You may know her work from Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies or Wes Anderson’s Academy Award-winning Grand Budapest Hotel. Maybe you’ve seen her designs grace the silver screen without even realizing. Introducing one of our favorites (you’ll soon see why), graphic designer and speaker Annie Atkins.
Last year, Annie Atkins enthralled the graphic design community with her talk at Adobe MAX, Adobe’s yearly creativity conference, where she spoke about her experience in designing for film. A dreamer at heart, Annie shared how she creates the intricate details sprinkled throughout film and television that ground sets in reality and bring scenes to life.
Every piece of paper in a film, “whether it’s a 1930s chocolate box or a mid-century street scene full of shops and signage,” has a graphic designer like Annie behind it. Her work stretches from letters to maps to telegrams, and to even less-expected realms. In a story she told us about her first job on the set of The Tudors, Annie had to teach Henry Cavill how to use an antique feather quill. She shares, “Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing! I’d come from an agency where everything was digital, so this was literally the first time I’d ever picked up a quill, although I tried to pretend I was a pro.” Though, of course, now she is a pro.
Annie dedicates her life to these little details that bring so much to the screen, but when she isn’t on set, she’s likely speaking about it. She explains, “Much of my work is seen so fleetingly by the cinema audience. I love the chance to really showcase the props I make and the working process behind them.”
We nudged Annie to share a sneak peek of what she’s currently working on, but she kept her lips sealed. “The terrible thing about working in film is you can’t breathe a word about anything until the film is released, I’m sorry!” Maybe you can convince her to spill the beans at Adobe MAX 2019.