The life of a creative is one that people often seem genuinely curious to know more about, with the question “so what is it you actually do?” being one that I’m asked frequently asked, whether it’s by a family member or an uber driver. I feel it’s time I give a definitive answer, so here goes…this is what a day in the life of an agency creative is actually like and just before we start I ought to clear up that it’s only partly gallons of black coffee, all black outfits and clear framed glasses…
My day starts in a similar fashion to most, get up, get ready and go. It’s the ‘go’ part of this morning ritual that my day really starts to shape up, ever since my first role as a graphic designer years ago I’ve found that the commute is one of the best places for idea generation and coming up with creative solutions. The commute transitions itself from a menial repetitive task that I do every day into a 20-minute brainstorming session, which I can call back to throughout the working day. The commute offers a friendly jump start to the day which I feel ought to see the recognition it duly deserves.
Following my morning commute and initial creative burst it gets serious – emails need to be read, briefs need to be understood and the day needs a set plan to begin. It’s here that the role of a designer is most visible. Attention to detail that is evident in their work is translated into their own way of working. Having a detailed plan of action for the day makes for a smooth flow of work even when the clients shift. Needless to say, the morning is crucial for a designer and ultimately the faster all the planning is done the real fun can begin!
Once all is sorted with the prep work it’s on, time to get started! My day is split into allotted time slots making the creative process really important to follow. The creative process is something a designer works to ensure a project is done properly and to its full potential, what is interesting I have very rarely met two designers who work to the same process so I will quickly outline the basic steps which are essential as well as explaining additional steps I use to take on my projects.
A brief is the first step and is what the ultimate outcome is based upon therefore this where I have to eliminate any ambiguity by asking the client and the account team questions, so I can properly align my creative to the client’s needs.
After understanding the brief and client’s needs, it is time to look further into the client’s brand and industry. This section of the design process is where you start building the initial blueprints for the final design but it’s the next step where you can really start bringing it to life.
Idea’s start on Paper
For all who know and work with me, they know that I love to sketch out my thoughts earlier on and even whilst I write this I am surrounded by three open note books of various sizes heavily scribbled on with various scamps and visuals, much like a journalists shorthand. They outline the important aspects of where my designs are heading and also, similarly to shorthand, most of my colleagues have trouble deciphering them.
Designing on Screen
Once the foundations are laid and I have shortlisted my initial ideas it’s time to go digital. This is usually the part that most people think about when imagining what designers do all the day. It is usually at this point that people are enamoured by a designer equipped with a Mac, much like a carpenter’s saw, in that it gives me the ability to turn an idea into something complete.
Outputting is a simple enough sounding job at first but it is also one that is incredibly important for streamlining the whole creative operation. This doesn’t only relate to saving the file for web or print but for presentation too. When the client first sees the design it should be perfect and ready to go with the client’s approval.
No doubt if you speak to designers like me or have worked with one in the past you will know amends happen and they have to be planned for, if not at least anticipated. The work I put out goes to the masses, so the more eyes that clock it the more likely it is to be ironed out and ready to be put into action.
Send off & Sign off
Once all amends are finalised the work is sent off, I file away the project neatly to be used as a reference for further designs, be it for inspiration or reworking. Keeping the files organised helps in the long run and ultimately makes my life as a designer easier.
My final thought
Overall the role of a designer changes every day someday it can be logo generation others may be full of concept generation for big campaigns and others everything in between but once thing that’s a certainty is that it’s always fun and a great profession to be in!
If you’re a brand interested in hearing more about of creative work or a designer who’s interested in working for us, drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org