Becky joined us in July 2013 after finishing her degree in Typography and Graphic Communication from the University of Reading. We caught up with her to see how her first (almost) year has been with emc design.
What were your first few weeks like?
During my first day at emc I was introduced to the team and discussed my new role at the company. There was a lovely welcoming lunch for me and Abi which was a great chance to properly meet the team. We also had a music quiz at work which was great fun, even though our team came last!
Over the next few weeks I became much more confident in using the BSI proofing marks. I also learnt more about the requirements of the different clients, for instance their differing font policies and specific layout/typographic styles they use.
Can you remember what your first project was and did it meet your expectations?
My first project was for Macmillan. This job was a useful introduction to my new role as it involved some simple corrections and I also had a chance to position some high res photos on the pages. John gave me some useful hints on how to edit photos so they made the best use of the space available. I enjoyed my first job as I picked up some useful keyboard shortcuts in InDesign. I also improved my Photoshop skills as I was taught how to effectively use mask layers, creating cut-outs and fading out backgrounds.
What was your first month like? And did you learn new skills?
One of my big achievements looking back over the first month was being able to improve my Photoshop skills. I felt much more confident using this program since receiving some on-the-job training from John and Lindsey. Lindsey also showed me some useful tips on creating illustrations in clip art. For instance creating effective looking notepad realia using the pathfinder tool to create torn edges.
How were feeling after your first 2-3 months? And were you settling into the work?
After the first month or so I became much more familiar with the jobs I was working on. Most of my jobs were for Lindsey, so I became more integrated in her team. At this point I was given more responsibility. I would be given final proof projects that needed to be packaged correctly and prepared to go off to print.
I was also given more pieces of realia (highly creative pieces of mocked up English examples) to style up. I would then show this realia to Lindsey who would give me useful feedback on how I could improve it, for instance by making the photo more prominent or integrated with the realia, typeface choices etc.
After your first 6 months with us we give everyone an appraisal, firstly to see more formally how you’re doing and whether you’ve passed your probation period. And secondly to set you some goals and how to help you over the next year. So how did you find it?
For my appraisal I went to the local pub for an informal chat with John. The main goal I wanted to set for myself was to improve my technical knowledge of GREP searches in InDesign. Following the appraisal John gave me a couple of first proof jobs that involved typesetting. This enabled me to practice using GREP searches. As a result of these projects I now feel more confident using GREP and also in producing initial page layouts.
Where are you at today and what’s next for you?
I’ve been working on more large scale realia recently, some of which involve integrating the realia across whole spreads. This is challenging, but it’s also very rewarding when you get the final result you want. I always wanted a job within editorial design, however I had no idea what it would really be like. I have been taught a lot of useful skills within InDesign and Photoshop whilst being at emc, which I wish I knew about while I was at uni!
We’re moving office soon which is exciting! It means we’ll have much more desk space and room for new designers. Hopefully I’ll be able to improve my technical ability in Photoshop further, and I’d also like to typeset and layout some more books at first proof stage.
If you connect with Becky and like the idea of learning to become an editorial designer, in a supportive environment at one of the UK’s leading editorial design agencies then download our graduate scheme information pack here.
Meet more designers who joined us as graduates here.