My first year in Design

Wow, it’s true that time flies when you’re having fun – it seems like it was only yesterday when I was writing a summary of my first week at Imaginate, and now I’m about to reach my first “Imagiversary”.

After deciding university just wasn’t for me, I began looking into other options of how to develop my skills and climb on to the career ladder. A lot of research and head scratching led me to Creative Alliance, a learning provider based in The Custard Factory, who were advertising that Imaginate was looking for a Design Apprentice. Feeling slightly dejected and nervous about leaving university after the first year, I made my way up to Leamington Spa for my interview, hoping some one would see my potential and enthusiasm despite having no actual experience in design. Luckily, they did, and here I am.

I officially joined Imaginate in March, and quickly realised two things: 1, gosh these people drink a lot of tea; and 2, I’ve got absolutely no idea what I’m doing! Words such as ‘Kerning’, ‘Leading’ and ‘Serif’ were all completely new to me – it was clear there was a very steep learning curve ahead, however, under the guidance of Jo, Jamie, Jen, Sush and Sarah, I slowly began to find my feet. My first piece of work that went to print is now hanging in the World Rugby Museum at Twickenham, and even though it’s only a small, perhaps even insignificant sign on the wall, I couldn’t be prouder.

As the months rolled on, I began to gain more confidence, and even adopted the mantra “How hard can it be?!”, which led me to learn things I would never have even dreamt of (or in some cases heard of) back in March, such as 3D Parallaxing, Animation, 3D Modelling and Rendering. As well as my own personal learning, I’ve had the opportunity to work on some amazing projects for high-profile clients and gain invaluable experience along the way. One of the projects I’m most proud of is the labels I created for Bespoke Brewery. Using the logo Jamie created, I designed a range of new beer labels to go with the company’s new look. It was a real buzz to see these labels that I had designed, being used on a physical product that people can actually purchase in the real world! Like, an actual real product! Eek!

What I’ve found most eye-opening about working at Imaginate is seeing the whole process of design – not just the creation of the graphics themselves but the research and concept that goes behind it. Every little detail is meticulously planned and thought out in a project, which is why the end product is of such high quality. I’ve learnt that a designer is not just some one who knows how to use Photoshop and colour in (although that is a massive part of it). A designer is some one who is passionate, dedicated and who dares to use their imagination.

As cliché as it sounds, when I was 11 I wrote in my school yearbook that I wanted to be a Graphic Designer, and I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to everyone at Imaginate for giving me the opportunity to follow my dream. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know one thing – after a year working in design, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.

Imaginate are now looking for a new Apprentice, if you are interested please visit this link: www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeship/694710