design, before stepping out of the frying pan and into the fire of agency life. I instantly fell in love with the variety of clients, scope of work, and fast-paced nature of jumping from real estate to rebranding, packaging design to websites. I was hooked.

After four rewarding years as a senior designer, I stepped up to a Creative Director role, managing a team of three designers, before relocating to Bath in the UK with my partner.

Transform really stood out to me when I met the people here. It has a great reputation, and an even better list of clients — but the people working here are so knowledgeable, passionate, and are exactly the professionals I knew I wanted to work with. During my interview, I got the chance to chat with the broader team before the role was offered to me and, on the way home, all I could think was: “wow I really want to work with these people.”

My new role here is to fill the boots of Senior Designer and, I hope, bring something new to the table. Specialising in graphic design, I hope that Nick — our Senior Creative Lead — and I can be a two-pronged force to be reckoned with and bring excellence to our clients.

What do you love about design, and what does it offer the world?

Design is an incredibly challenging yet exciting industry to work in, full of passionate creatives who tend to use both left- and right-brain thinking. Visual communication is driven by solutions, with constantly changing and evolving technologies, but can still be pared back to pencil and paper. I’m drawn to how multifaceted design can be, blurring the lines between art and science and seeing how different designers approach the same challenges and questions.

People are very visual, and being able to contribute to that ask in one way or another can be exciting. I’m also an extremely visual and tactile person — the media I consume, hobbies I gravitate towards, and so on — are all very immersive, colourful, textural. Working in this space felt like a natural progression.

Design Thinking is a whole school of thought, which is non-linear, approaches problems and solutions in a variety of ways, and I feel like I really resonate with that. Finding and defining problems that may have been hidden or not necessarily obvious and finding solutions. I love being able to bring empathy, a bit of beauty, and help fix a problem — no matter how big or small.

Who and what inspires you?

Maybe it’s the designer / creative in me, maybe it’s the optimist and romantic — but I try to find inspiration in everything. The idea that ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’, paired with the fear of God from uni days and plagiarism, I try to find inspiration in adjacent ways. Looking in a left-field way keeps things interesting and allows my design process to be a bit more fluid and flow on unexpected tangents. Galleries, museums, parks, nature reserves, Instagram, Pinterest, the bottom of a coffee cup... I try to find ideas anywhere and everywhere.

I also try to keep my hands busy so my mind can wander. I make and create something outside of design every week, whether that’s cooking something new, sewing something, or whatever else I can think of. I tend to collect hobbies — learning new skills and seeing how other creatives work always inspires me.  

What do you do for fun?

Drink coffee / find new coffee shops.

Read books — a LOT of fantasy / fantasy romance. I’m obsessed with the Maasverse (ACOTAR, Throne of Glass), The Bridge Kingdom series by Danielle L Jenson. If there’s a dragon or witch, or some serious trauma, heartbreak, or pain, I’m in.

Seeing live music, shows, comedy — if it’s drag, I’m there.

Sewing / making clothes.

Cooking and baking. Desserts and sweets especially.

Bushwalks, hikes, etc.

I love looking at rocks. Aus has amazing big red ones, but the UK has some pretty neat grey wet rocks.

Three things to know about you?

  1.   Yes, I talk to myself. Sometimes I respond, too. Please ignore me.
  2.   I need ‘lizard time’ on the daily: sitting in the sun on a hot rock. Knowing this... I’m not sure why I moved to the UK in the first place... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  3.   I make a mean chocolate chip cookie.

Lightning round

Coffee or tea? (Or neither?!)
Coffee. Double espresso over ice, please and thank you.

Music while working?
Absolutely! Silence is the devil. I’m shamelessly still listening to early 2000’s emo (it was never a phase, mum). Also retrowave and anything by Gunship, The Midnight, and so on — lots of end of the world synth sunset vibes like this playlist. 70s FM radio is always a winner, too — here’s a great playlist for that. And some more to be specific: Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, and My Chemical Romance’s entire back catalogue.

One book, film / series, and album you’d recommend to anyone?
Book — The Song of Achilles (wr. Madeline Miller)
Film — The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Dir. Jim Sharman)
TV Show — Parks & Recreation
Album — My Own Pool of Light (by Holy Holy)

Scones: cream or jam first?
Jam only! Ya'll can keep the cream.

Favourite quote?
Inspirational: “We are the daughters of the witches they couldn’t burn.”
Exasperation / cringe: “Yikes on a bike.”


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