Second up in our series of ‘Day in a life’ is Stuart, our chief designer here at Innovate Creative.
Stuart co-founded Innovate with Brad back in 2014 when the main focus was on low cost websites… there have been a few changes since then!
Design is definitely in Stuart’s blood having studied Graphic Design at University then heading into high-end bathroom design before getting his break into the agency world where he worked with a number of large, blue chip companies – gaining vast experience quickly.
After five years working for somebody else, he decided to fly the nest and go it alone.
Once a project is sold, Stuart’s work begins – whether it be designing a leaflet, an annual report, company rebrand or a website. There’s a lot of regular work that we carry out for clients each month, but the role is so varied – you never know what new projects are going to come in – Jess, our studio manager, will allocate tasks and prioritise workload dependent on individual client requirements.
What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office?
The first thing I do when I get in is to plan my day and write a to-do list. I’m a big believer that if you don’t write it down, then more than likely it won’t get done. I then look at emails for 30 mins before I start on my first task. And I’ll usually have had a coffee by this point too!
Talk us through your day-to-day tasks…
Day to day can vary massively. I could be working on a new brand for a client or web banners for a re-marketing campaign or a large brochure project. That’s what keeps me enjoying my job day-to-day.
What’s your favourite thing to do each day?
Everyday is very different. I love what I do, I enjoy researching new trends and fashions within the industry and keeping ahead of what’s happening in the design world. I’m very lucky to enjoy my job and be my own boss.
Tell us about a project you’re currently working on. What do you like/what don’t you like about it?
I’m currently working on a brand new website for a gastro-pub where I have a lot of free rein to make it look how I think it should be – based on their competition, their offering and where they want to be. For this project, we’ve had some great photography of the venue and food. Working with great assets makes my job very easy!
What kind of challenges do you face day-to-day?
My main challenge is definitely time management. As a very busy, but small agency it’s crucial that we organise our time efficiently. We use various pieces of software to help us to keep track of projects and deadlines. The top three we use are Asana, Harvest and Capsule.
What advice would you give to other people looking to become a graphic designer?
The main piece of advice I’d give to a student or graduate looking for a first time role would be to try and get some freelance projects or mock up some commercial work for your portfolio. This way the company that are hiring can see your ability and how your design style will fit in within their clients.
I would pick a brand you like, download their brand guidelines and mock up an advert, small brochure or website using their content but make it your own. This is hugely valuable to an employee to see how you might update a brochure for a brand we all recognise.
What program could you not live without?
Photoshop and Indesign.
What’s the best thing about working at Innovate Creative?
The best thing is delivering great work for our clients, and having lots of fun doing it!
And outside of the office, what do you enjoy doing?
I love visiting new places with my wife and two children. I enjoy eating out, and trying to keep fit – I’m currently in training for a couple of half marathons, so I’m trying to be strict and get out running at least three times a week.