The latest interview features Simon Hanlon, a graphic designer who specialises in B2B and Ellison Education web & print design here at Ellison. The interview gives an insight into what his role entails and his daily work life.
When did you join the Ellison team?
I joined Ellison in September 2017. The working atmosphere within the office is fantastic and the whole team were extremely welcoming when I first started. I had previously been working alone travelling up and down the country as a field-based trainer within schools, so it was nice to have some company.
What is your role and what does it entail?
I am one of the Web and Print Graphic Designers. I edit imagery and design content for our B2B and education platforms whether it be a campaign for social media, newsletters, POS or a promotion on our website. My biggest job of the year is designing and populating our printed catalogue for Creative World and Creativation.
What are the highlights of your role?
I really enjoy developing web-based content for projects and campaigns as I get to step outside of the world of print and continue to develop my UI/UX (User Interface & User Experience) skills. This year I will be helping develop our live streaming platforms with the social team for our B2C audience which I am very excited to be involved in.
Have you always been creative?
When I was 13 I downloaded the 30-day trial of Macromedia Fireworks to create artwork for the various gaming teams I was a member of (I was a very cool 13-year-old). A year or so later I swapped to Photoshop which really opened the flood gates for creativity as I started to look in to video editing with Sony Vegas, Premier and After Effects which then led to creating my own music with Fruity Loops, Reason and Ableton Live (not to mention all the other Adobe products).
What’s your favourite tool or software to work with? And, why?
If I had to choose one, it would be Adobe Illustrator. I am very passionate about branding and illustration and this piece of software is all about enabling you to create both and then bring them together. Recently I have been using Adobe XD which is a tool for creating web and app-based User Interfaces and prototyping the users journey which I have really been enjoying.
What’s your favourite current design trend?
I spend a lot of time looking at brand development and what processes people take when creating an identity. The trend I find the most interesting within this capacity would be how designers are using negative space within text or shapes to create subtle logos that have a hidden image. George Bokhua is a designer I follow who uses this technique a lot in his work.
Source: George Bokhua
How do you think design will change over the next 5 years?
I believe more people within a marketing team will be able to design to some extent, as there are more and more web-based software available that makes it easy for anyone to create banners, profile pictures, logos, websites etc without a basic understanding of the popular creative software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch etc. The role of a designer will become much more focused on how to improve the experience of a customer’s journey and how a specific campaign or document communicates with its audience. Developing and creating frameworks/templates that are easily maintained by every member of the marketing team will probably be what takes up most of the time of a designer.
If you could spend one day working in another part of the business, which department would you choose? And, why?
It would definitely be social media, but as I mentioned earlier I have been given the opportunity to work with them on their streaming platforms. My hobby is streaming and demonstrating my design process on Instagram, Twitch and YouTube. I want to implement some of the features I use on my channel here at Ellison.