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Meet the Team: Isabel Shananan

by Nathan Swinson-Bullough

Picture of Isabel, Print Apprentice at Imageco

For our next meet the team, we’re speaking to one of our newest members of the team: Isabel Shanahan, our Junior Mac Operator. We’re speaking to Isabel about how she found herself getting involved in print, and how she thinks the industry can encourage other young creatives to get involved.  


Tell us a little bit about yourself! Don’t be afraid to get creative.


Hi, I’m Isabel! My favourite things tend to revolve around creativity and self- expression; I love all things alternative and have a HUGE appreciation for art.
Before starting at Imageco, I tried my hand at modelling, meaning I often travelled between Leeds and London to meet all kinds of people – going to the Burberry headquarters for a casting for London Fashion Week definitely was a highlight! I think my most interesting memory from modelling was my trip to Paris to the Yves Saint Laurent headquarters, the most memorable part of the day being how uncomfortable my heels were, and maybe the complimentary champagne on the Eurostar!  

Now, I tend to spend most weekends going on days out with my boyfriend, we love going treasure hunting around new charity shops or finding little cafes for us to have lunch in. Then, ideally, my day would end at the pub having a glass of wine – but we usually end up at home watching TV!  


Tell us about your journey working at Imageco.


I started my journey at Imageco with minimal knowledge of the print industry, but always knew I wanted a creative career – which I’m lucky enough to have found! Becoming a part of the industry and gaining knowledge about the ins and outs of print has opened my eyes to how much print is around me in my day-to-day life – it’s really changed my view of the world!  

Recently I’ve been getting more involved in networking events with FESPA, leading me to meet new, like-minded young people also working in print. This has been a really fun and beneficial part of my journey at Imageco – it has pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me think about my own job in a different light, increasing my appreciation for working in such an exciting, creative place like Imageco. The next step of my journey will be to extend my knowledge of my role and to keep on building confidence to help me become the best I can be.  


What inspired you to get involved in the print industry?


I have always wanted to work in a creative industry but had no idea what I wanted to do – I just knew I wanted to enjoy my future job.  

Funnily enough, I previously worked with Nathan’s son, and we happened to start chatting about Imageco one day at work. I was immediately interested and could see myself working in the print industry. I ended up emailing Nathan and coming in for an interview not long after. Nathan gave me a tour of the building and I was more than impressed and intrigued as to what Imageco could bring to my future career – the print industry seemed so exciting and new.  


What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?


The coolest thing I’ve worked on recently is a light box for Charlotte Tilbury! I love setting up the artwork for brands I like – especially when it’s one of my favourite makeup brands!  


What’s the best thing about working in the Imageco office?


The best thing about being in the Imageco office is the opportunities to learn and excel. Since November, I feel as though I’ve gained so much knowledge and met so many great people – I love learning and being able to improve my ability every day. Especially about things I’m genuinely interested in, I find it so gratifying. Alongside this, being encouraged to attend networking events brings such an exciting social element to the job. 


Describe your job in three words!


Fun, technical and interesting! 


How do you think more young people could be encouraged to get involved in the print industry?


I think a good step towards encouraging young people to get into print would be to pick a few specific target audiences and go to colleges to speak to them about future careers. To pick the target audiences you could ask young people already in the print industry what they studied previously and then narrow it down from there. For example, if 45% of young people in the print industry did an A-level in art, maybe doing a talk to an A-level art class about careers would be beneficial – I know I would’ve found it useful!  

I then think it’s very important to have gateways into the print industry readily available to students so print remains fresh in their minds.  


What would be your idea of a perfect trip away?


My perfect weekend would be spent in The Lake District; I could never get bored of it! Growing up, my mum and dad would take my sister and me to the Lakes every year in the autumn time – it was very drizzly, but we looked forward to it all year long! When I got a bit older, I found the Lakes a huge artistic inspiration, and luckily my parents would always ensure I was able to be as creative as possible while we were away. It’s still a huge inspiration to me now – and I always make sure to create at least one piece of art every time I’m there.   


Who would you swap places with for the day?


I think it would be really interesting to swap places with an astronaut for the day. That way I wouldn’t have to be stuck up in space for ages, but I could still see what it’s like up there – I think that would be super cool.  


What’s your go-to drink at the pub?


Usually either a glass of Pinot or Zinfandel, but on a night out pink gin and cranberry juice is always a winner.  


And last but not least, give us your best piece of advice.


My best piece of advice is to take every opportunity you get, because you never know what it could lead to. 


At Imageco, we’re always looking for bright new talent coming into the industry to get involved in our projects, and we love to see our team members learning and developing in their roles.  

If you’re interested in a future in print or just want to learn a little more about what it is we do at Imageco, get in touch with a member of the team.