10 designers as you've never seen them before

06. Aileen Poe

Aileen Poe spent a week trekking the Great Wall of China in aid of Marie Curie

Aileen Poe spent a week trekking the Great Wall of China in aid of Marie Curie

Back in 2009, before she decided to go back to university and study graphic design, Aileen Poe and a friend raised £6,000 for Marie Curie and spent a week camping and trekking the Great Wall of China. "It was one of the best things I've ever done, and would love to do something similar again," she says. "You're not only doing something for a good cause, but you get to see places you normally never would. A very rewarding experience!"

07. Tove Andersson

Tove Andersson packed in her sales job to pursue a creative career

Tove Andersson packed in her sales job to pursue a creative career

"I worked in sales and I was good," explains Tove Andersson. "It started off selling popcorn to cheerful families at Disneyland Paris. A few years later I had sold everything from jeans to journeys to Amnesty International memberships. I loved the job. But I also loved creating. Whenever I was off work I would spend every second working with photography, illustration or painting. Turn up the volume of the stereo as loud as my neighbours would allow at that time of night and just go with the flow.

"'The ones of you who don't want to sell like hell can go hang yourselves.' It was Monday morning meeting at the media sales company I worked for and the manager was giving his weekly pep talk to the staff. I was barely awake after staying up all night drawing but found sudden clarity as I realised that I had to find a more humane place to work, a cup of coffee, and a way to combine my creativity with my career."

08. Ben Steers

Ben Steers in 80s fancy dress in Austria

Ben Steers in 80s fancy dress in Austria

We gave our creatives a pretty vague brief when we asked for their pictures: showing off a piercing, standing on top of Mt Kilimanjaro, pulling off a mad ollie, shaking hands with Robert de Niro, jumping out of an aeroplane… anything fun and interesting, really. And here's what Ben Steers came back to us with. "I don't have anything as crazy as jumping out of a plane," he explained, "but I do have a rather silly photo of myself in 80s fancy dress in the Austrian Alps. Is that crazy enough?" That'll do, Ben.

09. Sagmeister and Walsh

We've all seen Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh rocking their birthday suits, right? Oh, go on then (NSFW!). But have you seen their performance in matching 60s-style outfits as they remix Adobe's logo in a series of retro game shows? Here we have the edited highlights for you; you can watch the entire set of five videos over at Behance.

10. Ben Topliss

Ben Topliss appeared in the final of the Young Apprentice

Ben Topliss appeared in the final of the Young Apprentice

We never got any pictures of designers shaking hands with Robert de Niro, but designer and art director Ben Topliss came up with the next best thing: a photo of him with Alan Sugar's sidekick Nick Hewer, from when he appeared in the final of Young Apprentice.

"For their final task, the remaining competitors found themselves in Manchester needing to create a completely new sports brand from scratch. As it was the final, all the original contestants came back to help and assist those still left in the competition," Topliss explains. "I was asked to help one of the teams develop and design the core assets for their new brand.

"The whole process of filming took around half a day with all the branding materials created in a 30 minute session, during which I wasn't allowed to offer any advice or guidance to the team. It was a pretty full-on morning, a great insight into the making of the program, and as a fan it was great to take part."

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Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.