A Discussion With A Senior Digital Designer

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a Digital Designer? Well, let our resident creative Jamie tell you all about it. Whether you're wanting a rebrand, a cracking user experience or just a Zac Efron lookalike, he's your man. We took some time out of his busy schedule to learn more about what it's like to be a top Digital Designer for The Zen Agency.

By Alannah Fleming, 17 October 2019

What does the day in the life of a Senior Digital Designer at The Zen Agency look like?

I have a feeling that most designers will give the answer “Every day is different” when it comes to this question. Normally in the morning I will go over my list of work and check any emails to see if they affected any priorities and then take it from there. Some days I’ll be working on UX and wireframing and web/app design, other days I’ll be looking at and creating video content for social media.

What made you want to pursue a career in design?

It’s something I’ve always been interested in. As a young kid playing video games (which is all about UX and visuals) I found that I engaged better through visuals and auditory methods of communication. I was always interested in Art and Graphic communication when I was in high school so I decided to pursue this further by going to college to study Graphic Design. After that, I went to University to learn Digital Design to expand my skillset and then the rest was history.

What design disciplines do you work across?

Typically I deal with Branding, User Experience and User Interaction, Web and App Design, Print Design, video and any collateral required for marketing, be it PPC or social media. 

What design software do you currently enjoy using?

At the moment I use the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. Day to day I use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premier and After Effects. If the client or Dev team need a prototype then I would use XD.

Rebrand or Brand creation, what’s your preference?

I honestly like doing both, brand creation gives you more of a chance to come up with some pretty interesting concepts. It also means you can go in different conceptual directions that the client would never have thought of. Rebranding is an exciting one, especially if it’s more of a brand evolution, where you are changing aspects of the brand while keeping some core assets and values. Some clients are wary of a complete rebrand but it can really help your business in the long run. 

What advice do you have for someone wanting to start a career in design?

I suppose this goes for anyone perusing any career, but the first thing I recommend you do is ask yourself why you want to be a designer. For me being a graphic designer was about creating something that looked very clean and simple but said something more and could inspire conversation and/or engagement.

I think that something that can help you become a good designer is being a good communicator, and the key to being a good communicator is by being a good listener.

If you are just starting out then I guess I would advise you learn how to deal with people being critical of your work, after all a lot of you will create will be subjective. Some people will like your work and some people won’t. Funnily enough, you will probably like and dislike a lot of your own work as the years go by.  Constructive criticism between your peers, from clients and from your senior team members will help shape you into becoming a good designer. And have fun.

What do you turn to for design inspiration?

This is an interesting one because I was at an Adobe Roadshow and there was a guest talking about how he was tired of seeing his design team using Pinterest as their go-to site for inspiration. To be honest… it’s a good resource for finding inspiration but I have the opinion that the guest was of a similar age to myself and went to College/Uni when the internet was still very young and things like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest didn’t exist.

And I think his advice was pretty spot on. So here it is.

Use all the resources available to you but don’t just pick something up and make it a little bit different. Gather up several things and mood board it. Go for a walk and pull inspiration from your surroundings, go to a gallery, create something that you know will work but has your style added to it. Maybe even push the boat out further and try something outside your comfort zone. What’s the worst that can happen?

Lastly, who would you want to play you in a movie?

If an actor had to play me in a movie then I’d choose Zac Efron, only because the people who know me would find it hilarious that I chose a well-groomed, physically fit, articulate A-lister who has some understated acting chops… when in actual fact I’m a lanky, pale, dishevelled guy who has a tendency of walking into walls because he’s not paying attention to where he is going.  I would also have the movie narrated by Samuel L Jackson but only under the strict conditions that he performed the narration while being drunk and his script was full of spelling errors. 

The Zen Agency offers a single solution to all your digital marketing requirements. If you think your business could benefit from Jamie's talents or any of the services we provide be sure to get in touch today. 

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