Function, form and fun: a designer’s insights

I joined Bellman in 2015 as a mid-level designer and am feeling right at home in the Bellman family.

Specialising in branding and icon design, I love simple, clean lines in my work and creating neat shapes. I also like brainstorming a solution that might not be my first thought and thinking outside the box.

I’ve found that putting myself out there for extra responsibilities, even if it’s not necessarily something I specialise in or that on the surface seems particularly beneficial, can reap rewards. For example, taking responsibility for an internship program won’t necessarily benefit your work directly or give you a monetary reward, but it will be a great experience in team management, and sometimes that kind of reward is more valuable. My advice to up and coming designers is to put your hand up and say yes to things you wouldn’t normally.

In a creative industry, it’s really important to network and make close friends. Not only will you be able to have fun nerding out over design together (something regular friends don’t seem to find that interesting!), you will be able to learn from their experiences in the workplace.

Speaking to other people in the industry and getting that extra ‘word of mouth’ knowledge can be invaluable when making your next career decision. Some studios may have a beautiful website and produce amazing work, but on the flip side, staff might feel undervalued and unappreciated. I’m lucky working for Bellman, where concepts and original work are acknowledged and appreciated publicly, making it much easier to get up and come to work!

My design motto would be “when in doubt, keep it simple.” I think the lines between art and design can often be blurred because they both result in beautiful things, but the distinction (for me anyway) between the two, is that design has a function. Form follows function, and that should always be at the back of your mind when designing: how does this improve my viewers’ experience?

Creating a beautiful logo is one thing, but if it doesn’t have any depth it’s just skin-deep. Instead of creating something trendy and superficial, create something with depth and a story. It will be longer lasting in the market and be relevant for longer.

As designers, we need to be able to create forms and templates that are engaging and streamline the process. I think user experience in terms of design is the next big thing in my area. As the web side of design gets more and more relevant, print has to keep up by revolutionising how the viewer interacts with your work.

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