Meet George – he’s supported by Hft and is sharing his experience of exploring his passion for graphic design as part of Learning Disability Week 2021.
When I first heard in late 2020 that there was a possibility of having some work experience as a graphic designer with Hft I was cautiously optimistic. I knew I wanted to get some experience of designing artwork/graphics for clients as part of getting ready to get some employment of some kind after my training course was complete, but I didn’t know what would be expected of me or how much pressure there would be to complete the work quickly etc.
The work experience started when I met with Sarah Connop, Hft’s graphic designer, via Zoom to talk about what being a graphic designer is all about, how she started her career and how she now works for Hft. We also talked about her previous work as a freelance graphic designer; I got lots of useful information from this session.
I then spoke to Amy Gordon, Hft’s Involvement Coordinator, about a work experience project she thought I’d be great at – designing a logo for the Hft’s new Give me 5! Wellbeing award to help people they support with their health and wellbeing. Amy was really helpful in giving me a very clear brief for what the logo needed to communicate to people in a visual way. I very quickly had the idea of using a hand doing a high five slamming towards the camera. The hand did in fact become the central graphic for the campaign logo.
I had to work with a very detailed design brief from Amy and Sarah which was all very new for me. It made me realise that seeing things from the clients’ perspective and not just my own ideas and interests is so important, and that they can change their minds about what they want too. I gave them lots of options but stayed within the guidelines of colours and size of letters. I designed the logo using Adobe Creative Cloud software that I have been using as my main design tools for the past year or so. I worked on the logo ideas for 6 weeks with lots of versions of the logo produced for each of the 5 parts of the Give me 5! campaign. We had lots of progress meetings on Zoom to give Amy and Sarah updates and agree new actions. I was given a deadline for producing the final products ready for printing online and on documents and I met the deadline given.
The whole experience has really helped me understand about how to work with a customer and helped me feel more confident about putting design ideas forward and changing them too! I had a lot of support from my PA Pete to organise the work needed, record our meetings’ notes Hft and ask questions if needed to keep me on track with everything. When my final designs were signed off by Hft I was delighted and proud to have achieved something that they wanted to use. I am now continuing to work with Hft on designing a certificate for the Give me 5! campaign and also some animated graphics for the award video. I am really enjoying this work and am so grateful for the opportunities and support that Hft have offered me so far. I know a lot more now about the work of a graphic designer/illustrator thanks to the Hft team.
If you’d like to see more of my artwork or speak to me about graphic design work please visit www.deviantart.com/gaiasheritage