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Week by week - part 1

10th August 2015 by Ollie Eskriett

The Team Graphic Design

This is the first of a series of planned articles written by Ollie Eskriett, the newest member of our creative team. Ollie has just graduated from Plymouth University with a degree in Graphic Communication. In this blog, he will be shedding some light on his experiences of working here at Toucan, and how this differs from his student days at Plymouth. 

It is the start of my fourth week at Toucan Design and I have already learnt a lot about how the industry works. Work is a lot different compared to that of uni - tighter deadlines, quicker turnarounds and multiple project running at the same time are the main differences. One of the nicer things is having personal time back in the evenings and on the weekends. It's only until now that I realise that having this time to yourself allows you to go to work with a fresh mind and a certain level of energy.

On Monday I worked on 'The Big Wave' as we are calling it, part of a project we are doing for a school in Plymouth, my job on this occasion is to illustrate a wave that shall be scaled up to about 20ft high and applied to a large two-storey atrium in the science and technology area of the school. This is a really exciting project for me as I have been given a lot of creative control on the look and feel, and it's not everyday you get to illustrate a 20ft wave (complete with giant jellyfish!)! The morning consisted of me drawing some mock ups by hand. I then scanned them in and spent the afternoon inking them up in Photoshop using a tablet.

I also worked on a few smaller tasks such as a few flyers and posters, these are not the most creative tasks to do, but it is really good practice for your typesetting skills, your grammar and your ability to look at the finer detail and keep to brand guidelines. I had a few minor mistakes that were spotted by Josh and were corrected. It's valuable to get a second pair of eyes on the work that you do, as you can miss things.

On Tuesday I carried on working on the wave, a whole days work was dedicated to it, with a few bit and pieces coming in that required amendments.

So far during my time here I have learned much about how a project is turned around in the real world. As a student, little was talked about life in a working professional studio, other than "well in the industry you will only have a few days to get a project completed" and that was about as far as it went. This is true by the way!

Wednesday, I worked on several small projects and carried on illustrating the big wave. The smaller projects were amendments to jobs that I have previously worked on and consisted of changing a few images and some grammatical errors.

On both Thursday and Friday I was busily working on the wave. Underneath the wave will be scientific information that shall engage children to learn about the forces and motions within the sea. One of my favourite things about Design is the research stage. I get to research into some really interesting avenues and learn about all sorts of subject matter. For this I had to gather educational material that would be engaging for an 11 year old as well as a 16 year old. After I gathered the research I set about trying to make it engaging for the pupils to look at.

Every couple of days the creative team have a catch up meeting to see how well we are doing with the projects. This gives us a chance to discuss each other’s work and to make sure we are sticking to time and budget. These meetings are similar to critiques you would get at uni and are great for getting advice and feedback about the work you are doing.

I'm loving the variety of work that I'm being asked to do - bring on next week...

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