What are you doing at Innoleaps?
I work as a Visual Designer on projects for our external clients and partners. My role at Innoleaps usually takes me full circle; from creative concepting, design strategy consulting and, of course, design execution. With the design execution part of my role, I look deeper into experimental brand creation, packaging concept development, web and social media design. I like that my role takes me full circle, as I get to see first hand how an idea comes to life as we progress further into the project.
What do you love about your current role as a visual designer?
It's difficult for me to pinpoint one thing since this always varies depending on what project I’m working on, but I would say I particularly enjoy applying the new brand into a webshop. Outlining & planning the different steps that are required, bringing all the teams knowledge together and using the insights we gather during the program into a platform that brings everything together.
It’s a very exciting and cool moment when we can officially reveal our ‘baby’ to the world. Sometimes my friends ask me how work is going, and I can find myself struggling to tell them what I’m working on as I have to be careful with the information I share, so it’s always an exciting time for me personally when I can proudly share what we’ve built!
What skills do you think are crucial for a successful design career?
Skills are something everybody can develop with time, access to education and effort, I think your mindset is more important than an A-grade skillset. I believe a good designer can never stop educating themselves and striving to know more, learn more and be the best version of themselves. In order to develop their mindset, I believe a positive culture is necessary where it’s encouraged to be open to new challenges and not be afraid to fail, to give and receive feedback effectively but also one that enables them to set boundaries, which for me personally can still sometimes be a challenge.
On top of all this, the biggest skill you can develop is to be comfortable with change and uncertainty, after all, trial and error is a fundamental part of any design profession.
Which of your projects would you say was the biggest success for you and why?
I struggle to single out a specific project, as I’ve worked on so many cool projects but if I had to pick one I would say the project I did the with the Danone UK team. It wasn’t that this project was more ‘successful’ than any of the others, but the vibe of the Danone team & the Innoleaps team combined was fantastic. Both teams were so aligned and ambitious. We all truly believed in the end destination of the product, so that it made my work such a pleasure.
How do you define success? What does it mean for you?
Success is quite an abstract concept but I can feel immensely proud when I see that one of my designs fulfils its function and somehow improves people's life. It’s a great feeling to know that you are making a difference & creating impact.
I personally feel successful when I accomplish my goals, that’s probably similar to every working person, but for me, its even more satisfying when I’m able to stay true to myself throughout the design process, stick to my high-quality levels and not let other peoples opinions come between the vision too much.
How do you make sure you stay ahead of the game?
Curiosity. Never stop being curious. I don't stop reading, watching, discovering new trends and being really aware of what is happening outside my ‘bubble’.
I love meeting and listening to new people and their stories - it can really open my eyes to new possibilities and allows me to see the industry from different perspectives.
What was your biggest personal learning from 2020?
Everything can wait. It’s really okay to stop, reflect and then take giant steps towards the future. If you’re always running around, with no time to self-reflect, how will you know where you can, and need to grow?
What challenges or trends do you think will impact your role in the 12 months?
If I look back at 2020 first, I think we are already witnessing a huge challenge, and that is really how we as professionals and companies can and should adapt to the repercussions of the COVID19 pandemic. In the beginning, we had no idea that the effects could last this long, we had short term solutions. Now, it’s time to switch our mindset to long term solutions as this way of working is here to stay for a while yet. I think it's also important to make the best of the situation we are all in and find happiness in the smaller things again.
If I look towards this year, I think a big challenge will be how companies can improve virtual communication. It’s a struggle to keep people engaged and motivated as we are all victims of Zoom fatigue. We need to bring fresh, innovative ideas to the table. We are also living in the most multimedia-orientated era. The next consumer generation are digital natives and consume and use social media in completely new and different ways. You can see brands everywhere trying to tap into and start to figure out the future of advertising. This will not necessarily make a huge impact over the coming 12 months, but companies need to start adapting and learning how they can target the next consumer generation and stand out from an already over-saturated online ocean of products and services before its too late.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to do a job like yours?
As a woman in the innovation/creativity industry, it's important to speak out and make yourself heard. There are still around only a 1% of women occupying creativity management positions and even though this is getting better, we still have a long way to go. Don't feel small towards big audiences - your opinion and expertise is as valid as anyone else.
Trust in your gut feeling & have patience. Design is something that can receive as many opinions as people that live in the world, but that doesn't mean all of them are good.
A good designer should also be aware of the power in being able to communicate their vision and purpose in each piece of work or project they take on. People can’t read minds so include them as much as you can and take them along with you on your creative process. This will make them more connected to the end results, and identify any design roadblocks early on in the process.