About me

About me

Thanks for visiting my little corner of the internet – this is the part where I tell you my story. You’ve probably already figured out by now that my name is Gemma and I like to design logos. Here’s some things you might not know about me yet…


Originally from York, I moved to Manchester in January 2018 and this is where GEM Design Studio began (eeek!), I bought a lovely little house in East Manchester and settled in with my partner, best friend and biggest supporter, Jack.


Where it all Began

I’m not sure when I officially made the decision to study graphics and pursue design as a career, but it’s definitely always been on the cards, I have always been very creative. I’m not going to drag up any embarrassing childhood memories – more for my sake than yours but I will say that my parents probably spent A LOT of time doing the whole fake smiles and “yeaaaah… looks great” when I was little (a homemade magazine complete with free toy and ringtone download page is coming to mind here).


Anyway, playdough and PVA glue years (mostly) behind me, I started studying graphics at 15 and continued to do so through my A Levels and college. Then, with a brain stuffed full of design knowledge and hands ready to get busy creating, it was time for me to step out into the big wide world.


I began working at a local print company in York, as a Junior Graphic Designer and worked my way to Studio Team Leader by the age of 19 – yes, that is the sound of me blowing my own trumpet, this is my own about page after all, do forgive me.

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york minster

MY GAP YAAAAH

At 20, I took a year out to explore Australia and South East Asia with Jack. I completed a few design projects while exploring to fund my trip and got my first taste of running my own business. Although, I will admit that we tried to keep working to a minimum and getting lost and having fun to a maximum while we there (and I think we did pretty well). When we returned to the UK in 2016, I resumed my role as Studio Team Leader and continued to develop my skills working as a graphic designer with a whole range of businesses and projects.


gemma thirsk australia

Going it Alone

That brings us to 2018, when we made the move to Manchester and I decided it was pretty much now or never to go it alone. I originally started as the all-doing graphic designer but with some additional studying and discovering of where my best talents lie, I specialised into logo design and brand identity later in the year. In June 2019, I moved into a lovely new studio in Ancoats / New Islington with my friends at Woolgather Films.


I absolutely love my business and working with all of my incredible clients, past and present, day in day out. You can have a look at my day-to-day work here.


Things I like:

  • Cheese
  • Telling people what font something is written in, especially when they didn’t ask (don’t feel sorry for Jack, I don’t think he listens to me anymore)
  • What.If videos
  • Any audiobook narrated by Stephen Fry
  • Gin (but I like tea even more)
  • Any type of useless gadget that can be connected to Alexa
  • My FiloFax
  • Supporting and empowering fellow women in business (check out my group The Ladies Who Trade)
  • Things I Don't like:

    • When Jack doesn’t listen to me talking about fonts
    • When Alexa turns the bedroom light on in the middle of the night. What’s that all about?
    • Forgetting about a cup of tea and not realising until it’s cold :(

    So that’s me!

    I hope I get to know you and your business soon :)

    Have You Seen My Facebook Group?

    I’m proud to be a cheerleader of all fellow women in business – check out my group The Ladies Who Trade for more info.


    We are a group of ladies service swapping, networking and empowering one another through the rollercoaster that is self-employment.

    I’m proud to be a cheerleader of all fellow women in business – check out my group The Ladies Who Trade for more info.


    We are a group of ladies service swapping, networking and empowering one another through the rollercoaster that is self-employment.

    The Ladies Who Trade

    "


    During our business journeys, we have all found ourselves in a situation where we have game-changing ideas to grow our business but sometimes, when we're just starting up or for many other reasons, the budget just isn't there. Instead of giving up or limiting ourselves, this group gives you the opportunity to use the value in your skills and services and grow your network by service swapping.


    Gemma Thirsk (ME!)

    / Founder, The Ladies Who Trade