Meet a Graphic Designer
We caught up with Hannah Sutton, who is a graphic designer based in Melbourne. Hannah worked in a graphic design studio for three years before starting her own business, Hannah Sutton Design. Hannah and her team focuses on delivering complete brand outputs for entrepreneurs and companies which include website design & development, stationery printing, brochures & catalogues and packaging.
What courses did you study to become a Graphic Designer? And tell us a bit about your current role?
I studied Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) at RMIT University, Melbourne. I now run my own business as a Graphic Designer specialising in Branding, Web Design and Illustration, with 2 amazing team members who are Web Developers.
What does a Graphic Designer do on a day-to day basis?
I spend 2-4 hours a day doing admin work – emails, quotes, invoices, phone calls, financials, project planning & team planning – for a creative it drives you nuts but it absolutely comes with the territory if you run your own business. I spend 2-3 hours setting up jobs – ordering prints, packaging web files or researching for a branding job. About 4 hours a day I have my headphones on and am in complete laser-focused work bliss on the design at hand.
What do you think are the skills a Graphic Designer should have?
- Listening. When you consult with a client the hardest thing to do is to ask a good question and listen to them deeply. Don’t word-vomit ideas at them. listen carefully, then, after a while, you can come up with a truly appropriate design solution.
- Don’t give up trying to do design work you’re proud of. It should never be ‘just good enough’
What are the three things you absolutely love about your job?
- Being able to work from my apartment-turned-studio and make an awesome living
- Having a network of inspiring, creative people to work with that give you the feeling that you can create anything you can imagine
- Knowing I can set my own goals.
What advice would you give students aspiring to work in Design industry?
It’s going to be ridiculously competitive out there for a long time. You’ll survive if your heart is really, really in this. Expect, as a new grad, it challenging to find employment as this is a largely non-employing industry (many designers are 1-3 person studios). Expect to do an unpaid internship or earn under $40k salary for a start. How you increase this is down to how well you network and take advantage of your opportunities. What helped me was picking up little design jobs from friends that aided my income. Become a member of AGDA and do your best to develop a network of friendly designers and people across industries – they are a huge help for support, work and ways to find new jobs. NEVER be afraid to ask someone to mentor you.
If you want to work for yourself – find a ‘Connector’ (read Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘The Tipping Point’ ) – all good businesses are about referrals.
What is next on your career horizon?
Becoming more established as a branding expert, doing award-winning projects with my team, learning how to work internationally, studying art in Florence.
Thank You, Hannah, for sharing your story with training.com.au.