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Gareth Strange's Desk


Today’s desk belongs to Cardiff based graphics designer and illustrator Gareth Strange aka Strangelove.

Besides his awesome work, the positioning of Gareth’s home office desk below the arched window gives the workspace a unique and epic vibe.

Let’s take a look.

Who are you and what do you do for a living?

My name is Gareth Strange, I’m a graphic designer and illustrator. I currently work for a Cardiff based creative agency called Bluegg, where I help tell stories and build brands. In the evenings I’m often working on freelance or personal projects where I go under the name Strangelove — on my website you may find anything from a restaurant website design to a weird illustration of Bob Dylan.

Can you tell me something about your desk setup?

This is my home desk setup. It has all the standard things you’d expect from a graphic designer — an iMac, a nice lamp, a wide variety of pens and coffee. There’s always coffee. Don’t be fooled by the tidiness of this photo, things tend to get pretty messy here — there’s often ink and paint splatted around the place and paper tends to stack as projects develop. My favourite feature of the setup is the position in the room, it looks out of the arched window overlooking some lovely tress. Perfect for a quick screen break!

Is there anything you would like to improve on this setup?

Ironically, I would like to change the desk. I bought the Graphix desk from where they used beautiful photography to entice me. Aesthetically I love it, but unfortunately in my opinion it’s poorly designed and not very practical. I suppose this is one issue with buying furniture online without actually trying it out. I could also do with something a little bigger for those messy illustration projects.

Do you switch workspaces during your day? If yes, what’s the reason behind it?

I do. As I mentioned I work for a design agency in the day — where setup is very similar to home, however the atmosphere is completely different. We’re a tight-knit team of eight people and there’s a lot of energy in the studio, so to focus sometimes a big old set of headphones is required.

Can you tell us something about the items on your desk?

This room is purely for working in, although I never call it “an office”, that just sounds far to grown up — I tend to call it “the computer room”. This means I have complete control of what goes on around me. The walls are full of framed artwork that inspires me and generally brightens up the place. The artwork is a complete mix of styles — it includes a self portrait by a local artist, a limited print by illustrator Iain Sellar, a World Cup poster I stole from a bar in San Francisco in 2010 and a signed David Beckham shirt from when I was 8 years old. I’ll probably get some stick for that one.

What are you doing to stay focused?

Apart from coffee and kicking the cats out of the room, I would say music. If I’m working there’s always music on, played through Harmon Kardon speakers. I like a wide range of genres, but when I’m working I tend to listen to indie/folk music — maybe The National or Sun Kil Moon.

Here is a playlist I made for this interview:

What was your latest self improvement experiment?

I recently repositioned everything in the room, moving the desk in front of the window that actually prompted my Instagram of the desk. It can sometimes be pretty tough getting furniture in the most practical positions, but I feel I have achieved that and feel much more organised and productive.

Where do you see yourself and your desk in the next 5 years?

That’s a very tricky question. I’m currently based in a small, but very cool city called Cardiff and I work with clients all over the world, which basically means location isn’t that important. There’s a big part of me that wants to move aboard and experience something new — I have no solid plans in place at the moment, but a place like New York or Barcelona sound very appealing. Could be a great opportunity to buy that bigger desk!

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by Daniel Puglisi