Edison Media

SPOTLIGHT SUNDAY: JAMES WARD

Ever wanted to get to know what the life of Graphic Designer is like? Are you looking for some insider tips and tricks to help you figure out if this is for you? Then lucky for you we’ve convinced our inhouse Graphic whiz-kid, James Ward to share some of his experiences. Let’s go!

1. Could you let us know some of you daily tasks?

My daily tasks aren’t usually the same each day. Every Monday we have a team meeting, whereby from my part I’ll discuss any outstanding tasks and take on new ones from the team. The most common internal tasks include client proposals and social media design for the official accounts. External client tasks are often design work for websites, branding, PPC campaigns, social media, and advertising artwork.

2. Why do you like working for Edison?

Having worked for Edison Media from almost the very beginning, I enjoy the fact that I’ve been very involved in the look and feel of the company both on the website and social channels. From a day-to-day basis I’m also proud to be part of a business that has continued to take huge steps in industry, especially given recent events in the world over the last year.

3. What qualities do you think make a good graphic designer?

I think two of the most important qualities a successful designer must have is a love for their work and commitment to continue to learn/practice. Regardless of profession, when you love what you do, you’ll always give an extra 10% in both energy and commitment. This goes hand in hand with my second point as design skills can become rusty (or just forgotten) fast. If you want to be the best, you need to be constantly educating yourself in new software, techniques, and industry news right until the day you retire.

4. Do you have any role models that inspire you?

I’ve never had a single figure as a role model, but from a design point of view I’ve always admired David Carson. He’s a graphic designer famous for breaking almost every traditional design rule in his experimental work, while still gaining the trust and respect from huge worldwide clients. He showed me that you need to/can sometimes break the norm in design to create great work.

5. You’re constantly creating artwork, what do you do if you hit a brick wall?

If I hit a brick wall with a project, I’ll either time my break for that moment and get away from the screen to clear my head or I’ll visit sites like https://muz.li/ which are great inspiration resources for designers and content creators.

6. Could you walk us through your creative process?

Using branding work as an example, I’ll take the following steps usually:

– Accept the brief from the client, begin researching the business/industry and collate an inspiration board.
– Create rough concepts of the logo icon ideas in black and white, plus a bank of suitable typefaces to pair with them.
– Send over the initial ideas to the client and work on the feedback given.
– Decide on a colour palette and apply it to the final logo/s before sending them back to the client for feedback.
– Work on the final amendments and send over the necessary variations and formats to the client for sign off.

7. Have you got any projects that your particularly proud of?

For Edison Media I’ll always be proud of creating my first billboard design, but overall, I always think back to an infographic I designed relating to advice for insomnia sufferers. The infographic performed really well and I always value design that plays a part in helping people.

8. Did you always know you wanted to be a Graphic Designer?

From around the age of 10, I was really into redesigning anything I could get my hands on, I’d take lemonade labels for example and replace them with my own. I think what convinced me to do this for a living, was when I sent a letter to Cadburys with a breakdown of my own idea for a chocolate bar. They sent me back some vouchers and I haven’t looked back! Or stopped eating their chocolate…

9. Is there any advice you could give for someone wanting to start out in graphic design?

Whatever level you’re at, make as much mock-up work for the brands and industry’s you love. Recreating work in your own image will hopefully not only be fun, but also the easiest way to sharpen your skills without feeling like it’s actual ‘work’. If it turns out well, reach out to the brand by posting the work online and tagging them in it. You never know what could come from that, whether it be a job or work to share with a University/College in a portfolio.

Thank you to James for those insightful answers on what it takes to be a full-time graphic designer. Just a glance at our Instagram is enough to convince anyone that James’s continuous pursuit to be the best has not only seen him create some incredible artwork but is also what convinces me that the best is still yet to come.

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