According to a recent survey by Bron Vermelden, economic uncertainty is encouraging more parents to push their children into traditional careers rather than creative industries. The survey of 500 parents and 500 students aged between 16 and 25 found that 43% of parents were likely to pressure their offspring into choosing career paths such as accounting or engineering. However staffing firm ‘Robert Half’ finds that creative employees are happier at work than those in more traditional industries.

To help you find out if a career in a creative agency is your destiny, here’s a taster of what a day in the life of a designer at TW looks like, based on interviews with our designers Paul, Ollie and Tom.

Before work starts

Paul: “The first thing I do when the alarm clock goes is reach for my iPhone and browse Instagram to wake myself up. It stops myself from snoozing. I use Instagram as a daily magazine, filled with designers, illustrators, skaters and sports’ people I follow. If there is time I’ll go to the gym and get some exercise in before my kid wakes up.”

Tom: “I’m not a morning person. I’ll snooze as long as I can. On my drive in I’ll listen to podcasts, currently design ones and rockclimbing stories.”

Ollie: “Waking up is not my forte, but because I’m fairly local I can cycle to work in approximately 25 minutes. Easier way of travelling, plus cycling wakes me up a bit. It gets my heart beating.”

On arrival

Paul: “I prefer to arrive early and take some time to start up. Get some life admin done and browse the internet for news and design inspiration. It wakes my brain up, before getting straight into work.”

Ollie: “I do that too! When I get to work, I’ll check my emails and always the sports’ results. Just in case …”

Tom: “Coffee for me first, I have to make a coffee. I’ve learned to be not too fussy about it, so instant will do.”

Crack on with work

Tom: “We are all integrated designers, but we do have our individual specialties. I do a bit more website work, I can code html and css. At TW we have a shared overview of our Work In Progress (WIP), so we generally know what we have to do each day. Client services own the WIP, schedules the tasks and briefs us on the projects we will be working on. The briefing basically determines how we get something on our screen. I read through everything thoroughly, will form a super rough concept, like a hook, in my head and will then start looking at creating visuals. Pinterest gives me a load of visual inspiration. I aim to create design that is different and that meets my clients’ needs, targets and audiences. I look for something that is unexpected and different.”

Paul: “I like to see ideas come to life. Illustration and animation are my specialties, and my concepts will start with a few sketches. Sometimes I’m cracking on with existing designs, sometimes I can start from scratch, I like a bit of both. It’s nice to come up with brand new ideas, but it can be a battle sometimes, and then it’s nice to evolve something that is already there. Sometimes an idea is not working. You have to know when to stop, before wasting time.”

Ollie: “My stuff is mostly print and branding with some illustration thrown in. I’m currently preparing a mural for the reception area. It all starts with the briefing: what is the client’s need and how do we meet their request? If we have ideas we believe to work for a client, we present them. People tend to choose the safer routes, but if we think it’s better we’ll push a bit to go for a more distinctive design, without being too wacky. I like to surprise, go beyond the expected.”

Recharge

Tom: “It can be particularly busy, manic even, but as a team we get things done and if necessary there will be freelancers in to help. We do need our breaks though!”

Paul: During lunchtime, I need to get away from my desk, if only for a few minutes. We’re located in town centre and I love the walks here. By getting away from my screen, I’m way more productive for the rest of the day.”

Ollie: “Around 11 o’clock I’ll have my breakfast behind the screen, a banana or some cereal. For lunch I’ll go out. Buy some food and if the planning and weather let me I’ll go for a walk in the park. Have a little walk, sit down, bring a sketch book, no phone. This helps, especially when I’m stuck. Being in a different place helps me to stay focused.”

Inspiration

Ollie: “Each designer has his or her own way to stay inspired. Free sketching and writing down my thoughts help me, I’m more open to paper. A spiral of words or a quick doodle can result in a grid or an art-piece. I do what comes naturally.”

Tom: “I push myself to find the unexpected by competitive research and looking at previous work. That will kick off my idea process, finding something that is not just a play on words but something visually different, just to make sure it is engaging. I want to engage people, a design has to stick and catch attention.”

Why design?

Ollie: “Design has always been the only thing I was passionate about. And because I love it so much it never bores me. I never really liked reading, science, maths – instead I chose to get an A-level in film studies and study art at Farnham University.”

Tom: “Actually I wanted to start a career writing or publishing, but I’ve always done design work too. In college I did English, design and photography, but chose graphic design in the end. That was what I liked the most. My first job was in-house designing at a print shop in Brighton. We created a lot of gig posters and we got loads of free tickets.”

Paul: “Initially I wanted to become an illustrator, I’ve always loved drawing. When I was a kid I designed football kits. After my foundation stage at university I chose graphic design: if you like a bit of everything, then graphic design is perfect for you. I’m glad I took that avenue, the variety in my work is nice. Bringing ideas together and knowing when something is suitable and effective, that is what makes you a designer.”

Life after a working day

Ollie: “When our work is finished I’ll cycle home. Cook something to eat and will work on some personal design projects. I always play with my dog too and will walk him as long as he wants. I’m a bit of a night owl, so won’t go to bed early. Sometimes I’ll watch a comedy or documentary on Netflix. The last one I’ve seen is Abstract, about different disciplines in design: illustration, fashion design, graphic, photography, architecture, etc. I prefer to watch things that make me laugh or let me learn.”

Tom: “After work it’s all about sports for me! First some food, but then I play ultimate frisbee, go to the gym, climbing training. I get out every evening. When I’m home I’ll watch telly, preferably a nature doc. I’ll go to bed around 10:30, I sleep a lot.”