Working in design: Employee case study

Jake describes his job as senior designer for a graphic design company.

What is your role?

I design the look of packaging, POS (point of sale) and all marketing materials. This includes anything that is printed, for example, logos, brochures and exhibition panels.

What do you like about your job?

I love the design side of the work. I enjoy being creative and making something that thousands of people will see and use.

I love the process of coming up with ideas, commissioning photo shoots and then taking all the raw elements and making something from them.

What’s not so great about it?

As with any creative process there has to be a degree of compromise. Your initial designs may not be how the final product develops. This is the main difference from how you might design at university and how you work with a client.

At uni you mainly design for yourself. In work you design for someone else and because of this you can’t always have your own way.

How did you get to where you are?

I did GCSEs and A levels. Then I focused mainly on fine art, concentrating on the basics of drawing and painting.

After that I did a foundation course in art and design for a year and specialised in graphic design. I took a three-year degree in visual communication design, a fancy name for graphic design.

What do you want to do next?

I think the next stage for me would be a more senior role such as a design manager or creative director. I would certainly like to do hands-on work, as well as managing a team.

Jake, senior designer

Jake, senior designer at a graphic design company