Written by Annie McCulloch, Portfolio Recruitment
Now and Then is a series where we catch up with designers who’ve been recently placed, via Portfolio Recruitment. We get their thoughts and feedback about their new roles and their work. Our latest Now and Then is with Ethan Lowe, a Graphic Designer at Culture&Theory.
Ethan! What an awesome year (and a bit) you’ve had. On board with Material Design pretty much from their beginning. They evolved into Culture&Theory and you’ve been involved in some amazing projects. What a ride for you. How do you feel?!
Awesome! It was such a great opportunity to join the Culture&Theory team when I did.
There was only a handful of us at the time, which meant I was able to get my hands across a good variety of projects early on and really develop my skills as a designer from the get-go. Being a part of a young studio as we continue to grow has been incredibly rewarding, challenging and most of all, fun.
Have you had any particular highlights?
Getting the chance to work on New Zealand Cricket and the Blackcaps has been a highlight for sure. Being involved with such a widely known sports organisation with so many touchpoints has been a really great project. It’s a cool feeling walking past Eden Park, or being at a match and seeing what we’ve done being showcased on such a big stage.
It has been an amazing opportunity for you to develop quite quickly as a designer. Is there one thing you’ve learnt in this time that you maybe had never thought about before starting your design career?
I think the biggest learnings and eye-opener for me has been the strategic side of our process. Before I joined Culture&Theory I wasn’t really aware of the sheer amount of research, strategic thinking and analysis that goes into what we do before we even get to the design phase. It’s been an approach I’ve really enjoyed learning about and I think is invaluable to any designer to help progress their skillset to the next level.
What are the things you truly love about what you do?
For me, it’s just the constant act of making. I love that gut feeling you get when you know something’s working and the excitement that comes along with pushing an idea you’re really digging. The collaboration side of things is also something I love about what we do. It’s always great bouncing ideas back and forth and seeing new perspectives on what you’re working on.
Is there one bit of advice you can offer designers trying to kick start their career?
It’s always quite daunting coming into a new environment being new to the game, but more often than not, people are always so enthusiastic to pass on their knowledge and show you the ropes. I think as a junior trying to get into the industry it’s good to get your hands on as many things as possible opposed to pigeon-holing yourself to a particular ‘style’ too early on. Every type of project has learnings you can take away with you.
If not design…what other career path might you have chosen?
Hmm…That’s a tough one. Growing up I was always drawing and illustration was my key focus for a long time. I always knew I wanted to do something along those lines as a career so design felt like a natural progression from that. It wasn’t until halfway through university that I really fell into the world of design and I haven’t looked back. I can’t really imagine having a career where I’m not creating in some shape or form to be honest.
And to help further develop your own creative career visit: www.portfoliorecruitment.co.nz