What sort of work are you doing?
The company's workload is almost entirely designing printed material for schools. We design school diaries, yearbooks, promotional material, signage, newsletters and corporate identity, as well as work for other clients. There are four designers on staff, and since we have such a large workload and fast turnaround, we're encouraged to tackle all aspects of the job, and everyone has a hand in each project.
What sort of deadlines do you work to?
Deadlines must be met for whole projects because printing is booked months in advance, but because most projects are collaberative, there is lots of support from the other designers in achieving deadlines. On average, about 30 minutes is allowed for laying out a page of text and images for a diary or yearbook.
What do you love about Graphic Design?
It completely suits my personality. When I want to be artistic and creative I can make simple pages full of text beautiful and interesting. When I want to be a perfectionist, I can go through thousands of words looking for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes and making them right. And when I want to switch my brain off, I can listen to music while batching photos, formatting text or scanning. And getting finished products back from the printer is an amazing feeling.
What do you find inspiring?
I love music and design for the music industry. Eventually I want to run my own business designing CDs, posters, tshirts, websites, logos etc for bands. One idea I embraced from my time at Shillington was the visual diary. My second one is almost filled! They live here at work, and if I'm ever stuck I've got lots of things from which I can draw inspiration. The other designers steal them sometimes too!
How has Shillington helped you gain employment?
Apart from teaching me everything I needed to know to be a designer you mean? My bosses were very impressed that I designed my application letter and resume. The week that I spent at the end of the course getting my digital portfolio and cover letter to look interesting really made a difference when I was applying for jobs. I got an interview for almost every application I sent because what I sent stood out from the rest. I feel like I owe a lot to Shillington - if I didn't do the course and enjoy it so much, I'd still be working a job I hate and wondering what I was gonna do with my life. Now I know what I wanna do, and I'm busy doing it!
Some of our graduates tell us what they really think.