I’m Mat, a motion designer at Teesside University. Studying graphic design at university gave me a solid foundation to build upon, allowing me to move between different roles within the industry, from graphic designer, website design, 3D animation and modelling, and now, motion design.

What drew you to graphic design?

I’m not exactly sure what first drew me to graphic design, but over time I’ve realised for me, that graphic design is where my love for problem-solving, organisation, and enhancing things all come together. This could be developing a brand’s look and feel, crafting engaging social media graphics or redesigning a product’s packaging to stand out on shelves.

What has been a favourite project to work on? 

A highlight of my career so far is working on the rebrand of Newcastle Gin. It was the first time I had free rein over an entire project. A few months later whilst doing some furniture shopping, I stumbled across the newly designed gin range as part of a display in IKEA in Gateshead, followed by Morrisons, and later, Co-Op. The first time you spot your work as you’re going about your everyday life is a fantastic feeling. You can see some of this work here and here on YouTube.

What does a graphic designer do? 

A graphic designer’s day-to-day tasks vary based on their specific role and where they work. In my earlier days as a junior designer, it was about taking briefs, creating initial concepts, refining designs and presenting them to seniors or clients. As a design manager at a web design agency, I met with clients, understood their vision, and then directed my team to bring that vision to life. As a freelance designer, every day brought new challenges – from client meetings to drafting proposals and executing designs.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to study graphic design? 

Use your studies as a time to explore and try your hand at different disciplines. Immerse yourself in every project. Instead of simply scrolling through Instagram, Behance or Pinterest, where most people look for inspiration, go to the library and search for hidden treasures tucked away in dusty books. Finally, enjoy it. The creative freedom you have at university is rare in the professional world, so cherish this time.

What does the future of graphic design look like?

Many people are concerned that Artificial Intelligence (AI) may put graphic designers out of jobs. While it is true that AI can create incredible artwork, I believe that the rise of AI will only strengthen the need for skilled professionals who can design work that aligns with a client’s vision, ensuring effectiveness across various platforms and delivering tangible results. After all, design is not just about aesthetics; it’s about fulfilling an objective and solving problems.

If you’re thinking of studying graphic design at university learn more.

By Mat.