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The beginning

Posted 26/2/2021

I’ve been asked what got me into design, and to be honest I’m not 100% sure at what age I knew about graphic design, it feels like I’ve always know it was a job option, but I’m not sure all children would know about it! 

My dad owned a packaging company, and so I think this is where my interest and knowledge probably came from. I remember visiting the factory and seeing Easter egg boxes in production, I imagine I probably asked whose job it was to design/make those, so maybe that’s where it began. My dad was an accountant, and my mum had worked in a bank before my brother, sister and I were born, so it wasn’t something I found out about directly from their jobs, but maybe there were graphic designers in my dad’s company, or maybe they worked with designers. I need to ask my mum!! 

Choosing Design

I was always interested in art. When I was at primary school I won the ‘Christmas Card Competition’ every year except one, and I also drew a picture of the school building which was printed on mugs. 

However, I realised that art was subjective, a teacher could give you a bad mark if they simply didn’t like your work, and the idea of this bothered me! When I was older and choosing my GCSE options, I decided to go for design, rather than art, as I liked the project briefs and the constraints of meeting the requirements, rather than the open and more vague art projects I’d been set. With design you either meet a brief or you don’t, it’s not so much open to the teacher/examiner’s opinion and taste, and this matched my personality better, I like to ‘get things right’ and solve problems.

 

School

At our school we were offered Graphic Products and Resistant Materials as half GCSEs, so I was able to do both subjects, which I really enjoyed. However, pretty close to the exam dates we were given the option of increasing these to full GCSEs each, I think we had to go into school one Saturday to make up the extra hours and I think we sat a longer or an extra exam maybe (it was 1999 so I’m a bit vague!!). So anyway, I ended up taking an extra GCSE because of this! Graphics was always my favourite, and I got an A* for it at GCSE. I decided at this point that I definitely wanted to be a graphic designer, and the rest of my education I’ve already told you - A levels and then four years at uni.

 

Relocating

Before I graduated I started applying for junior graphic design jobs I saw in Design Week and Creative Review, I applied for jobs all over England! I was completely prepared to move away from Leicester, where I was at uni, or Northamptonshire, where I’d grown up. In fact I ended up moving down to Hertfordshire for my first job, starting before I’d officially graduated (I had a day off to go back for my graduation!)

It was a brilliant first design job, with big clients such as Radox, Tesco Café and Sanex. I was really lucky to work on some fantastic projects and learnt so much from the lovely team I worked with. I stayed there for just under a year, but the twist to this was that I’d met my husband-to-be just a month before I moved down there! He was from Leicester, so we spent the weekends travelling up and down the M1 to see each other, or meeting at the ice rink in Milton Keynes as a half way point (where I decided I’d learn to figure skate! Living in Hertfordshire not knowing anyone, it was nice to have a hobby!) So, after almost a year I found a job back in Northamptonshire and moved back to south Leicestershire, renting and then buying a house with Gary, before getting married.

 

Creative Kids

I’m pretty sure I’ve told you the rest of my story!! I still love design, and if I get chance to actually draw I enjoy art or anything artistic too. My eldest daughter says she wants to be a graphic designer, and all of the kids are very creative, so who knows if any will follow in my footsteps!! 

 

My Story

So that’s my story, what’s yours? How did you get to where you are? I’d love to hear! Please tag me in if you share on your social media pages, or comment over on my social media post titled '#mystory'.

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