Being a designer for Bottom Line is nothing short of eventful. Every. Single. Day. I feel so blessed to have a job where there is always something to be done and I am never just sitting and watching the clock tick. Here is a little outline of what a day might look like for a designer at BLM:
Every designer is different, but I start my day the same exact way by setting down my stuff and opening these key programs. They are so key that I dedicate an entire separate screen for them, as they keep my work life going.
1. Asana. The single most important program of the day! All of my projects that are due today, tomorrow, in the future, are being approved, have edits… they are ALL in here! It is constantly being updated throughout the day based on edits coming in, projects going out, and new needs that our clients might have.
2. My spreadsheet. This is where I keep track of how much time I spend on each of my projects. I have a timer on the top of my screen that I start when I open a project, and then, when I have saved and closed it, I write down what I was working on and how much time I spent on it.
SIDE NOTE NERD OUT MOMENT: Ok, the spreadsheet thing is super important for the company and our clients… BUT I also really enjoy being able to see how much work I am able to accomplish or how quickly I can do something with quality. It’s actually, in the most nerdy way possible, very rewarding. When I was first hired at BLM two years ago, I remember seeing the number of projects I was doing increase each month as I got faster and more efficient with my time. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in a day, and now I have a diary of how my design skills have improved!
3. Skype might be my best friend. Literally. This is how I talk to everyone we work with! Whether it’s just casual conversation sprinkled in throughout the day, helping solve design puzzles within our team, or asking questions about clients or projects, it’s an absolute must-have for a successful day.
4. And of course, good ol’ email. I don’t really get emails very often because Asana/Skype is where I communicate about projects and edits. I do send A LOT of emails to our production team with project proofs so they can look things over or send to a client.
AND DON’T FORGET…
So, now we have the basics set up. I’ve put my things down, my computer is on with all of my important programs open on one screen, and my little Skype icon is green indicating I am online and ready for action. Good job. Now I get coffee.
This is normally when I grab coffee with mostly creamer and very little coffee. It tastes good and once it gets cold and not so drinkable anymore, my office smells like a French vanilla candle. Pro tip.
FIRST THING’S FIRST
Now that I have my sweet smelling coffee, I am ready to get serious. Of the two screens I work on daily, my second screen is dedicated to all the Adobe programs I use. At Bottom Line, our designers are very well versed in all of your major Adobe programs like Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. We also have a couple designers who are super well versed in programs like After Effects and Adobe Premiere.
At any given time, ALL OF THESE PROGRAMS COULD BE OPEN AT ONCE!!!!!
I wouldn’t advise it for the sake of your computer’s internal fan about to fly away, but it happens. Even though all of those programs being open might be an indicator of a crazy day, it is a reminder of how awesome it is that we are able to have all of those skill sets to share with our clients! There is never a day that I only spend time in one specific program. Our design team is constantly growing and changing to make our graphics fit the needs of a client in the most trendy way possible, and we will use the most effective and efficient program to get the job done.
THIS IS WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS
And now it’s time to start designing, starting with whatever is first in Asana.
Starting with a new white canvas can be intimidating, but as someone who is pretty visual, when I am reading the task in black and white in Asana, I start to get an image of what I want the final product to look like. This doesn’t always mean that it works exactly the way I pictured it. There is a lot of manipulating and finesse that goes into crafting something, but that’s sort of the journey of it all.
I like to think of graphic design as a puzzle of putting together words and information in an interesting way that people will understand and find visually attractive. We could all just type in a word document using Times New Roman, but eventually in a world full of black ink on white paper, you wouldn’t see anything anymore. It’s our job to continue to grab our audience’s attention.
This comes with research, for sure, which is definitely part of the job. Following artists, watching videos on techniques, sketching or even just studying another designer’s work and why something is successful, can all be great places to pull inspiration from and grow.
FULL SPEED AHEAD
Now you’re diving head first into the rest of the day which is a juggling act between designing new concept materials, editing previous projects, checking Asana regularly, responding to skype messages/calls and sending out emails.
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT FOLKS
That is what a day for a designer at Bottom Line generally looks like! We have such a fun, creative design team here. The bottom line: we love working together, making nerdy design jokes, and nothing makes us happier than hearing that our clients love their graphics and are seeing results.