I had the chance to participate in work experience of my choosing through school, I had little idea what I wanted to pursue as a career and so I thought it would be a good way to help make up my mind.
I have always been very interested in graphic and web design and found a company in Harrogate which did just that. I applied to do work experience there, went for an interview after school with a member of staff called Alex King (he was the person who interviewed me and secured my place by email) and a couple of weeks later I got an email saying that my place had been secured. Simple as that!
On my first day I was given the office tour and met a variety of staff members who were all extremely nice. I was then given the task to rebrand and redesign the website of an online food company. I was also given a schedule of all the individual steps which had to be done and also a creative brief of what the client wanted in their website. Due to my prior knowledge on how to use Photoshop I got to work on designing a logo and anything I didn’t understand or needed help with I was guided through by Jay (Senior Designer). Next I got to work on thinking up a new name and picking out a font from Google Fonts which I thought suited the name I had chosen. Once I had found one I liked, I paired it with the logo and now I had a black and white version of my logo.
The next day when I got into the office I was tasked with creating an ‘identity’ for my logo. This would include the original black and white image, an inverted version of the logo (in case the logo needed to be printed on a black background), a coloured version of the logo, a colour palette of these colours including the hex and CMYK values of these colours and also their names as well as a font that would be used on the website for subheadings and explanations. Once this had been done I copied and enlarged my final logo onto an A3 sheet on Photoshop.
On Wednesday I was tasked with using the logo I had created to design the front page of my website. This took me pretty much all day but I was proud of what I had done. First I was given a template of which I was to design my website on; it featured two grids and a border so I could layout my website’s boxes and such accordingly. Whilst I was adding all of my features the 9xb staff were busy getting on with their work, but the buzz in the office was brilliant! Everyone is fun to work with and they all get on really well. It was a cool atmosphere to work in. During that day I also sat though two meetings, one was a briefing about a project by which a client wanted an interactive presenter designing and the other was about pointing out and fixing bugs on a website which was due to go live in a week or so. Both were very enlightening to what happens behind the scenes when creating a website and how to team members communicate towards each other to get the project finished. After the briefing in the morning I was tasked with creating a wireframe for the interactive presenter; this task really gave me insight on how the design period works and what steps are taken to create the finished product.
On Thursday morning I finished off the footer of my website and then Jay printed it off for me. Next he showed me a folder on my computer containing banner templates and also Facebook and Twitter page templates. He told me that all websites need to be advertised to be known and popular and so I set about creating nine advertisement (three of each common size); three were basic ‘Shop now’ banners, three were competition banners and three were animated GIF banners- all of which I created in Photoshop. The photos I used to create these banners were in the folder Jay made for me. During that day a member of staff from the marketing department called James sent me a briefing by email describing the creation of two new advertisements for an entertainment company, I created these that afternoon and James was very happy with them. After that we had a nice conversation by email about how I was finding my time at 9xb and he asked me what I wanted to pursue as a future career; he was very reassuring and wished me luck for the future. Jay then helped me mount my website and social media advertisement designs on display board; I took them home to show my parents and they were very impressed.
On Friday morning I asked Kate (from the marketing department) if she had anything I could do. She sent me an email about a client who wanted four adverts of different sizes and a cover photo for Facebook producing. I spent quite a lot of time on these to try and make them as appealing as possible. I then sent them to her by email and she looked at them and gave me some feedback, of which I took into account and redesigned the adverts around. I then sent these new designs to Kate of which she looked at and gave me some final pointers to make my designs perfect. I had also made some chocolate brownies the night before and brought those in for everyone to try to thank everyone for making my time here even more enjoyable; they were very well received!
I would highly recommend doing work experience at 9xb as it is a very good way to learn what goes on when creating a website to the specification of a client. Even if you have no prior knowledge of web or graphic design the staff members are very willing to give up their time to help you through whatever you are struggling with. So thank you again 9xb for making my work experience enjoyable and I will definitely consider taking graphic design to a higher level.