Design students can offer marketing agencies a fresh and completely unique perspective on digital campaigns. In our hunt for the best and brightest design students in Scotland, Yard’s Head of Search and Content, Barry Begg, went to talk to the students at Edinburgh College.
Ewan Morris is a second-year HND Visual Communication in Graphic Design student at Edinburgh College and in February was awarded a placement at Yard. We spoke with Ewan about his inspirations, how Edinburgh College has helped shape his career path, and what its like to work at an award-winning agency.
How did you first get into graphic design?
I’ve always been quite a visual person, so it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when I became interested in graphic design. I made my mind up about the career I wanted to pursue relatively early on – it was either going to be architecture or visual design.
My first taste of real graphic design was during my third year of high school. The design course I chose was quite old-style, with a lot of working drawings and pen rendering and not a whole lot of time with digital design. From the small taste of digital design that I did get, it confirmed that this was a career path that I wanted to pursue further.
As a graphic design artist, where does your inspiration come from?
I draw inspiration from many sources. As I’m mainly interested in digital design, a lot of my inspiration comes from pieces of online editorial work or from web pages that are well designed. I also always subconsciously keep an eye out for designs I like when I’m out in public and will take pictures of work I’m fond of for future reference.
Our lecturer would always tell us that becoming a designer would end up driving us insane as you start to notice all the flaws in the designs you come across on the street. This is definitely starting to become true.
A lot of my inspiration also comes from the people that I work with. As my class is quite diverse design-wise, you get to see a large variety of different techniques and styles that are all unique in their own way, which can be quite refreshing.
Why did you choose Edinburgh College?
I chose Edinburgh College because I had heard nothing but positive reviews about their design course. I went to a few open nights for both colleges and universities, but this course seemed to be the most hands-on.
I was told that the lecturers involved themselves in your work and were passionate about what they did, so it was a no-brainer for me.
How did Edinburgh College help you to connect with Yard?
At the beginning of the year, our class was tasked to find at least one placement to take part in during February. This placement had to be two weeks long and could be with any agency you wanted.
Yard had reached out to Edinburgh College (or maybe it was the other way around, I’m not entirely sure) about taking on two students for this placement. Barry Begg came in and gave our class a presentation on what Yard does and a few examples of their work.
How did you secure a place at Yard?
After the presentation, I went up and had a chat with Barry. I enjoyed the quick talk that I had with him and decided to send Yard a follow up email to say that I would be interested in a placement at Yard. I was then asked to come into the office to discuss further.
During our meeting, they let me know what I would be working on during the placement and tasked me to come up with a few ideas to send them by the end of the week. After I completed this assignment, they told me that I had been chosen for the placement, which I was really excited about.
What’s it like working at Yard?
I’ve really enjoyed the past few months at Yard. The atmosphere is really friendly and the fact that I’m doing what I enjoy makes it easier to get up for work in the mornings. I was worried that I would end up going into the design industry and ultimately hate it, but working at Yard has affirmed that I have chosen the right career path.
What are your long-term career goals?
I would love to get some more experience with back-end development as I’d like to have a better understanding of what happens behind the scenes of digital design. At some point, I may switch from front-end design to back-end development depending on which I ultimately prefer.
I’m also really interested in the idea of working abroad for a while, preferably somewhere in Europe. Other than that, I’m keeping my options open.