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Love Your Job Guest Blog #9: Graphite Digital - Digital Agency

This is the ninth in a series of guest blogs from members, this time from Graphite Digital. I've been asking member employees how they got into & why they love their jobs, so they can share their wisdom & inspire you:

Laura Message - Senior Digital Producer

How did you get into Digital Production?

I did an art degree at uni so when I decided to go down the path into digital I had to work hard to put myself out there and get my foot in the door of good agencies. I started at Cogapp then moved to Kanoti after which I freelanced at Neo and finally Graphite where they offered me a permanent role.

I started as a junior doing research and some writing and ended up growing out our digital campaign offering, which is now a big focus . We’ve even developed our own campaigns platform, Prize Media, off the back of this success and growth.

I think my journey has made me pretty tough and that means I’m not scared of a challenge, which often comes in handy!

Tell us about the projects you have worked on that you’re most proud of and why?

Over the last year or so I have been leading on our partnership with UNIQLO, working with them to develop strategy and implement campaigns.

One of my proudest career moments so far was a campaign to support their flagship 311 Oxford Street store opening, Unlock Utopia.

It stands out because it was the first time we really flexed the muscles of Prize Media and it was great to see it in action. The mechanic of the campaign was designed to drive users in-store to take part in an experiential activity and it was really rewarding to see users engaging with the brand online and then in real life. The project has been shortlisted for a BIMA Award as well, which is the cherry on top!

Coming up, I’m excited about lots of future campaigns we’re running with UNIQLO over the next few months, including a global Christmas campaign stretching across lots of markets.

What are your three favourite things about your job?

1I love receiving a brief from a brand and developing a strategy and concepts around it as part of a team effort. It’s such a challenging, creative and rewarding experience that keeps you learning every step of the way.

2. I enjoy that I can work closely with the design and tech teams to develop and produce solutions and that I can inform how a project takes shape.

3. I really respect that Graphite have given me the room to shape my career as my skills have developed and because of that I have been able to drive this part of the business forward with trust and masses of support.

What advice would you give to younger self, knowing what you know now, about your career path?

I’d say, “This is where you are supposed to be - try getting here a bit sooner!”

Richard Guy - Developer

How did you get into programming?

I originally got into programming when I was working in a call centre. I was intrigued by the scripts they used to control the call routing so started asking lots of questions, they ended up giving me a job doing it mainly to stop the questions! I loved it so much I decided to apply to university to study Computer Science. From there I did a couple of programming internships before landing my first full time job.

Tell us about the projects you have worked on that you’re most proud of and why? (please add lovely links to work, photos and images)

Oh wow, there are so many! A lot of the work I do is server side coding so a little hard to show pictures of. I recently built a website for Prize Media, which was really fun as part of it’s intent was to show off what awesome front-end work we do. I worked with an incredibly talented animator and used a cutting edge JS library to do some really cool stuff.

What are your three favourite things about your job?

First and foremost I love creative problem solving. My favourite projects are always the ones I get to work on from the start. I love taking a problem, or an idea, and breaking it down into a high-level plan and tasks. From there it’s so exciting to watch ideas grow into products or problems into solutions!

Secondly, I love that I’m always learning. The more experience I get the more I realise I how much more there is to learn. I’m lucky that Graphite has a real focus on personal development and allows me time and space to try out new tools and technologies.

Finally, I just love being part of a vibrant, creative team of amazing people, working on really exciting projects in a big open studio on the seafront.  What’s not to love about that?

What advice would you give to younger self, knowing what you know now, about your career path?

Slow down! You don’t need to try and become an expert in everything on your first day. Maintaining work life balance is so important and if you’re happy and valued in your role you will learn faster, adopt better practices and ultimately shine.

Josh Price - Designer

How did you get into “design”? 

I remember as a kid discovering that there was such a thing as a graphic designer, and feeling overwhelming excited that one could make a living out of drawing, designing and creating as it was something I naturally did for fun.

I took the necessary subjects at school and ended up studying at Brighton, leaving with a HND in Graphic Design and Communication. I was possibly going to top up the HND with one more year to turn it into a BA, but I was offered a job straight from college, and learnt fundamental professional skills in my first couple years.

Tell us about the projects you have worked on that you’re most proud of and why?

Some recent Graphite projects which I have thoroughly enjoyed are:

Captain America - Civil War campaign for Uniqlo - this was a quick turnaround campaign design which we created an online experience for. We were privileged to be able to produce a Marvel-themed competition portal through our new campaign platform Prize Media. It enabled users to sign up for a unique Team ID which they could take to the UNIQLO store on launch night. Working with Marvel to create stunning visuals with animation and interactivity was a great fun as we have a few comic book fans in the office.

Luna - a Street Space Game - a space shooter game based on the 80s classic 'Asteroids', but with plenty of innovations to bring it into the 21st Century. We designed and built a fun, nostalgic and immersive gaming experience you could enjoy right outside our office by hosting it in a TV in our window and enabling people to use their smartphone as a game controller.
Being an internal Graphite project, this was a very beneficial and fun experience. We learned a lot of lessons fitting this in around client work, but ultimately creating all the illustrations and working with the developer guys to implement the animation and responsiveness was great.

What are your three favourite things about your job?

I believe Brighton is one of the best places to live and work in the UK, and the working culture at Graphite is one to treasure where colleagues work alongside each other in the aim to benefit the project, not themselves.

I like the hunger of the creatives at Graphite, who constantly want to push new technologies and trends, but make sure the idea is always king, and not just visually pleasing.

Also, if there is space depending on the project, the creative freedom is respected and a good discovery time is essential. With larger clients, we sometimes work alongside other agencies which has been a good experience.

What advice would you give to younger self, knowing what you know now, about your career path?

Probably, no need to stress about what’s the right route to take. There are many options available when you’re young and everyone’s career path is different. As long as you have the passion and will to work, you’ll arrive at a great destination.

That's brilliant, great advice & insights, thanks guys!

I’ve been running a series of Love Your Job Guest Blogs in 2016 by members. Take a peek:

I’ve got a full schedule of Love Your Job blogs for the next 12 months – so watch this space for more inspiration!  If there is a specific area of work you’d like to hear about then let me know

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