Where do you work?
Vine Publishing Ltd. in Sevenoaks, Kent
What is your role?
Head of Design. My day-to-day role involves managing a design team of myself and 3 others working on the design, layout and production of two magazines a month (Vine and Vine Kensington) as well as working on a number of rebranding/repositioning briefs for local businesses (including logo design, stationary design and often websites). I work on the constantly evolving design of the magazines alongside the publishing director and come up with designs and concepts for the upcoming feature articles or supplement publications.
What do you love about being a designer?
I love seeing my work in print, whatever it may be. Whether it's something as underwhelming as an advert for a butchers (of which I have done many..!) or as exciting as a 12 inch vinyl record sleeve, I get that same excited feeling like a kid at Christmas!
Did you have any design experience before the course?
I'd spent a few years learning how to use Photoshop to design posters for music gigs and the odd bit of artwork for friends’ bands but that's about it.
What were you doing before the course?
Before going to Shillington I was a full-time musician, touring and recording for four years.
Why did you decide to do the course?
When my career in the music industry came to a natural end I decided that I wanted to make more of my passion for design, which had previously just been a hobby. I specifically looked for a short, intense course where I could really get a feel for what a career in Graphic Design would be like. Shillington was perfect for this.
How confident did you feel about entering the design industry after you graduated?
Incredibly confident. The college is an incredibly encouraging place to be and the tutors were instrumental in helping me to build confidence in my own work. This confidence allowed me to take my portfolio up to a number of agencies – without appointments – and landed me with an internship at Figtree* working on HTC and Blackberry. The nature of the course's structure meant that I was well prepared for the tight deadlines that I have encountered so far too.
What was the most valuable thing you took away from Shillington?
Key commands! I'm not even joking. A thorough knowledge of the software and the introduction of lateral thinking to my design process were also pretty valuable. And the friends made on the course; you never know who you will work with in the future, but I hope it's them. Look out for STACK...
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Getting to see the album artwork that I designed for a band called Pharaohs in the record shops and on iTunes was pretty special.
Where do you see yourself in 12 months?
I would like to be working for myself ideally. Freelancing would give me more time to work on the bigger collaborative projects with my fellow ex-Shillington classmates (we’re collectively known as STACK) and allow me to work on some personal projects that I've been itching to develop but not had the time!
Shillington graduates talk about life after completing our course.