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One Year On: Dan

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Twelve months ago, we had a new recruit in the form of Dan, our Junior Graphic Designer. Since joining the team, Dan has not only gone on to become a key part of our Design team and the Bromsgrove HQ resident DJ, but he’s also had to endure 11 months of his first 12 with us, working from home.

It’s not quite the start that any of the rest of our team have had so we wanted to catch up with Dan and find out all about his first trip around the sun with Platform81.

How did you start out as a designer?

From a young age I’ve always had an interest in graphic design, which started with designing posters in primary school. I used to drive past a shop in Worcester where they did graphics for cars and it was something I always wanted to do however once I’d reached my early teens, I went off the idea as I just didn’t realise you could do a career out of design. It was only when my mum told me about an art college in Hereford, which I later attended, that I realised I could make something of it.

I went to university in Bath to study Graphic Communications however the course itself was quite broad… I remember having to draw Gandhi at one point! It didn’t stop my love for design though so after Uni I completed four internships with different companies. Then, I wanted something permanent and I also wanted to move to Bristol, so I began working as the in-house Graphic Designer for an events company until I came to Platform81 four and a half years later!

What do you enjoy most about your role at Platform81?

Coming from an in-house role to an agency one has meant I’ve been able to work across a huge variety of clients and a variety of different design aspects too. No two days are the same and no two projects are either, so it never gets dull or repetitive.

I’d never done web design before I started here either; it’s been a good challenge to sink my teeth into – I’ve always wanted to do it!

What have you learnt in the past year since working at Platform81?

Like I say, web design has been something I’ve loved learning over the past year and also Adobe XD which I now use as a predominant tool daily. I had good foundations of design when starting here but by being with Platform81 and notably, working under Senior Designer Ryan, I’ve really been able to take things to the next level. I look at Ryan’s work and it really raises the bar for me.

What’s your favourite aspect of design and why?

As much as I like all of it, at the moment it’s definitely web design.

What do you think makes for good graphic design?

Clear communication for sure and graphic design that is easy to digest. It needs to really easily get across what you’re actually trying to say without trying too hard. Less is always more.

What’s been your favourite project to work on at Platform81?

I’ve really enjoyed the projects which I’ve worked on from scratch, or any of the web design projects as they’ve allowed me to develop my skills.

I also enjoyed creating the latest Platform81 graphics for use on social media as I can see a scope to develop them further in the future. I’m currently completing tutorials in the evenings to learn more about illustrator and will soon move on to learn about After Effects properly and hopefully introduce animation to the assets at some point.

How have you found working remotely for the majority of your time with Platform81?

I’d say that at first it was obviously a bit challenging however it’s helped me push myself further in my role. As a new starter it’s easy to rely on people or ask too many questions but with me not physically having the team around to do that, it’s made me more independent with more confidence in my own work.

What advice would you give someone wanting to become a Graphic Designer?

I would say, just don’t give up. If your uni course isn’t very inspiring, don’t lose focus and be persistent because working in the industry is much more rewarding. There will always be a design studio that’s right for you. If you get knocked down, just keep trying.

Also – internships are very useful to getting your foot in the door!

What are you most looking forward to about the future?

I’m definitely looking forward to learning more about animation and incorporating this into my designs and also, continuing to learn and improve and ultimately work on bigger projects.