To get the readers started tell us a bit about what you do:
I’m currently studying BA Hons Graphic Design at Nottingham Trent University. When not working, I spend far too much time in the cinema and taking pictures. I am currently designing promotional material for a variety of clubs in Nottingham. I also volunteer as a designer for Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.
How did you get into Graphic Design?
It’s always been a passion of mine right from school. Ever since I was young I enjoyed drawing and be creative. Whilst at university I have had time to play around with software and develop my skills to a more professional standard.
Do you have qualifications in design? How important do you think qualifications are for designers?
I have a HND in Graphic Design as well as currently studying for my BA Hons in Graphic Design. I think qualifications are important mainly as a door opener but overall grades will never be as important as a good portfolio. I think as long as you are a good designer and present yourself well people will be able to see if your competent.
When creating graphics, what to you is the most important aspect: planning design or implementation? and why?
I think both are important as each other. Like people say if you fail to plan you plan to fail! Usually things don’t turn out as I plan first off, they usually develop into the final outcome from development.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully in a nice design agency and being happy!
Own Business/Freelance or working for a company?
I occasionally freelance and produce some deign work for local clubs in my area. I have had some luck on my placements and had my designs featured in M&S greetings cards (2011) and ASDA A/W boyswear range (2012).
If you could work for any client who would it be and why?
Eeek. I’m not sure. I’m still deciding where I want to go after university, sorting my portfolio! We get plenty of opportunities to work with clients from the industry with various live briefs so maybe I will know soon J
How do you rate yourself as a designer?
I have improved a lot since being at uni. I have a stronger process and feel I can communicate my ideas better but I don’t know how to rate myself. I hope I carry on learning and improving for a while yet as my design career is only just beginning.
What makes a good graphic designer?
Good ideas and communication.
Where do you go for inspiration?
Most things that I come across inspire me. Being at uni is a great place for inspiration as very creative people surround me most days. I collect many things that may inspire me in the future. There are so many websites/blogs to get inspiration from such as, Pinterest and Designspiration. Inspiration truly is everywhere!
What obstacles – if any, have you encountered along the way?
Mental blocks, Computers failing before saving!!
Do you think the Graphic Design Industry is difficult to get into?
I think it’s difficult to stand out as it is very competitive area. I think if you are determined and passionate enough about it then we’ll all get there.
What do you think it takes to become successful in the Graphic Design industry?
Good ideas, patience, determination and passion
Which design websites do you visit on a regular basis?
Designspiration, Fffound, Pinterest, Print and Pattern.
Do you get bored with your job if yes how do you overcome this?
I don’t get bored of design but I can get bored of projects, usually when I’m having trouble with a project. I suppose it’s more frustration then boredom. It is usually overcome by moving away from it for a while then going back to it with fresh eyes.
If you weren’t a graphic designer, what would you be?
I don’t know! Probably miserable.
Software you couldn’t live without?
Adobe Illustrator! It’s my life.
Mac or PC?
Mac all the way!
Three words to describe yourself?
Indecisive, OCD, geek
Hobbies and Interests?
When not working, I spend far too much time in the cinema and drinking tea! I take photographs of anything and everything, but mainly my cat!
I love the work of Caroline Gardner. I like her designs, as they are quirky and sophisticated also, her use of traditional printing techniques, such as letterpress interpreted in a very modern way. I also love Sanna Annukka. Her work is lovely and graphical style being both simple and complex. It may partly be because I’m a stationary fiend as well!
Tools of the trade?
Best and worst piece of work?
I couldn’t choose my best but my worst stuff is older stuff I look back on. But I’m always hard on my own work, it’s a flaw.
Any Tips or advice to share with aspiring designers?
Keep going! It’ll all be worth it.
Links of websites:
Some of Jess’ graphic design work: