Describe your typical day as a designer?
There is a variety of design collateral that progresses through our workflow. It’s a good mix considering we are a large corporate. Macquarie prefer to tailor most of their client-facing pitch work, giving us a great opportunity to try and develop new and interesting ways to grab our clients' attention through creative design. The main challenge to being a corporate designer is to constantly create fresh and interesting concepts within the boundaries of a heavily policed set of brand guidelines. Not to mention giving your all to convince left-brain, analytical-thinking bankers of crazy right-brain creative concepts (an art within itself). From advertising, event and general marketing collateral to major pitches, proposals and bid documentation, there is never a dull moment in the team I work with.
What do you love about being a designer?
Everything! I am a photography graduate and my passion and love for imagery has always driven my creativity. Over the years of working in a marketing team within a different role, I had always had a thirst for print design with a heavy use of imagery and graphics. For me, studying graphic design was like putting all the puzzle pieces together. My love for photography was finally coupled with an understanding of good design and the marriage of the two gives me a big high (I know, that didn’t sound very cool).
When did you graduate from Shillington?
2011 after studying part-time.
What area were you working in before the course?
I was still with Macquarie but within a Desktop Publishing capacity. Translation – I never got to design anything! A desktop person is primarily a content layout specialist – ever picked up a Macquarie annual report? Well, that was me! Argh!
Did you have any design experience before the course?
I think my years as a Desktop Publisher really helped me when it came to doing this course. I had worked closely with the concept designers at the bank for many years. Having to lay out pages and pages of content requires you to apply the design principles and understand effective methods of communication.
Why did you decide to do the course?
To be free of the annual reports! No, seriously I knew that there was an opportunity for me to progress my career within Macquarie and the course was the stepping stone I needed to make that jump. It also felt right to finish the missing part of the puzzle in the hope that one day I can bring my photography and design experience together and work for creative satisfaction rather than for a corporate pay cheque.
What was the most valuable thing you took away from Shillington?
Confidence. I can take a brief – channel whatever it is that gives you that cool idea – progress it until your happy – execute it to which ever deliverable suits your purpose. I couldn’t do that before Shillington.
How did you find the college environment, facilities and teaching?
On most of the evenings I had class I would be running from my office to make it on time. From the hectic craziness of a pitch environment to the relaxed, fun, energetic and creative environment of Shillo. I’d leave work grumpy and several hours later I would leave class laughing and happy. Can I come back?
How confident did you feel about entering the design industry after you graduated?
Chuck me anything… I’ll give it a crack!
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
My new job! I have relocated from our Sydney office to a Graphic Design role in the London office.
Where do you see yourself 12 months from now?
My new role is for a two year term but after that, who knows. Maybe it’s time to put my plan of being a photographer/designer in an a crazy European agency into action. I hear there are a few just over the pond.
Any advice for someone pondering whether to take the leap into graphic design and sign up for the course?
Do it! Put your social life on hold, give it your all, enjoy the ride and make sure you stock up on enough gin to get your through the folio stage.
Shillington graduates talk about life after completing our course.